Deuteronomy is a series of farewell messages given by Moses addressed to the generation destined to possess the land of promise. Like Leviticus, this book does not progress historically. It takes place entirely on the plains of Moab due east of Jericho and the Jordon River. It covers about one month in time. Deuteronomy was written at the end of the forty year period in the wilderness when the new generation was about to cross into Canaan. Moses wrote it to encourage the people to believe and obey God in order to receive His blessing. This information comes from the background material found at the beginning of the Book of Deuteronomy in The Open Bible.

The Open Bible divides Moses’ messages into sermons. The first message is retrospective, the second is introspective, and the third is prospective. The first sermon covers chapter 1, verse 1 to chapter 4, verse 43. Today’s reading covers most, but not all, of the first sermon.
In this sermon, Moses reaches into the past to remind the people of two undeniable facts in their history: (1) the moral judgment of God upon Israel’s unbelief, and (2) the deliverance and provision of God during times of obedience. The simple lesson is that obedience brings blessing and disobedience brings punishment. My parents emphasized this simple truth all during my childhood. It was taught in Sunday school and from the pulpit at church. It is found in our educational systems and is a foundation of our social systems. Obedience brings blessings and disobedience brings punishment! The thing is, my parents, and my church taught that my obedience needed to be to God and His word. This is the obedience that brings blessings. And my disobedience? I think you know the answer!

The simple truth is that so much of our Christian life is based on obedience. The result of our obedience is in God’s capable hands. What we are responsible for is to be obedient to His leading. He then takes good care of everything else!

by Paul Kightlinger

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