Deuteronomy 31 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional

“Moses commanded them, ‘At the end of every seven years, at the time of debt cancellation, during the Festival of Booths, when all Israel assembles in the presence of the L_rd your G_d at the place He chooses, you are to read this law aloud before all Israel. Gather the people – men, women, children, and foreigners living within your gates – so that they may listen and learn to fear the L_rd your G_d and be careful to follow all the words of this law. Then their children who do not know the law will listen and fear the L_rd your G_d as long as you live in the land you are crossing to possess.’” Deuteronomy 31:10-13

Deuteronomy has been described as the “book of Grace”. It recalls the failings of Israel, yet chooses to focus more on their restoration, than their punishment. Chapter 30, the “choose life” chapter, speaks of Israel’s restoration to the land, before they ever enter it the first time. That’s pretty gracious and merciful, to say the least.

Whereas “Moses”, as a Biblical image, represents the letter of the law, his successor “Joshua” is more representative of G_d’s grace. As a matter of fact, Yeshua’s name is a variation of the name “Joshua”, meaning: “God saves”, or “YHVH is my salvation”.

The law gives us G_d’s standard and exposes our inability to meet that standard. It basically sets-up G_d’s Grace. The law was never intended to be the vehicle to deliver men, hence, Moses was never able to deliver Israel into Canaan. The Law can only take you to the edge of the promised land; only Grace can lead you in.

“For it is by grace that we are saved, through faith, and that not of ourselves. It is the gift of G_d – not of works of the law, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Obviously, Joshua could be considered a “type” of Messiah. This is much the same way Joseph was a type of Messiah, in that Joseph forgave his brothers and saved "Israel" from certain death during the great famine in Canaan. In fact, because yeshua’s mother Miriam (aka: Mary) was married to a man named Joseph, people would have commonly known Yeshua as “Y’shua ben Yoseph”…which translates: G_d saves, G_d removes my shame and grants me increase.

In the year when debts were canceled, at the time when Israel was to remember G_d’s provision and guidance in the desert Exodus, the law was to be read to all Israelites and foreigners living within their gates. Sukkot (the festival of Booths) reminds Israel of His faithful abidance, and the reading of the law recalls their transgressions. But because it is the year of canceling debts, G_d also reminds them of His grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Luke 4:16-22

As we approach the end of the Torah, be careful to listen & learn to fear the L_rd, that you may prosper in the deliverance Messiah has so graciously provided.

~Steve Wiggins
Daily Devotional, Sunday, July 13, 2014