Day 71 (March 12): Moses gives instructions from God, Moses recaps 40-year journey

Woohoo!  We made it through Numbers.  Next up, Deuteronomy and, then, the Israelites finally get to the Promised Land. 

Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives.  The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version.  At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture.  The information helps readers grasp confusing parts, find deeper meanings and sometimes it may surprise you!  To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.  Take the challenge.  You won’t regret it.

Today we start Deuteronomy the fifth book of the Bible.  For background information about Deuteronomy, go to http://www.biblestudytools.com/nlt/deuteronomy/.  We will be referring to this link before every new book to provide information about the author, time it was written and other scene-setter material.

Deuteronomy 1

Questions & Observations

O. (Deuteronomy 1:12): Moses is certainly someone who is pure at heart.  Remember when after God chose him to take the Israelites out of Egypt that he told God he was not a good speaker.  And here, he is so blunt to the people.  Maybe it’s that old age thing where the older someone gets they are not afraid to tell you what they are thinking.  This verse just puts a little humor in the Bible for me.

Q. (2:5,9): This verse almost sounds like there is another whole story out there where God is governing other nations.  Did God say that he gave Seir to the Edomites and Ar to the Moabites in the Bible?  I love how we are seeing so much continuity in the Bible.  We have read about Esau and the Edomites and Lot and the Moabites before.  I know there are a lot more connections to come.

A. Though they are not the “chosen” people, in these verses we see that God remains faithful to other descendants of Abraham: either directly as with Esau, or indirectly as with Lot.  Note that this is despite the moral failings of both of these men.  God is generous indeed!  The verses that we read about here are where the territory is declared for these other tribes, so I don’t think there is another reference.  These holdings, and more importantly, God’s protection of them from the Israelites themselves, just point to the generosity of God, especially in places where we note that God’s blessings extend to future generations of those who faithfully serve Him.

Q. (3:11): Now that’s tall.  Now I can understand the Israelites fear of giants.  Do you know anything about if it still exists?

A. That is indeed a big bed, but it doesn’t given any indication of how big the king was.  Anyway, my notes indicate that they are probably not referring to a place of nightly sleep, but rather a sarcophagus: an elaborate above ground tomb — think of the one for King Tut of Egypt and you’ve got the idea.  So, they are describing a bed for eternal sleep.  According to my notes, iron sarcophagi have been found in this area of the Middle East- Amman is the modern day capital of Jordan

Q. This whole day’s reading looks like a review of Numbers.  Is there anything special we need to take from this review?

A. I would say there is not a lot to note that we did not already cover in our look at Numbers itself.  Israel was given the promise of God to enter the land given to Abraham, but in fear, they doubted that even God could help them conquer this land of giants.  Because of this doubt, God condemned them to wander for 40 years, but now the next generation was on the cusp of claiming their birthright.  Moses is taking the opportunity to share his final thoughts on how the people have come to this point, and how they can avoid the mistakes of the past.

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