DEUTERONOMY – a call to distinction

Image source: OtterCreekChurch

My mother motivated me to academic distinction from an early age. I can’t remember the first time she told me her story, but by the time I was in high school, I heard it so many times, it was at the front of my mind. She told me how her schooling was cut short by circumstances beyond her control, and she swore that her children will be different. Distinction means excellence that sets someone apart from others.

In the book of Exodus, God delivered Israel from Egypt, made them camp at Mount Sinai, and gave them laws and lifestyle regulations to make them distinct. God called them to distinction through the laws he gave them, and God blessed them in distinctive ways, to show they were a nation set apart. Recall that through Abraham (Genesis 12 and 13), Israel was set apart as the nation to birth Jesus the messiah.

That first generation out of Egypt rebeled against God’s call to distinction. They complained; they saw the laws as a burden and wanted to return to Egypt. Many of us also view the laws and regulations in Exodus and Leviticus as too numerous, as silly in some cases, and as too harsh in some other cases. Parents who call their children to distinction, the “tiger moms” and “tiger dads”, are often strict, sometimes too strict; some kids rebel, some others work with their parents and become distinguished.

Deuteronomy Chapters 4-10 reminds the new generation of God’s covenant and laws. Moses explains to them that the laws make them distinct, set apart from all other nations. These laws are not more numerous than what we have in our countries today. To set itself apart, American law permit use of only the flat pin electrical plug, England the rectangular pin electrical plug, and France the round pin plug.

Moses says in Deuteronomy 4:5-8 (English Standard Version) (shortened): “See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the Lord my God commanded me… that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that… has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?”

God of distinction, tiger dad, the loving kind, makes us distinct and distinguished too, the humble kind, in Jesus name, Amen!

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