Ever had one of those experiences where reading the Bible just blows you away?
It wasn’t the story, or the truth that hit me this time. It was the cohesion.
We were wrapping up our study of Deuteronomy in youth group. It was Moses’ song to the people. The one that God Himself dictated to him. It’s not the cheeriest of ditties, to say the least. Basically, it says how amazing God is and then says, as the Israelites are on the way, at last, into the promised land, that they’re about to screw up big time. They’re going to mess up.
Fast forward to Matthew 4. Jesus’ temptation in the desert. Three temptations.
Turn these stones into bread. Question God’s provision.
Throw yourself down. Question God’s protection.
Worship the devil. Question God’s rule.
And how does Jesus respond? From scripture. Every rebuttal is from scripture. But not just from scripture.
Every quote is from one book.
Every response comes from the very stories of Israel’s failings. Israel has failed and will fail again and again. Israel has seen what the world offers and prostitutes itself. Jesus is offered the very same things and holds firm.
He trusts God’s provision.
He trusts God’s protection.
He trusts God’s rule.
In Deuteronomy 30:19 Moses says this:
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life.
We have that same choice. God’s provision, protection and rule led Christ to the cross. I write this on Maundy Thursday. Nightfall finds Jesus at supper. God’s provision, protection and rule has brought Him followers, and tonight He shares a meal with them. His next 24 hours will be punishing. And yet He holds fast under God’s rule. He chooses death and so offers us life.
And so Moses’ cry to his people could equally be aimed at me. I am in slavery. I have cried out. God has rescued me. And what’s the call now?
Now choose life.
Over to you.