January 28, 2008

Hearing It Again

Deuteronomy 31:9-13

You shall read this law before them in their hearing.
Deuteronomy 31:11


Kids love to hear bedtime stories again and again. Adults may become bored with this ritual, but kids enjoy it. An old story told again and again is affirming. The same things happen, just as they did last night and the night before. Life is good.

Every seven years during the Feast of Tabernacles, the law was read for all Israel to hear. It was the same story each time. God had brought the people out of slavery in Egypt and had traveled with them through the desert. God spoke to them at Sinai and had brought the people to the promised land. Nothing in the story changed. God was still good and righteous. God was still taking care of the people. Life was good.

It's good to hear the old story again and again. That's why God's people read Scripture regularly at home and in church-men, women, children, and visitors who enter. It's affirming for everyone's faith.

Like children at bedtime, we can't hear that story too often. We need to be reminded of God's goodness and our responsibilities as his servants, to be reassured that God's world is in order. After all, there are other stories out there that dispute God's goodness, and there are stories that say we are not servants of God but masters of our own world. By the work of the Spirit of God in us, however, we know that the old, old story is the truth.

Thank you, heavenly Father, for the wonderful words of life. May I never tire of hearing the story of your love and faithfulness to me. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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