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Immerse: Beginnings, Week 14

Learning from the past

Deuteronomy. Duderonomy. Dootermonomy…. AHHH!

I’m sure you’re like me – you’ve known about this oddly-named book of the Bible (and mis-pronounced it on more than one occasion), but haven’t read it much. Kind of like Leviticus and Numbers, right? Applicable to their times, not to ours! Wrong. I am convicted time and time again of how shamefully I have pushed aside some of the most foundational books of the Bible!

Immerse introduces the book of Deuteronomy. It is not as a book full of rules, but one that tracks Israel’s continued faithfulness and failures, an example of the choices God allows us to make on our own – and live out the consequences of our choices. As in Numbers, this generation of Israelites establishes a covenant relationship with God and is given an “extensive body of law” to help them remain loyal to God and God alone.

As we read through, let’s be reminded of some faith lessons from Deuteronomy which we ought to think about applying to our own lives:

1. Pray for and respect the leaders God has put in your life
Throughout Numbers, we observed the Israelites’ attempts to overthrow Moses (God’s appointed leader) and go their own way. Through most of the Old Testament, this track record continues for the people of God. In learning from their poor example, let’s remember to recognize God establishes leadership over us for a reason: WE NEED IT! In our relationships with our leaders, let’s remember to first of all show respect, and second of all, pray for them and encourage them.

2. Make your allegiance exclusive to God alone
God’s people were entering a land which was not their own, which meant they encountered religious cultures also not theirs. One of the challenges the Israelites faced was the influence of other religions. Often, we read stories of how they adopted rituals and sacrifice practices which came from the people around them, and not from God. We, just like the Israelites, need to protect our relationship with God by not allowing outside influences to interfere with it.

3. Remember what God has done
Part of the reason the Israelites failed so many times in their faithfulness to their Creator was they neglected to teach their children how to be faithful. They failed to pass on their knowledge of God. Because of that failure, generations repeatedly forgot God and sought out other things to worship. Never forget what God has done for you! Never forget to pass that on to the next generation!

Going out and making disciples starts in our homes, in our families, and in the people around us. We are successful when we are learning from the people that came before us. Sometimes, we learn from mistakes. Other times, we learn from our leaders and examples around us. This week, let’s remind ourselves to learn from the mistakes God’s people made in the past, and let’s be the change we want to see in others by remaining faithful to Him.

- Karissa Mead