This week we finish Numbers and start Deuteronomy!
Hopefully, the central portion of Numbers and the Israelite's repeated rebellion hasn't disheartened you too much. The Israelites continue to struggle with their covenant promise, and while God justly disqualified the Exodus generation from entering the promised land (including Moses, Numbers 20), we also see his mercy shine through in Numbers 23-24.
Yahweh is determined to fulfill his covenant with the Israelites.
Ultimately, these stories serve as a sobering reminder. While God will be faithful to his covenant promises, he will also let humans exercise choice, allowing them to face the consequences of their rebellion. This week, we will close the book of Numbers and open Deuteronomy, the last book of the Torah.
In this week's reading, we see Israel's covenant promises being passed from one generation to the next before they enter the promised land (remember the verdict God handed down to the rebellious generation in Numbers 14). This is done primarily through the leadership of the Israelites being handed from Moses to Joshua. This new generation, with Joshua at the helm, tastes their first victories in battles with regional city-states on the east side of the Jordan River in an area called Moab.
However, Moses' role is not yet done. This week you'll read the book of Deuteronomy, which is a collection of teachings by Moses that adapts the laws given at Mount Sinai. He reshapes the covenant laws to address this new generation as they prepare to enter the promised land. He offers wise words and inspiring promises to the Israelites if they keep the covenant laws, and he also gives a warning of what will happen if they do not.
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