READ: Deuteronomy 3-4
THINK: Do you ever feel that God is distant-like He doesn't see what's going on and He's nowhere to be found? You know better, but it's difficult to escape this feeling during tough times. Many of the godliest people throughout history-including the Son of God-experienced an intense feeling of isolation from the Father. Yet, regardless of how we feel, God always knows what's going on with us. He's particularly near whenever we pray to Him (4:7). Through prayer, we have access to God and experience intimate companionship with Him. As you remain close to God through consistent time in prayer, His character, compassion and purposes will become more evident to those around you.
RESPOND: Why do you think God allowed Israel to defeat kings Sihon and Og before crossing the Jordan into the promised land (2:24 to 3:10; 21-22)? (See 3:22 note.) When has God given you a taste of victory in preparation for something bigger? Why did the Reubenites and Gadites have to cross the Jordan and fight with the other tribes before settling into their own land on the opposite side (3:18-20)? Why do we need to help others even though we already have what we need? What conditions did God place on the Israelites for retaining His blessing in the promised land? (See 4:1 note.) Why is it such a serious offense to add to or subtract from God's Word? (See 4:2 note.) In what way might people mishandle God's Word, and how can we guard against this? What would following God's laws show the nations around Israel (4:6-8)? (See 4:6 note.) How can Christians set a similar example? In what way is the Lord near us when we pray (4:7)? What's the primary way that the Israelites were to pass on God commands and teachings? (See 4:9 note.) How can failure to do this affect individuals and families? Why didn't God reveal himself to the Israelites in any specific form (4:15-18)? What does it mean that the Lord is "a consuming fire"? (See 4:24 note.) What would happen if Israel abandoned God after settling the promised land? ( See 4:26 note.) How can those who stray from God experience His mercy again (4:29-31)? What does it mean to "find God," and how can we do this? (See 4:29 note.)
PRAY: Give thanks for past victories. Ask God to help you live by His Word so others get an accurate picture of Him.
ACT: Help and encourage someone who is currently dealing with something God has already brought you through. If you've defied God or simply become complacent in your relationship with Christ, ask Him to forgive you, then devote yourself to a renewed and passionate pursuit of Jesus' companionship and purpose for your life.
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