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Deuteronomy 4

Israel Must Obey God

Moses said:

Israel, listen to these laws and teachings! If you obey them, you will live, and you will go in and take the land that the Lord is giving you. He is the God your ancestors worshiped, and now he is your God. I am telling you everything he has commanded, so don’t add anything or take anything away.

You saw how he killed everyone who worshiped the god Baal Peor.[a] But all of you that were faithful to the Lord your God are still alive today.

5-8 No other nation has laws that are as fair as the ones the Lord my God told me to give you. If you faithfully obey them when you enter the land, you will show other nations how wise you are. In fact, everyone that hears about your laws will say, “That great nation certainly is wise!” And what makes us greater than other nations? We have a God who is close to us and answers our prayers.

You must be very careful not to forget the things you have seen God do for you. Keep reminding yourselves, and tell your children and grandchildren as well. 10 Do you remember the day you stood in the Lord’s presence at Mount Sinai?[b] The Lord said, “Moses, bring the people of Israel here. I want to speak to them so they will obey me as long as they live, and so they will teach their children to obey me too.”

11 Mount Sinai[c] was surrounded by deep dark clouds, and fire went up to the sky. You came to the foot of the mountain, 12 and the Lord spoke to you from the fire. You could hear him and understand what he was saying, but you couldn’t see him. 13 The Lord said he was making an agreement with you, and he told you that your part of the agreement is to obey the Ten Commandments. Then the Lord wrote these Commandments on two flat stones.

14 That’s when the Lord commanded me to give you the laws and teachings you must obey in the land that you will conquer west of the Jordan River.

Don’t Worship Idols

Moses said to Israel:

15 When God spoke to you from the fire, he was invisible. So be careful 16 not to commit the sin of worshiping idols. Don’t make idols to be worshiped, whether they are shaped like men, women, 17 animals, birds, 18 reptiles, or fish. 19 And when you see the sun or moon or stars, don’t be tempted to bow down and worship them. The Lord put them there for all the other nations to worship. 20 But you are the Lord’s people, because he led you through fiery trials and rescued you from Egypt.

21 The Lord was angry at me because of what you said,[d] and he told me that he would not let me cross the Jordan River into the good land that he is giving you.[e] 22 So I must stay here and die on this side of the Jordan, but you will cross the river and take the land.

23 Always remember the agreement that the Lord your God made with you, and don’t make an idol in any shape or form. 24 The Lord will be angry if you worship other gods, and he can be like a fire destroying everything in its path.

25-26 Soon you will cross the Jordan River and settle down in the land. Then in the years to come, you will have children, and they will give you grandchildren. After many years, you might lose your sense of right and wrong and make idols, even though the Lord your God hates them. So I am giving you fair warning today, and I call the earth and the sky as witnesses. If you ever make idols, the Lord will be angry, and you won’t have long to live, because the Lord will let you be wiped out. 27 Only a few of you will survive, and the Lord will force you to leave the land and will scatter you among the nations. 28 There you will have to worship gods made of wood and stone, and these are nothing but idols that can’t see or hear or eat or smell.

29-30 In all of your troubles, you may finally decide that you want to worship only the Lord. And if you turn back to him and obey him completely, he will again be your God. 31 The Lord your God will have mercy—he won’t destroy you or desert you. The Lord will remember his promise, and he will keep the agreement he made with your ancestors.

32-34 When the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt, you saw how he fought for you and showed his great power by performing terrifying miracles. You became his people, and at Mount Sinai you heard him talking to you out of fiery flames. And yet you are still alive! Has anything like this ever happened since the time God created humans? No matter where you go or who you ask, you will get the same answer. No one has ever heard of another god even trying to do such things as the Lord your God has done for you.

35-36 The Lord wants you to know he is the only true God, and he wants you to obey him. That’s why he let you see his mighty miracles and his fierce fire on earth, and why you heard his voice from that fire and from the sky.

37 The Lord loved your ancestors and decided that you would be his people. So the Lord used his great power to bring you out of Egypt. 38 Now you face other nations more powerful than you are, but the Lord has already started forcing them out of their land and giving it to you.

39 So remember that the Lord is the only true God, whether in the sky above or on the earth below. 40 Today I am explaining his laws and teachings. And if you always obey them, you and your descendants will live long and be successful in the land the Lord is giving you.

Safe Towns

41-43 Moses said, “People of Israel, you must set aside the following three towns east of the Jordan River as Safe Towns: Bezer in the desert highlands belonging to the Reuben tribe; Ramoth in Gilead, belonging to the Gad tribe; and Golan in Bashan, belonging to the Manasseh tribe. If you kill a neighbor without meaning to, and if you had not been angry with that person, you can run to one of these towns and find safety.”[f]

THE SECOND SPEECH: MOSES TELLS WHAT THE Lord DEMANDS

Israel at Beth-Peor

44-46 The Israelites had come from Egypt and were camped east of the Jordan River near Beth-Peor, when Moses gave these laws and teachings. The land around their camp had once belonged to King Sihon of Heshbon. But Moses and the Israelites defeated him 47 and King Og of Bashan, and took their lands. These two Amorite kings had ruled the territory east of the Jordan River 48 from the town of Aroer on the edge of the Arnon River gorge, north to Mount Hermon.[g] 49 Their land included the eastern side of the Jordan River valley, as far south as the Dead Sea[h] below the slopes of Mount Pisgah.

Footnotes:

  1. 4.3 Baal Peor: See Numbers 25.1-9.
  2. 4.10,11 Mount Sinai: See the note at 1.1-5.
  3. 4.10,11 Mount Sinai: See the note at 1.1-5.
  4. 4.21 what you said: Or “you people.”
  5. 4.21 The Lord was angry. . . giving you: See 1.37; 3.26.
  6. 4.41-43 find safety: From the victim’s clan, who might appoint one of their men to track down and put to death the killer (see also 19.1-13).
  7. 4.48 Hermon: The Hebrew text also includes the name “Sion,” probably another form of “Sirion,” the name used by the Sidonians.
  8. 4.49 the Dead Sea: Hebrew “the Sea of the Arabah.”
Read More
Luke 6:39-7:10

39 Jesus also used some sayings as he spoke to the people. He said:

Can one blind person lead another blind person? Won’t they both fall into a ditch? 40 Are students better than their teacher? But when they are fully trained, they will be like their teacher.

41 You can see the speck in your friend’s eye. But you don’t notice the log in your own eye. 42 How can you say, “My friend, let me take the speck out of your eye,” when you don’t see the log in your own eye? You show-offs! First, get the log out of your own eye. Then you can see how to take the speck out of your friend’s eye.

A Tree and Its Fruit

43 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. 44 You can tell what a tree is like by the fruit it produces. You cannot pick figs or grapes from thornbushes. 45 Good people do good things because of the good in their hearts. Bad people do bad things because of the evil in their hearts. Your words show what is in your heart.

Two Builders

46 Why do you keep on saying that I am your Lord, when you refuse to do what I say? 47 Anyone who comes and listens to me and obeys me 48 is like someone who dug down deep and built a house on solid rock. When the flood came and the river rushed against the house, it was built so well that it didn’t even shake. 49 But anyone who hears what I say and doesn’t obey me is like someone whose house wasn’t built on solid rock. As soon as the river rushed against that house, it was smashed to pieces!

Jesus Heals an Army Officer’s Servant

After Jesus had finished teaching the people, he went to Capernaum. In that town an army officer’s servant was sick and about to die. The officer liked this servant very much. And when he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish leaders to ask him to come and heal the servant.

The leaders went to Jesus and begged him to do something. They said, “This man deserves your help! He loves our nation and even built us a meeting place.” So Jesus went with them.

When Jesus wasn’t far from the house, the officer sent some friends to tell him, “Lord, don’t go to any trouble for me! I am not good enough for you to come into my house. And I am certainly not worthy to come to you. Just say the word, and my servant will get well. I have officers who give orders to me, and I have soldiers who take orders from me. I can say to one of them, ‘Go!’ and he goes. I can say to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes. I can say to my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he will do it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was so surprised that he turned and said to the crowd following him, “In all of Israel I’ve never found anyone with this much faith!”

10 The officer’s friends returned and found the servant well.

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Psalm 68:1-18

(A psalm and a song by David for the music leader.)

God Will Win the Battle

68 Do something, God!
Scatter your hateful enemies.
    Make them turn and run.
Scatter them like smoke!
    When you come near,
    make them melt
    like wax in a fire.
But let your people be happy
    and celebrate because of you.

Our God, you are the one
who rides on the clouds,
    and we praise you.
Your name is the Lord,
    and we celebrate
    as we worship you.

Our God, from your sacred home
    you take care of orphans
    and protect widows.
You find families
    for those who are lonely.
You set prisoners free
    and let them prosper,[a]
    but all who rebel will live
    in a scorching desert.

You set your people free,
    and you led them
    through the desert.
God of Israel,
the earth trembled,
    and rain poured down.
You alone are the God
    who rules from Mount Sinai.
When your land was thirsty,
    you sent showers
    to refresh it.
10 Your people settled there,
    and you were generous
    to everyone in need.

11 You gave the command,
    and a chorus of women told
    what had happened:
12 “Kings and their armies
    retreated and ran,
    and everything they left
    is now being divided.
13 And for those who stayed back
    to guard the sheep,
there are metal doves
with silver-coated wings
    and shiny gold feathers.”

14 God All-Powerful, you scattered
the kings
    like snow falling
    on Mount Zalmon.[b]

15 Our Lord and our God,
    Bashan is a mighty mountain
    covered with peaks.
16 Why is it jealous of Zion,
    the mountain you chose
    as your home forever?

17 When you, Lord God, appeared
    to your people[c] at Sinai,
    you came with thousands
    of mighty chariots.
18 When you climbed
    the high mountain,
    you took prisoners with you
    and were given gifts.
Your enemies didn’t want you
to live there,
    but they gave you gifts.

Footnotes:

  1. 68.6 and let them prosper: Or “and give them a song.”
  2. 68.14 Mount Zalmon: The location of this mountain is not known.
  3. 68.17 to your people: Or “in all your holiness” or “in your holy place.”
Read More
Proverbs 11:28

28 Trust in your wealth,
    and you will be a failure,
    but God’s people will prosper
    like healthy plants.

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