This week, David set out an initial challenge to us all:
The reason for this challenge is that we can lose our way, we can drift, we can become compromised and allow other things to distract us from following Jesus.
We read all of Deuteronomy 27 and began with the initial command from Moses and the elders:
There is a command to obey, given in the context of grace and blessing: the grace of God and the blessing of God, then the call to obey God – not the other way round.
So, what was the deal with the large stones? David provided some reasons:
- It’s important to write stuff down (it helps us to remember)
- They function as visual aids to obedience (constant reminders of God’s Word to His people)
David gave a practical and tangible comparison of the large stones in the passage to the Bible we have today at our disposal; it is our reference point, God’s Word written down and visible in our hands and homes.
As followers of Jesus, we need to read and engage with scripture so that we are taught, rebuked, corrected, trained, healed and nourished in our vertical relationship with God and our horizontal relationships with those in our lives.
As well as plastering the large stones to be written on, the Israelites were commanded to build an altar of stones:
Whenever the people saw this altar, their commitment to God would be refreshed – because at this place they were to do three things:
- Present sacrifices
- Eat together
This altar was to be a place to offer devotion and gratitude, a place to eat and remember and a place to worship. David drew out the similarities between the altar and the contemporary practice of communion.
The next command from Moses and the elders comes in verse 9, where the Israelites were told to do two things:
The regular rhythm of being silent before God, and carefully listening to his Word are vital practices and priorities in life with and for God.
David gave two very helpful quotations on this subject:
Moses and the elders reminded the people of Israel that they were God’s chosen people and Deuteronomy 27 is about them being reaffirmed and listening to the truth of who they are.
David closed by offering 3 takeaways:
- Read God’s Word and keep coming back to it
- Keep coming to the ultimate altar – the foot of the cross of Jesus as part of communion
- Be silent and listen to God’s Word on a regular basis to remember who we really are.