• Tony Birkhead

MY WEIRD FAMILY



Week 5- What’s a Family to Do?

Slow Down and Seize the Moments!

At church, we say we want to teach you what a biblical or a Christian family looks like. The problem is there’s not any in the bible. Whether you go Old Testament or New there’s really not a family in the bible that we can say that’s the kind of family we want to model. I think God did that on purpose so that none of us could look in the Bible and try to compare our family to those. They were all Weird and so are ours!

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (Deuteronomy 11:1-26)

1. What is your favorite form of exercise? Why?

2. How do you feel about walking? Do you do it for exercise or for fun? Do you do it voluntarily or only when you have to?

The benefits of walking regularly abound. From reducing the risk of heart disease to enhanced mental health, doctors rave about how wonderful walking is for all people who are able. Deuteronomy 10:12 describes living a life of obedience to God as a “walk.” Just as we will exercise because we care about our physical wellbeing, walking with God and obeying all that He commands is essential for our spiritual wellbeing.

3. What, in your own words, does it mean to walk in all His ways (v. 12)?

4. If God knew His people could not live up to these commands, why did He give them in the first place?

This passage isn’t a demand from a harsh king; it’s a command from a loving God. Through His past deeds, God had shown Himself to be the great Protector and Deliverer of His people. In light of His loving character, God’s people should wholeheartedly love, worship, fear, and walk with Him. But not only did the Israelites fail to live up to these commands; we do the same on a daily basis. From the very beginning, God had a plan not only to command obedience from His people but to secure and enable it by changing our hearts. Though some of us might have a measure of outward obedience, God is looking for obedience that comes from a heart bent in love toward Him.

5. Read verse 19. What would it look like to impress God’s commandments on our children? What are some ways that you or your church are doing this already?

6. Consider the various times verses 19-21 tell us to talk about the ways of God. What difference would this kind of commitment make in the lives of our children?

MOVING FORWARD

  • What are some ways we can make sure we aren’t performing external acts of obedience while forgetting the gospel? How would you explain the relationship between grace and obedience to a new believer?

  • How are you modeling and teaching the gospel for the next generation?

  • Much of Deuteronomy focuses on remembering what God has done. How are you obeying God by sharing what He has done for you?

COMMENTARY

Deuteronomy 11:1-16

11:1-2. The people had seen and experienced the Lord’s discipline and were therefore without excuse for their waywardness. Their children, on the other hand, were not so culpable for they had not seen these things for themselves.

11:3-4. The signs and works are the plagues the Lord inflicted on Pharaoh and Egypt and the miracle of drowning their armies in the Red Sea. Seeing these proofs of God’s power and glory should have instilled such a sense of awe in His people that they could not help but love and serve Him unreservedly, but that was not the case (9:7-24).

11:6. Dathan and Abiram, along with Korah the Levite, led a rebellion against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness (Num 16:1-3). Their sin was more against the Lord than against human authority because they questioned His selection of leaders (Num 16:8-11). Their rebellion resulted in their destruction and that of their families and properties as well.

11:9-11. The description of Canaan is especially meaningful in comparison to Egypt, where rain was scarce and agriculture depended on the annual overflow of the Nile River and irrigation by hand. The fact that Canaan was watered by rain from the sky insinuates that the rain came from God Himself so that it was He who did the backbreaking work for them. For “hand” (v. 10) the Hebrew has “foot,” which may refer to a primitive foot-operated irrigation pump called in Arabic shaduf.

11:13-14. The rainy season in Israel, or early rains, begins in the autumn, while spring is the time of the late rains. This provision of the Lord for the land indicated His care in “watching over it from the beginning to the end of the year” (v. 12). So important was this agricultural cycle that the Israelites celebrated the new year in the fall.

11:16. The warning not to turn aside, worship, and bow down to other gods must be understood in the context of the agricultural motifs just described. Baal, Asherah, Astarte, and other gods and goddesses were thought to generate and sustain life in soil, livestock, and even human beings by their own sexual activity, and they became objects of worship, often through various fertility rites. Moses and the prophets constantly condemned such incursions into paganism (2Ki 17:7-15).

11:17. The Lord’s closing of the sky would prove that the gods of the heathen did not exist and that He was the One who created and sustained life.

11:18-20. God’s command is a repetition of the instruction given when introducing the Shema (6:4-9; see note at 6:4-5), here clearly showing that all of God’s instruction is to be learned and passed along, not just the Shema. Hearts is a metaphor for the intellect, and minds represents the person as a whole being. Together, they are the internalizing of the word of God.

11:21. The phrase as long as the heavens are above the earth is a biblical way of expressing the idea of forever. The Lord promised this land to the patriarchs on the condition of their obedience and the obedience of their descendants (28:36-37; Gen 17:9-14; Lv 26:14-33).

11:24. Every place the sole of your foot treads is a way of describing conquest and occupation of a territory, usually (but not always) by military might. The image occurs in Gen 13:17 where Abraham was told to “walk around the land, through its length and width,” a sign that it would become his as a gift from the Lord. God also told Joshua on the eve of the conquest of Canaan, “I have given you every place where the sole of your foot treads” (Jos 1:3). The area described here is essentially the territory controlled by David (2Sam 8:1-3) and promised in ancient times to Abraham (Gen 15:18-19).

11:26-28. Blessing and curse were essential elements in ancient Near Eastern covenant or treaty texts. Moses, as covenant mediator, set before the people a blessing and a curse, the full texts of which he elaborates later on (27:15-28:58). The disobedience mentioned was covenant disloyalty, defined as following other gods.

11:29. Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal were twin peaks overshadowing a wide valley in which ancient Shechem (and modern Nablus) was located. This is where Jacob bought property and dug a well (Gen 33:19-20; Jn 4:6), the very well where Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman and from which she directed His attention to Mount Gerizim, the site of the Samaritan temple (Jn 4:20).

#family #love #legacy

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