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This Week's Reading: Deuteronomy 6-8; 15; 18; 29-30; 34
Come Follow Me Insight #1
The book of Deuteronomy covers the time right before the younger generation was to enter the promised land— finally! They had waited for 40 years for this! But Moses knew he wouldn’t be going with them. After 40 years of leading them, this was the end of Moses’ calling. So Moses basically said “pit stop!” and put the last leg of the road trip on hold. He taught his “last lecture,” repeating God’s commandments and laws, exhorting and pleading with this younger generation to do and be better than their parents were.
Come Follow Me Insight #2
In Deuteronomy 7:1-2 the Israelites are told to “utterly destroy” the current residents of Canaan. That seems a bit violent- so is there an explanation?
Well, fast forward to when Joshua was actually bringing the Israelites across the Jordan, and let’s see what it says. In Joshua 3:10 Joshua promises the Israelites that the Lord will “without fail drive out” the people in Canaan. Sounds like “utterly destroy” can also be interpreted as “kick them out.”
But still– why did these people have to go? Well, we can easily see why because the Israelites did NOT drive out (or at least convert) all of the Canaanites. They intermarried with them, adopted their gods, and eventually were exiled to Babylon. So God was trying to help them create a place where they could live without outside worldly influences. But as per usual the Israelites were disobedient and it ended in their spiritual and physical destruction.
Come Follow Me Insight #3
Moses and Aaron were frustrated with the Israelites for complaining (again!). Instead of following the Lord’s instruction to SPEAK and bring water from a rock, Moses said, “must we [he and Aaron] fetch you water out of this rock?” Then he HIT the rock and water came out. (Numbers 20:9-11)
Immediately after taking credit for this miracle and then doing it in a way different from the Lord’s instructions, the Lord rebuked Moses and Aaron. He told them they would not be allowed to enter the promised land with the Israelites (Numbers 20:12). So did Moses’ one slipup undo all the good things he’d done as a prophet? Well let’s keep a few things in mind:
- After this experience Moses was still the prophet– he was not removed from his position meaning that he was still worthy to be a spiritual leader of an entire nation.
- Doctrine and Covenants 84:23-25 tells us that the Melchizedek Priesthood and Moses were removed from the Israelites’ presence because of THEIR wickedness, not Moses’. This might mean that not being allowed to enter the Promised Land was more an effect of the Israelites’ actions.
- Latter-day scripture makes it clear that Moses was translated rather than simply dying – not something that happens to the unworthy!
My Favorite Scriptures for the Week
- Deuteronomy 6:4-12; 20-25
- Deuteronomy 7:1-6
- Deuteronomy 7:7-11
- Deuteronomy 8:1-6
- Deuteronomy 30:1-6
- Deuteronomy 34:1-5 (see JST)
- Deuteronomy 34:7-12