Testing (Dt 7:1-26; 8:1-20)

Written by Ben Toh on .

Sun, Feb 23, 2014

Deuteronomy 7:1-8:20; Key Verse: Dt 8:2-3

"Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."

Theme: God tests his people in various ways so that they may truly know what is in their heart and whether or not they love him (Dt 6:4-5). Spiritual commitment of those saved by grace must be expressed in actions that accord with the will of God.

One (Dt 6:1-25)

Written by Ben Toh on .

Sun, Feb 16, 2014

Deuteronomy 6:1-25; Key Verse: Dt 6:4-5

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."

Theme:(Are you exclusively devoted to God? Are you practicing monotheism or polytheism?) The Shema (Dt 6:4-5)--meaning "Hear"--functions as Israel's pledge of allegiance. It reveals that true spirituality arises from the heart and extends to all of life. The only God expects and demands Israel’s exclusive and total devotion to him. A child of God thus gives their exclusive love and devotion to their one God. Loving God is the only appropriate response to the God who loves you.

For reflection:

  1. Are you practicing monotheism or polytheism?
  2. How do you feel about God? How do you love God daily?
  3. What are the evidences that you love God?
  4. Do others perceive that you love God? Love them?

Are you practicing monotheism or polytheism? Do you feel, talk and behave differently at church and at work? At school? At home? With your Christian friends and with your non-Christian buddies? If you feel and act the same everywhere and with anyone, you are practicing monotheism. But if you feel and act differently in different places and with different people, you are practicing polytheism. (I am using the terms loosely.)

Law (Dt 5:1-33)

Written by Ben Toh on .

Tue, Feb 11, 2014

Deuteronomy 5:1-33; Key Verse: Dt 5:6, 29

I am the Lord your God, who brought you...out of the land of slavery.” “Oh, that their hearts wouldbe inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!”

Theme: (1) There is no greater grace than when God delivers us from a life of slavery. (2) Grace always precedes the Law (Ten Commandments, "ten words," the Decalogue). Law follows Grace. The Law is preceded by the Gospel.

Some questions for reflection:

  1. Can you articulate the grace of God to you?
  2. Can you explain how bondage to slavery feels like?
  3. Does the grace of God touch and move your heart at a deep level?
  4. Do you feel burdened by the Ten Commandments? Why?


Obedience (Dt 4:1-49)

Written by Ben Toh on .

Sun, Feb 02, 2014

Deuteronomy 4:1-49; Key Verse: Dt 4:29

"But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul."

Theme: Through Moses, God exhorts his people who were redeemed from slavery by grace (Dt 5:15; 15:15) to hear and obey his laws, so that they may live victoriously in the promised land.

Some initial questions for reflection:

  1. As a Christian/Christ-follower, do you consciously and intentionally strive to obey the will of God for your life?
  2. Do you obey Jesus' commands out of remembering the love and grace of God for you?
  3. What specific commands of Christ do you intentionally strive to obey?
  4. Do you perceive that you are loving and obeying Jesus more today than in the past?

Faith (Deuteronomy 2-3)

Written by Ben Toh on .

Sun, Jan 26, 2014

Deuteronomy 2:1-3:29; Key Verse: Dt 3:22

“Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.”

Theme:Sin brings consequences (chap. 1). Faith pleases God (chap. 2-3). Disobedience brings discipline. Faith expressed by obedience brings blessing.

Moses' first speech is historical prologue. Moses’ first speech (chap. 1-4) rehearses Israel’s past failure at Kadesh near the beginning of the 40-year wilderness period as well as its passing through Edom, Moab, and Ammon without fighting (Dt 2:1-23), its successes over Heshbon and Bashan (Dt 2:24-3:11), and the distribution of those two lands (Dt 3:12-20). Chap 4 (next week) is an exhortation that functions as a transition from the history in chap. 1-3 to the rehearsal of the Ten Commandments in chap. 5. The purpose of chap. 1-3 is not simply to retell history but to use history to persuade Israel to trust God so the land will be conquered.