What great stuff we are reading together!!! It is the secret of the ages, but it is not a secret at all and when we have knowledge of what God desires of us, we should share it with all whom we love and then share it abroad that the nations might be turned to God and be blessed by God and the Kingdom of God might come near at hand.
What does the Lord desire of Israel and of us.....you read it, right there in chapter 10: Fear the Lord (although this is not the kind of fear that you might have of a rabid dog or an approaching tornado....this is the fear that comes from knowing that God is in all and of all; the creator of all things, the beginning and the end. He holds the mountains in his hands and causes the rain to fall. This is a fear that comes from knowing how awesome God is.) Fear the Lord. Walk in obedience to him. Obey his commandments......you know them, but if you need a refresher refer back to Exodus 20. Love the Lord! How can we not do this.....he is the author of life, the giver of blessing, the one who created us for good works planned for us before the beginning of time. Serve the Lord with our Whole Heart and Soul. A simple enough thing to do considering that he created the air that we breath and the earth that we walk upon. And besides, serving God is simply loving him and doing his will which is to love and care for his creation.
Don't forget God's admonition to Israel which was to love the orphan and the widow and to treat the foreigner among you with respect. God reminds us of this very often throughout the scriptures, it must be very important to him for us to care for those who have fallen on great human misfortune and who do not have someone to care for them. And there is a special duty for the Christian to offer hospitality to the alien among us.
God offers both blessing and a curse to those who accept his call to discipleship. Love and obey and he will bless us out of the abundance of his goodness. He reminds the Israelite that no longer will they have to irrigate to receive the blessing of fertile lands in this place where he is taking them. Now they will live in a place where rain falls from heaven to bless their lands. Do we receive blessing that we have not earned? I certainly have and, in my most lucid moments, I know that they have come from God. Failing to live in obedience means that I have opened the door to the curse which is that God would abandon me to the way that I have chosen which is the downward way that leads to death. I pray that I will always turn my face to God who is the father of every good thing, that I will resist the fleshly temptation to build idols to humanity, that I will walk humbly before my God and always remember to give him praise for the blessings that surround me.
Chapter 12 is interesting in that it is preparing the way for the temple that Solomon will build in Jerusalem. You can see that in the writing as God tells the people through Moses not to worship or make their offerings just anywhere, but to these sacred things in the places that he shows them. In the future all sacrifices will be made in the temple in Jerusalem where on the Passover day when Jesus is hung on the cross, it is estimated that 250,000 lambs were sacrificed.
Hope you are well. See you at church tomorrow. If you are looking for a little excitement on Sunday afternoon, check out Winter Jam at the Sprint Center.....a great Christian Concert with Kutless, Francessca Battistelli, Newboys, Newsong and more for only $10. Doors open at 5, concert begins at 6.