Study from God’s Word… Deut 31: 1-16, 23; Deut 31: 17-18; Deut 31: 19-29; Deut 31: 30 – 32: 43; … Passage for Reflection: Deuteronomy 31: 17 – 18… NIV 17 On that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and difficulties will come upon them, and on that day they will ask, 'Have not these disasters come upon us because our God is not with us?' 18 And I will certainly hide my face on that day because of all their wickedness in turning to other gods.
My Journal for Today: In my study today, my devotional author, Dr. Smith, had me reading about the time, from Deut 31 – 32, where Moses turned over the mantle of earthly leadership to Joshua, with God encouraging God’s people as they are about to cross over the Jordan River and move into the Promised Land. However, God and Moses foresee that these fickle Hebrew people will once again become recalcitrant and selfish, turning away from God and His Law. And once again the people will shift the blame for their selfishness away from their own sinfulness and blame God.
Ever been there? Have you ever been in a place in life where you felt that God had turned away or was distant from you? Maybe you’ve seen some other believer – a good friend or a loved one – who couldn’t see their own sin for what it was and blamed God for all the bad stuff going on in their lives. It probably wasn’t you, was it? ;>)
Certainly we see hardened criminals trying to hide the blame for their crimes by denying responsibility; and we even see three year old kids, caught red-handed, who will blame anything and everyone but themselves. It’s part of the human condition to default to the blame game. Adam did it in the garden by blaming Eve; … Eve did it by blaming the serpent. And we often try to blame God for not being there when we need Him.
But who is really to blame? Does God change in some way or become mysteriously absent in our lives when things go awry? No, … if you’re reading this, I think we’re all looking into God’s mirror of truth; and we probably don’t like what we see looking back at us. We want to see God’s image – that of Christlikeness; and certainly His likeness does reflect back from His word, which is our best mirror of truth. However, we so often want to deny that what we see in the mirror is the self which we have not totally surrendered to God for transformation and re-formation.
My friends, it is only when we can – and will – know that God never leaves us, nor forsakes us, that we can be in the seeking posture God needs for us to be for Him to reshape us into His image. That was actually there for me to read today in Deut. 31: 6. But God not is not only just there for us 24/7, … He goes on ahead of us to prepare the way for our path in life (see Deut. 31: 8). And so, … we need to see the truth when we look into God’s mirror, … His word. We need to see God for Whom He is; and we need to see ourselves for the rank sinners we are. But finally we need to see that God is reshaping those of us who’ve received Him into our hearts to become like God, the Son.
Blame shifting just won’t cut it in this life, my dear one. So, let’s see God, seek God, and let Him shape us into His image.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, I stand here a sinner, surrendered to be transformed into Your image. Amen