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April 20, Day #111 – Veiled Views of Reality

Today we come to Deuteronomy 30:11-31:29. In this section, we see the momentous decision to which we referred in yesterday’s reflections. Notice, Moses says here, “What I am commanding you today is not too difficult or beyond your reach” (verse 11). He says, “I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction” (verse 15). He “calls heaven and earth as witnesses” (verse 19). This is a very curious and interesting statement – that the heavens and the earth can testify on our behalf or against us. God has so ordered His creation that even inanimate entities can praise Him, speak on His behalf, or even testify against us (cf., Genesis 4:10; Luke 19:40-44; Hebrews 11:4). We need to understand that this is a part of reality that is veiled to us, and though it is invisible, it is no less real. Like a good teacher who sincerely wants his or her students to succeed, Moses gives the Israelites the correct answer (before the test) to this multiple-choice test question; he says, “Now choose life … for the LORD is your life” (verses 19-20). Who – in his right mind – would not choose life? But we dare not deceive ourselves by this question, for every day, multitudes reject life when they turn away from Christ. In the next section, we see that - at least three times - God gives Moses the words, “Be strong and courageous” (cf., Deuteronomy 31:6; 31:7; and 31:23), and He also says “do not be afraid” multiple times in this passage. As Moses is about to take his leave from planet earth and from his leadership over the Israelites, he gives them these words of encouragement. In fact, these words later become a part of Joshua’s personal life principles (cf., Joshua 1:5-6) as he will take on the leadership of the Israelites into the land. When God repeats anything, it is very important. For those of us who are not naturally strong or courageous on our own, these words have special meaning and are very encouraging. They speak to all of us. Why? Because we need God’s strength to “go before us” (cf., Deuteronomy 31:8) and to direct our paths. We need Him to be there – even – before we take our first step forward.

Psalm 48:1-8 shows us how God intends cities to be - “beautiful, lofty, and secure.” Unfortunately, few cities today look anything like this. Most cities are very lonely, unfriendly, and even dangerous places, but God’s love for their inhabitants is evident in His Word by its frequent reference to them. However, the Lord is preparing a better city - the New Jerusalem - for us, and I believe it will be “beautiful, lofty, and secure,” and best of all, “God is in her citadels” (verses 1-3); He “makes her secure forever” (verse 8). It will be a joy to reside in such a city.

Luke 19:11-44 begins with the parable of the ten minas which presents “a man of noble birth who went to a distant country to have himself appointed king … but his subjects hated him” (verses 11-14). This is clearly a reference to Jesus and the Jews in Israel at that time. The point of this story leads up to verse 26, in which Jesus says, “I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing even what he has will be taken away” (cf., February 8, Day #39) Again, this passage shows us a view of reality that is veiled – we cannot see it. We need to remember that we ourselves are stewards of all that God has entrusted to us. This means that we actually own nothing – we are simply caretakers – and our stewardship over those things that we “possess” can be taken away. In the section about the triumphal entry, we see Jesus riding on a colt and coming into the city. Sadly, Jesus weeps (verse 41) with a broken heart over the very city He came to save - the one from which - one day - He will reign. He weeps because He knows the hearts of Jerusalem’s people. I can’t imagine His grief! However, a day is coming when Jesus will return - like the parable in this passage - and He will hold all people accountable for their stewardship.

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