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Thursday November 8 – Israel’s mission (5): In the sight of the peoples

Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” – Deuteronomy 4:6

Scripture reading: Deuteronomy 4:1-14

In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses is preaching to Israel before they enter the promised land, reminding them of the promises of the covenant and the life to which they are called. He also reminds them of the purpose of all of this, that they have been blessed, not to keep the blessing to themselves, but so that they will be a blessing to the nations.

Indeed, Moses makes it clear that they are being given the land of Canaan “in the sight of the peoples,” so that their way of life will be seen by others. The expectation of Deuteronomy is not only that Israel’s way of life will be seen, but that it will be clearly good and appealing:

Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”

This is one of the ways God’s people are called to be a blessing: to live in accordance with God’s Word in a way that is visible and that is clearly “wise and understanding.” Jesus says that it continues to be our mission today:

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Suggestions for prayer

That we would remember our identity as a people on display before the nations and that the lost would be drawn to the goodness of life in Christ.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Nick Smith is pastor of the United Reformed Church of Nampa, Idaho.


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