949.540.0699 | info@compasschurch.org | Emergency: 949.436.9009

Today's Reading
March 18

slant-dark

Pastor’s Note

Our Old Testament reading shows us that God always has a succession plan. God will not leave his work without the resources and personnel it will require. Sometimes it is helpful for us to think and pray about what will happen when we are called home. God wants his earthly work to move forward when each of us is gone. May God richly bless those who will one day take our place in life, work, and ministry.

— Pastor Mike

Deuteronomy 31-32

Joshua to Succeed Moses

31:1 So Moses continued to speak these words to all Israel. And he said to them, “I am 120 years old today. I am no longer able to go out and come in. The Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not go over this Jordan.’ The Lord your God himself will go over before you. He will destroy these nations before you, so that you shall dispossess them, and Joshua will go over at your head, as the Lord has spoken. And the Lord will do to them as he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when he destroyed them. And the Lord will give them over to you, and you shall do to them according to the whole commandment that I have commanded you. Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

The Reading of the Law

Then Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel. 10 And Moses commanded them, “At the end of every seven years, at the set time in the year of release, at the Feast of Booths, 11 when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place that he will choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, 13 and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lordyour God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”

Joshua Commissioned to Lead Israel

14 And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, the days approach when you must die. Call Joshua and present yourselves in the tent of meeting, that I may commission him.” And Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves in the tent of meeting. 15 And the Lord appeared in the tent in a pillar of cloud. And the pillar of cloud stood over the entrance of the tent.

16 And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers. Then this people will rise and whore after the foreign gods among them in the land that they are entering, and they will forsake me and break my covenant that I have made with them. 17 Then my anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them, and they will be devoured. And many evils and troubles will come upon them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’ 18 And I will surely hide my face in that day because of all the evil that they have done, because they have turned to other gods.

19 “Now therefore write this song and teach it to the people of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the people of Israel. 20 For when I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to give to their fathers, and they have eaten and are full and grown fat, they will turn to other gods and serve them, and despise me and break my covenant. 21 And when many evils and troubles have come upon them, this song shall confront them as a witness (for it will live unforgotten in the mouths of their offspring). For I know what they are inclined to do even today, before I have brought them into the land that I swore to give.” 22 So Moses wrote this song the same day and taught it to the people of Israel.

23 And the Lord commissioned Joshua the son of Nun and said, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the people of Israel into the land that I swore to give them. I will be with you.”

24 When Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book to the very end, 25 Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord26 “Take this Book of the Law and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against you. 27 For I know how rebellious and stubborn you are. Behold, even today while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the Lord. How much more after my death! 28 Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears and call heaven and earth to witness against them. 29 For I know that after my death you will surely act corruptly and turn aside from the way that I have commanded you. And in the days to come evil will befall you, because you will do what is evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger through the work of your hands.”

The Song of Moses

30 Then Moses spoke the words of this song until they were finished, in the ears of all the assembly of Israel:

32:1 “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak,
 and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
May my teaching drop as the rain,
 my speech distill as the dew,
like gentle rain upon the tender grass,
 and like showers upon the herb.
For I will proclaim the name of the Lord;
 ascribe greatness to our God!

“The Rock, his work is perfect,
 for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
 just and upright is he.
They have dealt corruptly with him;
 they are no longer his children because they are blemished;
 they are a crooked and twisted generation.
Do you thus repay the Lord,
 you foolish and senseless people?
Is not he your father, who created you,
 who made you and established you?
Remember the days of old;
 consider the years of many generations;
ask your father, and he will show you,
 your elders, and they will tell you.
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
 when he divided mankind,
he fixed the borders [1] of the peoples
 according to the number of the sons of God. [2]
But the Lord‘s portion is his people,
 Jacob his allotted heritage.

10 “He found him in a desert land,
 and in the howling waste of the wilderness;
he encircled him, he cared for him,
 he kept him as the apple of his eye.
11 Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
 that flutters over its young,
spreading out its wings, catching them,
 bearing them on its pinions,
12 the Lord alone guided him,
 no foreign god was with him.
13 He made him ride on the high places of the land,
 and he ate the produce of the field,
and he suckled him with honey out of the rock,
 and oil out of the flinty rock.
14 Curds from the herd, and milk from the flock,
 with fat [3] of lambs,
rams of Bashan and goats,
 with the very finest [4] of the wheat—
 and you drank foaming wine made from the blood of the grape.

15 “But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked;
 you grew fat, stout, and sleek;
then he forsook God who made him
 and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation.
16 They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods;
 with abominations they provoked him to anger.
17 They sacrificed to demons that were no gods,
 to gods they had never known,
to new gods that had come recently,
 whom your fathers had never dreaded.
18 You were unmindful of the Rock that bore [5] you,
 and you forgot the God who gave you birth.

19 “The Lord saw it and spurned them,
 because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters.
20 And he said, ‘I will hide my face from them;
 I will see what their end will be,
For they are a perverse generation,
 children in whom is no faithfulness.
21 They have made me jealous with what is no god;
 they have provoked me to anger with their idols.
So I will make them jealous with those who are no people;
 I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
22 For a fire is kindled by my anger,
 and it burns to the depths of Sheol,
devours the earth and its increase,
 and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.

23 “‘And I will heap disasters upon them;
 I will spend my arrows on them;
24 they shall be wasted with hunger,
 and devoured by plague
 and poisonous pestilence;
I will send the teeth of beasts against them,
 with the venom of things that crawl in the dust.
25 Outdoors the sword shall bereave,
 and indoors terror,
for young man and woman alike,
 the nursing child with the man of gray hairs.
26 I would have said, “I will cut them to pieces;
 I will wipe them from human memory,”
27 had I not feared provocation by the enemy,
 lest their adversaries should misunderstand,
lest they should say, “Our hand is triumphant,
 it was not the Lord who did all this.”’

28 “For they are a nation void of counsel,
 and there is no understanding in them.
29 If they were wise, they would understand this;
 they would discern their latter end!
30 How could one have chased a thousand,
 and two have put ten thousand to flight,
unless their Rock had sold them,
 and the Lord had given them up?
31 For their rock is not as our Rock;
 our enemies are by themselves.
32 For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom
 and from the fields of Gomorrah;
their grapes are grapes of poison;
 their clusters are bitter;
33 their wine is the poison of serpents
 and the cruel venom of asps.

34 “‘Is not this laid up in store with me,
 sealed up in my treasuries?
35 Vengeance is mine, and recompense, [6]
 for the time when their foot shall slip;
for the day of their calamity is at hand,
 and their doom comes swiftly.’
36 For the Lord will vindicate [7] his people
 and have compassion on his servants,
when he sees that their power is gone
 and there is none remaining, bond or free.
37 Then he will say, ‘Where are their gods,
 the rock in which they took refuge,
38 who ate the fat of their sacrifices
 and drank the wine of their drink offering?
Let them rise up and help you;
 let them be your protection!

39 “‘See now that I, even I, am he,
 and there is no god beside me;
I kill and I make alive;
 I wound and I heal;
 and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
40 For I lift up my hand to heaven
 and swear, As I live forever,
41 if I sharpen my flashing sword [8]
 and my hand takes hold on judgment,
I will take vengeance on my adversaries
 and will repay those who hate me.
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
 and my sword shall devour flesh—
with the blood of the slain and the captives,
 from the long-haired heads of the enemy.’

43 “Rejoice with him, O heavens;
 bow down to him, all gods, [9]
for he avenges the blood of his children [10]
 and takes vengeance on his adversaries.
He repays those who hate him [11]
 and cleanses [12] his people’s land.” [13]

44 Moses came and recited all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he and Joshua [14] the son of Nun. 45 And when Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. 47 For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”

Moses’ Death Foretold

48 That very day the Lord spoke to Moses, 49 “Go up this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, opposite Jericho, and view the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel for a possession. 50 And die on the mountain which you go up, and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died in Mount Hor and was gathered to his people, 51 because you broke faith with me in the midst of the people of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, and because you did not treat me as holy in the midst of the people of Israel. 52 For you shall see the land before you, but you shall not go there, into the land that I am giving to the people of Israel.”

Luke 1:1-23

Dedication to Theophilus

1:1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.

Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, [15] of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. 23 And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

Footnotes

[1] 32:8 Or territories
[2] 32:8 Compare Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint; Masoretic Text Israel
[3] 32:14 That is, with the best
[4] 32:14 Hebrew with the kidney fat
[5] 32:18 Or fathered
[6] 32:35 Septuagint and I will repay
[7] 32:36 Septuagint judge
[8] 32:41 Hebrew the lightning of my sword
[9] 32:43 Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint; Masoretic Text Rejoice his people, O nations
[10] 32:43 Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint; Masoretic Text servants
[11] 32:43 Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint; Masoretic Text lacks He repays those who hate him
[12] 32:43 Or atones for
[13] 32:43 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew his land his people
[14] 32:44 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew Hoshea
[15] 1:5 Greek Zacharias

  • Sam Funk

    Deut 31:20 For when I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to give to their fathers, and they have eaten and are full and grown fat, they will turn to other gods and serve them, and despise me and break my covenant.

    People don’t like to be told they are sinners, but they are. Those who are willing to confess their sin, repent and put their trust in God can be saved. I need to hear that, I need to share that with others. Many will laugh, get angry or scorn you. But those who receive it will be grateful.

    Deut 32:35 Vengeance is mine, and recompense,
    for the time when their foot shall slip;
    for the day of their calamity is at hand,
    and their doom comes swiftly.’

    God sees when his children who are hurt, oppressed, abused, killed and more. He will avenge his wrath upon the perpetrators and some may even cry out to Lord themselves. Sadly, many will reject him forever.

    Luke 1:3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.

    Reporting, ie: writing reports, is not a recent activity. Unfortunately, many records faded into history as their media crumbled to dust.

    Luke 1:12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.

    Try to imagine an elederly priest going in to do his special duty and seeing a “person” standing there, knowing that no but him was allowed in there. Each time a human sees an angel of the Lord, or the Lord himself are in fear and trembling – an so they should!

    Luke 1:20 20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”

    God does not want us to doubt his word, regardless who delivers it, or what the message is.

    • CheriClark

      Yes, may we trust that God will do exactly as He says He will.

  • Beth Metcalf

    It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Luke1:8 LORD, you do not command us to do things we can not achieve in you, with your strength. I thank you and praise you for: going before us, being with us, and never leaving us or forsaking us!)

    • CheriClark

      Yes!

  • CheriClark

    OT
    Deut 31:6 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

    Then: Moses is telling Israel that Joshua will lead them as they cross over the Jordan. He reminds them that God will give them the people that are there and they are not to be afraid.

    Always: As a believer, I do not need to be afraid because God is with me.

    Now: God is with me. Such a simple sentence but with so much meaning. God is with me. He walks me through my trials. God is with me. He carries me through my difficulties. God is with me. He comforts me in my sorrows. God is with me. He rejoices in my triumphs. God is with me. The Creator of the universe, the Great I Am, the Alpha and the Omega is with me. Why do I need to fear?

    NT
    Luke 1:18 18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”

    Then: God is telling Zechariah that Elizabeth would bear a son that would prepare the way for the Lord. Zechariah asks for a sign because it seems like an impossible thing as Elizabeth and I are old and Elizabeth has been barren.

    Always: God is in the impossible business.

    Now: I treasure these stories where God says He will do something and He is questioned. Because it seems so real. God is in the impossible business. We know that in our heads but sometimes the hearts are a little slower. We read of all He did in the Bible. We see God do “impossible” things in our lives and in the lives of others. And what is more impossible than saving a sinner from the penalty of their sins. God has saved me as a child of God. He has made a way for me to spend eternity with Him. The most impossible task would be to save a sinner. But He has done that. And continues to do that. The God who provided a way for the penalty of my sins to be paid and for me to spend eternity with Him can do anything. He has transformed my life. God is in the impossible business. Nothing is impossible for God.

    • Anne Ventura

      Yes, it is of great comfort to know God is always with us.

  • NonieS

    Deuteronomy 31

    8 It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

    32:4 “The Rock, his work is perfect,
    for all his ways are justice.
    A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
    just and upright is he.

    I love these verses! God will be with us and will not leave or forsake us. We need not fear or be dismayed! And in Moses’ song, he tells us that our God is a rock faithful and just. We can depend on Him always, no matter what trials come into our lives. Thank you Lord! You are my rock and my salvation!

    Luke 1

    16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” I love how these predictions of what John would do, come to pass, just as the angel told them . We can trust God and His Word! Maranatha!

    The angel was telling Zechariah about the baby who would be born to he and Elizabeth. They had been barren, and because of their righteousness before the Lord, He chose them to to bring John the Baptist into the world.

    • CheriClark

      “our God is a rock faithful and just.” – so treasure this.

  • Karen Chien

    20 For when I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to give to their fathers, and they have eaten and are full and grown fat, they will turn to other gods and serve them, and despise me and break my covenant.

    Moses is writing the last bits of the law before he dies. He is writing the words of the Lord God and talking of God’s faithfulness and deliverance from bondage and slavery and delivering them yo a land of milk and honey. But he writes that once the Israelites enter the promised land they will turn to other gods and serve idols. Such a sad ending for God’s people especially after all that He’s done how soon the people forget . Even Moses called them out and said and after he dies they will turn to wicked ways. He knows this because they already did and Moses wasnt even dead , he just went up to the mountain to be with the Lord. If we truly call ourselves followers of the One True God May we continue to seek our Savior, Jesus Christ and not be swayed by the pressures of the world or the enticement of luring temptations that Satan deceives us with with false promises that money, riches, and fame can bring. When things are going well for us, whether in our jobs, our marriage, finances, our work, our ministries, friendships, May we see that everything is a good and perfect gift from God and that He graciously bestowed these gifts to us and essentially all belong to Him. May we turn to Him and give back what He graciously and undeservingly gave to us first. May we never turn to anything but God to give our full worship to.

    • CheriClark

      Yes, may we see all our good gifts as from God. May we always acknowledge Him as the source of any goodness we have.

  • Alyssa Cuccia

    And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.
    Luke 1:6

    It is always encouraging for me to read about the biblical saints who followed God so faithfully. To be described as “walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord” is an amazing accomplishment! There are many things that we arrive to accomplish in this life, whether it’s to be the best athlete on our team, the best worker in our workplace, or the best student in school–but is our aim also to walk blameless in our Christian walk? God calls us to perfection; let’s make that our aim today.

    • CheriClark

      Yes!

  • Anne Ventura

    Deut. 32:35-36

    Vengeance is mine, and recompense,
    for the time when their foot shall slip;
    for the day of their calamity is at hand,
    and their doom comes swiftly.’
    For the LORD will vindicate his people
    and have compassion on his servants,
    when he sees that their power is gone
    and there is none remaining, bond or free.

    Lord, we have no help apart from You. There will be a time when those who did not believe will mourn because they did not repent . I shudder to think what is in store for them. I pray for the lost and am grateful you have compassion on me.

    Luke 1:17

    and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

    Proverbs 28:1

    The wicked flee when no one pursues,

    but the righteous are bold as a lion.

    May I have the strength of your Spirit Lord, as John and Elijah had. Freely evangelizing with courage and with the spirit of love.

    • CheriClark

      Praying for the lost also.

  • Stephanie Schwartz

    Luke 1:6-7
    And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

    God said Elizabeth walked BLAMELESSLY before him, and yet he allowed her to be BARREN.

    Lord… help me to not get discouraged in the areas where you have allowed me to be and feel “barren.” It certainly doesn’t mean that I am not right before you or loved by you.

    • CheriClark

      Oh- I had not made that connection so clearly before. Thank you for pointing that out.

Search