Devotionary

Ken Miller

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Devotionary offers a unique Bible study aid that offers the inspiration of a daily devotional and the insights of a commentary – all in easy-to-understand language that makes the Scriptures come alive. We'll be working our way through the entire Bible, book by book and chapter by chapter, so come back often.

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1023 episodes

Ep 1024 – John 1:1-5

Today we begin a brand-new series on the Gospel of John. This remarkable book will take us on incredible journey of discovery that that begins with the very first day of Jesus’ earthly ministry when He was baptized by John in the wilderness, all the way to His death, burial, and resurrection more than 3 years later. And along the way, John will provide us with his first-person account of all that he witnessed along the way. As one of Jesus’ hand-picked disciples, John had a unique vantage point from which to observe and assess all that Jesus said and did. Like the other disciples, he would struggle to grasp exactly who Jesus was and what He had come to do. In his heart, he longed for Jesus to be the long-awaited Messiah of Israel. And that hope carried certain expectations. But his gospel account, written years later, will reveal how his understanding of and belief in Jesus changed over time. John learned that Jesus was far more than a man sent to sit on a throne in Israel. He was the Son of God and the Savior sent to redeem a lost and dying world.   

10m
Feb 12, 2021
Ep 1021 – Deuteronomy 33:18-22

In today’s passage, Moses blesses four more of the tribes. This time, he calls out Zebulun, Issachar, Gad, and Dan. There were four of the smaller tribes of Israel and the each had a less-than-stellar record when it came to faithfulness to Yahweh. So, in Deuteronomy 33:128-22, Moses will keep his blessings short and sweet, and leave a great deal up to the imagination, in terms of the meaning of his words. While these tribes had been set apart by God and provided with an inheritance of land, they had each proved to be unfaithful. God every reason to judge them for their disobedience and, one day, he would. But He would also prove to be faithful, eventually choosing to use them – in spite of them. Their disobedience would result in the darkness of God’s judgment. But, ultimately, God would send the light of the world, His Son, to penetrate the darkness with the hope of salvation by grace along through faith alone. 

10m
Aug 23, 2020
Ep 1023 – Deuteronomy 34:1-12

At the end of chapter 33, Moses made the compelling confession, “There is no one like the God of Israel.” He wanted the people to know that they served a great and incomparable God. But at the same time, the author of the book of Deuteronomy seems to want his readers to know that Moses was also unparalleled and without equal. “There has never been another prophet in Israel like Moses,” he writes. Moses was flawed, yet faithful. He could be stubborn and hard-headed, and yet, he never stopped believing in and relying upon God. Now, his day of reckoning has arrived and he will go to be with God. There will be no promised land in Moses’ future, but there will be an eternity spent in fellowship with God. And while Moses would disappear from the scene, the people of Israel would find themselves guided by another one of God’s chosen servants. Because He was not yet done with them. But that’s another story.

10m
Aug 06, 2020
Ep 1022 – Deuteronomy 33:23-29

Moses was fully convinced that Israel served an incomparable God, who had no equals and, therefore, deserved His peoples’ unwavering commitment. But in Deuteronomy 33:23-29, as Moses wraps up his blessings of the tribes with an address to Naphtali and Asher, he reminds them of God’s goodness and greatness. Like all the other tribes, these two would be blessed by God and given every opportunity to enjoy the benefits of living in the land He had given them. But they would prove unfaithful and unsuccessful in keeping their end of the bargain. Once they entered the land of promise, they would fail to eliminate the pagan inhabitants, choosing instead to take the path of compromise and complacency. God, always faithful to keep His covenant promises, would continue to bless the tribes of Israel. But would they return the favor?   

10m
Aug 05, 2020
Ep 1020 – Deuteronomy 33:12-17

In Deuteronomy 33:12-17, Moses continues his blessing of the 12 tribes of Israel. And in these verses, he focuses his attention of the tribes of Benjamin, Ephraim and Manasseh. These were three of the smaller tribes in Israel, but their diminutive size did not mean they were unimportant. Speaking by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, Moses reveals that God’s sovereign hand had been upon these three relatively insignificant tribes from the very beginning. It would be within the territory allotted to the tiny tribe of Benjamin that the Savior of the world would be born – in the remote village of Bethlehem. But the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, both equally small and insignificant, would play a less-auspicious role in the history of Israel. And it would all be according to God’s sovereign will.          

9m
Aug 03, 2020
Ep 1019 – Deuteronomy 33:6-11

In Deuteronomy 33:6-11, Moses begins to issue his blessings upon the 12 tribes of Israel. While he will not be entering the land of promise with them, he still feels like their spiritual father and wants to communicate his last words of encouragement to each of them. He will echo the words of Jacob, who hundreds of years earlier had issued his blessings to his 12 sons. During the centuries that had passed, God had been working behind the scenes, divinely fulfilling the words spoken by Jacob, and eventually, He would ensure that the blessings of Moses came about as well. These two men had actually been speaking on behalf of God, issuing His divine decrees regarding His chosen people. He would end up blessing the 12 tribes of Israel, in ways neither Jacob or Moses could ever have imagined.   

10m
Aug 02, 2020
Ep 1018 – Deuteronomy 33:1-5

Moses is fully aware that his days on this earth are quickly drawing to a close. But with a shepherd’s heart, he wants to leave his flock with one last message. And it will come in the form of a blessing. The one who led them out of Egypt and guided them through the wilderness and all the way to the land of promise wanted to pronounce a blessing over them. But knowing that the people were despondent over the thought of his pending death, Moses reminded them that their true leader was God. In Deuteronomy 33:1-5, the shepherd of Israel focuses their attention back on the one who had always been their true deliverer and King: God Himself. While Moses was going away, God would be going before them. The one who had redeemed them would continue to guide and rule over them. They were not alone.

8m
Aug 01, 2020
Ep 1017 – Deuteronomy 32:48-52

As the Book of Deuteronomy draws to a close, it also brings an end to the leadership of Moses. But God had more in store for Moses than simply turning over the reins of leadership to Joshua. He was going to give up far more than his role as deliverer of Israel. Moses wouldn’t have the option of retiring from office and fading into the background as one of the millions of Israelites who crossed the Jordan into Canaan. God was going to ban him from ever setting foot in the land and, instead, would ensure that the wilderness would be his final destination. In Deuteronomy 32:48-52, God once again reminds Moses of the painful consequences of his earlier indiscretion. Moses had treated God with disrespect and was now going to pay the ultimate penalty for his sin.

8m
Jul 31, 2020
Ep 1016 – Deuteronomy 32:39-47

God doesn’t make idol threats. Whatever He says, He does. When He makes a promise, He keeps it. When He issues a threat, He follows through with it. And in Deuteronomy 32:39-47, God lets His people know that they can believe all that He has said to them. They were to take His words seriously and memorize them carefully, teaching them to their children and grandchildren. As Moses continues to prepare the people of God for their entrance into the land of Canaan, he reminds them that the words of the song God had given them are to be remembered and sung for generations. It is to stand in judgment of them, a constant reminder of God’s call to faithfulness and their failure to heed that call. More than just a song, it is to be an everlasting memorial set to music. A reminder of who God is and all that He has called them to do.     

7m
Jul 30, 2020
Ep 1015 – Deuteronomy 32:28-38

God will not tolerate disobedience from His chosen people. He has warned them repeatedly that their failure to remain faithful to Him will have dire consequences, including their ultimate fall to foreign powers who will destroy and enslave them. But in Deuteronomy 32:28-38, God has a few choice words of warning for those very same nations. He knows human nature and is well aware that these powerful nations will see their successes over Israel and Judah as their own doing. Puffed up with pride, they will claim the God-ordained judgment of Israel and Judah as something accomplished in their own strength and power. And so, God warns them that the day will come when the tables will be turned, and they find themselves on the receiving end of God’s wrath and judgment. And God assures His people that, when that day comes, He will once again shower them with His undeserved grace and mercy.

8m
Jul 29, 2020
Ep 1014 – Deuteronomy 32:19-27

Nobody likes to talk about the wrath of God. But, interestingly enough, God has no problem discussing His anger and wrath. And as we’ll see in Deuteronomy 32:19-27, He doesn’t hesitate to discuss His anger or the consequences it will bring about. But God’s anger is anything but capricious. He is not one to fly off the handle or allow Himself to be easily provoked by the slightest indiscretion. No, He is holy and just. And He has clearly communicated to His chosen people what He expects from them. Moses has spent an inordinate amount of time describing the expectations God placed upon His people. And now, through the words of a song that God has given him, Moses is letting them know exactly what will happen when they fail to live up to His holy standards. And God isn’t apologetic or hesitant when He lays out the consequences for their rebellion. They will get exactly what they deserve from the hands of a just and righteous God.               

11m
Jul 28, 2020
Ep 1013 – Deuteronomy 32:10-18

This song that God has given to Moses is an unpleasant one. It will not be a joy to sing or hear. But it comes from the lips of God Himself, so its words are true, and its meaning is clear. The chosen people of God were going to experience the horror of captivity once again. They would enter the land God had promised as their inheritance, but their time there would prove to be short-lived. Despite God’s abundant blessings and His patient tolerance of their repeated acts of unfaithfulness, they would continue to live in stubborn rebellion to His will. And in these verses, we hear another stanza of the song Moses was to teach to the people of Israel. Deuteronomy 32:10-18 is intended to remind them of God’s gracious deliverance of them from their captivity in Egypt. But it also paints the very painful picture of their ungrateful response to all He had done for them.              

9m
Jul 27, 2020
Ep 1012 – Deuteronomy 31:30-32:9

It was Neil Diamond who recorded the 1972 hit, “Song Sung Blue.” It was a memorable tune that opened with the lines, “Song sung blue, everybody knows one, Song sung blue, every garden grows one.” But while this song hit number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the song we’re going to look at today never enjoyed the same degree of popularity. It was a “song sung blue,” but it didn’t have a happy ending. And I doubt anyone found this tune particularly catchy or easy to dance to. Found in Deuteronomy 31:30-32:9, this song was written by God Himself and given to Moses to teach to the people of Israel before they entered the land of promise. And it’s not a song of celebration. When sung, this song would not bring to mind happy memories or good feelings. It would remind them of their rebellion against God that was not just a potential possibility, but a foregone conclusion. They would sing this song, and every time they did they would recount their own unfaithfulness.

9m
Jul 26, 2020
Ep 1011 – Deuteronomy 31:23-29

What should have been an exciting new day for Joshua was quickly turning into a day worth forgetting. He was about to take over for Moses and was going to have the distinct privilege of leading the nation of Israel in their conquest of the land of Canaan. But before he could take over the reins of leadership, Moses had a few last-minute words of warning for the people of Israel. He wasn’t going to lead them into the land of promise, but that wasn’t going to stop him from sharing some rather harsh news. And poor Joshua had to stand in the background, listening as Moses delivered a stinging indictment against the people he was about to lead. In Deuteronomy 31:23-29, we get a glimpse of Joshua’s less-than-ideal day of commissioning. It wasn’t pretty and it probably wasn’t very enjoyable for Israel’s new leader. But the truth isn’t always pleasant to hear.          

8m
Jul 25, 2020
Ep 1010 – Deuteronomy 31:14-22

A new leader. A new land. A new opportunity to enjoy the blessings of God. This was to have been a great day in the history of the nation of Israel. But when Moses and his successor met with God in the tent of meeting, the joy of the moment was overshadowed by some unexpected news from the Almighty. Deuteronomy 31:14-22 contains one of the most depressing sections in the entire Old and New Testaments. God drops a bombshell pronouncement on Moses and his newly appointed replacement. And God puts His message in the form of a song that He expects Moses and Joshua to teach to the people of Israel. But this is not a happy song with an up-tempo beat. It’s a dirge, a literal funeral song that tells of the future destruction of Israel for their inevitable unfaithfulness. Before they ever entered the land, God announced that they would one day leave it as slaves – and all because of disobedience.     

9m
Jul 24, 2020
Ep 1009 – Deuteronomy 31:9-13

A large portion of the Book of Deuteronomy is dedicated to Moses’ recitation of the law to the people of Israel. It was vital to Moses that they understood the seriousness of the law and God’s expectation that they live in obedience to it. He was determined that they have the right kind of leadership in place to ensure their compliance with all of God’s commands. And in Deuteronomy 31:9-13, as Moses prepares to turn over the reins of leadership to Joshua, he calls on the priests and elders to assist Israel’s new leader in the faithful execution of his God-given responsibilities. The entire nation was expected to do all that God had called them to do, and Moses was letting the priests and elders know that they had a vital part to play. He supplied them with a copy of the law and commanded that one day every seventh year it be read to the entire nation.

9m
Jul 22, 2020
Ep 1008 – Deuteronomy 31:1-8

Moses was a natural-born leader, but what made him so effective was his calling and anointing by God. He had spent nearly half a century leading some of the most difficult to lead people that had ever walked the planet. Now, just as they were getting ready to enter the land of promise, he was having to announce that he would not be going with them. This highly effective and seasoned leader had made what amounted to be a rookie mistake. He had lost his temper and allowed his anger to rob God of glory – a costly error in judgment that would keep him on the wrong side of the Jordan and outside the land of promise. But in Deuteronomy 31:1-8, rather than finding Moses throwing a pity party, we see him introducing the people to their newly appointed leader: Joshua. But the main point he wanted Joshua and the people to understand was that, when all was said and done, it was God who had been leading them all along. And it would be God who brought them safely into Canaan.                 

10m
Jul 22, 2020
Ep 1007 – Deuteronomy 30:11-20

In Deuteronomy 30:11-20, Moses continues to deliver his closing remarks to the people of Israel. They are poised to enter the promised land, but he is making one last attempt to prepare them for what lies ahead. He will not be going with them and so, he is making an extra-special effort to make sure they understand the conditions surrounding their acceptance of God’s inheritance. For Moses, everything he had told them could be boiled down to a simple matter of choosing to do the right thing. They were going to have to make a decision whether they would obey or disobey God. And that decision would have to be a daily and ongoing one. Every day of their lives, they would have to consider what God had commanded and decide whether they wanted to live according to His will or their own. And Moses makes it clear that their daily choices would have long-term consequences, resulting in either life or death. The choice would be theirs. But the outcome would be up to God.                 

11m
Jul 21, 2020
Ep 1006 – Deuteronomy 30:1-10

Why is it that the people of God have a nagging tendency to make everything about themselves? We declare God to be the one we worship, then turn around and make ourselves the center of attention. Even when it comes to our salvation, we wrongly assume that It’s all up to us. It’s all contingent on what we do or don’t do. If we believe, we’re saved. If we don’t believe, we remain lost in our sins and condemned to an eternity apart from God. And while our belief plays a vital role in our salvation, it is shortsighted to view our acceptance by God as dependent upon something we do. In Deuteronomy 30:1-10, Moses seems to convey the idea that, should the Israelites prove unfaithful to God and suffer His divine judgment, they will be able to restore their relationship through self-effort. But God knew something Moses and the people didn’t know: Their future restoration would be His doing, not theirs. He would prove to faithful to the covenant, not them.            

10m
Jul 20, 2020
Ep 1005 – Deuteronomy 29:16-29

Everyone loves a secret. That is, if they’re in on it. But no one likes to be the last to know or to be kept in the dark. So, it is only natural that the Israelites were anxious to know how things were going to turn out when they finally crossed over the Jordan River and entered the land of Canaan. They had all kinds of questions and concerns. They were plagued by all kinds of fears and doubts. But Moses reminded them that they didn’t need to worry about the future because that was in God’s hands. What they needed to focus their attention on were the things they DID know. Like the commandments handed down by God. Moses had just spent a protracted period of time reciting all the commands, in order to make sure they were fresh on the minds of the people of Israel. They knew everything they needed to know to accomplish what God had given them to do. If they would simply obey His instructions, they could leave the future in His fully capable hands.      

10m
Jul 19, 2020
Ep 1004 – Deuteronomy 29:1-15

GOD IS FAITHFUL. ARE YOU?   With the close of chapter 28, Moses is officially done with his recitation of God’s law and his declaration of God’s blessings and curses. Now, it’s time for the people to recommit themselves to keeping God’s law. They had made a covenant with God some 40 years earlier. Actually, it had been their parents who had ratified the covenant that God had made with them. But they were long gone, having died off in the wilderness because of their refusal to trust God and enter the promised land. But despite their departure, God’s covenant was still valid because God had kept His part of the commitment. And He was expecting the next generation to their part. He had proven Himself to be faithful, but would they do the same? Here they were, some 40 years later, standing on the eastern bank of the Jordan, waiting to enter the land God had promised to give them. They knew God’s law and they were painfully aware of the curses and blessings that accompanied either disobedience or obedience. Now, what would they do?

9m
Jul 18, 2020
Ep 1003 – Deuteronomy 28:58-68

Deuteronomy 28 is a long chapter and it contains its fair share of depressing news. A great portion of its 68 verses have to do with the curses God warns He will bring upon the nation of Israel should they prove to be unwilling to keep His law and to faithfully worship and serve Him alone. And in verses 58-68 Moses wraps up his lengthy list of curses with the grand finale. If the people remain obstinate in their rebellion against God, He will see to it that they end up right back where they started: As slaves in the land of Egypt. Not only will they experience some of the same plagues that God had brought upon their former taskmasters, but they will find themselves living in the same abysmal conditions their ancestors had experienced. It will be the exodus in reverse. And their return to Egypt will be marked by the absence of rest, a lack of abundance, and a loss of the peace that accompanies God’s presence.                

9m
Jul 17, 2020
Ep 1002 – Deuteronomy 28:52-57

Deuteronomy 28:52-57 is one of the most difficult passages in all of Scripture. In it, Moses explains to the people what will happen if they choose to disobey God. He has already warned them that God will bring curses upon them, but these verses describe something that would have sent chills up their spines. The judgment of God was going to be so severe and the ramifications of it, so intense, that they would end up committing atrocities that were beyond their ability to comprehend. Moses tells them that, when the city of Jerusalem comes under siege by the Babylonians, the people will end up starving and then resorting to cannibalism in order to survive. The self-destructive nature of sin was going to run its full course, producing a kind of barbarism among the people of God that was unthinkable, yet unavoidable. Failure to remain faithful to God was going to prove deadly, in more ways than one.              

9m
Jul 16, 2020
Ep 1001 – Deuteronomy 28:36-51

hen Israel finally made it into the promised land, they would end up living life in 3D. And those 3 Ds would be disobedience, discipline, and destruction. While God had promised them an abundance of blessings if they would simply obey His commands, they were going to choose disobedience, which would eventually bring the loving discipline of God. That discipline was designed to bring repentance. But when the people of Israel failed to repent, the end result would be their ultimate destruction, brought upon them by God. In Deuteronomy 28:36-51, Moses continues to warn the Israelites about the very real consequences that will accompany their refusal to remain faithful to God. Things will go from bad to worse. Their rebellion against God will force Him to fulfill His promise of judgment. And it will not be a pretty picture when it happens. In fact, their disobedience will result in their ultimate destruction.             

10m
Jul 15, 2020
Ep 1000 – Deuteronomy 28:25-35

How would you like to have been in Moses’ sandals, forced to deliver a less-than-appealing message of doom and gloom to the people of Israel? He was having to deliver some significantly bad news to the nation, warning them of what was going to happen should they choose to disobey God’s commands. And it wasn’t a pretty picture. In Deuteronomy 28:25-35, Moses continues to describe just how bad things were going to get in Israel should they decide to ignore God’s law and live in rebellion to His clearly communicated code of conduct. Moses presents a prophetic description of the future, complete with the defeat of Israel before her enemies, a plethora of devastating plagues, financial loss, destroyed homes, and domestic ruin. Things are going to go from bad to worse. And all because the people of God will refuse to obey the word of God.         

8m
Jul 14, 2020
Ep 999 – Deuteronomy 28:15-24

Moses has given the people of Israel the good news. If they obey, they will be blessed. But now, in Deuteronomy 28:15-23, he delivers the bad news. If they choose to disobey God, they will a experience a long list of curses that will come in a wide variety of forms, but all extremely negative and uncomfortable. The list is designed to stand diametrically opposed to all the blessings God promised if the people will only obey His commands. They have a clear choice to make. And to make their decision easier, God provides a black-and-white contrast between the two options facing them. They can obey and experience the blessings of God. Or they can disobey and feel the full weight of God’s wrath in the form of very tangible curses. You didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure this one out. But the people of Israel weren’t the brightest bulbs in the box. In virtually no time at all, they would make their choice known and experience an unfortunate, but unsurprising reversal of fortunes.         

9m
Jul 13, 2020
Ep 998 – Deuteronomy 28:1-14

The warning about the curses came first. But Moses quickly follows it up with a list of blessings that will accompany obedience. If the Israelites will simply do what God has commanded, they will experience a life beyond their wildest imaginations. They will be blessed beyond belief. Even the pagan nations will become jealous when they see all that God does for His chosen people. But as Deuteronomy 28:1-14 makes painfully clear, they would have to obey God if they wanted to be blessed by God. Hearing was not enough. Familiarity with God’s laws was not going to cut it. He was expecting His people to hear and obey. Not only that, He was demanding that they love His laws as much as they say they love Him. As Jesus told His disciples, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:14 ESV). Obedience is an expression of love. And God loves to reward those who prove their love for Him by obeying Him.    

9m
Jul 12, 2020
Ep 997 – Deuteronomy 27:11-26

Moses has spent a great deal of time telling the people of Israel what God expected of them. He has given them a lengthy to-do list and now, he’s going to tell them what will happen if they choose not to follow God’s commands. In Deuteronomy 27:11-26, we have the first of the curses that God warns will come upon the people of Israel should they decide to disobey His laws. And, as we’ll see, the list is lengthy and highly specific. It seems that God is quite particular about the behavior of His people. He didn’t simply command them to “be holy.” He told them exactly what holiness was to look like in daily life. And to ensure that they took His commands seriously, He attached to them some extremely serious-sounding curses. Holiness was going to be non-optional. Oh, they could choose to live unholy lives, but they would soon discover that to do so would cost them dearly.      

10m
Jul 11, 2020
Ep 996 – Deuteronomy 27:1-10

Israel’s status as God’s chosen people was not something they were to take for granted. They enjoyed a privileged position unlike any other people group on the planet. And as they prepared to enter the land promised to them by God, Moses commanded them to construct a stone monument that would serve as a memorial to God’s holiness, as reflected in His law. Their relationship with God had been His doing. They had done nothing to deserve His goodness and grace. But now, as they prepared to enter the inheritance He had provided for them, they were going to be expected to live up to their status as His precious possession. In Deuteronomy 27:1-10, Moses calls them to live up to their identity as the people of God by willfully obeying the commands of God.     

10m
Jul 10, 2020
Ep 995 – Deuteronomy 26:12-19

Love for God. Love for others. Both of these things were to be considered non-negotiables for the people of God. And as Moses prepared the nation of Israel for their imminent entry into the land of Canaan, he wanted them to understand just how important it was that they care for the needy among them. To claim a love for God while ignoring those less fortunate in their community, whom God had made, was nothing less than hypocrisy. Deuteronomy 26:12-19 contains a powerful reminder regarding God’s law concerning the offering for the Levites, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. These individuals had been designated by God to be the recipients of a special offering that was to be collected every third year and distributed on an as-need basis. The neglect of these four groups would be viewed as a personal affront to God. They were near and dear to Him and He had provided for them by blessing the rest of the community with more than they needed.

7m
Jul 09, 2020