July 22, 2022Day 203
These people have heard stories all their lives of the crossing of the Red Sea during the escape from Egypt. Some of them were children when it happened, and remember it. But remembering something from childhood is not the same thing as experiencing it as an adult. God did a miracle again, but a little differently. This time it was the priests and the ark of God that God used as the instrument of opening a way in the sea. How do you think they felt when, after spending a lifetime wandering all over the place, the finally crossed into the Promised Land?
July 21, 2022Day 202
40 years earlier, Joshua himself had been among the twelve spies who checked out the land. He and his friend, Caleb, had said, “Let’s go! God can give it to us!” We know how that story ended. Now, Joshua sends two new spies. They almost get caught, but a faithful woman named Rahab saves their lives. She has clearly been paying attention, and knows that the God of these people is much stronger than the gods she was raised to worship. She asks for their help. What happens?
July 20, 2022Day 201
Joshua was in charge now. Apparently he was pretty nervous about filling Moses’ shoes, because God had to reassure him over and over. How many times can you find the words “be strong and courageous” in this chapter? Have you ever had to be reminded to be strong and courageous? Can you do that by yourself? What reason did God give Joshua each time He said those words?
July 19, 2022Day 200
And so, Moses, 120 years old but still strong and healthy, climbed the mountain. The people wept as they watched him go farther and farther from them. They knew they had made his life miserable in many ways, but they loved him and knew he had always loved them. It was his life and his patience that taught them about God, more than anything he wrote or spoke. Someone added this chapter to the end of the book Moses wrote. Joshua took over the leadership, beginning with 30 days of mourning. The people didn’t know that God had a surprise for Moses: He woke him from death and took him to the real Promised Land! Moses is there now, still serving God as faithfully as ever.
July 18, 2022Day 199
At last, Moses comes to the end of all he can say to the people. I am sure their eyes are all dimmed by tears as he raises his strong, wrinkled hands and blesses them all, tribe by tribe, and at last, as one whole people. Some people today like to find blessings in the blessings to the tribes that seem to apply to their own lives. Do you see any blessings in this chapter that particularly seem meant for you? You could write them down and keep them to remind you—you are God’s child, and you are blessed.
July 17, 2022Day 198
This is a beautiful song, combining praise and love of God with rebukes and warnings for those who stray. We have another song-like writing of Moses, too: Psalm 90, which he may have written some years earlier, since it speaks of a human lifespan as 80 years. He began his third 40-year career at 80! In Revelation 15:3 we are told that the redeemed in heaven will sing “the song of Moses and of the Lamb.” Can you see parts in this chapter and in Psalm 90 that you think might be part of that final victory song?
July 16, 2022Day 197
Moses is coming to the end of all he has to say to his people. He tells the people again that he will not be going with them. He officially hands over the job of leading the people to Joshua, who has been with him all the way from Egypt. Then God gives him special instructions. Write a song, and teach it to the people. What do you think that would have done for those who were saying their final goodbyes to the old leader they’d given so much trouble?
July 14, 2022Day 195
Moses reminds the people of their covenants, both with Moab and (more importantly) with God. He reminds them of the tender care God has taken of them. In verses 10 and 11 he makes it clear that God’s covenant is with every single individual, young or old. Then, in verses 14 and 15—did you catch it? He makes a covenant with “those who are not with us here today.” That’s you and me! Have you accepted your covenant with God?
July 13, 2022Day 194
Imagine the scene. Deuteronomy is much too long to have all been delivered in one speech, but it seems as if these last few chapters could be one speech. Moses stands on a high place before the people, his eyes fiery, his face beseeching. He has led two generations of these people, and they fall away from God and their best intentions so easily! Now he must leave them, and he begs them to be faithful. In a mighty voice he chants the blessings that come with a life in God, and the curses that turning away from God bring on people. What are your favorite parts of this chapter?