Daily Devotional

January 16, 2021

Daybreak: Deuteronomy 7:1 through 8:20

“All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers.” (Deuteronomy 8:1)

One afternoon, our eighth grade home economics class was divided into groups of four and instructed to follow a recipe. No problem, I thought — until we started. One of us wrote down the recipe, one gathered ingredients, etc. We all had a job to do.

All was going well until we glanced around the room at the other teams. We noticed a difference in our mixture from everyone else’s. While other teams were gently stirring their liquid mixture of what would be cornbread, we were laboring over masses of firm dough. Quickly we checked back and compared notes and discovered that instead of ¾ cup of flour, we had added 3 and ¾ cups. Our instructor had mercy on us and helped us try and make biscuits out of the mess, but once cooked they became hard as rocks.

One carelessly followed measurement rendered all the ingredients useless. We were not required to explain how the recipe worked or why the oven needed to be a certain temperature — we were following a recipe that had already been proven many times. All we needed to do was follow simple instructions.

As Israel was about to enter the Promised Land, they were given instructions. God said He would drive out their enemies, even though those enemies were greater and mightier than they were (7:1). They did not have to figure out how this was possible; God would do it, if they followed His instructions. When they were tempted to be discouraged over the might of these enemies, God instructed them to remember what He had done for them in Egypt. God had proved Himself.

We can look at those who have been successful in the Gospel and know that they paid close attention to every detail of the “recipe” God gave them. Nothing was left out or changed. They simply followed every instruction. May God help us to see that every ingredient He requires of us is adhered to no matter how insignificant it may seem. Then we too will find ourselves successful in the Gospel.

Background

The Israelites had finished their wanderings in the wilderness, and were on the eve of entering into the Promised Land. They had obeyed what God required, and with anticipation, they looked forward to what was ahead of them. Moses rehearsed the Law before them (Deuteronomy means “second law”) and gave instruction regarding this new land they were about to claim.

Over and over in these two chapters, God promised to be with them and do wonders for them. In order to save Israel from idolatry and keep it pure, marriages with these other nations were forbidden. These nations were to be destroyed, and God would do it as He promised. God seemed to desire that Israel would know how important they were to Him, and how much He cared for them. He encouraged them to remember what He had done for them in the wilderness, and to realize how miraculous His care for them really had been. Even though their wanderings were a punishment for their disobedience in not believing the good report of the Promised Land forty years earlier, God showed how they could never have survived if He had not cared for them. He fed them with manna, “their raiment waxed not old, and their feet swelled not,” that they might learn to trust God and follow His Word. He wanted them to understand that He would continue to go before them and care for them, if they would obey Him. What an exciting time was before them, full of promise, blessing, and wonder, as God channeled their hearts and remembrances toward Himself, to the end that their faith would be unwavering on this new adventure.

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)

II.   The second discourse: exposition of the Law
     B.   The exposition of the Decalogue
           2.   The explanation and application of the Decalogue
                 d.   The warning toward separation (7:1-11)
                      (1)   From the Canaanites (7:1-4)
                      (2)   From idolatry (7:5-11)
                 e.   The promise of divine assistance (7:12-26)
                      (1)   The promise of blessing (7:12-16)
                      (2)   The promise of help (7:17-26)
                 f.   The warning against forgetfulness of God (8:1-20)
                      (1)   The past faithfulness of God (8:1-6)
                      (2)   The promised faithfulness of God (8:7-10)
                      (3)   The peril of forgetting the faithfulness of God (8:11-20)
                             (a)   The caution (8:11-18)
                             (b)   The consequences (8:19-20)

A Closer Look

  1. List some specific promises God made to Israel if they would follow His commandments. 
     
  2. What do you feel Israel learned in the wilderness that caused God to trust them with such a bountiful land?
     
  3. Rehearse a time in your own life when following God’s instruction brought a victory to you. What are some of the possible outcomes if you had done things just a little differently than what God had asked of you?

Conclusion

The Lord is very specific with us in our personal lives, and gives us instructions that are easy to understand. At times, what He asks of us may sometimes seem of little or no consequence to our spiritual lives, but following instructions always brings blessing.

Reference Materials