1651.) Deuteronomy 11

Consider the BENEFITS of the right choice (obedience and blessing) and the DISASTERS that result from the wrong choice (disobedience and curse).

Deuteronomy 11 (English Standard Version)

Love and Serve the LORD

1 “You shall therefore love the LORD your God and keep his charge, his statutes, his rules, and his commandments always.

Love and obedience.  That is what the Lord wants from us.

2And consider today (since I am not speaking to your children who have not known or seen it), consider the discipline of the LORD your God, his greatness, his mighty hand and his outstretched arm, 3 his signs and his deeds that he did in Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt and to all his land, 4and what he did to the army of Egypt, to their horses and to their chariots, how he made the water of the Red Sea flow over them as they pursued after you, and how the LORD has destroyed them to this day, 5and what he did to you in the wilderness, until you came to this place, 6and what he did to Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, son of Reuben, how the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households, their tents, and every living thing that followed them, in the midst of all Israel. 7For your eyes have seen all the great work of the LORD that he did.

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him.”

8“You shall therefore keep the whole commandment that I command you today, that you may be strong, and go in and take possession of the land that you are going over to possess, 9and that you may live long in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give to them and to their offspring, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10For the land that you are entering to take possession of it is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and irrigated it, like a garden of vegetables. 11 But the land that you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven, 12a land that the LORD your God cares for. The eyes of the LORD your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.

13“And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil.

The early rain fell in October and November, and was important to help soften the ground for plowing and preparing the soil for the seed. The later rain fell about April, and helped the crops come to final harvest.

15 And he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full. 16Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them; 17then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and he will shut up the heavens, so that there will be no rain, and the land will yield no fruit, and you will perish quickly off the good land that the LORD is giving you.

18 “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul,

We should read the Word of God. Know it. Treasure it. Learn it by heart. Call it to mind in times of joy or disappointment. Talk about it with our families and our friends. Listen to it. Sing it. Love it.

and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 20 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.

a Mezuzah

A mezuzah is a sacred parchment inscribed by hand with two portions of Torah. It is stored in a protective case and hung on the doorposts of Jewish homes.

Parchment

The parchment come from a kosher species of animal.

Inscribed by hand

Scribes are trained to inscribe the mezuzah in the same manner and script as the Torah. Any mistakes make the mezuzah invalid.

Torah

The two portions of Torah written on the parchment are Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) and Vehaya (Deuteronomy 11:13-21). Both of these Torah portions include the verse, “And you shall inscribe these words upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates.”

Protective case

Once the mezuzah is written, it is rolled from left to right and placed in a protective case.

Hung on Doorposts

Mezuzot are affixed to the doorpost of each room in the home and place of business, except for the bathrooms.  It is customary, upon entering and leaving the residence, to touch the mezuzah.

from About.com:  Judaism.

_________________________

22″For if you will be careful to do all this commandment that I command you to do, loving the LORD your God, walking in all his ways, and holding fast to him, 23then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves. 24 Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours.

Leo Tolstoy—

—tells a story about a man who paces off his land. The short story “How Much Land Does a Man Need?”  helps us think about greed, money, and success. Enjoy! (I taught this story in my 10th grade English classes;  it was always one of the students’ favorite pieces.)

Click  here to read it.

Your territory shall be from the wilderness to the Lebanon and from the River, the river Euphrates, to the western sea. 25 No one shall be able to stand against you. The LORD your God will lay the fear of you and the dread of you on all the land that you shall tread, as he promised you.

26 “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, 28and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way that I am commanding you today, to go after other gods that you have not known. 29And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, you shall set the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal. 30Are they not beyond the Jordan, west of the road, toward the going down of the sun, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Arabah, opposite Gilgal, beside the oak of Moreh? 31For you are to cross over the Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the LORD your God is giving you. And when you possess it and live in it, 32you shall be careful to do all the statutes and the rules that I am setting before you today.”

“I am setting before you today” — The three great elements to the Old Covenant were the law, the sacrifice, and the choice. Israel had a choice: to obey and be blessed, or to disobey and be cursed. It was a cause and effect relationship with God.  A choice was required. There was no neutral ground. God wouldn’t just “leave them alone.” It would either be blessing or cursing.

–David Guzik

_________________________

Music:

A Twila Paris song that speaks of making one’s choices.  HERE  is “I Will Listen.”

Hard as it seems
Standing in dreams
Where is the dreamer now
Wonder if I
Wanted to try
Would I remember how
I don’t know the way to go from here
But I know that I have made my choice
And this is where I stand
Until He moves me on
And I will listen to His voice

This is the faith
Patience to wait
When there is nothing clear
Nothing to see
Still we believe
Jesus is very near
I can not imagine what will come
But I’ve already made my choice
And this is where I stand
Until He moves me on
And I will listen to His voice

Could it be that He is only waiting there to see
If I will learn to love the dreams that He has dreamed for me
Can’t imagine what the future holds
But I’ve already made my choice
And this is where I stand
Until He moves me on
And I will listen to His voice

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
Dare to make a choice.   http://images.sodahead.com/polls/0/0/0/2/4/8/3/8/3/polls_100042_2031_297390_poll.jpeg
bright futures.    http://www.maine.gov/education/ml/images/sun_000.jpg
Deut. 11:18.    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3554/3352846824_7bc59bb7fa.jpg
mezuzah.    http://studentorgs.utexas.edu/cjso/Mezuzah/mezuzah.jpg
“Autumn Tundra” painting.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/10-autumn_tundra.jpg

 

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