April 3: Your Inner Self
Deuteronomy 4:1–49; 2 Corinthians 1:17–24; Psalm 32:1–11
“Did I leave the burner on?” “Did I lock the door?” “I feel like I’m forgetting something.”
Forgetfulness is a syndrome we all experience at one time or another. Many of our forgetful moments end up being minor inconveniences. But there is one thing we should never forget: God and His instructions.
As the Israelites prepared to enter the promised land, Moses offered them a string of commandments, including this: “Take care for yourself and watch your inner self closely, so that you do not forget the things that your eyes have seen, so that they do not slip from your mind all the days of your life” (Deut 4:9).
In watching ourselves closely, we remember what we’re meant to do and who we’re meant to be. And this isn’t just a value added to our lives and our relationship with God. Moses went on: “And you shall make [the commandments] known to your children and to your grandchildren” (Deut 4:9).
Moses knew that God had chosen the Israelites to carry out His work in the world. He also knew that forgetting God’s commandments could jeopardize that work and even their very lives. He tells them to be certain about who they are—to keep themselves in line with God.
It’s precisely this point that Paul emphasizes about God’s plan in 2 Cor 1:17–24: God is about the resounding “yes.” Yes, God has affirmed us. Yes, God has chosen us. Yes, we are the receivers of His salvation. We are called—not some of us, but all of us.
And in this we should rejoice, for we can claim, as the psalmist does, “I will confess concerning my transgressions to Yahweh, and you [Yahweh] took away the guilt of my sin” (Psa 32:5).
The best way to make your “yes” be a yes and your “no” be a no is to align yourself with God’s great calling upon your life. Commandments only get us so far; identity in Christ and the Spirit’s work in us will take us where we need to go.
What can you do to constantly remind yourself of God’s will, your identity in Him, and His work in your life?
JOHN D. BARRY
- Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the ordinances and to the laws which I teach you to do, that ye may live and go in, and possess the land, which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall put nothing unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye take ought there from, that ye keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I commanded you. Your eyes ahve seen what the Lord did because of Baal Peor, for all the men that followed Baal Peor, the Lord thy God hath destroyed every one from among you. But ye that did cleave unt othe Lord your God, are alive every one of you this day. Behold, I have taught you ordinances, and laws, and the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do even so within the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep them therefore, and do them: for that is your wisdom, and your understanding in the sight of the people, which shall hear all these ordinances and shall say, Only this people is wise, and of understanding, and a great nation. For what nation is so great, unto whom the gods come so near unto them, as the Lord our God is, near unto us, in all that we call unto him for? And what nation is so great, that hath ordinances and laws so righteous, as all this Law, which I set before you this day? But take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, that thou forget not the things which thine eyes have seen, and that they depart not out of thine heart, all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons: Forget not the day that thou stoodest before this Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will cause them to hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children: Then came you near and stood under the mountain, and the mountain burnt with fire unto the midst of heaven, and there was darkness, clouds and mist. And the Lord spake unto you out of hte midst of the fire, and ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude, save a voice. Then he declared unto you his covenant which he commanded you to do, even the ten commandments, and wrote them upon two Tables fo stone. And the Lord commanded me that same time, that I should teach you ordinances and laws, which ye should observe in the land, whither ye go, to possess it. Take therefore good heed unto your selves: for ye saw no image in the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb out of the mids of the fire: That ye corrupt not yourselves, and make you a graven iage, or representationof any figure: whether it be the likeness of male or female, The likeness of any beast that is on earth, or the likeness of any feathered fowl that flieth in the air: Or the likeness of anything tha creepeth on the earth, or the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth, And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun and the moon and the stars with all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath distributed to all people under the whole heaven. But the Lord hath taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt to be unto him a people and inheritance, as appeareth this day. And the Lord was angry with me for thy words, and sware that I should not go over Jordan, and that I should not go in unto that good land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. For I must die in this land, and shall not go over Jordan: but ye shall go over, and posses that good land. Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God which he made with you, and lest ye make you any graven image, or likeness of anything, as the Lord thy God hath charged thee. For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, and a jealous God. When thou shalt beget children and children’s children, and shalt have remained long in the land, if ye corrupt yourselves, and make any graven image, or likeness of anything, and work evil in the sight of the Lord thy God, to provoke him to anger. I call heaven and earth to record against you this day, that ye shall shortly perish from the land, whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it: ye shall not prolong your days therein, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the Lord shall scatter you among the people, and ye shall be left few in number among the nations, whither the Lord shall bring you: And there ye shall serve gods: even the work of man’s hand, wood, and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with allthine heart, and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, at the length, if thou return to thy God, and be obedient unto his voice, (For the Lord they God is a merciful God) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers, which he sware unto them. For inquire now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one end of heaven unto the other, if there came to pass such a heaven unto the other, if there came to pass such a great thing as this, or whether any such like thing hath been heard. Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of a fire, as thou hast heard, and lived? Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from among the nations, by tentations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great fear, according unto all that the Lord your God did unto you in Egypt before your eyes? Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God, and that there is none but he alone. Out of heaven he made thee hear his voice to instruct thee, and upon earth he showed thee his great fire, and thou heardest his voice out of the midst of the fire. And because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and hath brought three out of Egypt in his sight by his ighty power, To thrust out nations greater and mightier than thou, before thee, to bring thee in, and to give thee their land for inheritance: as appeareth this day. Understand therefore this day, and consider in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none other. Thou shalt keep therefore his ordinances, and his commandments which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the Lord thy God giveth thee forever. Then Moses separated three cities on this side of Jordan toward the sun rising: That the slayer should fee thither, which had killed his neighbor at unawares, and hated him not in time past, might flee, I say, unto one of those cities, and live: Thas is, Bezer in the wilderness, in the plain country of the Reubenites: and Ramoth in Gilead among the Gadites: and Golan in Bashan among them of Manasseh. So this is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel. These are the witnesses, and the ordinances, and the laws which Moses declared to the childreno f Israel after they came out of Egypt. On this side Jordan, in the valley over against Beth Peor, in the land of Sihon King of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon, whom Moses and the children of Israel smote, after they were come out of Egypt. And they possessed his land, and the land of Og King of Bashan, two Kings of the Amorites, which were on this side Jordan toward the sun rising. From Aroer, which is by the bank of the river Arnon, even unto mount Sion, which is Hermon, And all the plain from Jordan Eastward, even unto the Sea of the plain, under the springs of Pisgah. Deuteronomy 4:1–49
- When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or mind I those things which I mind, according to the flesh, that with me should be, Yea, yea, and Nay, nay? Yea, God is faithfu, that our word toward you, was not Yea, and Nay? For the Son of God Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, that is, by me, and Sivanus, and Timothy, was not Yea, and Nay: but in him it was Yea. For all the promises of God in him are Yea, and are in him Amen, unto the glory of God through us. And it is God which established us with you in Christ, and hath anointed you. Who hath also sealed us, and hath given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. Now, I call God for a record unto my soul, that to spare you, I came not as yet unt oCorinth. Not that we have dominion over your faith, but we are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand. 2 Corinthians 1:17–24
- Blessed is he whose wickedness is forgiven, and whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man, unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I held my tongue, my bones consumed, or when I roared all the day. (for thine hand is heavey upon me day and night: and my moisture is turned into the drought of Summer. Selah.)Then I acknowledged my sin unto thee, neither hid I mine iniquity: for I thought, I will confess against myself my wickedness unto the Lord, and thou forgavest the punishment of my sin. Selah. Therefore shall everyone that is godly, make his prayer unto thee in a time, when thou mayest be found: surely in the floor of great waters they shall not come near him. Thou art my secret place: thou preservest me from trouble: thou compasset me about with joyful deliverance. Selah. I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the way that thou shalt go, and I guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not like an horse, or like a mule which understand not: whose mouths thou dost bind with bit and bridle, lest they come near thee. Many sorrows shall come to wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass thee. Many sorrows shall come to the wicked: buth e that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him. Be glad ye righteous, and rejoice the Lord, and be joyful all ye, that are upright in heart. Psalm 32:1–11