And here I am, back in Deuteronomy today…Deuteronomy 9. What did I learn about GOD and who He is?
He is a consuming fire! Could that be more of a contrast to last week? GOD is good on one hand, but also a consuming fire! It is no wonder we have difficulty knowing and understanding this majestic GOD!
It is easy for us to put GOD in a box
It is easy for us to put Him in a box of our choosing and make Him into a god that we want to worship. But when we read of Him in the Bible, He is too big for that! When we try to describe Him as the GOD of the Old Testament being more judgemental vs. the GOD of the New Testament who is more forgiving, we see it just doesn’t hold up because both are clearly found in the Old Testament as well as the New.
Sometimes our attempts at making Biblical truth more understandable to children, we turn Him into something insipid rather than the One He truly is! That quote about Aslan (the GOD figure in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis) is so true! He isn’t safe, but He is good!
So when I started on my study today (Tuesday) I was hit with the power of GOD’s personality described in this passage. It was also used to describe His power as Israel faced the challenge of subduing the Promised Land and battling all those nations, most of whom were bigger and stronger than they.
They were reminded that GOD was going ahead of them to battle…and it was often evident as they fought and watched as they won the battle despite the fact that they were much smaller than these large nations they were fighting.
The caution given to Israel…This didn’t happen because you are good people!
Interestingly, just as Deuteronomy 8 had a caution, so did chapter 9. Don’t get self-righteous! As you move forward and win battles, don’t think it is because of how good and wonderful you are!
Because you are a stubborn people…and rebellious! WOW! He didn’t tiptoe around did he? You are not good people. You are so difficult to deal with and so rebellious that I have almost destroyed you completely…more than once!
GOD did not give them room to think they were any better than they were! In fact, He gave them quite a reality check. He didn’t gloss over their history as we often do when we remember ours, forgetting the low points.
Why? It wasn’t good for them to forget the truth of who they were. They needed to remember. They needed to remember that they did NOT deserve any of His grace to them. Not so they could grovel, but so they could be grateful in a healthy way…to be thankful for His goodness to them.