OceanSide church of Christ

Read devotionals for October 2023

November 1, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:10 – But when ye go over Jordan and dwell in the land which the Lord your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety.

Thought: The ability to see the end of something before it comes to pass is called hope. Hope is defined as “deep desire and earnest expectation.” Israel is assured of the end in this verse. They will “dwell in the land.” They will have “rest” from all their enemies. They will “dwell in safety.” They also knew that Canaan was a land flowing with milk and honey. This end was not in doubt as long as Israel trusted God and obeyed Him. We, too, have a hope, heaven, that is as sure as Canaan was.

Colossians 1:5

November 2, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:11 – Then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burn offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offerings of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the Lord.

Thought: God often repeats His statutes to His children. He knows men forget. He also knows men are selfish. He knows men have a tendency to rebel. Hearing the same commands over and over plant their importance into the mind of man. When Israel conquered the Promised Land, “then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there.” That place, and that place alone, was the place for offerings, tithes, and vows. God designates the place. Man does not.

Deuteronomy 31:10-11

November 3, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:12 – And ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance.

Thought: Do you rejoice in the blessings you have in Christ Jesus? When a person becomes a Christian, he is “in Christ” (Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:27). “In Christ” is where all spiritual blessings are found (Eph. 1:3). The child of God should rejoice in those blessings. This is what Israel was to do as well. When they entered into the Promised Land, they were to rejoice. They were God’s holy nation. They were given a Law. They possessed a land. All from the least to the greatest should have rejoiced.

Psalm 95:1-3

November 4, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:13, 14 – Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt offerings in every place that thou seest: but in the place which the Lord shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee.

Thought: Man has never been free to worship God according to man’s wishes, and opinions. Here, the Lord cautions the Israelites against offering “burnt offerings in every place that thou seest.” These offerings were to be offered up “in the place which the Lord shall choose.” Those who call themselves Christians today need to learn this lesson. God tells man how He wants to be worshipped and not the other way around. Worship is not just about man’s sincerity. It involves man’s obedience to God also.

1 Kings 12:28-30

November 5, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:15 – Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he giveth thee: the unclean and the unclean may eat thereof, as of the roebuck, and as of the hart.

Thought: In verse 14, Moses had told the Israelites that they had to offer their burnt offerings in the place chosen by God. These sacrifices had to meet strict standards set by the Lord. However, when the children of Israel were at their homes, those strict mandates did not apply. They did not have to follow the guidelines such as having no blemish or being a year old. At their homes, they could eat the clean and the unclean, meaning animals that could not be sacrificed to God at the temple such as the hart.

Leviticus 1:1-3

November 6, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:16 – Only ye shall not eat the blood; ye shall pour it upon the earth as water.

Thought: The Jews were forbidden from eating the blood of the animals they ate for food. God taught Israel that life was in the blood. Life, being a precious commodity, was to be deeply respected. Thus, when an animal was killed the blood was to be poured “upon the earth as water.” Ungodly nations fail to respect life. They will take life with no sting of conscience. They will rob life from the womb. They will viciously take life from the elderly. Dear readers, God is life. All life comes from Him.

Genesis 9:4-6

November 7, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:17 – Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand.

Thought: A tithe is a gift involveing ten percent of something. Tithes can involve money. However, during the time of the Mosaic Law, tithes were paid using all sorts of products: corn, wine, oil, and animals from the flocks and herds. Tithes were not to be eaten within the gates of the Israelites. These were to be taken to the tabernacle and offered there. The same was true of things vowed, freewill offerings, and heave offerings. Doing things the right way at the right time and place is important.

Leviticus 27:30

November 8, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:18 – But thou must eat them before the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto.

Thought: A point God emphasizes time and again in Scripture involves divine authority. Man is not free to govern his life as he chooses. God is sovereign. It is He who legislates how things are to be done. Man is to do the right things at the right times and at the right place. If man fails to follow divine orders, severe consequences must be paid. Tithes were to be eaten “in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose.” Some people have difficulty following orders, even God’s orders.

Genesis 6:22

November 9, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:19 – Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth.

Thought: The tribe of Levi was chosen to perform the services of the tabernacle. Too, they were scattered throughout the Promised Land in order to perform their priestly services on behalf of the Israelites. This tribe did not receive an inheritance. Thus, Israel was commanded to pay tithes to the Levites in order to sustain them. God through Moses reminded them not to forsake the Levite. Because their lives and work were different from the normal Israelite, this could have easily happened.

Numbers 8:14-16

November 10, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:20 – When the Lord thy God shall enlarge thy border, as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.

Thought: God’s restrictions upon meat primarily involved that which was used in sacrifices to God. They did not apply to the day-to-day lives of the Jews. God told them: “…because thy soul longeth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.” Another interesting comment is found in this verse. A promise is made that God would enlarge their borders. This would be done in two ways. First, God would drive out the Canaanites. Too, Israel proper would continue to expand.

Exodus 23:31

November 11, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:21 – If the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which the Lord hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.

Thought: With the borders of the kingdom being extended, it would be too far for some to travel to Jerusalem in order to offer sacrifice. Therefore, God repealed a previous law that required the sacrifice to be brought unto the door of the tabernacle. It could be killed at the home of the individual, but it must still be done as the Lord commanded. We often find times when God is a reasonable God. He does not burden man with the impossible. However, what God does require must be done!

Leviticus 17:3-4

November 12, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:22, 23 – Even as the roebuck and the hart is eaten, so thou shalt eat them: the unclean and the clean shall eat of them alike. Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.

Thought: When the sacrifices were offered, the meat could then be eaten. However, God’s children were again warned not to eat the blood. The blood, God reveals, is life; “and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.” The blood transports life-giving oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body. It is, therefore, distinct from the flesh. God often notes important distinctions that man seems to overlook. This is a vital argument in the abortion debate. If blood is in the embryo or fetus, life is also there.

Leviticus 17:11-12

November 13, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:24, 25 – Thou shalt not eat it; thou shalt pour it upon the earth as water. Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the Lord.

Thought: God is a serious being. He means what He says. Many times He stresses His will over and over to man in order to emphasize the seriousness of what is being said. In this verse, He commands the children of Israel not to eat the blood of animals. “Thou shalt not eat it; thou shalt pour it upon the earth as water.” The fact that life was in the blood mattered to God. Man has no business trivializing the matter. He definitely should not neglect God’s commands. Blessings are attached to them.

I Samuel 14:32

November 14, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:26 – Only thy holy things which thou hast, and thy vows, thou shalt take, and go unto the place which the Lord shall choose.

Thought: There were some things that could only be offered unto God at “the place which the Lord shall choose.” If they were offered elsewhere, the offering would be unacceptable in the sight of God. One of the things that all men, even those who claim to be religious, must understand is that we must do things when, where, and how God authorizes for them to be done. Sometimes the when, where, and how may not appeal to our fleshly desires or needs. That doesn’t matter. God must be pleased.

Leviticus 22:18-19

November 15, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:27 – And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh and blood, upon the altar of the Lord thy God: and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the Lord thy God, and thou shalt eat the flesh.

Thought: We are again reminded of the importance of blood. The life of the flesh is in the blood. When sacrifices were made, it was made evident that the life of the animal was being given on behalf of the worshiper. He watched as the animal’s blood was poured out on the altar. The animal’s blood was a substitute for the blood of the worshiper. It is hard for us to grasp the significance of this action. Yet, this is exactly what was done at Calvary. The blood of the Lamb was poured out before God.

Revelation 5:6

November 16, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:28 – Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee forever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the Lord thy God.

Thought: Moses constantly exhorts the children of Israel to obey the words found in the Law of Moses. In fact, he tells them to “observe and hear all these words which I command thee.” God wants “all” of his commands obeyed. Man is not free to pick and choose what he will do and what he will not do. If Israel obeyed, God promised that all would go well with His people. It behooves every child of God to make up his/her mind to do “that which is good and right in the of the Lord thy God.”

Leviticus 19:37

November 17, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:29 – When the Lord thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwell in their land.

Thought: Moses writes with absolute certainty about what will soon happen on Israel’s behalf. They would cut off the evil nations that dwelled in Cannan. They would both possess them and succeed them. Too, they would dwell in their land. How could Moses say these things? It is because he possessed a deep faith in the Almighty God. He trusted the promises of God. He also had deep confident in the power of God. If Israel maintained that faith, Canaan would become their home.

2 Peter 1:4

November 18, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:30 - Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.

Thought: Israel had wandered in the wilderness for forty years. They were encamped not far from the Jordan River. Soon, they would drive out the Canaanite nations. God warned them not to be “snared by following them.” Once they were destroyed, Israel was not to get curious and begin to investigate their gods and their religious practices. Doing this would be very risky. Israel might be tempted to do some of the things those heathen nations did. Man is weak. He must stay nigh unto God to be faithful.

Psalm 106:34-38

November 19, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:31 – Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burned in the fire to their gods.

Thought: If Israel chose to worship others gods, they would have to reject the true God. Moses commands them, saying: “Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God.” God understands the nature of the evils associated with idolatry. They are an abomination. They do not bless men. They bring harm to him. Moses even notes one of those evils. The idolaters would burn their children in the fire to their gods. God hates their evil practices. He longs to love and bless man. He will never harm him.

II Kings 17:15-17

November 20, 2023

Deuteronomy 12:32 – What thing so ever I command you, observe to do it; thou shalt not add thereto, nor dimmish from it.

Thought: Because of who God is as the Creator, He has a right to command all of His creatures. Those who willfully enter into a covenant relationship with Him are obligated to obey God. God expects obedience to all His commands. “What thing so ever I command you, observe to do it.” It is interesting that there is nothing that man has been commanded to do that is impossible. God wants His commands strictly carried out. “Thou shalt not add thereto, nor dimmish from it.”

Joshua 1:7

November 21, 2023

Deuteronomy 13:1 – If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or wonder.

Thought: This verse begins with the word “if.” The word “if” denotes a possibility. Moses could have just as rightly used the word “when.” God knew prophets and dreamers would arise in Israel. One of the tests of a true prophet was his having the ability to confirm his word with a sign or wonder. Thus, God pinpoints the possibility of a prophet or dreamer arising that produces a sign. The signs, however, could be pseudo-signs. That’s a scary thought. How could Israel be protected from such individuals?

Ephesians 4:14

November 22, 2023

Deuteronomy 13:2 – And the sign or wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them.

Thought: When a prophet spoke in times past, one of the proofs of the truthfulness of his message involved his performing a sign or wonder. The signs were supposed to confirm that what was proclaimed was true. Some false prophets developed the ability to perform magic that resembled miracles and wonders and signs. Using these powers, they deceived their hearers. They would exhort them to follow other gods. They would teach them to worship and serve them. This hazard was real.

Exodus 7:8-13

November 23, 2023

Deuteronomy 13:3 – Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul.

Thought: The Lord lets Israel know that the test of a true prophet was not just in the signs he performed. If the prophet tried to authorize something that opposed the revealed will of God, this also nullified his message. His message was not to be given any credence whatsoever. This was the manner in which God tested His people. What God says in His Word is true at all times. It does not change. Regardless of the magnitude of the sleights of men, God’s people always adhere to the Word.

Isaiah 8:20

November 24, 2023

Deuteronomy 13:4 – Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

Thought: Here, Six obligations are set before the children of Israel. If obeyed, they will keep Israel in a faithful relationship with God. All of the words in the verse are action verbs: walk, fear, keep, obey, serve, and cleave. This reveals that serving God is not a passive activity. It takes effort on man’s part. None of the things God required were impossible. At times, what was required might be difficult. Too, Isarel might have to sacrifice her will to His, but everyone could do these things if they so desired.

II Kings 23:1-3

November 25, 2023

Deuteronomy 13:5 – And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

Thought: The sentence against a prophet who attempted to turn Israel away from Jehovah was severe. It was the sentence of death. God puts this individual into the category of evil. And, evil had no part in the congregation of the children of Israel. If this were the method of destroying false religion today, how many religious groups would survive? There are hundreds who are teaching subjectivism, relativism, pop-psychology, the “get-rich” gospel, and blatant false doctrine. Judgment awaits these.

Jeremiah 28:15-17

November 26, 2023

Deuteronomy 13:6, 7 – If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou has not known, thou, nor thy fathers; namely, of the gods of the people which are around you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth.

Thought: Sometimes those who are the closest to us can be a source of temptation to us. In fact, this source can be one of the most difficult to bear. We love our family and friends. We depend upon them for companionship, encouragement, a sense of belonging, and all kinds of aid when needed. Therefore, if they lure us to do evil, it is difficult to go against them. We do not want to love their love and affection. We do not want to be alone. But, one’s relationship with God is much more important.

Exodus 32:1-4

November 27, 2023

Deuteronomy 13:8 – Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shalt thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him.

Thought: Almost everyone has heard of “family loyalty.” Family loyalty involves sticking by family members regardless. In the spiritual realm, however, this cannot always be practiced. In Israel, if a family member attempted to turn others to false gods, he was not to be joined or supported in any way. Moses gives five instructions in this verse regarding him: do not consent to him, do not hearken to him, do not pity him, do not spare him, and do not conceal him. This person was an enemy.

Proverbs 1:10

November 28, 2023

Deuteronomy 13:9, 10 – But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

Thought: If a Jew had a family member who encouraged his family to follow false gods, he was to be put to death. In fact, the family member who learned of his error first was to “be first upon him to put him to death.” The choice was difficult. Do I slay my family member and remain loyal to God? Or, do I overlook, even hide, the family member’s desire and reject God? Which choice would you have made? Family ties are strong. Spiritual ties are stronger. Loyalty to God should be our main desire.

Matthew 10:37

November 29, 2023

Deuteronomy 13:11 – And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.

Thought: Quick, severe punishment of evil serves a purpose. It causes others to recognize the severity of the wickedness that was being encouraged and practiced by the individual who was put to death. The person’s death became a deterrent to others who might be leaning toward idolatry. The Bible teaches that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. When sin is allowed to remain in the midst of God’s people it will fester and infect the entire congregation. Thus, God wants sin eradicated quickly.

1 Corinthians 5:6-8

November 30, 2023

Deuteronomy 13:12, 13 – If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the Lord thy God hath given thee to dwelt here, saying, Certain man, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known.

Thought: We noted that a little leaven can leaven an entire lump. In Israel, it was possible for a few worthless people called “the children of Belial” to influence entire cities. They would call out saying: “Let us go and serve other gods.” The reasons given for the apostasy are not revealed. Their cries, however, are answered. The residents of the city follow the baseless people into idolatry. Cities are centers of commerce. They are places were many people intersect. From cities, evil can spread quickly.

II Corinthians 6:15