Daily Devotional is a ministry of the Living Church.
View this email in your browser

Daily Devotional • February 20

Pamela Lewis
Whose You Are
A Reading from Deuteronomy 6:10-15

10 “When the Lord your God has brought you into the land that he swore to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you — a land with fine, large cities that you did not build,11 houses filled with all sorts of goods that you did not fill, hewn cisterns that you did not hew, vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant — and when you have eaten your fill, 12 take care that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 13 The Lord your God you shall fear, him you shall serve, and by his name alone you shall swear. 14 Do not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who are all around you, 15 because the Lord your God, who is present with you, is a jealous God. The anger of the Lord your God would be kindled against you and he would destroy you from the face of the earth.”

Scholars have determined that the Book of Deuteronomy is written in the form of a treaty between a king and his vassal state, typical of the second millennium B.C. It calls Israel to remember who God is and what he has done, and the chapters preceding today’s passages unfurl God’s mighty pronouncements and acts through Moses. As the leader of the Israelites, Moses’ prodigious tasks included reviewing God’s relationship with his people, conveying God’s laws, and ensuring that the Israelites remained committed to their contract by loving and obeying him.

This was achieved by embedding God’s laws on their hearts. The Israelites would tie the laws on their hand, and bind them on their foreheads (in leather boxes called phylacteries), serving as physical symbols and reminders of an internal devotion. The laws were also inscribed on the doorframes of their houses and on their gates. Most importantly, God’s laws were to be impressed on their children.

Moses assures his people that the Lord will keep his promises to them. But will they be faithful to God? Accompanying Moses’ certainty is a stern warning against the apostasy that can easily replace faithfulness. He reminds the Israelites that they must become a people of unfailing memory, who never forget that the same God who will bring them into the Promised Land has brought them out of the hard years of wandering and slavery. Following “other gods” of comfort and prosperity, Moses warns, dulls spiritual vision and the fear of the Lord, and risks losing what he has provided.

Will we remember to whom we truly belong and be faithful to the God who loves us, or will we yield to the seductions of other gods, whatever forms they may take? 

Pamela A. Lewis taught French for 30 years before retirement. A lifelong resident of Queens, New York, she attends Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and serves on various lay ministries. She writes for The Episcopal New Yorker, Episcopal Journal, and The Living Church.

Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

Trinity Episcopal Church, Red Bank, New Jersey
The Diocese of Popondota – The Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea
Subscribe to Daily Devotionals

Forward to a Friend

You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Our mailing address is:
The Living Church
P.O. Box 510705
Milwaukee, WI 53203

Add us to your address book

Copyright © 2023 The Living Church, All rights reserved.