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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

9/20/11 Deuteronomy 10:12-22 New Testament Faith in the Old

12 And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
14 To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. 15 Yet the LORD set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today. 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. 20 Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. 21 He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. 22 Your ancestors who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.

(Becca Hancock, an American "foreigner" working with Ugandan orphans)

Thoughts: This is a wonderful passage.  It is a passage in the Old Testament that sounds like something in the new.  It tells us that true faith is not a matter of the exterior- but a matter of the heart ("circumcise your hearts" quoted in Dt. 30:6; Jer. 4:4; sounds like "blessed are the pure in heart" or Mk 7).  Often people quote Micah 6:8- what does the Lord require of you.  But this passage came first.  What does God ask of us?  Fear, obey (twice), love Him, serve Him from the heart.  Basically love God and listen to Him (John 14:26). 
Perhaps this passage might also play into some of our attitudes toward foreigners around us.  We are to treat them with Christian love and grace.  It certainly tells us that God cares about the needy- the widow, the orphan, the foreigner who feels lost and alone.
This is a great mini-Psalm of praise.  Perhaps it will inspire your day to love God a bit more today.

Prayer: Help me, Lord to walk in your ways, to love you, to serve you with my heart and soul, to listen to you for my own good. 

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