This advice is often given to speakers: “Tell’em what you’re going to tell them. Tell’em. Then tell’em what you’ve told’em.” In other words, announce your topic, expound upon it, and then sum it up.
Moses surely followed that advice when speaking to God’s people as they prepared to enter the land God had promised to give them. Over and over and over, from the first chapter through the 33rd chapter of the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses said, in essence, “I am telling you what the LORD your God wants you to know.” And tell’em he did! In what may be the longest sermon on record, he recounted their history—beginning with how God had miraculously brought them out of bondage in Egypt. As he mentioned important happenings during their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, he explained (once more!) the kind of people God wanted them to be and the things God wanted them to do.
As he concluded his message, he told’em what he’d told’em: “I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse” (Deuteronomy 30:19b, ESV).
Then, like all good speakers and writers, Moses called for a response, based on what he’d told’em: “Therefore, choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them” (Deuteronomy 30:19c-20, ESV).
Dear Reader, as you and I read those words, centuries after Moses spoke them, we, too, must make a decision. Oh, may we choose to love the LORD our God with all our hearts and souls, to cling to Him, and to live in obedience to Him.
|A photo of a passage in my study Bible for 2015: the English Standard Version|