The Scriptorium

Everyday Choices

Choose well. Deuteronomy 11.18-32

Blessing and Curse: Deuteronomy 10, 11 (6)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 105.1-7
Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!
Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
Remember His marvelous works which He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,
O seed of Abraham His servant,
You children of Jacob, His chosen ones!
He is the LORD our God;
His judgments are in all the earth.

Psalm 105.1-7

(Warrington: Give to Our God Immortal Praise)
Give thanks unto the Lord Most High; call on His Name, before Him cry!
Make known His deeds in every land; sing praise for all the works of His hand.

Glory in God, rejoice in heart, all you who seek His holy part.
Him and His strength and Presence seek; His works proclaim, His judgments speak.

You holy children of Abraham, You chosen ones of Jacob, stand!
He is our Lord, of wondrous worth; His judgments are in all the earth.

Today’s Text: Deuteronomy 11.18-32

Preparation
1. What did Moses promise if the people would obey the Lord?

2. Where should the people of God set the words of the Law?

Meditation
If it seems like Moses keeps saying the same thing over and over, it’s because he is. It is crucial that the people remember God, His covenant, His deliverance, His Law, and His promises. Their very lives depended on keeping these things in mind, so that they would choose obedience to God at all times.

And not just in mind, but on their hearts and in their souls, so that these matters saturated them from the inside out, commanding their attention, provoking their love, and defining their priorities (v. 18). They must also “bind” the commandments and promises on their hands, and make them as “frontlets” before their eyes (v. 18). Whether this was to be taken literally, I’m not sure; but the intention is clear, that God’s Law should define the works of their hands and be always before their eyes in every situation.

They must teach these words to their children, making the most of every opportunity to instruct their sons and daughters in the duties and blessings of God’s Law (v. 19). The commandments of God must provide the standard for their lives at home and in community (v. 20). If the people would carefully guard the Law of God, to love and walk with and hold fast to Him in all their ways, His blessings would come upon them abundantly (vv. 21-25).

Every day the people would be faced with a choice: Obey God and be blessed, or disobey Him and be cursed (vv. 26-28). When they entered the land, the importance of this choice would be dramatized by the reading of the Law and its blessings and curses to the people gathered on two mountains (vv. 29, 30; cf. Josh. 8.33ff).

The sum: “And you shall be careful to observe all the statutes and judgments which I set before you today” (v. 32).

Since obeying God was so important to the people of God in Moses’ day, we must not think it any less important in ours.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
The people had a lot of land to conquer, and many enemies to dispatch. God didn’t instruct them to build up their armaments, bulk up, or get some new ideas about warfare. No peacock postural plumage needed here! They only needed every day, at every opportunity, whatever was before them, to love, trust, and obey God! That’s all they needed to “put the dread of you and the fear of you upon all the land where you tread…” (Deut. 11.25). This way victory! We are encouraged in the same way, as we proceed into our Personal Mission Fields every day, to love, trust, and obey God. Not in our own blustery strength, but in His power. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” (Jn. 16.33; Rev. 17.14).

If we are called to serve, then we too, must be faithful to be victorious.

Reflection

1. How can you prepare each day to make the right choice – the choice for obedience and blessing – at every opportunity?

2. How can believers help one another to hide God’s Word within their soul, and carry it out in their lives?

3. How can we teach the next generation of believers to love God and obey His Word?

He again demands their serious attention, lest if the doctrine he propounds should be only lightly and carelessly received, it should speedily be let slip; for to lay up in, or on, the heart, is the same as to hide deeply in it; although, where the word "soul" is added, the "heart" refers to the mind, or the intellectual faculties. In fine, he commands them to have the Law not only impressed on the mind, but embraced with sincere affection.
John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Deuteronomy 11.18

Let Your Word guide my every step today, Lord, as I…

Closing Prayer: Psalm 105.26-45
Thank the Lord for His salvation, His Word, and His Spirit. Meditate on the glory in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4.6), Who is the fulfillment of all God’s promises to us (2 Cor. 1.20). Commit your day to the Lord, to walk in the path of His Word.

Psalm 105.26-45
(Warrington: Give to Our God Immortal Praise)
He brought His people from Egypt alive, and made their joy and song revive.
He made the nations’ land their own, and all the wealth that they had known.

To them He granted the promised land, the portion of His gracious hand.
Though they were few, and wandered far, He kept them close within His heart.

So let us all in our Savior confide, and in His holy Law abide.
Let us observe His glorious Word, and praise our sovereign, faithful Lord!

T. M. and Susie Moore

Listen to our summary of last week’s study in Deuteronomy by clicking here. You can download all the studies in the series by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy: Ancient Christian Commentary Series III, Joseph T. Lienhard, S. J. ed. in collaboration with Ronnie J. Rombs, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2001). All quotations from John Calvin from John Calvin, Commentaries on The Four Last Books of Moses Arranged in the Order of A Harmony, Rev. Charles William Bingham M. A., tr. and ed. (Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society, 1863. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore