If From There

January 12, 2024 · by Heidi Stewart

New Year, Same Word

It’s January, folks, and with January comes the annual reading of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. If I’m being completely transparent, most years I’ve skimmed through a lot of these books. “Don’t cook a goat in its mother's milk”—what does that even mean? Who was doing that in the first place? I’m sure there are Bible scholars that revel in these law books and to them, I’m sorry, but I’ve always struggled to connect the dots with these stories that seemed so far away. Sure, the Red Sea always sticks out, and the bit about the twelve spies is familiar, but for the most part I always feel like I’m slogging through it. This year, I decided to purchase a Modern English Version of the Bible and read it for the sole purpose of just enjoying the Word. Not shaking it upside down to try and find something that applies to me, just soaking it in for what it is. What do you know, the Bible is quite enjoyable that way. Sure, there are some chapters of genealogies that still have me bleary-eyed, but with a new-to-me translation I’ve been noticing things I’ve never seen before.

Moses as a Mediator

For much of the Old Testament it seems like, Moses is running interference between a complaining nation and the Almighty God. Most of us are familiar with the many times God said, “Forget it, I’ll start over”, and Moses laid himself in between his people and God’s wrath. In Deuteronomy, God is giving instructions for how the children of Israel should conduct themselves when they pass over into the promised land - how to give offerings and when, marriage covenants, reconciliation between neighbors, etc. He gives a warning in Chapter Four that if they corrupt themselves with false gods and do evil in the sight of the Lord, he will destroy them.

27 The Lord shall scatter you among the peoples, and you shall be left few in number among the nations where the Lord shall lead you. 28 There you will serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell.      -Deuteronomy 4:27-28 MEV

He goes on to say something that gives us a great insight into just how merciful our God is.

29 But if from there you will seek the Lord your God, you will find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things come upon you, even in the latter days, if you turn to the Lord your God and shall be obedient to His voice 31 (for the Lord your God is a merciful God), He will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them. -Deuteronomy 4:29-31 MEV (emphasis mine)

If from there. Israel, if from your scattered place where you’re serving other gods who can’t answer you because they are merely wood and stone, if from there you seek Me, you’ll find Me. What a promise! We have been grafted into God’s holy people with promise of a great inheritance, and we get this same treatment! If we seek Him, we’ll find Him if we search for him with all our heart and soul. The Lord our God is a merciful God!

If you should find yourself feeling far from God, not quite sure how you wound up here in the first place, trust that He can be found! Turn to Him again and be obedient to His voice, He will not abandon or destroy you.

Heidi Stewart

About Heidi Stewart

Heidi Stewart is from Del City, Oklahoma, where she and her husband serve in music ministry and as youth workers alongside some of the best people in the world. She has a passion to educate, inspire, and help others reach their full potential through mentoring and discipleship. Her heart’s desire is to live a purposeful life, giving glory to Jesus in all of it, by serving the Kingdom with excellence. Follow Heidi on Instagram at @heidistewarttt