OceanSide church of Christ
Read devotionals for April 2023
May 1, 2023
Deuteronomy 4:34 – Or hath God attempted to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes.
Thought: God spoken to Israel out of the midst of a fire, and He also took possession of Israel after delivering them with power out of Egyptian bondage. This, too, had never been done in the history of mankind. The nation of Israel experienced many firsts. These firsts were intended solely for her benefit. How is it that individuals can fail to understand the uniqueness and the magnitude of God’s efforts on their behalf? True understanding of God’s work should produce love and loyalty to God.
May 2, 2023
Deuteronomy 4:35 – Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightiest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him.
Thought: God has purposes for all He does. When He spoke to Israel and delivered them from the Egyptians, He wanted them to understand that “He is God; there is none else beside Him.” Once man has that knowledge, he must make some choices. Will he honor God? Will he listen to this God? Will he obey God? Or, will he refuse Him and rebel against Him? The first choice has obligations attached to it. Both choices have consequences attached to them. Which choice have you made?
May 3, 2023
Deuteronomy 4:36 – Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee; and upon earth he showed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire.
Thought: God is invisible. He dwells out of the sight of men in a placed called Heaven. However, He can manifest Himself to man when He desires to do so. On Mount Sinai, He presented Himself to the children of Israel. They heard His voice. They witnessed His great fire. They heard his words out of the midst of the fire. God chose this point in time to call Israel to be His covenant people. That covenant separated them from all other nations. It would teach them to be a holy people to the Lord.
May 4, 2023
Deuteronomy 4:37 – And because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power out of Egypt.
Thought: It was God’s love for Israel that motivated Him to choose them and bring them out of Egyptian bondage. We must remember that God is able to see the hearts of men. And, it is their hearts that motivates Him to use people in his service. Israel was not like the other nations of the world. They had leaders who would honor God and heed His word. They would lead the nation to follow God’s commands. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses were all men of honest and good hearts.
I Samuel 16:7
May 5, 2023
Deuteronomy 4:38 – To drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art, to bring thee in, to give thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day.
Thought: God’s love for Israel was manifested in many ways. He delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage. When they reached the Promised Land, He drove out nations that were greater and mightier than Israel. He also gave them Canaan for an inheritance. God proved His love to His people. It was not a love of words only. It was a love manifested by many proofs. God continues to prove His love for those that are His. The greatest manifestation of His love was displayed on Calvary by His Son.
I John 4:9
May 6, 2023
Deuteronomy 4:39 – Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.
Thought: The last half of this verse states a sublime fact. “…the Lord he is God…there is none else.” Dear readers, there is only one God. There are not many gods. Oh yes, we say there are many, but they are all made-up, man-made, and fictional. They really do not exist anywhere in the Universe. This fact needs to first be known by all. Sadly, it is not. Second, this fact truth needs to be considered within man’s heart. There is a God. He exists. That fact makes a difference in the lives of all men.
May 7, 2023
Deuteronomy 4:40 – Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, forever.
Thought: All God asks of men is for man to trust Him. This trust involves obedience to His will. Moses put it in simple terms. “Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments.” Trust and obedience comes with great blessings. God told the Israelites that if they did this life would go well with them. Too, they would prolong their days on the earth. Isn’t this what all men desire? They want a good life and a long life. If more would trust and obey God, it would come to pass.
May 8, 2023
Deuteronomy 4:41, 42 – Then Moses severed three cities on this side of Jordan toward the sunrising; that the slayer might flee thither, which should kill his neighbor unawares, and hated him not in times past; and that fleeing unto one of these cities he might live.
Thought: We often read of interesting practices in God’s Word that spark man’s curiosity. The cities of refuge are one of those points of interest. There were six of these cities. Three on the eastern side of the Jordan River and three on the western side of the river. If a man accidentally slew another person, he could flee to one of these cities. There he was free from the avenger of blood, that is, a relative who sought revenge. To be safe from death, he must remain there till the death of the high priest.
May 9, 2023
Deuteronomy 4:43 – Namely Bezer in the wilderness, in the plain country, of the Reubenites; and Ramoth in Gilead, of the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan, of the Manassites.
Thought: The three cities selected as the cities of refuge on the eastern side of the Jordan River were Bezer, Ramoth, and Golan. These cities were strategically located. Bezer was in the southern portion of the Transjordan region. Ramoth was centrally located. Golan was in the northern part of the territory. These cities allowed equal access to all who stood in need of them. They belonged to the tribe of Levi. They provided justice and protection for the accused just as Jesus does in the New Testament.
May 10, 2023
Deuteronomy 4:44 – And this is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel.
Thought: When God formed the nation of Israel, He gave her a law at Mount Sinai. Moses is about to reiterate that law in the ears of God’s people before they enter the Promised Land. Without a law, there is no nation. Without a law, there is no order. Without a law, there is no security. Without a law, there is no prosperity. Many see a law as an evil thing. It is only evil when it is in the hands of evil men. Just and righteous laws are made for the people. They ensure the well-being of a nation’s citizens.
1 Timothy 1:8-10
May 11, 2023
Deuteronomy 4:45 – These are the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which Moses spake unto the children of Israel, after they came forth out of Egypt.
Thought: There are many words that describe the law of God. In this verse, Moses speaks of testimonies, statutes, and judgment. Another word for testimony is “witness.” God’s law is a witness to the love, order, compassion, and justice of God. A statute involves something prescribed. Statutes fall into two large categories: prescribed actions and prescribed boundaries. A judgment is something that has been decided. God’s laws are the things God has decided as the best for His people.
May 12, 2023
Deuteronomy 4:46- On this side of Jordan, in the valley over against Beth-peor, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites, which were on this side of Jordan toward the sunrising.
Thought: Moses proclaimed the testimonies, statutes, and judgments of God to Israel “on this side of Jordan.” Moses reiterated God’s law to Israel before they crossed the Jordan and entered Canaan. Sometimes we need to be reminded of important matters before we enter into the battle. These are the things we are fighting for. God’s covenant with Israel was both holy and glorious. It separated Israel from all of the other nations in the world. This law would govern them when they took the land.
Joshua 1:14 -15
May 13, 2023
Deuteronomy 4:47, 48, 49 – And they possessed his land, and the land of Og king of Bashan, two kings of the Amorites, which were on this side Jordan toward the sunrising; from Aroer, which is by the bank of the river Arnon, even unto Moun Zion, which is Hermon, and all the plain on this side of Jordan eastward, even unto the sea of the plain, under the springs of Pisgah.
Thought: It is interesting that Moses clearly defines the boundaries of the land of Israel that was possessed by Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. He understood that for a nation to exist it needs boundaries. He understood that for nations to exist peacefully with other nations boundaries must exist. When nations open their boundaries, others take them over. It may take time, but they get inundated by others. The takeover is quiet and peaceful in nature. The nation ceases to be a nation.
May 14, 2023
Deuteronomy 5:1 – And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, keep, and do them.
Thought: The command Moses proclaims to Israel in this verse is: “Hear, O Israel.” The first step in complying with God’s demands is to hear. It is impossible to hear if an individual is not within “ear shot” of the things being proclaimed. A person cannot fail to attend the gathering where God’s Word is proclaimed and hear what God has to say. Moses also expresses the reason for hearing: “…that ye may learn them, keep, and to them.” The question is: “How can we learn and do if we never hear?”
May 15, 2023
Deuteronomy 5:2, 3 – The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us alive this day.
Thought: Moses asserts that God made His covenant with the children of Israel in Horeb. A covenant is an agreement. It can be between two equals, or it can be between a superior and an inferior. Covenants involve responsibilities assumed by both parties involved in the agreement. Moses’ words are interesting because he said: “The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers.” Their fathers rebelled against God and perished in the wilderness. This generation was the covenant-people of God.
May 16, 2023
Deuteronomy 5:4, 5 – The Lord talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire, (I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to show you the word of the Lord: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying.
Thought: Moses is oftentimes referred to as “the lawgiver of Israel.” When the children of Israel could no longer bear to hear the Lord speak to them from heaven, they urged Moses to go up into the holy mount and receive the Law from God. Notice how Moses describes his position: “I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to show you the word of the Lord.” Moses, however, was just a man. He, too, committed sin. Under the New Covenant, we have a perfect law-giver. His name is Jesus Christ.
May 17, 2023
Deuteronomy 5:6 – I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
Thought: It is good for the people of God to be reminded of their redemption. Being reminded brings several things to the forefront. First, the redeemed recall the horror of their situation while in bondage. There was the rigors of work and the torture by the taskmasters. Second, the redeemed are reminded of their utter helplessness to get out of their predicament. Third, the redeemed call to the mind the great love and power of God manifested on their behalf. They owe their freedom completely to God.
May 18, 2023
Deuteronomy 5:7 – Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thought: Man has a tendency to do some very ignorant things. Some choose to believe there is no God which is foolish (Ps. 14:1). Others reject the true God and turn to “other gods.” We put the words “other gods” in quotation marks because the truth is there are no other gods. The gods to which men turn are either part of God’s creation, or they are fabricated in the minds of men. They do not really exist. Men want other gods, not be controlled by them, but in order for men to be their own god.
I Corinthians 8:4-6
May 19, 2023
Deuteronomy 5:8 – Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth.
Thought: It is not enough for men to make up gods in their minds. They, then, feel the need to try to create a graven image that can be seen with the eyes. These images are carved out of wood and stone. Some are fabricated from metals. These gods are not living beings. They have eyes but cannot see. They have ears but cannot hear. They have mouths but they cannot speak. They have feet but their cannot walk. Their devotees must carry them from place to place. Sadly, men fail to see their vanity.
May 20, 2023
Deuteronomy 5:9, 10 – Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
Thought: Three things are revealed in this text. First, God commands Israel not to bow down to the images of false gods. Second, God reveals one of His qualities. He is a jealous God. God’s jealousy is righteous. There are no other gods. They are false. They are made up. The true God should have none others before Him. Third, God reveals that there are consequences to man’s behavior. Iniquity will be punished by God. It can have lasting effects. Obedience, however, will be rewarded by God.
May 21, 2023
Deuteronomy 5:11 – Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who taketh his name in vain.
Thought: When we hear we are not to take the Lord’s name in vain, we usually make the application to cussing. And, this is a proper application. However, it is not the only application. When a person is a child of God, he wears God’s name. However, if his life does not match the name, then God’s name is being taken in vain. In worship, the worshipper is supposed to be praising the name of God. If his worship is not in spirit, or, if it is not done according to truth, God’s name is being taken in vain.
May 22, 2023
Deuteronomy 5:12 – Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee.
Thought: The sabbath day was the seventh day of the week. It is our Saturday. This was the day of rest for the Jews. They were to rest just as God rested on the seventh day of the Creation Week. This day was to be sanctified, that is, set apart. It was not a day like the other six. Notice that God did not say: “Keep every sabbath day to sanctify it.” He did not have to say that. Every week had a sabbath day, and every sabbath day was to be sanctified. This day wasn’t an option; it was a command.
May 23, 2023
Deuteronomy 5:13 – Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work.
Thought: There are seven days in a week. Six of those days, God commanded the Jews to “labour, and all thy work.” The time for the Jew to work was a little over 85% of their week. The other 15% was to be dedicated to the sabbath day. Yes, God wanted the Jews to work. He certainly did not want them being lazy. Work is essential to life. Work provides for necessities, luxuries, and enables us to assist others who are in need. Six days of work and one day for God. Was God demanding too much?
May 24, 2023
Deuteronomy 5:14 – But the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.
Thought: This explanation of the seventh day has two sides to it. One side says: “Do not work.” The other side says: “Rest.” What is interesting is how detailed Moses is as he explains who is not to work: “thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gate.” Why would God be so specific? The answer could involves the tendency man has to take liberties with God’s commandments.
I Samuel 15:3
May 25, 2023
Deuteronomy 5:15 – And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.
Thought: Commands can be issued by anyone. The authoritative nature of a command, however, is determined by the person who issues it. God commanded Israel to keep the Sabbath Day. Who was this God? It was He who had brought Israel out of the land of Egypt “through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm.” In other words, He was Israel’s Savior. This fact gave God the authority to issues commands to Israel with the expectation that the commands would be obeyed. He is still man’s Savior.
May 26, 2023
Deuteronomy 5:16 – Honor thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days my be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Thought: Moses reminds Israel of the first of the Ten Commandments that deals with man’s duties to men. He begins with family. “Honor thy father and thy mother.” He boldly reminds them that this is a command. It is not an option. The word “honor” means “to be heavy” or “to be weighty.” Parents are valuable. Parents are important. Parents hold a lofty position. Thus, children are to respect and fear them. Promises are given to those children who obey. This lesson is much needed today.
May 27, 2023
Deuteronomy 5:17 – Thou shalt not kill.
Thought: Aa we read the Bible, it is important for us to define words. Some will define the word “kill” to mean any and all killing. The word, however, means “murder.” Thou shalt not murder. Some murder out of selfishness. Some murder out of anger. Others murder for revenge. Still others will commit murder due to hatred. One of the reasons man should not murder another man is because all men are created in the image and likeness of God. It is really shameful when society sanctions murder.
May 28, 2023
Deuteronomy 5:18 – Neither shalt thou commit adultery.
Thought: When mankind rejects God, sin ceases to possess any stigma. It is tolerated. Its accepted. It is supported. It is encouraged. It becomes the common practice. This is what has happened to the sin of adultery. Adultery no longer bears the mark of the scarlet letter. Cheating in marriage is common. There are some people who have been married and divorced multiple times. There is little shame put on the act of adultery anymore. Yet, it tops the list of the works of the flesh in the book of Galatians.
May 29, 2023
Deuteronomy 5:19 – Neither shalt thou steal.
Thought: Walmart and Walgreens have closed stores in districts of many big cities. Why? Because theft has been legalized by the citiy’s legislators. If thieves steal between $700 to $1,000 of goods, they, will not be arrested and prosecuted. Businesses cannot sustain those kinds of losses on a regular basis. Customers will not pay the higher priced demanded to pay for those losses. Insurance companies will not cover those losses. There is a reason God spoke the words: “Neither shalt thou steal.”
May 30, 2023
Deuteronomy 5:20 – Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Thought: A false witness is a person who lies about another. The purposes of the lies are to bring shame, harm, and destruction to the individual’s reputation, livelihood, and family. These lies spring from an evil heart filled with hatred and a desire for revenge. Once a person bears false witness, it is difficult to reel in the lies. Many will believe the lies because people are often too lazy to investigate matters for themselves. Because bearing false witness is vile, God commanded Israel not to do it.