From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 3/23:

Today the Israelites prepare to cross the Jordan River. The Lord says to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.” Then the Lord parts the waters of the Jordan so that the people of Israel can cross the Jordan on dry land, much like the miracle He did with Moses and the Red Sea, proving that the Lord is with the Israelites. After all the people cross the Jordan, the twelve tribes set up stones from the Jordan as a memorial to the children of Israel forever. Then Joshua makes a memorial in the midst of the Jordan with twelve stones where the priests stood as the Lord pushed the waters of the Jordan back to a town called Adam. When Joshua gathers the congregation he tells them, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan… that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” When the surrounding Amorites and Canaanites hear of the Lord drying up the Jordan for the Israelites to cross, “their heart melted; and there was no spirit in them any longer because of the children of Israel.”

God has the Israelites reestablish His covenant ceremony of circumcision, for the males born in the wilderness had not been circumcised. Afterwards, the new generation of Israelites observe the Passover for the first time since they came out of Egypt, the manna ceases, and they eat the food of the land of Canaan.

Since the Israelites are about to engage in battle for the conquest of the land, the Commander of the army of the Lord appears to Joshua. As the Lord did with Moses at the burning bush, He instructs Joshua to take his sandal off because he is standing on holy ground. Joshua obeys the Lord and worships Him as did Moses. Then Joshua receives from the Lord some unusual instructions regarding the battle of Jericho that involve marching around the city, blowing trumpets, and shouting. This is not your typical attack plan, but the Lord is teaching His people that this battle is His, that the Israelites can’t rely on their own abilities, and that they must trust Him. 

Joshua orders that Rahab and anyone in her home be spared, and he tells the Israelites not to take the accursed things. They are to bring the silver, gold, bronze vessels, and iron to the treasury of the Lord because this is the Lord’s battle. So the Israelites take the city of Jericho, and Rahab’s family proves to share the same faith as Rahab as they chose to hide under her roof during the battle, resulting in the salvation of Rahab and her family. Rahab, the former harlot, will become the great great-grandmother of King David and ultimately a distant great-grandmother to the ultimate King, Jesus Christ. 

Tomorrow we discover that someone disobeyed God and took from the spoils of the battle of Jericho. Also, did you notice the last thing Joshua said today? – “Cursed be the man before the Lord who rises up and builds this city Jericho; he shall lay its foundation with his firstborn, and with his youngest he shall set up its gates.” Surely no one will rebuild Jericho… or will they? Keep reading to find out. (Joshua 3:1-6:27)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 3/22:

The Exodus Era concludes with Moses blessing the tribes of Israel. (Commentaries say that Simeon wasn’t included in that blessing as a foreshadowing of his descendants not being allotted their own land inheritance. Simeon’s “inheritance was in the midst of the inheritance of the people of Judah” (Joshua 19:1-9).) Before Moses dies, he goes up on Mount Nebo and God shows him all of the promised land. Then the Lord buried Moses in the land of Moab; “but no one knows his grave to this day. Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished.” And that concludes the Exodus Era! 

The Conquest Era begins with Joshua taking the reins as the leader of the Israelites. The Lord says to him, “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you… Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua’s success will depend on his Bible literacy and obedience to the Lord.

Joshua, not wanting to run the risk of faithless spies putting fear in the hearts of the people as had happened forty years ago, secretly sends out two spies to check out the land. Joshua’s spies are welcomed into the home of Rahab, a Canaanite harlot, who hides them from the king and the people of Jericho. Rahab has heard all that the mighty Lord has done, such as parting the Red Sea forty years ago and defeating the Israelite’s enemies, Og and Sihon, in the wilderness. Her hearing leads her to put her faith in the living God because “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). So Rehab proclaims her faith to the spies – “And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” Then she requests that her family be spared during the attack on Jericho that is to come. The spies assure Rahab that anyone who takes refuge in Rahab’s home will be spared.

Rahab’s family members have a choice to make. Will her family share the same faith as Rahab and live? Keep reading to find out.  (Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12, Joshua 1:1-2:24)

14 Era: 

Creation Era (Genesis 1:1-11:26) ✔️

Patriarch Era (Genesis 11:27-50:26 and Job) ✔️ 

Exodus Era (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) ✔️

Conquest Era (Joshua) up now! 

Eras to follow: 

Judges, Kingdom, Divided Kingdom, Captivity, Return, Silent, Gospel, Church, Missions, and End Times/New Beginnings

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 3/21:

The Song of Moses: 

1) Highlights the characteristics of God – “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.” 

2) Predicts future rebellion – “They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods… They sacrificed to demons, not to God…Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful, and have forgotten the God who fathered you.” 

3) Warns of future consequences –  “I will heap disasters on them; I will spend My arrows on them. They shall be wasted with hunger, devoured by pestilence and bitter destruction… The sword shall destroy outside; there shall be terror within.”

4) Shows God’s grace to His people – “For the Lord will judge His people and have compassion on His servants… Now see that I, even I, am He, and there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal… Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; For He will avenge the blood of His servants; He will provide atonement for His land and His people.” One day, later in the story, the Gentiles will also partake of the Lord’s blessing and promises and rejoice together with the Jews (Romans 11:11-31).

In Moses’s last recorded words before he dies, he elevates the book of the law – “Set your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to observe—all the words of this law. For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life, and by this word you shall prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess.” Just as the book of the law was life for the Israelites, God’s word is life-giving to us today! 

We end the reading with Moses’ Psalm 90, the oldest Psalm, where Moses says, “So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Moses knows that wisdom comes from the Lord and His word, and without that wisdom we will waste away our lives. When we come to the Kingdom Era, King David will say something similar – “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered–how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath” (Psalm 39:4-5). And right before King David dies, guess what his final instructions are going to be to his son Solomon? David, like Moses, will elevate the book of the law before his death – “I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. And keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn” (2 Kings 2:2-3).

Moses finishes the prayer by saying, “And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us.” Later in the story, Paul will say that we are God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). Moses, David, and Paul all know the importance of living intentional lives devoted to the Lord. Our days are numbered, and we are to be wise with how we use our time, talents, and treasures to build God’s Kingdom. 

Tomorrow Moses dies, we exit the Exodus Era, and jump into the Conquest Era, so keep reading! (Deuteronomy 31:30-32:52)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 3/20:

Today Moses continues to encourage the Israelites to be obedient to the Lord. He recalls God’s faithfulness when He brought them out of Egypt and provided for them these forty years in the wilderness. He reminds them how He overtook their enemies, Sihon and Og, and gave their land to the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. However, Moses says if the people disobey the Lord, then He will bring curses upon the land and uproot the people into another land. 

Then Moses interrupts the call to obedience by saying – “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words.” Later in the story, the Lord will say – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways… For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). No man can fully understand God’s ways, but He has provided us with what we need to know regarding salvation and following Him through His word in the Bible.

God knows that once the people are settled in the promised land they are going to turn their backs on Him and worship foreign gods. Then the Lord’s anger will blaze against His people and He will allow them to be devoured by their enemies. So Moses tells the Israelites that after they rebel against the Lord and are sent to foreign lands, “it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you.. And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live… For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul… For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off… But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.” 

Moses is saying that it is not too mysterious for them to know how to follow the Lord; God has told them, but it will require their obedience to His word. Therefore, Moses calls the people to choose life by obeying the Lord – “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.” The Lord knows that no one can do this perfectly; that is why He established the sacrificial system to atone for the sins of the people and point them to the Savior to come. Our salvation is not based on our obedience; our salvation is based on our faith in the Lord. However, there are always consequences for disobedience. The Lord desires for His people to walk in obedience to His word and to repent when we disobey Him. 

The psalmist will later say, “The Law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7). In order to ensure that the people will remember His Law, Moses commands that every seven years the law shall be read in the hearing of all of Israel. In addition, the Lord instructs Moses to “write down this song for yourselves, and teach it to the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel. When I brought them to the land flowing with milk and honey, of which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and filled themselves and grown fat, then they will turn to other gods and serve them; and they will provoke Me and break My covenant… for I know the inclination of their behavior today, even before I have brought them to the land of which I swore to give them.” God knows the hearts of the people, and He knows they are going to turn from Him. However, the Lord is still on a pursuit to save them by sending His Son, the Savior, and establishing a new covenant with the people through Him. We see Moses’ anticipation of the coming Savior and the new covenant as he says, “Yet the Lord has not given you a heart to perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear, to this very day.” But one day God will!

Paul will later say that “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The Lord is going to create a new covenant with His people through His Son, Jesus Christ. And under the new covenant, Jesus will serve as the Mediator between the Lord and the people. After Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven, He will send the Holy Spirit upon the ones who believe in Him, who will give them a new heart and all sins will be washed away under the blood of Jesus – “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and I will write them on their minds… Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” (Hebrews 10:16–17 from Jeremiah 31:31-34). 

But before that day arrives, Moses writes a song for the children of Israel to exhort them to obedience and to warn them of the dangers of disobedience. Then the Lord inaugurates Joshua as the new leader of Israel and tells him, “Be strong and of good courage; for you shall bring the children of Israel into the land of which I swore to them, and I will be with you.” 

Tomorrow we will read the song Moses wrote to the children of Israel, so keep reading. (Deuteronomy 29:2-31:29)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 3/19:

The Lord is constantly telling His people to remember what He has done for them. Today He says when they come into the land flowing with milk and honey, He wants them to remember how He rescued them out of Egypt. So He tells them to gather the first of the produce and bring it to the priest and do what? Tell the story of the Bible! “My father was a Syrian [Jacob], about to perish, and he went down to Egypt and dwelt there, few in number; and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. But the Egyptians mistreated us, afflicted us, and laid hard bondage on us. Then we cried out to the Lord God of our fathers… He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, ‘a land flowing with milk and honey’; and now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land which you, O Lord, have given me.”

Paul is later going to refer to Jesus Christ as the firstfruits – “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20). Jesus will be the firstfruits of our resurrection, giving us assurance that those who trust in Him will also rise from the dead. And it is no coincidence that Jesus will rise from the dead on the day of the Feast of Firstfruits; the day after the Sabbath following the Passover when Jesus will be crucified. Like the Israelites are to remember how the Lord saved them out of Egypt and provided for them, we are to remember how the Lord is saving us and providing for us through His Son, Jesus. God is sending His Son, the Savior, as He promised in the beginning of this story (Genesis 3:15) to die for us and rise from the grave, giving us assurance that we too can have eternal life through Him. 

And what does remembering do? It leads to worship and thanksgiving. Moses commands the Israelites when they cross the Jordan to write a copy of the book of the law and place it on Mount Ebal so that the word of God is constantly before the people. Then he gives further instructions for the ceremony of blessings on Mount Gerizim and curses on Mount Ebal, as we first read about in Deuteronomy 11:26-32. This ceremony will take place in Shechem where the Lord first promised the land to Abraham’s descendants (Genesis 12:6-7). 

“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:”

  • “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.”
  • “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.”
  • “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.”
  • “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.”

“But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:”

  • “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.”
  • “Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.”
  • “Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.”
  • “Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.”

“The Lord will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me. The Lord will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess. The Lord will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish.”

Moses warns the people that if they continue in their disobedience, their circumstances will become so dire that they will eat their own children; and this is exactly what we will see happen down the road in the story. The people are going to turn their backs on the Lord and engage in all sorts of sexual sin and idolatry, and this horrific thing, women eating their children, will occur (2 Kings 6:26-30).

However, Joshua will make every effort to point the people toward the Lord during the conquest of the promised land. Once the Israelites are settled in the land, Joshua will bring the people back to Shechem to renew the covenant of the Lord with them (Joshua 24). The Conquest Era begins in a few more days, so keep reading! (Deuteronomy 26:1-29:1)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 3/18:

God’s heart for the outcast, broken-hearted, and unloved shines in today’s reading. He shows care for slave women, unloved wives with firstborn sons, wives falsely accused by their husbands, brothers with lost items, women who were raped, runaway slaves, poor servants, strangers, fatherless, widows, and so forth. These people might not be seen by society, but God sees them, loves them, protects them, and will take vengeance on anyone mistreating them.

The Lord calls His people to protect the outcast and to remember that they too were once outcasts who were saved by grace. Therefore, His people should extend the same grace the Lord showed them to others:

  • “You shall not pervert justice due the stranger or the fatherless, nor take a widow’s garment as a pledge. But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this thing.”
  • “When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this thing.”

The Lord also gives instructions regarding levirate marriages, which means if a married man dies without a child, his widow would marry the brother-in-law, and the first son born from the brother-in-law would be considered an heir of the widow’s deceased husband. With the story of Judah, we saw that Judah did not obey the levirate law with his widowed daughter-in-law Tamar (Genesis 38). However, later in the story we will meet a descendant of Judah’s, Boaz, who will abide by the levirate law with a young lady named Ruth, who comes to glean from his field. We will learn more about Boaz and Ruth when we reach the Judges Era.

Today’s reading ends with Moses reminding the Israelites of how the Amalekites attacked them when they came out of Egypt – “Therefore it shall be, when the Lord your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget.” Later, in the Kingdom Era, we will see the downfall of a king due to his disobedience with the Lord’s orders against the Amalekites. And during the Return Era, we will meet a descendant of the Amalekites, Haman, who is set on destroying God’s people, which illustrates that there are always long lasting consequences to disobeying the Lord.

Tomorrow Moses gives the Israelites instructions for a corporate ceremony they will perform when they cross the Jordan into the promised land. Keep reading. (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 3/17:

The Lord is fair and just and desires for His people to be fair and just, putting away all evil. So Moses tells the people, once they settle in the promised land, “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the Lord your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment. You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”

The Lord says when the Israelites come into the land and say, “‘l will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’ you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses.” Nothing surprises God. He already knows that the day is coming when the Israelites are going to reject Him and desire to be ruled by man. Therefore the Lord gives the Israelites five rules for a king:

1) Can’t be a foreigner

2) Can’t multiply horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt for horses 

3) Can’t have multiple wives 

4) Can’t multiply silver and gold for himself

5) Must write a copy of the book of the law for himself and read it all the days of his life

Why does the Lord require the king to write his own copy of the book of the law and read it all the days of his life? “That he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.”

When we get to the Kingdom Era we will discover that none of the kings will obey all five of these rules. However, the perfect King is coming; “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16). The Lord spoke to Moses of this coming King, the Messiah, in today’s reading – “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.”

But first in this story, the Israelites have to conquer the promised land, which is going to involve many battles. Therefore, Moses says, “Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.”

We have several more days reading instructions from Moses, and then the conquest begins! Keep reading. (Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 3/16:

God will put people and situations in your path to test you and your trust in Him. We saw this in the life Abraham, and now the Lord is explaining a way He tests the Israelites – “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.”

We have all heard the saying “be careful of the company you keep.” As Proverbs 13:20 says, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” We see today how serious the Lord is concerning the company we keep – “If your brother, the son of your mother, your son or your daughter, the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers… you shall not consent to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him or conceal him; but you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. And you shall stone him with stones until he dies, because he sought to entice you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.” God is a jealous God (Deuteronomy 6:15) and does not want His people to be lured into idolatry because He knows it will lead to their destruction. 

The Lord tells His people that there will always be people who are poor living in the land. Therefore, He instructs them to give to the poor – “You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.’”

Then Moses restates instructions regarding diet, tithing, the Sabbatical Year, and the three annual feasts; Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles, which we read about earlier in Exodus and Leviticus. 

The Israelites loan to one another with the understanding that in the seventh year the debts will be released and slaves will be set free as instructed by the Lord. Moses says “the Lord will greatly bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance— only if you carefully obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe with care all these commandments which I command you today. For the Lord your God will bless you just as He promised you; you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; you shall reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over you.” However, while citing the curses that will come with disobedience, Moses is going to say that if the Israelites disobey the Lord, they will be scattered among all people – “And among those nations you shall find no rest, nor shall the sole of your foot have a resting place; but there the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and anguish of soul” (Deuteronomy 28:65). 

We will see the Lord’s people scattered amongst the nations later in the story because of their disobedience. But next up in tomorrow’s reading, the Lord provides the Israelites with guidelines for a king. God knows that the day is coming when the Israelites are going to reject Him and ask for a king to rule over them like the people around them. Therefore, the Lord is preparing the Israelites for that day because God always provides what we need before we even know we have a need. However, there is more to happen in this story before we get to the Kingdom Era, so keep reading. (Deuteronomy 13:1-16:17)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 3/15:

Moses says to the people, “Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer.” Physical circumcision is a sign of the covenant the Lord made with His people, as He first told Abraham (Genesis 17). God is interested in people’s hearts, and circumcision of the heart means a heart totally devoted to the Lord. Later in the story, the prophet Jeremiah will tell the people to “Circumcise yourselves to the Lord; remove the foreskin of your hearts, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem” (Jeremiah 4:4). Then in the New Testament, Paul will say, “For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter” (Romans 2:28-29). Paul is teaching that the Holy Spirit changes the heart, not the law. Only the Lord can change hearts. Before Jesus ascends to heaven, He will say, “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7). The Helper He is referring to is the Holy Spirit. That is why Paul will write to the new believers, “So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Romans 8:8-10).

When the Holy Spirit fills the Lord’s people they will become the temple where God’s spirit dwells (1 Corinthians 3:6), but until that day arrives, the Lord is telling His people that there is only one place to worship Him – “You shall not at all do as we are doing here today—every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes— for as yet you have not come to the rest and the inheritance which the Lord your God is giving you. But when you cross over the Jordan and dwell in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety, then there will be the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide. There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, and all your choice offerings which you vow to the Lord… Take heed to yourself that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every place that you see; but in the place which the Lord chooses, in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.” 

The Lord warns the Israelites not to worship like the nations whose land they are going to possess. – “You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”

God expects His people to worship Him the way He instructs and in the place He will choose. The Lord will select Shiloh as the place to worship Him when the Israelites settle into the promised land during the Conquest Era and before the temple is built in Jerusalem during the Kingdom Era. However, during the Kingdom Era, one of the kings will disobey the Lord and worship false gods on the high places, resulting in the downfall of the kingdom and bringing us to the Divided Kingdom Era. But first, the Israelites still have to conquer the land, so keep reading. (Deuteronomy 10:1-12:32)

From today’s reading in Tyndale’s One Year Chronological Bible dated 3/14:

The Lord desires for His people to know His story, pass it on to others, and to walk in obedience as His image bearers. Moses says to Israel, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Today we see three truths regarding elevating God’s word, obeying His word, and remembering Him. 

  1. Know His story and pass it down – “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates… When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the Lord our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son: ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; and the Lord showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against Egypt, Pharaoh, and all his household. Then He brought us out from there.’”
  2. Be holy and set apart – Moses tells the Israelites not to make covenants with the people around them, not to intermarry with the people around them, and not to worship their false gods. “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt… Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments… Therefore you shall keep the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments which I command you today, to observe them.”
  3. Remember the faithful God and His word – “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” Then God warns his people to be careful when they enter the new land and get all fat and happy that they don’t forget Him. God knows how we tend to neglect Him when things are going well for us. This is why He says to Israel, “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”

There is nothing that Israel did to deserve this land. The conquest of the promised land will solely be an act of the Lord on behalf of His chosen people and a punishment to the wicked ones walking outside of the presence of the Lord and His commandments – “It is not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you go in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord your God drives them out from before you, and that He may fulfill the word which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Therefore understand that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people.” It is by God’s grace that the Israelites are going to receive the promised land. 

We end the reading with Moses recalling the epic fail with the golden calf in the wilderness. Have the children of Israel learned from their past mistakes? Will pride come with battle success and the new land? Will they forget the Lord? Keep reading to find out. (Deuteronomy 6:1-9:29)