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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Numbers 31-32, Psalm 60, Matthew 25:14-30, Romans 8:18-30 Numbers 31-32: These are not easy words to read. “Vengeance” is commanded (31:1-3), and does indeed ensue, upon the Midianites (31:4-12). In fact, when it is discovered that the victory over the people of Midian has been insufficiently thorough or harsh, Moses commands that every male child and every adult…

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Numbers 28-30, Psalm 59, Matthew 25:1-13, Romans 8:1-17 Numbers 28-30: Numbers 28 and 29 are a wonderful description of the intended rhythm of the ancient people of God with regard to their festivals, feasts, sacrifices, from daily, to weekly, to the great annual feasts as well. Each of them is intended to remind God’s people to give…

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Numbers 26-27, Psalm 58, Matthew 24:34-51, Romans 7:13-25 Numbers 26-27: Numbers 26 is another census, but its significance should not be overlooked. Whereas when David counted God’s people, he sinned—for God had not commanded the census, and by so counting, he was, as it were, assessing or putting to the test God’s original promise that his people would…

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Numbers 23-25, Psalm 57, Matthew 24:15-35, Romans 7:1-12 Numbers 23-25: Now we get to hear what Balaam actually says. This strange figure, some sort of necromancer, diviner, but at the same time one insisting that he can only speak what God says. How are we to understand him? Balaam’s donkey is the best clue. If God can speak…

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Numbers 21-22, Psalm 56, Matthew 24:1-14, Romans 6:15-23 Numbers 21-22: Israel continues to journey and is first opposed in their movements by the Canaanites. When they promise to “devote their cities to destruction,” God guarantees that they will be victorious. Again, we must remember that the Old Testament people of God were a theocracy, a divine agent of…

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Numbers 18-20, Psalm 55, Matthew 23:25-39, Romans 6:1-14 Numbers 18-20: The chapters begin with a reaffirmation of the priestly role which had so recently been challenged. Aaron and the Levites have a highly significant role, and chapters 18 and 19 reaffirm this in various ways that are not only core to the identity of Israel, but central to…

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