by Pastor Glenn Crouch
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The Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you (Deuteronomy 30:3).
As Moses’ time comes to an end, he lays out before the people the consequences of following (blessings) and not following (curses) their Lord God. Notice that in this passage, he assumes the people will fall away, but he knows God will not give up on them – all they need to do is to return to him, and he will have compassion on them.
We may often criticise the people of Israel for their failures, but are we really any better? We know Jesus died for us, and the Father raised him from the dead – yet we still have difficulty putting God first. And that’s just the first commandment! Our lack of consistency when it comes to obeying the Lord and following his commands reminds us that just as we couldn’t save ourselves, neither can we be his people without the work of his Holy Spirit within us.
We need to be like the people of Israel in this passage and return to the Lord. Each day, we should remind ourselves of our baptism, that we have died with Christ, that we have been raised with him, that we are forgiven, that our Father has circumcised our hearts enabling us to love him. We can daily return to the compassion of God as we throw ourselves at the foot of the cross and receive the forgiveness that is freely offered.
Almighty God, your word shows me how patient and compassionate you are. Help me turn to you every day. Remind me of my baptism. Remind me of the death and resurrection of your dear Son. Work in me so I may love you better and thus love those around me better. Amen.