Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread.
Today's reading, titled Powerful and Loving, was written by Wynn Collier. In 2020, the Ecuadorian volcano Cengue erupted. The BBC described the dark ash plume which reached a height of more than 12,000 meters. The discharge covered four provinces, about 198,000 acres in gray ash and grimy soot. The sky turned dingy and grim, and the air was thick, making it difficult to breathe. Farmer Feliciano Inga described the unnerving scene to El Comercio newspaper, We didn't know where all this dust was coming from. We saw the sky go dark and grew afraid. The Israelites, in Deuteronomy chapter 4, experienced a similar fear at the base of Mount Sinai, as they stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fire, with black clouds in deep darkness. God's voice thundered, and the people trembled.
It was terrifying. It's an awesome knee-buckling experience to encounter the living God. Then the Lord spoke, and they heard the sound of words but saw no form. The voice that rattled their bones provided life and hope. God gave Israel the Ten Commandments and renewed His covenant with them.
The voice from the dark cloud caused them to quake, but also wooed and loved them with tenacity. God is powerful, beyond our reach, even startling, and yet He's also full of love, always reaching out to us. A God both powerful and loving, this is who we desperately need. Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from Deuteronomy chapter 4, verses 5 through 8 and 11 through 14. See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering, to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to Him?
And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today? And now picking up at verse 11, You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, while it blazed with fire to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. Then the Lord spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form.
There was only a voice. He declared to you His covenant, the Ten Commandments, which He commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets. And the Lord directed me at that time to teach you the decrees and laws you are to follow in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. Let's pray. Loving God, may knowing you be our greatest mission in life. Thank you for speaking to us through scripture, prayer, and through your Spirit. Help us to hear. Teach us to hear your voice. And follow as you lead. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Thanks for listening. I'm Stephen, and today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-23 04:01:05 / 2023-07-23 04:02:48 / 2