Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 29-31
Today’s Reflection: Deuteronomy 30:11-14
11) “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 12) It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13) Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14) But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
Jerusalem. Palestine. The Wailing Wall. The Via Dolorosa. There is a romantic notion of taking a religious pilgrimage. Taking a long journey to get closer to God, to find wisdom or understanding. But today’s text tells us we don’t have to go anywhere to get closer to God. It isn’t a struggle to learn how to turn from our former sinful ways. The commandment, the instruction, the Word God gives to us isn’t something we have to go on a long voyage to find.
In fact the example of Israel through the Exodus and their wilderness journeying shows us the opposite. God comes to meet us where we are, and brings His Word to us. God’s presence accompanied Israel as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. God instructed Israel to build a sanctuary so He could dwell with them and be in their presence. And God spoke to Israel through the prophets and priests He anointed.
When Israel did sin it wasn’t for lack of hearing from God.
You may feel that you have to do something extraordinary to get close to God, but all it takes is simple obedience from a willing and repentant heart. God Himself will bring His Word to you and place it in your mouth and your heart. The question is: are you willing to turn from your former ways, to listen to God’s voice and follow it?
Genesis 3:8-9 – 8) And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9) But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”