March 19 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“Blessed are you, Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword.” ~Deuteronomy 33:29

The ministry of Moses comes to an end. At the conclusion of his sermon (or series of sermons), the revered leader pronounces a blessing on each of Israel’s tribes. It is fitting that Moses should end his life this way, asking God to do the very thing He most longs to do, bless His people. From the outset, God’s dream has been to bless the people He loved and to bless the rest of the world through them (Gen. 12:2-3).

God is beginning His work of restoring the earth with this first worshipping community (notice how often “the land” is mentioned throughout Deuteronomy 33). While the Israelite’s utopian community ultimately fails, as all utopian communities do, God refuses to give up on His dream! He sends a Hero (the Christ) to further His restoration plan and, eventually, bring it fully to fruition. A descendant of these chosen people, His name is called Jesus, which means Savior, and “his kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:33). Jesus’ kingdom is expanding throughout the entire world today, and His followers await the return of the King. When He comes, the entire land will be restored, there will be a new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21:1-5)!

How do we respond to His love, to His determination to bless us both now and forever? “Surely it is you [Lord] who love the people; all the holy ones are in your hand, “ Moses exclaims. “At your feet they all bow down, and from you receive instruction” (Deut. 33:3-4). We worship Him, we listen to Him, and we obey Him. There is no one like our eternal God (Deut. 33:26). And there is no one who loves us like this God. He is determined to bless us, even if it takes forever!

Thus concludes the Torah or the Law, these first five books of the Bible. We now prepare to enter the land of promise with the people and learn lessons about loving God from the first worshipping community.

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.