February 24: Day 55

Reading: Deuteronomy 7-9, Psalm 55 (ESV)

Deuteronomy 7

A Chosen People

1"When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than you, 2and when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. 3You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, 4for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly. 5But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and chop down their Asherim and burn their carved images with fire.

6"For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 7It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face. 11You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statutes and the rules that I command you today.

12"And because you listen to these rules and keep and do them, the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love that he swore to your fathers. 13He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock, in the land that he swore to your fathers to give you. 14You shall be blessed above all peoples. There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock. 15And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you. 16And you shall consume all the peoples that the Lord your God will give over to you. Your eye shall not pity them, neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.

17"If you say in your heart, 'These nations are greater than I. How can I dispossess them?' 18you shall not be afraid of them but you shall remember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, 19the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, by which the Lord your God brought you out. So will the Lord your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid. 20Moreover, the Lord your God will send hornets among them, until those who are left and hide themselves from you are destroyed. 21You shall not be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God. 22The Lord your God will clear away these nations before you little by little. You may not make an end of them at once, lest the wild beasts grow too numerous for you. 23But the Lord your God will give them over to you and throw them into great confusion, until they are destroyed. 24And he will give their kings into your hand, and you shall make their name perish from under heaven. No one shall be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them. 25The carved images of their gods you shall burn with fire. You shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them or take it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God. 26And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house and become devoted to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is devoted to destruction.


Deuteronomy 8

Remember theLordYour God

1"The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers. 2And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. 3And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. 5Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. 6So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. 7For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, 8a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, 9a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.

11"Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, 12lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, 13and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, 14then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, 15who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, 16who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. 17Beware lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.' 18You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. 20Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.


Deuteronomy 9

Not Because of Righteousness

1"Hear, O Israel: you are to cross over the Jordan today, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, cities great and fortified up to heaven, 2a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you have heard it said, 'Who can stand before the sons of Anak?' 3Know therefore today that he who goes over before you as a consuming fire is the Lord your God. He will destroy them and subdue them before you. So you shall drive them out and make them perish quickly, as the Lord has promised you.

4"Do not say in your heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out before you, 'It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land,' whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is driving them out before you. 5Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

6"Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people. 7Remember and do not forget how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day you came out of the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord. 8Even at Horeb you provoked the Lord to wrath, and the Lord was so angry with you that he was ready to destroy you. 9When I went up the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant that the Lord made with you, I remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights. I neither ate bread nor drank water. 10And the Lord gave me the two tablets of stone written with the finger of God, and on them were all the words that the Lord had spoken with you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly. 11And at the end of forty days and forty nights the Lord gave me the two tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant. 12Then the Lord said to me, 'Arise, go down quickly from here, for your people whom you have brought from Egypt have acted corruptly. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them; they have made themselves a metal image.'

The Golden Calf

13"Furthermore, the Lord said to me, 'I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stubborn people. 14Let me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven. And I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.' 15So I turned and came down from the mountain, and the mountain was burning with fire. And the two tablets of the covenant were in my two hands. 16And I looked, and behold, you had sinned against the Lord your God. You had made yourselves a golden calf. You had turned aside quickly from the way that the Lord had commanded you. 17So I took hold of the two tablets and threw them out of my two hands and broke them before your eyes. 18Then I lay prostrate before the Lord as before, forty days and forty nights. I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all the sin that you had committed, in doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord to provoke him to anger. 19For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure that the Lord bore against you, so that he was ready to destroy you. But the Lord listened to me that time also. 20And the Lord was so angry with Aaron that he was ready to destroy him. And I prayed for Aaron also at the same time. 21Then I took the sinful thing, the calf that you had made, and burned it with fire and crushed it, grinding it very small, until it was as fine as dust. And I threw the dust of it into the brook that ran down from the mountain.

22"At Taberah also, and at Massah and at Kibroth-hattaavah you provoked the Lord to wrath. 23And when the Lord sent you from Kadesh-barnea, saying, 'Go up and take possession of the land that I have given you,' then you rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God and did not believe him or obey his voice. 24You have been rebellious against the Lord from the day that I knew you.

25"So I lay prostrate before the Lord for these forty days and forty nights, because the Lord had said he would destroy you. 26And I prayed to the Lord, 'O Lord God, do not destroy your people and your heritage, whom you have redeemed through your greatness, whom you have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 27Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Do not regard the stubbornness of this people, or their wickedness or their sin, 28lest the land from which you brought us say, "Because the Lord was not able to bring them into the land that he promised them, and because he hated them, he has brought them out to put them to death in the wilderness." 29For they are your people and your heritage, whom you brought out by your great power and by your outstretched arm.'


Psalm 55

Cast Your Burden on theLord

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David.


1 Give ear to my prayer, O God,

and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!

2 Attend to me, and answer me;

I am restless in my complaint and I moan,

3 because of the noise of the enemy,

because of the oppression of the wicked.

For they drop trouble upon me,

and in anger they bear a grudge against me.

4 My heart is in anguish within me;

the terrors of death have fallen upon me.

5 Fear and trembling come upon me,

and horror overwhelms me.

6 And I say, "Oh, that I had wings like a dove!

I would fly away and be at rest;

7 yes, I would wander far away;

I would lodge in the wilderness;

Selah

8 I would hurry to find a shelter

from the raging wind and tempest."

9 Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues;

for I see violence and strife in the city.

10 Day and night they go around it

on its walls,

and iniquity and trouble are within it;

11 ruin is in its midst;

oppression and fraud

do not depart from its marketplace.

12 For it is not an enemy who taunts me—

then I could bear it;

it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—

then I could hide from him.

13 But it is you, a man, my equal,

my companion, my familiar friend.

14 We used to take sweet counsel together;

within God's house we walked in the throng.

15 Let death steal over them;

let them go down to Sheol alive;

for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart.

16 But I call to God,

and the Lord will save me.

17 Evening and morning and at noon

I utter my complaint and moan,

and he hears my voice.

18 He redeems my soul in safety

from the battle that I wage,

for many are arrayed against me.

19 God will give ear and humble them,

he who is enthroned from of old,

Selah

because they do not change

and do not fear God.

20 My companion stretched out his hand against his friends;

he violated his covenant.

21 His speech was smooth as butter,

yet war was in his heart;

his words were softer than oil,

yet they were drawn swords.

22 Cast your burden on the Lord,

and he will sustain you;

he will never permit

the righteous to be moved.

23 But you, O God, will cast them down

into the pit of destruction;

men of blood and treachery

shall not live out half their days.

But I will trust in you.