(Deuteronomy 7, Psalm 90; Optional 1 Corinthians 8, Proverbs 26:10-12)
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See May 11 for SPECIAL NOTE on format change…
Deuteronomy 7 – Yahweh’s sovereign choice of Israel should give confidence that He will keep His promise and bring them in to the land, just as He said He would (compare His choice of believers today and connection to bringing them all the way to glory in Rom 8:29-30; Jn 6:39, 44; Heb 12:2; Phil 1:6). All this should guard them from fear of the powerful enemy and give them confidence in GOD (not self confidence) – v 17-24. But they should NOT think that God chose them because they had something in THEM that would lead to His choice. No, this is UNCODITIONAL ELECTION – He chose them because He delighted to set His love on them (compare Deut 7:6-8, Rom 9:10-18, 1 Cor 1:26-31).
I’m increasingly seeing that God regularly both humbles AND encourages His people. In this chapter, they are to be HUMBLED by 1) how prone they are to wander away from the one true God (v 2-5, 25-26). 2) God’s choice of them as His people was NOT because of something in THEM that was better than others, but because of God’s gracious setting of His love on them (v 6-8). They should be ENCOURAGED that God HAS chosen them to belong to Him (v 6-8), that He (the Almighty God) is FOR them and WILL keep all the promises He’s made.
PSALM 90 – Note the title – a prayer of Moses, right around the time of our readings in Deuteronomy. The Psalm is a sober reflection on the fragility of human life in this fallen world (especially poignant as the previous generation that disobeyed God in Num 13-14 has now died off within 40 years). And the eternal power of Almighty God.
Ps 90:12 – One of my most used prayers in a tragedy where life is cut short or someone is very sick and facing the fragility of life, and Ps 90:14 is a wonderful prayer to start the day.
Optional 1 Cor 8 – 1 Cor 8-10 and Rom 14 help us think through issues where God has left room for believers to glorify Him in different ways. 1 Cor 8 teaches it’s important that we EDUCATE our conscience, but also that correct knowledge isn’t nearly the most important thing, but having love that BUILDS UP the body of Christ. When you put these chapters together, you get some helpful questions and principles that help to evaluate what WE should do in these less clear areas of life. Some of the questions we should ask: What’s my motive / goal? How will this impact my testimony / witness? How will this impact my brothers and sisters in Christ? Again, I highly recommend the book Conscience (by Naselli and Crowley) – wonderfully and practically applies Scriptures like this section of 1 Corinthians and Rom 14 (and it’s short enough to actually read 😊).