9/5 Reading (Deuteronomy 4-6; Acts 23)

Deuteronomy 4: Moses uses the history he gave in the first three chapters to explain to the next generation why they must follow the rules and regulations that God set forth in exodus and leviticus. Moses reminds them of what happens when you don’t follow these rules/regulations: the generation that left Egypt are all dead and even he will not enter the promised land. He reminds them that God is the only true God and he is the only true God in heaven and on earth.

Deuteronomy 5: Retelling of the ten commandments to the generation that will complete the journey. He then reminds them that the elders at the time didn’t want to hear directly from God anymore after they heard the 10 commandments. They were afraid they would die, so Moses had to start retelling the information.

Deuteronomy 6: This chapter is all about the “great commandment.” The great commandment is “The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. ⁵ You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deut 6.4-5). That’s all. We do that and we are good. Thankfully God does forgive people.

The notes indicate that Deut 6.4-9 is called The Shema. These verses are recited every morning and night in Judaism. Apparently there are two main interpretations. “The first interpretation understands the Shema as a statement of God’s being or character. God is unique and always faithful. The second interpretation understands the Shema as a statement about the relationship between the Lord and Israel. The Lord is loved as the only God for them.” (CEB Study Bible, p. 273OT)

Acts 23: The commander really wanted to know why they were all out to get Paul, so he took them to the Jewish council. Paul speaks to the Jewish council and informs them that he was a Pharisee and a descendant of Pharisees. This leads to a lot of turmoil on the council. Thankfully the commander rescues Paul before they do any harm. We then learn of a murder plot to kill Paul by some of the Jewish leaders. The commander finds out and sends Paul to see the Governor. The Governor agrees to hear the case.

Through all of this Paul seems to remain calm and prepared. His faith is truly inspiring.

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