Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Being an elder

  • Who are you? The roles of elder, pastor and congregation +

    Todd Nighswonger of Cornerstone Simi Church, talked about the role of elders, pastors, and the congregation living in community. http://storage.cornerstonesimi.com/sermons/audio/11_103_A_People_of_Worth_pt3.mp3 Read More
  • A Letter from an Elder Completing His Term by Kevin DeYoung +

    At our Consistory meeting last week I asked all those whose terms were ending to share a few reflections and Read More
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Don  Carson

http://www.esvbible.org/Deuteronomy+12/

http://www.esvbible.org/Psalms+97-98/

http://www.esvbible.org/Isaiah+40/

http://www.esvbible.org/Revelation+9/

ALTHOUGH THE BOOK OF Deuteronomy constantly looks backward to the Exodus and years of wilderness wanderings, it also looks forward: the people are about to enter the Promised Land, and certain things will change.

In times of transition, one must grasp the distinction between what should change and what should not.

Yesterday's chapter includes the word today: "Remember today that your children were not the ones . . ." (Deut. 11:2). That word is important throughout this book. A proper grasp of the past prepares the way for the changes today, on the verge of entry into the Promised Land. In Deuteronomy 12, the biggest change that is envisaged is the establishment within the land of a place where God will choose "to put his Name" and establish his dwelling (Deut. 12:5, 11). In other words the chapter anticipates the time when neither independent sacrifices offered wherever the worshiper happens to be (Deut. 12:8), nor the mobile tabernacle of the years of pilgrimage, will be acceptable; rather, God will establish a stable center in the land. "To that place you must go; there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts. . . . There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you" (Deut. 12:5-7). In due course the tabernacle was situated at Shiloh, Bethel, and finally at Jerusalem, where it was replaced by the temple in the days of Solomon.

The changed circumstances bring points of both continuity and discontinuity. Moses insists that then, as now, there will be no tolerance for the pagan worship practices of the surrounding nations and of those they purge from the land (Deut. 12:29-31). But the sheer distance that most people will live from the central sanctuary means that they cannot be expected to have all meat slaughtered in its precincts, nor to observe the fine distinctions between what is the priest's part and what is their part. Now it will be entirely appropriate to slaughter their animals and eat them as they would wild game killed in the field (Deut. 12:15-22). Even so, three points continue in full force. (1) They must not forget to provide for the Levites (many of whom depended on the service of the tabernacle/temple for their sustenance – Deut. 12:19); (2) they must not eat the blood of the animals they slaughter (Deut. 12:23-25); (3) they are still expected to offer the consecrated sacrifices at the central shrine on the high feast days, when every family is expected to present itself to the Lord (Deut. 12:26-28).

Other transitions follow in the history of redemption and demand our thoughtful meditation (e.g., Ps. 95:7-11; Mark 7:19; John 16:5-11; Heb. 3:7 — 4:11).

Deut. 12; Psalms 97-98; Isaiah 40; Revelation 9

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

  • Magnificent

    Few songs capture the entrancing, humbling, overwhelming awe I experience in the presence of God. Magnificent, a song by U2 Read More
  • Effortlessly

    Effortlessly, Love flows from God into man, Like a bird Who rivers the air Without moving her wings. Thus we Read More
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Audio & Video

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The Hit List

  • Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophecy, by Dr. Wayne Grudem +

    A fascinating discussion of the nature of prophecy in the 21st century, by Wayne Grudem. He became Research Professor of Read More
  • Baptism in and Filling with the Holy Spirit: a talk by Wayne Grudem +

    Thoughtful, considerate discussion of the role of the Holy Spirit in a Christ-centered life. Read More
  • The Relationship of Husband and Wife (Part 1): Wayne Grudem +

    What does it mean to be a husband? What is the role of the wife? How did God originally intend Read More
  • Part Two of Wayne Grudem on Husbands and Wives +

    This is part two of Wayne Grudem's discussion of the relationship of husband and wife in marriage and in creation. Read More
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Gems

  • The Community of Jesus +

    What does it mean to be a Christian? Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, makes a compelling Read More
  • Life as an Alien +

    Timothy Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, provides an inspiring portrayal of what the church is supposed Read More
  • Real Living +

    The Community of Jesus by Tim Keller-notes from a blog Keller takes us through the sermon on the Mount focusing Read More
  • Does God Control Everything?: Tim Keller sermon +

    Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, has an insightful discussion about free will, pre-destination and God's omnipotence, Read More
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