A Daily Dose of Good News
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
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Good morning! It’s time for our Daily Dose of Good News which is from Deuteronomy 11:1-17.
You shall love the Lord your God, therefore, and keep his charge, his decrees, his ordinances, and his commandments always. Remember today that it was not your children (who have not known or seen the discipline of the Lord your God), but it is you who must acknowledge his greatness, his mighty hand and his outstretched arm, his signs and his deeds that he did in Egypt to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and to all his land; what he did to the Egyptian army, to their horses and chariots, how he made the water of the Red Sea flow over them as they pursued you, so that the Lord has destroyed them to this day; what he did to you in the wilderness, until you came to this place; and what he did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab son of Reuben, how in the midst of all Israel the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, along with their households, their tents, and every living being in their company; for it is your own eyes that have seen every great deed that the Lord did.
Keep, then, this entire commandment that I am commanding you today, so that you may have strength to go in and occupy the land that you are crossing over to occupy, and so that you may live long in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give them and to their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. For the land that you are about to enter to occupy is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sow your seed and irrigate by foot like a vegetable garden. But the land that you are crossing over to occupy is a land of hills and valleys, watered by rain from the sky, a land that the Lord your God looks after. The eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.
If you will only heed his every commandment that I am commanding you today—loving the Lord your God, and serving him with all your heart and with all your soul— then he[c] will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine, and your oil; and he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you will eat your fill. Take care, or you will be seduced into turning away, serving other gods and worshiping them, for then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you and he will shut up the heavens, so that there will be no rain and the land will yield no fruit; then you will perish quickly off the good land that the Lord is giving you.
Here ends the reading.
One of the games that we play in seminary, is to imagine yourself in the Biblical text. So I thought I would offer and suggest that we do that today- in two different ways. First, can you imagine? Can you imagine being in this text and seeing in front of your eyes- that the king, the pharaoh, who has all power- loses that? Your God turns that upside down. This powerful one- who had power over you- and could command everything about you and rule your lives- no longer has that authority. Can you imagine seeing that before your eyes? Can you imagine- being in a situation where you feel like your life is in peril and hanging by a thread, and in the midst of that, your God rescues you, before you lost your life. Your God intervenes and changes it. Whatever was a threat to you is taken away and removed and will be a threat no longer. That threat will no longer exist for you. Can you imagine- being in the wilderness and being cared for by God with manna and with quail? Even in a time of difficulty and not your favorite situation, that God is still there, present and caring for you. Can you imagine- being in the wilderness and wandering around and seeing someone removed right before your eyes? The miraculousness of that and the demonstration of power in that. Something that was sinful- being yanked out? I think it’s interesting to think about yourself in the text, because then feelings are evoked and thoughts are evoked, that help bring the text to life for you. I think it’s a great exercise.
I would add another creative nuance to this, for you to consider- and maybe even grab a pen and paper for this part- to note an example, from your own life, of each of those things.
Is there a time in your life- where you felt like there was an authority or power that ruled over you? That dominated you? You didn’t have any power in the situation and yet God came in and and turned it upside down now? Who knows what that situation is for you? But one specific situation in your life- where you felt powerless and that there was someone else who had power over you- and that God changed that? Next, can you think of a time in your life- when you felt pursued? Like there was something life-threatening, or something that was able to cause you great harm, that God rescued you from experiencing? Something that you were able to avoid and not be touched by- even though you feared it. Even though you worried that that would occur. Can you imagine- a time in your life that probably wasn’t a very fun experience? You’re trudging along and things are maybe going okay but not great, or maybe things are really difficult, and yet in the midst of that, you see provision from God. You see ways that God stepped in and reminded you that God cares for you, and takes care of you always, and small examples of God’s loving care- in the midst of a time, that probably was difficult, maybe not very pleasant. Can you remember a time in your life- when maybe something seemed very close, that could harm you, or that could wreak havoc on your lives, or cause things to go a different way? But it felt near and that God removed it- just took it out of there- so that it would no longer be this heavy, sin piece in your life? Can you imagine those things? Can you think of what those items are in your life, that you’ve seen already- that you just want to take a moment to note, to draw out, to raise to the surface and look at? Is there a time in your life when God has called you to something different. Something different than what you’ve experienced before? You’re used to the land of Egypt where you irrigated it on foot, and now you’re into this land of hills and valleys, and rain that will come at God’s command. Where you’re stepping into something new or doing something different, knowing that God is going to provide for you, and God will care for you. While there may be ups and downs in it, hills and valleys in it, that God is with you in that new environment, as well. Maybe that’s how- after the pandemic, as things start to open up some- we step into our new environment. What’s this life like after the pandemic? After our experiences? It’s not what it was before, it is something new. How might that look different? How might God be promising to care for you- in the hills and valleys- in whatever this life is like ahead?
I hope you enjoy the exercise. I hope that you are strengthened by remembering where God has been in your life, and by thinking about how that would be. I think it’s important it be your own personal experience. Not something that happened to your kids or anybody else- but your own. Personal. What you’ve seen with your own eyes. Remember that God calls us, to serve God to yield fruit. Remember that God has done all these things and been faithful. You can look at your list and see all the ways that God has been faithful in your life, that maybe you didn’t realize so much before. But you do realize now and that you’re emphasizing by writing it down. Maybe that helps you love your God- with all your heart and with all your soul today. Have a great day everybody! Bye-bye.