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Week 12 Chronological Bible Reading – 2014

Monday March 24th to Sunday March 30th

Week 12 – 2014 March
Monday 24 Deut. 18-21
Tuesday 25 Deut. 22-25
Wednesday 26 Deut. 26-28
Thursday 27 Deut. 29:1 – 31:29
Friday 28 Deut. 31:30 – 34:12
Saturday 29 Joshua 1-4
Sunday 30 Joshua 5-8

 

The heart of the law is expressed in several passages in Deuteronomy, though chapter 6 is certainly the best known. As Jesus repeated fourteen centuries later: “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15), “Love” in the Bible, and in other texts of the ancient world, means loyalty between covenant partners, whether the covenant is political, marital or religious.

Obedience to God’s commandments is the way God’s people express their love for Him. (6:4-9; 7:9; 10:12-11:1; 30:11-20). But it is also for their good. Under the old covenant it prolonged life (6:2), increased the nation (6:3), and brought tremendous blessing (7:12-16; 28:1-14).

This may sound confusing to those who have been told that the New Testament, especially Paul’s writings, teaches that the old covenant had a “works righteousness”—that it brought condemnation and was not of faith (for example, Rom. 9:32, 2 Cor. 3). But Paul is not criticizing he old covenant; rather he is criticizing those who put obedience before love, as though they could work their way into a relationship with God. That was never the intention of the old covenant, but unfortunately it had become a characteristic of the Judaism of Paul’s day.

Deuteronomy helps us to see that Yahweh intended this covenant for His glory as well as His people’s benefit.  Because Yahweh loved them, they could love Him (7:7-11). Because Yahweh is good, His covenant brought good to them (6:2, 18). Because Yahweh is righteous, obedience helped them share in His righteousness (6:25).

So as you read Deuteronomy, rejoice in God’s goodness to His people. Understand how David could say: “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long” (Psalm 119:97). Praise God for the greater blessings of the New Covenant, a covenant that has no curse or condemnation for those who are in Christ.

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