Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day 177: Deuteronomy 30

Circumcision of the Heart

Deuteronomy 30

In chapter 29, God told His people that they will disobey Him and they will therefore be destroyed and scattered and their land will be destroyed as well. Chapter 30 predicts the change of heart that Israel will experience and the ensuing restoration to their land. They will return to the Lord and will obey Him with all their heart and soul. God will have compassion on them and will gather them and bring them back to their land. They will obey the Lord and observe all His commandments, and God will prosper and multiply them.

God assures Israel that this commandment is not beyond their reach. He has made it plain for them to understand. They do not need any more revelation or special connections. It's all right in front of them, and they can obey it.

So, the choice is up to them --
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him . . . (Deut. 30:19-20)

There are two aspects I'm reflecting on in this chapter. The first one is the idea that God will circumcise the hearts of the people.
Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live. (Deut. 30:6)
When God circumcises the heart, the result is that the person will love Him with all his heart and soul. That's what I want. It requires a painful internal alteration, but it's worth it!

The other aspect I'm reflecting on in this chapter is the choice that God is giving the people. They can choose to obey and have life and the blessing, or to disobey and have death and the curse (vs. 19-20). When they choose life, they are choosing to love the LORD, obey Him and hold fast to Him.

Real life consists of loving the Lord, obeying Him and holding fast to Him. Holding fast to Him means to cling to Him. If there's only one thing I hang onto, it should be God -- not my money, husband, children, house, job, etc. I must be fully devoted to the Lord, obeying Him, and loving Him. Real relationship with God requires internal change and growth (circumcision) of my heart. It is often painful at the time, but results in life and blessing from God.

Lord, incline my heart toward You to obey You and be blessed by You. Circumcise my heart, so I can learn to love You with all my heart and soul. My heart is weak and sometimes I get stubborn toward You. I need You to soften my heart and give me strength. I choose YOU, Lord, to love You, to obey You, and to cling to You each day. Amen.
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