每日诗歌: 一生一世 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJ3vwSLf940)
Deuteronomy 11 [Read]
Deuteronomy 12 [Read]
Deuteronomy 13 [Read]
Mark 13:1-13 [Read]
Through the admonition of Moses to the Israelites in yesterday’s reading, we see that our God is a God of covenant. Today’s reading shows us the proper response for the people of this God of covenant: “Love the LORD your God” (11:1). Such love should be demonstrated by keeping “his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always” (11:1). Loving God and obeying his commands cannot be separated, and today’s passage shows us two levels of such obedience.
First, obedience is the means for Israelites to receive the blessings God has prepared for them. Moses shows the result of obedience with a few action verbs: “Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess” (11:8). When they observe God’s commands, they will be strong and bold because God shall remove all their obstacles. Since they are strong, they can enter the Promised Land of Canaan. Once they enter, God will chase our all the people before them so they may possess the land (11:23). From a selfish perspective, obedience results in God’s blessings (11:27).
Second, obedience is the means for Israelites to multiply in the land. Obedience is not just for personal blessings, but also for the expansion of God’s Kingdom. Therefore, Israelites ought to obey by keeping God’s word “in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads” (11:18). They ought to teach their children by “talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (11:19), and by “writing them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (11:20). Through these means they will not only possess the Promised Land, but also keep this land as God’s nation for generations to come. From a kingdom perspective, obedience results in the expansion and strengthening of God’s Kingdom.
The family of Hudson Taylor is admirable because they had such vision and commitment towards God’s Kingdom. Even to this day, his fifth generation descendants still work as fulltime gospel workers for Chinese people. For over 100 years, this family has indeed loved God and obeyed his commands. May such vision also become our vision, so that our blessing would not stay at the selfish level, but would advance to the level of God’s Kingdom.
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