This is the penultimate sermon of the series on Deuteronomy which started in October 2020.
Deuteronomy 31 vv 1-13
Changes and transitions are inevitable but
Throughout Deuteronomy we have been considering how Moses has been urging his people to make a choice. Again and again it has been to Choose Life! But now as Moses approaches the end of his life and the people of Israel are about to enter the Promised Land he needs to prepare them for this significant change. Moses is going no further but their ultimate and true leader is the Lord.
So the reassurance for us is that whatever we are facing, or if we are going through serious and significant changes in life we need to know and trust and hold on to the fact that God does not change, like shifting shadows. God is faithful and He goes before us.
God raises up Joshua to be their new leader and at this point, Moses says something to the people:
and then almost word for word, to Joshua :
We were encouraged to allow these verses to restore and renew us in our faith and commitment to God.
These timeless words echo down through the centuries and are now directed to us . They are as real and as relevant for us all whatever we are facing.
In the second part of our reading from Deuteronomy 31, Moses does something else before he leaves the people.
Moses goes from speaker of God’s word to scribe. He also gives them explicit instructions that every 7 years, during a time whenever debts are being cancelled and people are expressing their gratitude for God’s provision, that this written down word of God is to be read to all the people. This was for 3 very important reasons:
Firstly, it is so important to read and hear the Word of God so that we can listen to God speaking to us every day.
Secondly, it is through the reading of and listening to God’s word that we learn to fear Him, to respect Him, to acknowledge His love, mercy, grace, greatness, and respond in worship. We learn reverence, we learn He deserves to be first in our lives and we learn submission.
Finally, hearing is so important because it propels us to obedience and to living it.
At times when we are facing change and transition we should;
- Know the unchanging reality of our God.
- Hear and embrace this specific word of God from Deuteronomy 31.
- Ensure His written Word has a critical place in our life and living
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says” – James 1:22