Questions for the next generation

Scripture Reading for February 21: Deuteronomy 1-4

The name “Deuteronomy” literally means “second law”.  Deuteronomy is quoted directly in seventeen of the twenty seven New Testament books and alluded to nearly eighty more times.  This book is a record of the last four sermons given by Moses to the congregation of Israel.  It records lessons he learned and that God wanted to pass on to the next generation who would possess the promised land.

Moses had led the nation for forty long years around the wilderness.  A journey that should have taken less than two weeks stretched out because of grumbling, complaining, doubt and unbelief.  (Deuteronomy 1:26-27) Moses, himself, did not get to enter the promised land due to his dishonoring of God at Kadesh. (Numbers 20:8-12)  In explaining the forty years of wandering, Moses appeared to blame the Israelites for his own sin. (Deuteronomy 1:37)  But God holds leaders to a higher standard because of the revelation and intimacy they share with Him. 

Moses also preached to this next generation to inspire faith in God.  His questions to them are typical of the rabbinical style of teaching.  “What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?”  “And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?” (Deuteronomy 4:7-8) The obvious answer is “none!”  They were a special people marked by their Holy God traveling with them.  They must be careful to teach these truths to their children and grandchildren!

What lessons do you find helpful for you today from these ancient sermons of Moses? Is history helpful to us today? Choose a family member from the ‘next’ generation to pray for and possibly share your faith or life lessons with in this coming week. Consider some questions you might ask them.

“Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on earth below.  There is no other.  Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.” Deuteronomy 4:39-40

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