I found the book of Deuteronomy quite interesting, though it took me a couple of months to read it. It was not due to me re-reading the chapters several times over rather I focused on non-essentials of life! And I will mention this briefly in the course of writing..
Moses, as a good leader and Father, lectured the Israelites on: how to acquire and retain the promised land; how to live in cleanliness, how to uphold moral ethics, what and what not to eat, place of worship etc. In summary, he taught them A to Z and everything in between. Few verses I like are:
12:29-31 “The Lord your God will destroy the nations as you invade their land, and you will occupy it and settle there. After the Lord destroys those nations, make sure that you don’t follow their religious practices, because that would be fatal. Don’t try to find out how they worship their gods, so that you can worship in the same way. Do not worship the Lord your God in the way they worship their gods, for in the worship of their gods they do all the disgusting things that the Lord hates. They even sacrifice their children in the fires on their altars.
——An African adage says, “do not smell the food you know you won’t eat”. In other words, go ahead to smell and feel the texture if you are sure you would have a bite and eat it all. If you really do not want to be caught up in any immoral act, then it is wiser to not mingle with friends of such character, or ensure you do not yield to the first offer to taste how alcohol/drugs.
18: 9, 12-13 “When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, don’t follow the detestable practices of the nations that are there. The Lord your God hates people who do these detestable things…. Be completely faithful to the Lord.”
——A saying goes thus,”when in Rome, behave like a Roman”. Maybe not in all cases! Looking at the rate of changes in the world we are in, as Christians are we still standing for the Truth or stylishly saying human rights supersede biblical principles?
20:1 “When you go out to fight against your enemies and you see chariots and horses and an army that outnumbers yours, do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who rescued you from Egypt, will be with you.
——This encourages me. If only I could focus my mind on past victories and testimonies, I would be most assured that I am a consistently constant overcomer! Like my father will say, “the victories of yester years forbade us to think that we will not be victorious at this point in time” A moment of taking my eyes of the Word (like Peter did) caused me some sleepless nights and headaches here and there. Indeed, physically, I felt seriously outnumbered and I had forgotten that ‘one with God is a majority‘. Reading this verse gave me a jolt!
20:8 “The officers will also say to the men, ‘Is there any man here who has lost his nerve and is afraid? If so, he is to go home. Otherwise, he will destroy the morale of the others.’
—–It is wisdom to move away from people who have the potentials of contaminating (drastically drag down) your faith. It is not rocket science.
23: 12-13 “You are to have a place outside the camp where you can go when you need to relieve yourselves. Carry a stick as part of your equipment, so that when you have a bowel movement you can dig a hole and cover it up.
—–Be clean. Have toilet manners. The bible is so complete.
23: 24-25 “When you walk along a path in someone else’s vineyard, you may eat all the grapes you want, but you must not carry any away in a container. When you walk along a path in someone else’s grain field, you may eat all the grain you can pull off with your hands, but you must not cut any grain with a sickle.
—–Deal with greed, gluttony and every attitude of “Oliver Twist”. I think it will be polite to ask the owner if you could pluck some fruits.
31:6 -8,23 Be determined and confident. Do not be afraid of them. Your God, the Lord himself, will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.” Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the presence of all the people of Israel, “Be determined and confident; you are the one who will lead these people to occupy the land that the Lord promised to their ancestors. The Lord himself will lead you and be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you, so do not lose courage or be afraid.” …….Then the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun and told him, “Be confident and determined. You will lead the people of Israel into the land that I promised them, and I will be with you.”
——Joshua is being prepared for leadership role as he takes over from Moses. In this chapter he is told, thrice, to be confident. How comforting this message is. It appears to me that he has a huge task ahead of him but hey if the Lord has assured him, as Christ as assured you and I, then he really need not be afraid.
34:9 “Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.”
——there was a transfer during the laying of hands. In Joshua’s case, it was spirit of wisdom. It could be a bad spirit if it was an evil prophet. Be cautious of who lay hands on you.