For the past six months I have been using Grant Horner’s Bible reading program which has one reading a single chapter in 10 different portions of Scripture.* (It is explained in more detail here.) Reading the Bible at ten different places in one sitting often brings out connections between texts that might have otherwise been missed. Today was a case in point.
Reading number 2 was Deuteronomy 4. As Moses winds down retelling the history of the nation of Israel his heart overflows with gratitude:
For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of. Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides him. Out of heaven he let you hear his voice, that he might discipline you. And on earth he let you see his great fire, and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire. And because he loved your fathers and chose their offspring after them and brought you out of Egypt with his own presence, by his great power, driving out before you nations greater and mightier than yourselves, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is this day, know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. (Deut. 4:32-39)
Israel was blessed like no other nation before or since. No other nation was freed from slavery by God’s mighty power. No other nation received its law directly from the Lord of all Righteousness. No other nation was ever promised continual existence by the One who has determined the boundaries of all nations. No other nation has been blessed like Israel.
Reading number 3 was Hebrews 11. After spending some time meditating on the blessing of Israel, I read in that chapter:
And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (Heb. 11:39-40)
O Christian, do not think lightly of the Lord’s blessing. While no other nation has been blessed like Israel, no other people have been blessed like the Church. It is to us that the end of the ages has come. To Israel were the promises, but to us is the fulfillment. Let your heart swell with wonder and awe at the great accounts of redemption in the Old Testament. Then let your heart overflow in praise in the knowledge that the church has received even greater blessings.
God saved Israel by the might of his power. God saved the church by the death of his Son. God gave the law to Israel by his finger on stone. God gave his law to the church by his Spirit in the heart. God gave Israel an inheritance by driving out their enemies. God gave the church an inheritance by casting out their sin.
Moses spoke well. Christ better.
Thanks be to God!
*I have modified Horner’s schedule a little bit. By his schedule, in 250 days one would read through all the OT prophetic books once and Job-Song of Solomon 4 times. I think that is little imbalanced so I am including the Minor Prophets in the Job-Song of Solomon section.