Bible Society of South Africa

To The Word – Day 47

Deuteronomy 6–10, Mark 8

Bible text(s)

The Great Commandment

1“These are all the laws that the LORD your God commanded me to teach you. Obey them in the land that you are about to enter and occupy. 2As long as you live, you and your descendants are to honour the LORD your God and obey all his laws that I am giving you, so that you may live in that land a long time. 3Listen to them, people of Israel, and obey them! Then all will go well with you, and you will become a mighty nation and live in that rich and fertile land, just as the LORD, the God of our ancestors, has promised.

4“Israel, remember this! The LORD — and the LORD alone — is our God. 5Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6Never forget these commands that I am giving you today. 7Teach them to your children. Repeat them when you are at home and when you are away, when you are resting and when you are working. 8Tie them on your arms and wear them on your foreheads as a reminder. 9Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.

Warning against Disobedience

10“Just as the LORD your God promised your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, he will give you a land with large and prosperous cities which you did not build. 11The houses will be full of good things which you did not put in them, and there will be wells that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant. When the LORD brings you into this land and you have all you want to eat, 12make certain that you do not forget the LORD who rescued you from Egypt, where you were slaves. 13Honour the LORD your God, worship only him, and make your promises in his name alone. 14Do not worship other gods, any of the gods of the peoples around you. 15If you do worship other gods, the LORD's anger will come against you like fire and will destroy you completely, because the LORD your God, who is present with you, tolerates no rivals.

16“Do not put the LORD your God to the test, as you did at Massah. 17Be sure that you obey all the laws that he has given you. 18Do what the LORD says is right and good, and all will go well with you. You will be able to take possession of the fertile land that the LORD promised your ancestors, 19and you will drive out your enemies, as he promised.

20“In time to come your children will ask you, ‘Why did the LORD our God command us to obey all these laws?’ 21Then tell them, ‘We were slaves of the king of Egypt, and the LORD rescued us by his great power. 22With our own eyes we saw him work miracles and do terrifying things to the Egyptians and to their king and to all his officials. 23He freed us from Egypt to bring us here and give us this land, as he had promised our ancestors he would. 24Then the LORD our God commanded us to obey all these laws and to honour him. If we do, he will always watch over our nation and keep it prosperous. 25If we faithfully obey everything that God has commanded us, he will be pleased with us.’

Deuteronomy 6GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Lord's Own People

(Ex 34.11–16)

1“The LORD your God will bring you into the land which you are going to occupy, and he will drive many nations out of it. As you advance, he will drive out seven nations larger and more powerful than you: the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 2When the LORD your God places these people in your power and you defeat them, you must put them all to death. Do not make an alliance with them or show them any mercy. 3Do not marry any of them, and do not let your children marry any of them, 4because then they would lead your children away from the LORD to worship other gods. If that happens, the LORD will be angry with you and destroy you at once. 5So then, tear down their altars, break their sacred stone pillars in pieces, cut down the symbols of their goddess Asherah, and burn their idols. 6Do this because you belong to the LORD your God. From all the peoples on earth he chose you to be his own special people.

7“The LORD did not love you and choose you because you outnumbered other peoples; you were the smallest nation on earth. 8But the LORD loved you and wanted to keep the promise that he made to your ancestors. That is why he saved you by his great might and set you free from slavery to the king of Egypt. 9Remember that the LORD your God is the only God and that he is faithful. He will keep his covenant and show his constant love to a thousand generations of those who love him and obey his commands, 10but he will not hesitate to punish those who hate him. 11So now, obey what you have been taught; obey all the laws that I have given you today.

The Blessings of Obedience

(Deut 28.1–14)

12“If you listen to these commands and obey them faithfully, then the LORD your God will continue to keep his covenant with you and will show you his constant love, as he promised your ancestors. 13He will love you and bless you, so that you will increase in number and have many children; he will bless your fields, so that you will have corn, wine, and olive oil; and he will bless you by giving you a lot of cattle and sheep. He will give you all these blessings in the land that he promised your ancestors he would give to you. 14No people in the world will be as richly blessed as you. None of you nor any of your livestock will be sterile. 15The LORD will protect you from all sickness, and he will not bring on you any of the dreadful diseases that you experienced in Egypt, but he will bring them on all your enemies. 16Destroy every nation that the LORD your God places in your power, and do not show them any mercy. Do not worship their gods, for that would be fatal.

17“Do not tell yourselves that these peoples outnumber you and that you cannot drive them out. 18Do not be afraid of them; remember what the LORD your God did to the king of Egypt and to all his people. 19Remember the terrible plagues that you saw with your own eyes, the miracles and wonders, and the great power and strength by which the LORD your God set you free. In the same way that he destroyed the Egyptians, he will destroy all these people that you now fear. 20He will even cause panic among them and will destroy those who escape and go into hiding. 21So do not be afraid of these people. The LORD your God is with you; he is a great God and one to be feared. 22Little by little he will drive out these nations as you advance. You will not be able to destroy them all at once, for, if you did, the number of wild animals would increase and be a threat to you. 23The LORD will put your enemies in your power and make them panic until they are destroyed. 24He will put their kings in your power. You will kill them, and they will be forgotten. No one will be able to stop you; you will destroy everyone. 25Burn their idols. Do not desire the silver or gold that is on them, and do not take it for yourselves. If you do, that will be fatal, because the LORD hates idolatry. 26Do not bring any of these idols into your homes, or the same curse will be on you that is on them. You must hate and despise these idols, because they are under the LORD's curse.

Deuteronomy 7GNBOpen in Bible reader

A Good Land to be Possessed

1“Obey faithfully all the laws that I have given you today, so that you may live, increase in number, and occupy the land which the LORD promised to your ancestors. 2Remember how the LORD your God led you on this long journey through the desert these past forty years, sending hardships to test you, so that he might know what you intended to do and whether you would obey his commands. 3He made you go hungry, and then he gave you manna to eat, food that you and your ancestors had never eaten before. He did this to teach you that human beings must not depend on bread alone to sustain them, but on everything that the LORD says. 4During these forty years your clothes have not worn out, nor have your feet swollen up. 5Remember that the LORD your God corrects and punishes you just as a father disciplines his children. 6So then, do as the LORD has commanded you: live according to his laws and obey him. 7The LORD your God is bringing you into a fertile land — a land that has rivers and springs, and underground streams gushing out into the valleys and hills; 8a land that produces wheat and barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and honey. 9There you will never go hungry or ever be in need. Its rocks have iron in them, and from its hills you can mine copper. 10You will have all you want to eat, and you will give thanks to the LORD your God for the fertile land that he has given you.

Warnings against Forgetting the Lord

11“Make certain that you do not forget the LORD your God; do not fail to obey any of his laws that I am giving you today. 12When you have all you want to eat and have built good houses to live in 13and when your cattle and sheep, your silver and gold, and all your other possessions have increased, 14make sure that you do not become proud and forget the LORD your God who rescued you from Egypt, where you were slaves. 15He led you through that vast and terrifying desert where there were poisonous snakes and scorpions. In that dry and waterless land he made water flow out of solid rock for you. 16In the desert he gave you manna to eat, food that your ancestors had never eaten. He sent hardships on you to test you, so that in the end he could bless you with good things. 17So then, you must never think that you have made yourselves wealthy by your own power and strength. 18Remember that it is the LORD your God who gives you the power to become rich. He does this because he is still faithful today to the covenant that he made with your ancestors. 19Never forget the LORD your God or turn to other gods to worship and serve them. If you do, then I warn you today that you will certainly be destroyed. 20If you do not obey the LORD, then you will be destroyed just like those nations that he is going to destroy as you advance.

Deuteronomy 8GNBOpen in Bible reader

The People's Disobedience

(Ex 32.1–35)

1“Listen, people of Israel! Today you are about to cross the River Jordan and occupy the land belonging to nations greater and more powerful than you. Their cities are large, with walls that reach the sky. 2The people themselves are tall and strong; they are giants, and you have heard it said that no one can stand against them. 3But now you will see for yourselves that the LORD your God will go ahead of you like a raging fire. He will defeat them as you advance, so that you will drive them out and destroy them quickly, as he promised.

4“After the LORD your God has driven them out for you, do not say to yourselves that he brought you in to possess this land because you deserved it. No, the LORD is going to drive these people out for you because they are wicked. 5It is not because you are good and do what is right that the LORD is letting you take their land. He will drive them out because they are wicked and because he intends to keep the promise that he made to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 6You can be sure that the LORD is not giving you this fertile land because you deserve it. No, you are a stubborn people.

7“Never forget how you made the LORD your God angry in the desert. From the day that you left Egypt until the day you arrived here, you have rebelled against him. 8Even at Mount Sinai you made the LORD angry — angry enough to destroy you. 9I went up the mountain to receive the stone tablets on which was written the covenant that the LORD had made with you. I stayed there forty days and nights and did not eat or drink anything. 10Then the LORD gave me the two stone tablets on which he had written with his own hand what he had said to you from the fire on the day that you were gathered there at the mountain. 11Yes, after those forty days and nights the LORD gave me the two stone tablets on which he had written the covenant.

12“Then the LORD said to me, ‘Go down the mountain at once, because your people, whom you led out of Egypt, have become corrupt and have done evil. They have already turned away from what I commanded them to do, and they have made an idol for themselves.’

13“The LORD also said to me, ‘I know how stubborn these people are. 14Don't try to stop me. I intend to destroy them so that no one will remember them any longer. Then I will make you the father of a nation larger and more powerful than they are.’

15“So I turned and went down the mountain, carrying the two stone tablets on which the covenant was written. Flames of fire were coming from the mountain. 16I saw that you had already disobeyed the command that the LORD your God had given you, and that you had sinned against him by making yourselves a metal idol in the form of a bull calf. 17So there in front of you I threw the stone tablets down and broke them to pieces. 18Then once again I lay face downwards in the LORD's presence for forty days and nights and did not eat or drink anything. I did this because you had sinned against the LORD and had made him angry. 19I was afraid of the LORD's fierce anger, because he was furious enough to destroy you; but once again the LORD listened to me. 20The LORD was also angry enough with Aaron to kill him, so I prayed for Aaron at the same time. 21I took that sinful thing that you had made — that metal bull calf — and threw it into the fire. Then I broke it in pieces, ground it to dust, and threw the dust into the stream that flowed down the mountain.

22“You also made the LORD your God angry when you were at Taberah, Massah, and Kibroth Hattaavah. 23And when he sent you from Kadesh Barnea with orders to go and take possession of the land that he was giving you, you rebelled against him; you did not trust him or obey him. 24Ever since I have known you, you have rebelled against the LORD.

25“So I lay face downwards in the LORD's presence those forty days and nights, because I knew that he was determined to destroy you. 26And I prayed, ‘Sovereign LORD, don't destroy your own people, the people you rescued and brought out of Egypt by your great strength and power. 27Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and do not pay any attention to the stubbornness, wickedness, and sin of this people. 28Otherwise, the Egyptians will say that you were unable to take your people into the land that you had promised them. They will say that you took your people out into the desert to kill them, because you hated them. 29After all, these are the people whom you chose to be your own and whom you brought out of Egypt by your great power and might.’

Deuteronomy 9GNBOpen in Bible reader

Moses Receives the Commandments Again

(Ex 34.1–10)

1“Then the LORD said to me, ‘Cut two stone tablets like the first ones and make a wooden box to put them in. Come up to me on the mountain, 2and I will write on those tablets what I wrote on the tablets that you broke, and then you are to put them in the box.’

3“So I made a box of acacia wood and cut two stone tablets like the first ones and took them up the mountain. 4Then the LORD wrote on those tablets the same words that he had written the first time, the Ten Commandments that he gave you when he spoke from the fire on the day you were gathered at the mountain. The LORD gave me the tablets, 5and I turned and went down the mountain. Then, just as the LORD had commanded, I put them in the box that I had made — and they have been there ever since.”

6(The Israelites set out from the wells that belonged to the people of Jaakan, and went to Moserah. There Aaron died and was buried, and his son Eleazar succeeded him as priest. 7From there they went to Gudgodah and then on to Jotbathah, a well-watered place. 8At the mountain the LORD appointed the men of the tribe of Levi to be in charge of the Covenant Box, to serve him as priests, and to pronounce blessings in his name. And these are still their duties. 9That is why the tribe of Levi received no land as the other tribes did; what they received was the privilege of being the LORD's priests, as the LORD your God promised.)

10“I stayed on the mountain forty days and nights, as I did the first time. The LORD listened to me once more and agreed not to destroy you. 11Then he told me to go and lead you, so that you could take possession of the land that he had promised to give to your ancestors.

What God Demands

12“Now, people of Israel, listen to what the LORD your God demands of you: worship the LORD and do all that he commands. Love him, serve him with all your heart, 13and obey all his laws. I am giving them to you today for your benefit. 14To the LORD belong even the highest heavens; the earth is his also, and everything on it. 15But the LORD's love for your ancestors was so strong that he chose you instead of any other people, and you are still his chosen people. 16So then, from now on be obedient to the LORD and stop being stubborn. 17The LORD your God is supreme over all gods and over all powers. He is great and mighty, and he is to be feared. He does not show partiality, and he does not accept bribes. 18He makes sure that orphans and widows are treated fairly; he loves the foreigners who live with our people, and gives them food and clothes. 19So then, show love for those foreigners, because you were once foreigners in Egypt. 20Obey the LORD your God and worship only him. Be faithful to him and make your promises in his name alone. 21Praise him — he is your God, and you have seen with your own eyes the great and astounding things that he has done for you. 22When your ancestors went to Egypt, there were only seventy of them. But now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.

Deuteronomy 10GNBOpen in Bible reader

Jesus Feeds 4,000 People

(Mt 15.32–39)

1Not long afterwards another large crowd came together. When the people had nothing left to eat, Jesus called the disciples to him and said, 2“I feel sorry for these people, because they have been with me for three days and now have nothing to eat. 3If I send them home without feeding them, they will faint as they go, because some of them have come a long way.”

4His disciples asked him, “Where in this desert can anyone find enough food to feed all these people?”

5“How much bread have you got?” Jesus asked.

“Seven loaves,” they answered.

6He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves, gave thanks to God, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the crowd; and the disciples did so. 7They also had a few small fish. Jesus gave thanks for these and told the disciples to distribute them too. 8-9Everybody ate and had enough — there were about 4,000 people. Then the disciples took up seven baskets full of pieces left over. Jesus sent the people away 10and at once got into a boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.

The Pharisees Ask for a Miracle

(Mt 12.38–42; 16.1–4)

11Some Pharisees came to Jesus and started to argue with him. They wanted to trap him, so they asked him to perform a miracle to show that God approved of him. 12But Jesus gave a deep groan and said, “Why do the people of this day ask for a miracle? No, I tell you! No such proof will be given to these people!”

13He left them, got back into the boat, and started across to the other side of the lake.

The Yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod

(Mt 16.5–12)

14The disciples had forgotten to bring enough bread and had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15“Take care,” Jesus warned them, “and be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.”

16They started discussing among themselves: “He says this because we haven't any bread.”

17Jesus knew what they were saying, so he asked them, “Why are you discussing about not having any bread? Don't you know or understand yet? Are your minds so dull? 18You have eyes — can't you see? You have ears — can't you hear? Don't you remember 19when I broke the five loaves for the 5,000 people? How many baskets full of leftover pieces did you take up?”

“Twelve,” they answered.

20“And when I broke the seven loaves for the 4,000 people,” asked Jesus, “how many baskets full of leftover pieces did you take up?”

“Seven,” they answered.

21“And you still don't understand?” he asked them.

Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida

22They came to Bethsaida, where some people brought a blind man to Jesus and begged him to touch him. 23Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. After spitting on the man's eyes, Jesus placed his hands on him and asked him, “Can you see anything?”

24The man looked up and said, “Yes, I can see people, but they look like trees walking about.”

25Jesus again placed his hands on the man's eyes. This time the man looked intently, his eyesight returned, and he saw everything clearly. 26Jesus then sent him home with the order, “Don't go back into the village.”

Peter's Declaration about Jesus

(Mt 16.13–20; Lk 9.18–21)

27Then Jesus and his disciples went away to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Tell me, who do people say I am?”

28“Some say that you are John the Baptist,” they answered; “others say that you are Elijah, while others say that you are one of the prophets.”

29“What about you?” he asked them. “Who do you say I am?”

Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”

30Then Jesus ordered them, “Do not tell anyone about me.”

Jesus Speaks about his Suffering and Death

(Mt 16.21–28; Lk 9.22–27)

31Then Jesus began to teach his disciples: “The Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law. He will be put to death, but three days later he will rise to life.” 32He made this very clear to them. So Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But Jesus turned round, looked at his disciples, and rebuked Peter. “Get away from me, Satan,” he said. “Your thoughts don't come from God but from human nature!”

34Then Jesus called the crowd and his disciples to him. “If anyone wants to come with me,” he told them, “he must forget self, carry his cross, and follow me. 35For whoever wants to save his own life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36Do people gain anything if they win the whole world but lose their life? Of course not! 37There is nothing they can give to regain their life. 38If a person is ashamed of me and of my teaching in this godless and wicked day, then the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.14
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