"We must trust, though we seem alone, there are others walking with us."

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 71: The D Formula

Today's Reading: Deuteronomy 3-4

"Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other."
Deuteronomy 4:39

Moses is recounting God's deliverance for Israel. In the recounting, we see a structure, a formula, which continues into the book of Judges and into our lives. It is a theological formula of the Torah and for a certain sect of the people of Israel.

Here is the formula:

Worship and obey God alone.
You will be tempted to crave the things around you and go after other gods.
Remember the LORD.
You will fall into idolatry.
The LORD will become angry and will withdraw protection.
You will cry out to the LORD; you will search for the LORD with all your heart.
Your distress will turn you back to the LORD.
The LORD in compassion will hear you and restore you.
You will experience deliverance and abundance.
Worship and obey God alone.
In abundance, you will fall away from the LORD.
Remember the LORD...

In this theological formula, prosperity and victory are closely linked to one's walk with God. Some have taken this idea and have encouraged a relationship with the LORD solely for the promise of prosperity. I think this is dangerous, and in itself, idolatrous!

But what I love about this formula is this truth. When things are going well in our lives, it is important to remember the LORD our God.

Prosperity, though craved by many, is a dangerous place on the spiritual path. In prosperity, we begin to believe we are god and become self reliant. We tend to think we can make our own rules and live a life syncretized with other idolatrous lifestyles around us.

Here is another truism.

In distress, many people, even the irreligious, turn to God, or at least toward some higher being beyond themselves. Even those who mock God in their lives, begin to seek help.

In the midst of trials, here is a verse to remember. (Circle it and highlight it. Better yet, write it on the tablet of your heart.)

"For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your parents which He swore to them."
Deuteronomy 4: 31

Though we stumble, God is compassionate.

Though we fail God, God will not fail us.

Though we destroy our relationship with God through disobedience, God will not destroy us.

Though we forget God, God does not forget, but remembers the covenant.

Bottom line, God is faithful.

Faithful God, do not let me ever wander into idolatry. Do not allow me to abuse your compassion. Teach me to be faithful, in plenty and in distress.


  1. Greetings, Talmidah! I'm a friend of your brother Mark's from his seminary days. You have a gift of spiritual insight and of writing very well. God bless you in this endeavor.

  2. Thank you, but give the praise to God. If there is anything of value, it comes from the Holy Spirit. Anything I would contribute would be chaff!