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Tuesday: Deuteronomy in Jeremiah — 13 Comments

  1. When Deuteronomy was re-discovered, King Josiah realised that he and his people were not living in harmony with the truth of the reality outlined in Deuteronomy and that, as a consequence of this, they were on the road to perishing (2 Kings 22:13, 16-20).

    Contrary to what our world is promoting - that you can live life independently of God and that how you live doesn't really matter too much, if at all - the true reality is that there is only one way that true life actually works (John 14:6; 10:10). And that way is not the way of this world.

    What is that true reality? There is only one true God and that God is the only true source of life (Deuteronomy 4:35,39). And only a life lived in harmony with the principle/s of other-focussed, other-benefiting love is viable (Romans 8:13; 1 John 2:16,17). Any and all other 'alternatives' are ultimately incapable of supporting life beyond the temporary grace-based probation we currently are within. In light of this reality, the One true God - our One true God - who is abundantly compassionate (way more than we typically realise - Exodus 34:6), desiring that none perish, but that each and every single person would choose life and choose to be co-involved in being restored to life (Ezekiel 33:11; 2 Peter 3:9) and in helping others be restored to life (Matthew 6:33). God therefore seeks to draw each and every heart to desiring true life (John 6:44-45) - but He will not force or coerce anyone to do this if they irreversibly harden their heart against such (Matthew 23:37).

    We are each and every one of us free to believe this - or not. And we are free to live in harmony with this - or not. But, at the end of the day, only one option and one choice will result in true life. This is the core message of Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 30:15-20) - the core message that King Josiah re-discovered. And it remains 'present truth' today.

    (32)
    • What is "true life" to me?
      When I experience love, joy and peace.
      When my interactions with others is based on patience, kindness and goodness.
      These are only possible when my relationship with the LORD is built on trust/faithfulness, humble/meakness and temperance/changed lifestyle. Gal 5:22-23
      Is this transformation possible in this world? Yes, because By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.. 2Peter 1:3-4

      (22)
      • Hi Peter

        I wrote the above for a Christian readership. If you are posting to a Christian readership, then you can use the comment as is. If I were writing for a context where there was possibility of non-Christian readership, I would preface my comments with "The Bible asserts/claims..." While I believe the Bible to be truth, I regularly talk with people who don't share that belief, and therefore I say to them, from a Biblical world view, I find that the Bible asserts/claims... This way I can share my belief respectfully and confidently - but not in a way that sounds arrogant to those who don't believe.

        If you use the info, please use it anonymously without mentioning my name. I am just outlining what the Bible references contain anyway...

        Thank you.

        (2)
  2. I have a very good book on advanced inorganic chemistry by Cotton and Wilkinson. It is a pretty good book and the information is still pretty relevant, even 50 years later. But I have to say that the really important stuff I learned in the practical lab. Calcium Sulphate does not dissolve, Sulphuric acid eats through your clothes, Copper Sulphate is blue and dissolves in water, and so on. You can read all these facts in a book but they only become meaningful when you work with them. (I won't tell you all the times I made dangerous or bad-smelling chemicals - that's another story.)

    It is interesting that both Deuteronomy and Jeremiah emphasis the practical nature of our spiritual relationship. Christian theory only becomes meaningful when we apply it in the great laboratory of life. Our view of God has to be reflected in our practical relationship with one another. And it particular with those whose needs are greater than our own.

    “‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the Lord. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!” If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever. But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless. Jer 7:2-8 NIV

    Jeremiah is echoing the words of Deuteronomy that our spirituality is not just ceremony and symbolism but it must be practical and involve justice, mercy and care.

    Interesting that the same message appears in both Deuteronomy and Jeremiah (and without looking ahead in the lesson, we know that it reappears in the New Testament).

    (45)
    • Leilani, yes the picture is shocking, it is an illustration of the lying/deceptive words of the false prophets as compared to the true words of the LORD from the prophet Jeremiah.
      Do we believe we are "saved" just because we belong to a certain community of faith? Or are we the children of the LORD because we have been transformed into His image? Rom 12:2; 1John 3:1-3; Rom 8:29.
      Jer 7:4
      New Living Translation
      But don’t be fooled by those who promise you safety simply because the LORD’s Temple is here. They chant, “The LORD’s Temple is here! The LORD’s Temple is here!”
      Amplified Bible
      Do not trust in the deceptive and lying words [of the false prophets who claim that Jerusalem will be protected by God because of the temple], saying, ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’

      (20)
  3. Each person must examine their own hearts and situations because idolatry is so pervasive and individualized that it is easily missed or misinterpreted. Even Moses himself struggles to see his sin in the proper perspective. When retelling the reason why he will not enter Canaan, he blames the people rather than himself, both here and in his final sermon. And yet, while the people provoked him, the fault for his rebellious act lies totally on his shoulders READ Number 20:1-13.It is always a great temptation to blame others for our sins, rather than taking responsibility and owning it and then repenting and turning away from our rebellion.

    (4)
  4. My thoughts on the visual depiction in question. I think it is a most artistically true picture of the lies oozing from the mouth of the scarlet whore of Babylon. Lies that turn into sparkling light to dazzle the eyes of the world. Light that deceives but for a moment with absolutely no truth to be revealed.

    (3)
  5. I noticed that the Word of God recorded in Deut.30:1-6KJV is a forewarning for Israel, that “it shall come to pass when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse”, …… then ”the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all they soul, that thou mayest live.”

    Jer.4:4KJV reminds the people to heat God’s warning to His people and to do right by Him – “to circumcise yourselves to the LORD” – that they 'may live'; changing their behavior, their callous indifference they displayed toward each other.
    But the forwarning was of no avail, the curse came true. They did not succeed in keeping God's commandments as a People, their determination to choose their own ways kept them walking further and further downward the path of destruction ending in utter alienation from their God and their captivity.

    Only after His people suffered the loss of their homeland, God’s protection and blessings, did some of them recognize the value of that which they had treated with contempt and indifference.
    God does not change, His Ways and statutes do not change, but people can change if they open their hearts to God. He will remove the hardened parts and replace them with His loving, caring, compassionate nature.

    (2)

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