Strained Devotion

God’s Story For Your Life

Strained Devotion
Deuteronomy 1:6-18
“When we were at Mount Sinai,
the LORD our God said to us, ‘You have stayed at
this mountain long enough.
It is time to break camp and move on. Go to the
hill country of the Amorites
and to all the neighboring regions—the Jordan
Valley, the hill country, the
western foothills, the Negev, and the coastal
plain. Go to the land of the
Canaanites and to Lebanon, and all the way to the
great Euphrates River.
Look, I am giving all this land to you! Go in and
occupy it, for it is the
land the LORD swore to give to your ancestors
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and
to all their descendants.’”

Moses continued, “At that time I told you,
‘You are too great a burden for me
to carry all by myself. The LORD your God
has increased your population,
making you as numerous as the stars! And may
the LORD, the God of your
ancestors, multiply you a thousand times more and
bless you as he promised!
But you are such a heavy load to carry! How can I
deal with all your problems
and bickering? Choose some well-respected men
from each tribe who are known
for their wisdom and understanding, and I will
appoint them as your leaders.’”
/ (Deuteronomy

As Moses looked back on Israel’s history,
his summary of their 40-year journey
begins at Mount Sinai, not in Egypt. Why
did Moses leave out the first part of
the Exodus? Moses was not giving an
itinerary—he was summarizing the nation’s
development. In Moses’ mind the
nation of Israel began at Mount Sinai when God
gave his covenant to the
people (Exodus 19–20).

Along with this covenant came knowledge and
responsibility for Israel. After
choosing to follow God, they had to know how
to follow him. God, therefore,
gave them a comprehensive set of laws and
guidelines that stated how he wanted
them to live: These instructions are
written in Exodus, Leviticus, and
Numbers. The people could no longer say
they didn’t know the difference
between right and wrong. Now that the people
had promised to follow God and
knew how to follow him, they had a
responsibility to do it.

Like Israel, we too have a knowledge and a
responsibility. We don’t just have
God’s law, we also have God’s Spirit. But
God has given us his own Spirit for
knowing and responding to him. Together
with the Bible, God’s Spirit will lead
us into all truth (John 14:17). It’s
our responsibility to listen to and obey
the Spirit’s leading (Galatians

If you feel like it’s hard to hear and know
God’s Spirit, be confident that
God’s Spirit is in harmony with God’s Word.
If you are looking for a way to
tune in to what God is saying, you can start
by really listening to and
obeying the Bible. As you do, you’ll develop an
ear for the voice of God in
your life.

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