I remember hearing a visiting preacher speak one time and he kept saying, "I'm only here for the one night so I have to give you everything I've got in this one message." Seriously, I thought we were going to be there all week!
Reference: v.15a "Cursed is the man…" (NIV Bible)
Explore: Have you ever sat through a sermon that seemed to go forever? It's okay, you can be honest. As a preacher, I'm sure there are many people who have sat before me and wondered when it was going to end! I remember hearing a visiting preacher speak one time and he kept saying, "I'm only here for the one night so I have to give you everything I've got in this one message." Seriously, I thought we were going to be there all week! As preachers/teachers/speakers we have to be careful not to bombard people with too much information. Sometimes we can get so passionate about a subject that we end up speaking 50 volumes in to people's lives, when all they really needed was the synopsis. The problem with a lot of 50-volume speeches is that instead of the listeners taking in all the information and becoming as passionate as the speaker, often they leave with only one thought: that was really long!
Application: I'm often intrigued at the list of commandments – or curses in Deuteronomy 27's case – that are listed in particular parts of the Bible. Due to the limited amounts of pens and paper during Moses' time, there was a heavy emphasis on people memorizing important parts of scripture. When it comes to memorizing things you've really got to be clear and to the point. There was little chance that I was going to remember everything the visiting preacher said to me and there was little chance that the Israelites were going to remember everything that Moses had said to them. And so when he got the Levites to recite the curses to the Israelites he would have had to be selective in the ones that he chose. It's not that all the commands weren't important but clearly Moses thought these were worthy to be repeated as they entered in to a new land.
We are fortunate enough to have access to a written copy of the scriptures, in fact most Christians would have multiple copies of the Bible. But it is also important for us to memorize some important parts of scripture too. I know that we can easily look up a particular passage but there's something that helps recall in our every day life when we have put a scripture in to our memory banks. We're not expected to memorize the whole Bible but maybe we could start with just a few scriptures that speak deeply in to our lives.
Prayer: Lord, the Scriptures help so much to give us Your wisdom and guide our lives. May we put them to memory so we can put them in to our daily lives. Amen.
What is the first verse you ever learnt off by heart?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.