DEUTERONOMY 1: THE PRICE OF GOLD
At the start of this project of writing 365 Breadcrumbs in a year, my plan was to write as little as possible – just a snippet, a “thought for the day”. The idea was to use these additional notes for those who wanted to dig deeper and understand more. The problem I’ve faced each day from the outset, has been with the price of gold…
Opening up another chapter again today is like detonating a charge in a gold field. With every blast, my path becomes littered not just with chunks of gold, but also with diamonds and other precious gemstones. Far from sifting for the snippet, it’s all relevant (if not vital) to the ongoing storyline in our Creator God’s Handbook for LIFE. With so much hidden treasure being uncovered with every blast, it’s difficult to place a value on one portion of the chapter above another. Today’s reading is a typical example of how, in one short chapter written 3500+ years ago, there’s enough information to keep clever theologians busy for centuries.
I wonder if we’re not going to spend our eternity just going through the Script from end to end, taking a topic-thread in layers. Covering one layer at a time focusing on the gold, could take years just to sift through the 66 books. Years, to then sift it for diamonds. Years, to go through it all over again and this time sifting it for the rubies etc etc. But if that’s true, then what possible benefit can be gained for everyday life right here and now? The first 5 verses of today’s chapter, for example, could be considered as serious boring for any modern reader who is already juggling a hectic lifestyle. After all, who cares where a group of people were camped 3500+ years ago! [v1-2]
Well… like the start to any book and before a few sentences in, this chapter gives a clear setting and timeframe that reiterates how HIStory is not fiction but fact. If fact, and if preserved miraculously for us to read today, then it’s been kept by our Maker for a very important reason as part of our roadmap co-ordinates with keys for referencing and navigating where we are on our personal journey with Him today. That true, here are 8 gold nuggets that are invaluable in today’s chapter; and, like gold stores that backs up a currency, I have based my life’s worth on them…
I stand on solid ground when trusting in my Maker and His Word. Today’s chapter is set at the end of 40 years in the wilderness for Father God’s children – as seen through the eyes of the nation of Israel immediately after He extracted them out of Egypt to be a family for Himself. [v3] What follows is not fools gold: promises for the journey ahead that may or may not materialize. The solid gold is in the proof as the journey turned out on a real map with real locations [v19], showing what our Maker is capable of providing for His people if they put their Hope in Him.
My Creator God doesn’t do random, everything is in His time. [v3] Although it feels like traveling in total darkness at times, it’s exactly like the map of a goldmine with co-ordinates laid out when navigating caves. If I’m willing to let Him lead using His wisdom [v6-7], then from where my Father God sits, above ground and above all else, He knows what’s ahead and what’s around the corner in the grand scheme of things. What I’m currently looking at, for example, and what my Maker does currently, is part of a far greater landscape related to a global masterplan. [v8-11,21]
Going it alone never works – not even if you’re leading your own children. [v12] Individualism in the global West has so permeated our thinking that we’re now struggling to willingly accept correction or help. When receiving advice in some of our darkest moments, we process it immediately through the blind spot of individualism: “Well… that’s fine for you, but it’s almost certainly not going to work for me…” In opposition to our modern culture, it’s a “good thing” in Father God’s family to allow advisers and help, and allow discerning, experienced, wise leadership to speak into my life. [v13-15]
Judgementalism is wrong but judging is a God-given necessity. [v16-18] If true, then we shouldn’t be intimidated by the latest rhetoric from the landscape on our map – especially words like tolerance, inclusion, and forgiveness, that are wrongly applied. If we conform to the pattern of this world, we’ll be showing partiality in our judgements because of the ‘voices’ around us. To refine pure gold requires fire and I can’t be silenced nor allow fear (fear of consequences, fear of lost relationships) to stop me righteously judging between what is clearly right and what is clearly wrong IF the Judgement is God’s [v17] i.e. not the latest judgements put out there by humans or acceptable in our gold-plated cultures.
Negativity is a killer. A negative thought produces a negative emotion which WILL in turn display itself in negative behaviour. [v22-32] It amazes me that when I try to put a positive spin on it, some people seem to have the natural default towards a more tarnish coating. They would describe themselves as ‘more realistic’ and instantly glaze over the optimism by saying …”yes but….” Then I looked in the mirror!!! At 60, I am still struggling with pushing back negative thoughts. Whatever presents itself before me on my lifepath, I can’t seem to accept it with joy and count my blessings. My past disappointments and hurts that are far from golden, stop me from believing that Father God is actually an Almighty Father and Good God. Faith is believing in Him AS HE IS, not as we have made Him out to be. And, reading HIStory from end to end and noting the nuggets of gold in every chapter, is the only way I can ever believe in Him for who He really is.[a]
Father God is the Judge of all the World and He WILL deal justly.[b] The script that has been miraculously preserved during 4 millenniums against all odds then translated into 3,283 languages today, is the Creator God’s Word for those He created in His own image to live in His likeness.[c] If so, it’s living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword.[d] Since He transcends time and space, His words have an immediate, mid-term, and long-range prophetic value for 100% of His images in all cultures in any time frame. Each chapter is a gold find for us! But why would I think that nasty verses like v35 are invaluable? Because history repeats itself and HIStory is our clue for what’s ahead. When Father God the Judge of all the World deals justly, there will be a “judgement day”[e] and we will either be brought into the good land that He swore to our fathers in the past… or not.[f] The choice today is ours.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.[g] Just like any good father, when he offers help and we spurn that loving care, it’s upsetting. “…Then the Lord heard and was angry…” [v34] The thing is, He’s not human (like a parent who puts up with a lifetime of sh*t just to keep the relationship), nor is He a puppet at our beckon call doing it our way – the tail wagging the dog. He is 100% loving-kindness and His love is over-the-top abundant[h], but there are clearly defined limits between the One who is God and the one who is made in the image of God. We’re to have a reverent ‘fear’ (like the respect of a king-father) in the way we treat our Creator God as GOD. Because when I risk His axe-fall, I’ll know it, I’ll be sorry, and I’ll risk not being able to back-track over the consequences to rectify it. [v41-45]
While struggling to place a higher value today on the price of gold in any one portion of my Maker’s Handbook for LIFE, my eyes have settled on the gold thread in today’s chapter that focuses on the relationship I have with my Maker. And, counting my blessings recalibrates my compass every day. [v29-32] Nothing should shock me or cause me to fear, when my Maker goes before me on my road. [v30,33] Said another way, “when I’m following my Maker” on my road through this life. That’s the key for Him fighting on my behalf (as a baby-boomer helicopter-parent would), just as a man carries a son all the way. [v31] If I let Him, my Maker will even seek out a place for me to encamp: dwell, reside, and take my rest, physically and metaphorically. He’ll show me the way in which I should go on my life-map [v33], until I arrive ultimately at the place that He has prepared in advance for me to go.[i]
CLICK to return to today’s “Daily Breadcrumbs”
[a] Isaiah 45:3
[b] Genesis 18:22-33
[c] Genesis 1:26-28
[d] Hebrews 4:12
[e] Daniel 7:10 & Revelation 20:12
[f] Matthew 3:12
[g] Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7 & 9:10
[h] Deuteronomy 28:1-14
[i] Revelation 7:9-12