March 22: Blessings and Curses

March 22, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 27-28, Psalm 69:1-18, Matthew 27:45-56, Romans 14 Deuteronomy 27-28: If the last section was somewhat apparently miscellaneous—though there was actually an undergirding logic, even if it was one that was relatively hard to discern—this section has a crystal clear basic structure. It is highly repetitive and based upon a simple idea and instruction. God sets up a dramatic way of visualizing the choice before God’s people. At Ebal, after they have crossed the Jordan, they shall set up uncut stones to be an altar for sacrifice. On those stones they shall write the words of the law. And then on one mountain, Mount Gerizim, there will be tribes representing the blessing that comes from obedience to the law. On the other mountain, Mount Ebal, will be tribes representing the curses that come from disobedience to the law. The curses are terrible—exile, worship of pagan idols, being…

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March 21: Grace Obedience

March 21, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 22-26, Psalm 68, Matthew 27:27-44, Romans 13 Deuteronomy 22-26: This section is entitled in many Bible versions as “Various Laws” which does not particularly encourage the careful attention of the average reader! To be fair, though much of these chapters bespeak “various laws,” there is also an undergirding rationale behind it that comes right at the end of chapter 26. They are to obey these commandments, for the people of Israel are God’s “treasured possession,” and God will set his people “in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that he has made” (26:18-19). While, then, much of this is specific to the nation-state of Israel, its overall intention is to set apart a people as “holy” to God, with a special mission and responsibility, to be witnesses to God and honored by God throughout the world. The laws are many in…

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March 20: Foreshadows

March 20, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 18-21, Psalm 67, Matthew 27:11-26, Romans 12:9-21 Deuteronomy 18-21: These chapters begin with laws regarding priests (18:1-8) who are set aside especially for sacrifices and priestly duties around the place (the temple) that God shall designate. As a result, the priests, the tribe of Levi, shall have no inheritance with the other tribes and therefore gain their sustenance from their priestly duties. It is a special role, with particular privileges and responsibilities. The Israelites are warned not to do the “abominable practices” of the people of the land which they are entering (18:9-14)—it was because of those nations’ necromancy and divination that God is casting them out of the land. Such things are not to characterize God’s people. They have a privileged access, through now the One Great High Priest, and have no need to attempt to manipulate spiritual forces. They are God’s, and they are not…

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March 19: A Godly Nation

March 19, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 13-17, Psalm 66, Matthew 27:1-10, Romans 12:1-8 Deuteronomy 13-17: There is a lot of material in these massive chapters. To begin, the possibility of a false prophet is raised (13:1-5). How are they to tell who is false and who is genuine? One test is doctrinal. Are they teaching people to follow other gods (13:2)? If so, they are a false prophet however impressive their miracles may still be. Over and over again, the Bible puts little stock in gifts themselves as a sufficient test of the validity of a prophet or Christian leader; instead faithfulness of doctrine and godliness of character are the prevailing identity markers. This then slides into a fairly lengthy diatribe against idol worship (13:6-18). It is very clear that worshipping other gods is no light matter—and once again the the theocratic nature of the nation-state of Israel appears in the judiciary…

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March 18: Serve God

March 18, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 9-12, Psalm 65, Matthew 26:57-75, Romans 11:25-38 Deuteronomy 9-12: Moses’ extraordinary exposition of God’s Word continues with another “Hear, O Israel” (9:1), this time not the great command to love God, but the great commission to go in and take possession of the land (9:1-3). They are to remember who God is: he is a “consuming fire,” and therefore they have no need to fear their enemies (9:3). They are also to remember who they are: it is, most definitely, not because of their own “righteousness” that God is giving them the land (9:4-5). No indeed they are a “stubborn” and sinful people (9:6). Note that the doctrine of the sinfulness of people was not invented by the apostle Paul, but is a faithful exposition of the Torah. How we need a Savior! And so in light of this long last “rebellion,” the golden calf, that Moses…

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Sermon Video: The Most Misunderstood Verse in the Bible

March 17, 2016:

Below, on March 13, 2016, Josh Moody preached a message on “The Most Misunderstood Verse in the Bible” in the sermon series “Confident.” Taken from Romans 8:28, this message helps us better understand this verse by showing us who this promise is for and explaining what the promise is. Discussion questions about this sermon can be found here.

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March 17: Grace in Action

March 17, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 6-8, Psalm 64, Matthew 26:36-56, Romans 11:1-24 Deuteronomy 6-8: The evangelistic thrust of Deuteronomy continues, laying to rest all the misconceptions that people still have of the Torah (that it is “legalistic”) and showing us clearly that the Law of God was given to a people who had been rescued, that grace forms a people who then obey the God who has so rescued them. The greatest commandment, then, as Jesus himself taught (Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27), is love: “Hear O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (6:5). This command to love God above all is built upon the call to remember that this is the God who had rescued them: “when you eat and are full, then take care lest…

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March 16: Law

March 16, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 4-5, Psalm 63, Matthew 26:17-35, Romans 10 Deuteronomy 4-5: Two great chapters are before us which defy easy summary in a few words, and yet at the same time must be understood simply if we are to obey their basic thrust, which is, “do not forget.” Deuteronomy 4:9, “lest you forget,” underpins much of the instruction of chapter 4 against idolatry. They had seen God speak to them out of the fire; they are the people that God has rescued from Egypt. They must be very careful not to forget these things and go after gods of wood and stone, gods that are no gods at all in reality. They are to teach these things to their children and their grandchildren. To whom much is given much is required (Luke 12:48), and these people had seen God perform miracles, and it was their responsibility to pass…

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March 15: Do Not Fear

March 15, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 1-3, Psalm 62, Matthew 26:1-16, Romans 9:19-33 Deuteronomy 1-3: The Book of Deuteronomy, the “second law,” is a series of Moses’ sermons given to Israel as they are on the verge of entering the Promised Land that recount the story of God’s rescue, God’s Word, and their needed obedience of that Word. “These are the words of Moses” (1:1), it begins, and so it carries on. The first chapter is the most remarkable of these three, perhaps. It tells the story we have already heard (Num. 13-14) of how God’s people were told to enter the Promised Land, how they sent out spies first, but then decided to go against the Word of God and out of fear refused to enter the Promised Land (1:19-33). Having realized their folly, they decided presumptuously to enter—even without God’s blessing—and were beaten terribly in battle as a result (1:34-46). Then come…

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March 14: The Lord’s Commands

March 14, 2016:

by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: Numbers 33-36, Psalm 61, Matthew 25:31-46, Romans 9:1-18 Numbers 33-36: The book of Numbers, or the wandering in the wilderness, is coming towards the end. It finishes on a note that captures the spirit of the book in some ways: “These are the commandments and the rules that the LORD commanded through Moses to the people of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho” (36:13). At first, though, there is a recapitulation of all the “stages” which Israel had gone through in their long journey. Each is faithfully recorded giving weight to the historicity of the text and the events that the text points to. They are told they must drive out the inhabitants of the land to which they are promised (33:50-56), for otherwise their practices will influence them, and they in turn will become a stench in the nostrils of God. “And…

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