Deuteronomy 5 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional

“Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “Israel, listen to the statutes and ordinances I am proclaiming as you hear them today. Learn and follow them carefully. The L_rd our G_d made a covenant with us at Horeb. He did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with all of us who are alive here today. The L_rd spoke to you face to face from the fire on the mountain. At that time I was standing between the L_rd and you to report the word of the L_rd, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up to the mountain.” Deuteronomy 5:1-5a

The reason I encourage people to read the Bible, a-chapter-a-day, is because most of the people who call themselves “Believers” don’t read the Bible. Consequently, they don’t share their faith. As a matter of fact, a very small percentage of followers of Messiah do all of the kingdom building.

Obviously, kingdom building takes a great amount of faith. The Bible teaches that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. In order to have the maximum impact on our generation, we must become Biblically literate. This is not just because we need Biblical CONTENT to share with others. It is also because the FAITH we need to draw from, which emboldens us to evangelize, comes exculsively from God’s Word.

In today’s passage, Moses instructs Israel concerning G_d’s commands and exhorts them to listen and learn. His words are similar to our “read the Bible everyday” challenge.

With the giving of G_d’s Commandments, Israel’s covenant with G_d enters into a new stage. Previously, the covenants between G_d & the patriarchs had simply been a covenant of “righteousness by faith”. Here, the covenant has become “codified”. There is now, a written standard from which “faith” would be measured.

While it is a “new” covenant, it is actually a continuance…a “God v 2.0”, as it were. It’s not that it was new, in that it replaced the former covenant…it simply explained, in further detail, what G_d’s heart and intentions for His people had always been. This new covenant improved general faith in G_d, but it was never intended to supply salvation. Actually, it exposed (to a greater extent) man’s inability to meet G_d’s standard.

On a soul-level, Israel already knew they were inadequate to commune with G_d. They preferred for Moses to “stand in the gap” and mediate between them & G_d.

The “New Testament” is best described as the “New Covenant” (B’rit HaDashah). (Jeremiah 31:31) It is the narrative and exhortations concerning salvation by grace, through faith in Yeshua, alone. It expands Abraham’s “faith” beyond Moses’ “Commandments”, and adds “atonement for sin” through belief in the death, burial, & resurrection of Messiah. G_d v 3.0, if you will.

~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Shuvah Yisrael
Daily Devotional, Tuesday, June 17, 2014