April 17: It’s Actually Quite Simple
Deuteronomy 31:30–32:52; 2 Corinthians 8:8–15; Psalm 45:1–17
“May my teaching trickle like the dew, my words like rain showers on tender grass … For I will proclaim the name of Yahweh; ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are just; he is a faithful God, and without injustice; righteous and upright is he” (Deut 32:2–4).
We all teach in some way. Some of us teach at church, others teach co-workers or employees. Some teach the children in their household, and others teach simply by doing (although we don’t always acknowledge these roles). If all of us lived by Moses’ prayer, things would be quite different. Imagine a world where we proclaimed Yahweh’s greatness in all we say and do.
Moses’ words also teach us something about God. If we’re looking for perfection in what we do, we should look to the one who actually manifests it. If we’re looking to be faithful, we should rely on the one who is faithful in all He does. If it’s right actions we desire in our lives and the world, we should seek the upright one.
There is no doubting that the problems in our lives and world are complicated. They can’t be undersold, and the difficult stories can’t be told too many times. But there is a place to look when we need guidance and revitalization. There is a rock to stabilize us; we have a firm foundation (compare Matt 7:24–27).
The first-century Corinthian church was tasked with carrying out Paul’s work of bringing many in Corinth to Jesus and listening to the Spirit so that they could be God’s hands and feet in the city. We, like the Corinthian church, have work to finish (2 Cor 8:10–12).
God has given us action steps as individuals and as communities. And if we doubt that, then it is our job to seek answers from Him. Often we are unsure because we aren’t listening to Him; we aren’t really seeking His will.
May we feel like Moses about our own teaching work—the work of proclaiming Jesus in what we do and say. May we make the same requests of God.
Then, may your words trickle down like rain showers on tender grass. May you find the words God wishes to speak through you, and may you find the people who you are meant to teach.
Who are you tasked with teaching? What work has God given you? How can you improve that work and make it more glorifying to Him?
JOHN D. BARRY
- Thus Moses spake in the audience of all the Congregation of Israel the words of this son, until he had ended them. Hearken, ye heavens, and I will speak: and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, and my speech shall still as the dew, as the shower upon the herbs, and as the great rain upon the grass. For I will publish the Name of the Lord: give ye glory unto our God. Perfect is the work of the mighty God: for all his ways are judgment. God is true, and without wickedness: just and righteous is he. They have corrupted themselves toward him by their vice, not being his children, but a froward and crooked generation. Do ye so reward the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father, that hath bought thee? he hath made thee, and proportioned thee. Remember the days of old: consider the years of so many generations: ask thy father, and he will show thee: thine Elders, and they will tell thee. When the most high God divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he appointed the borders of the people, according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord’s portion is his people: Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. He found him in the land of hte wilderness, in a waste and roaring wilderness: he led him about, he taught him, and kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her birds, stretcheth out her wings, taketh them and beareth them on her wings, So the Lord alone led him, and there was no strange god with him. He carried him up to the high places of the earth, that he might eat the fruits of the fields, and he caused him to suck honey out of the stone, and oil out of the hard rock: Butter of kind, and milk of sheep with fat of the lambs, and rams fed in Bashan, and goats, with the fat of the grains of wheat: and the red liquor the grape hast thou drunk. But he that should have been upright, when he waxed fat, spurned with his heel: thou art fat, thou art gross, thou art laden with fatness: therefore he forsook God that made him, and regarded not hte strong God of his salvation. They provoked him with strange gods: they provoked him to anger with abominations. They offered unto devils, not to God, but to gods whom they knew not: new gods that came newly up, whom their fathers feared not. Thou hast forgotten the mighty God, that begat thee, and hast forgotten God that formed thee. The Lord then saw it, and was angry, for the provocation of his sons and of his daughters. And he said, I will hide my face from them: I will see what their end shall be: for they are a froward generation, children in whom is no faith. They have moved me to jealousy with that whic is not God: they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are no people: I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. For fire is kindled in my wrath, and shall burn unto the bottom of hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains. I will spend plagues upon them: I will bestow mine arrows upon them. they shall be burnt with hunger, and consumed with heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the venom of serpents creeping in the dust. The ssword shall kill them without, and in the chamber fear: both the young man and the young woman, the suckling with the man of gray hair. I have said, I would scatter them abroad: I would make their remembrance to cease from among men, Save that I feared the fury of the enemy, lest their adversaries should wax proud, and lest they should say, Our high hand and not the Lord hath done all this. For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them. Oh that they were wise, then they would understand this: they would consider their latter end. How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their strong God had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up? For their god ia not as our God, even our enemies being judges. For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the vines of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their cluster be bitter. Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel gall of asps. Is not this laid in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures? Vengeance and recompense are mine: their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their destruction is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them, make haste. For the Lord shall judge his people, and repent toward his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and none shut up in hold or left abroad. When men shall say, Where are their gods, their mighty God, in whom they trusted, Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and did drink the wine of their drink offering? let them rise up, and help you: let him be your refuge. Behold now, for I, I am he, and there is no gods with me: I kill, and give life: I wound, and I make whole: neither is there any that can deliver out of mine hand. For I lift up mine hand to heaven, and say, I live forever. if I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment, I will execute vengeance on mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me. I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, (and my sword shall eat flesh) for the blood of the slain, and of the captives, when I begin to take vengeance of the enemy. ye nations, praise his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will execute vengeance upon his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people. Then Moses came and spake all the words of this song in the audience of the people, he and Hoshea the son of Nun. When Moses had made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel, Then he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify against you this day, that ye may command them unto your children, that they may observe and do all the words of this Law. For it is no vain word concerning you, but it is your life, and by this word ye shall prolong your days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it. And the Lord spake unto Moses the selfsame day, saying, Go up into the mountains of Abarim, unto the mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho: and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession. And die in the mount which thou goest up unto, and thou shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people, Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel, at the waters of Meribah, at Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin: for ye sanctified me not among the children of Israel. Thou shalt therefore see the land before thee, but shalt not go thither, I mean, into the land which I give the children of Israel. Deuteronomy 31:30–32:52
- This say I not by commandment, but because of the diligence of others: therefore prove I the naturalness of your love. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he being rich, for your sakes became poor, that ye through his poverty might be ade rich. And I show my mind herein: for this is expedient for you, which have begun not to do only, but also to will, a year ago. Now therefore perform to do it also, that as there was a readiness to will, even so ye may perform it of that which ye have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. Neither is it that other men should be eased and you grieved: But upon like condition, at this time your abundance supplieth their lack: 2 Corinthians 8:8–15
- Mine heart will utter forth a good matter: I will entreat in my works of the king: my tongue is as the pen of a swift writer. Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured in thy lips, because God hath blessed thee forever. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O mighty, to wit, thy worship and thy glory: And prosper with thy glory: ride upon the word of truth and of meekness and of righteousness: so thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp to pierce the heart of the King’s enemies: therefore the people shall fall under thee. Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: the scepter of thy kingdom, is a scepter of righteousness. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness, because God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. All thy garments smell of myrrh and aloes, and cassia, when thou comest out of the ivory palaces where they have made thee glad. King’s daughters were among thine honorable wives: upon thy right hand did stand the Queen in a vesture of gold of Ophir. Heaken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear: forget also thine own people and thy father’s house. So shall the King have pleasure in thy beauty: for he is thy Lord, and reverence thou him. And the daugher of Tyre with the rich of the people, shall do homage before thy face with presents. The King’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of broidered gold. She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework: the virgins that follow after her, and her companions shall be brought unto thee. With joy and gladness shall they be brought, and shall enter into the king’s palace. Instead of thy fathers shall thy children be: thou shalt make them princes through all the earth. I will make thy Name to be remembered through all generations: therefore shall the people give thanks unto thee, world without end. Psalm 45:1–17