Friday, June 29, 2012
Moses as Spiritual Director (3)
I. Adolescence/Numbers (6/26/12)
Theme: Rocky Road to the Promised Land
1. Numbers has two parts in terms of
-action (preparation for leaving Sinai [10:10] and the journey itself [10:11-36:13]) and
-two generations (those who left Egypt with Moses [chs.1-25] and the generation after them [chs.26-36])
2. The preparation section shows the care with which YHWH has organized the people and provided for their needs.
a. They journey now with YHWH at their center (tabernacle) and as an Exodus-people (the cloud of God’s presence which had been with them since the Exodus)
b. “swing”-like dynamic: we lean back (into the center, toward the tabernacle and worship) and kick forward (journey outward) at the same time.
c. To go “farther” we have to go “deeper”!
3. Problems on the journey:
a. “Massah and Meribah” complaining (chs.10-11, 20, 21)
Against Lord’s wisdom and provision
b. Leadership revolt (ch.12) & Priestly revolt (ch.16)
Against his chosen leaders
c. Spies’ failure of nerve (ch.13)
Against YHWH’s equipping of them and power over his enemies
4. These ultimately undo the Exodus generation and God condemns them to perish in the wilderness, though God’s plan for a royal-priestly people through Israel remains (24:17, 19)
5. Graciously, God extends his care and commitment to the second generation of Israelites (chs.26-36)
Theme: Living as if the First Commandment Matters
1. We get the name “Deuteronomy” from the 2nd century BC Greek translation of the OT. It means “second law.”
a. The name in the Hebrew OT is “words” which is a better name.
b. Dt. = words of life, addressed to the heart of Israel as it prepared to enter the Promised Land (4:29; 6:4-5)
2. Dt. is about the covenant God has established with Israel.
a. Obedience is not primarily a legal concept but an expression of loyalty to the One whose faithfulness and love to them had been abundantly demonstrated.
b. These “words” of YHWH are an expression of his intimate presence with his people (30:11-14)
3. What is life for God’s people in the Promised Land to look like?
a. Total loyalty to God (6:13-15, 8:19, 9:7-12, 30:15-20)
b. justice, especially toward the weaker members of the community (10:18-19, 14:28-29, 15:1-18, 24:14-15)
c. God's love for His people and a desire to be with them are also prominent (6:5, 7:13-14, 23:5, 30:6, 19-20)
d. obedience brings blessing and life, and disobedience brings curses and death (11:26-28, 30:15-20), a way of affirming the positive results of life properly ordered under God
e. Even here, though, God’s grace trumps Israel’s disobedience (30:1-5)
4. Moses’ Song (Dt.32)
©Lee Wyatt 2012