Not by Our Own Righteousness

Daily Bible Reading – Deuteronomy 7-9; Mark 15

Today’s Key Passage – Deuteronomy 9:1-6

In today’s key passage, Moses continues his address to the Israelites before entering the Promised Land.  Moses reminds the people that when they cross the Jordan, they will face off against the Anakites – a group of very tall warriors roughly seven to nine feet tall.  Though the Anakites were stronger than the Israelites, the Israelites will still win the battle and take possession of the land because they have God on their side.  Moses then provides a warning.  He warns the people not to feel pride about winning the battle and taking the land.  Moses states, “It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the LORD your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” (9:5)

We can often be tempted to feel pride in our own accomplishments.  When we get a raise at work or make a sale, there is a temptation to believe that we accomplished the feat based on our own works.  God reminds us in His Word that these feelings of pride are wrong.  We are not successful on our own – we are successful because of God.  God provides every good thing that we have.  When we get the raise, it is because of God.  When we make the sale, it is because of God.  When we understand His role in everything that we do, we can stay away from the dangers of pride.

There is another danger that I think of, though, when I read today’s passage – the danger of self-righteousness.  For those of us who have been saved, self-righteousness can be a real problem if we are not careful.  Have you ever looked at another person – perhaps someone who is sinning or someone who is far away from God – and felt that you were in some way better than that person?  Have you ever thought to yourself, “At least I am not like that” or something similar?  I will be the first to admit that in the past, I have had thoughts like these.  Even if we do not have those thoughts directly, sometimes our words or our actions to others can make it seem like we are self-righteous.  Thinking or acting in a self-righteous way is not what God has in mind for us.  That is not how we show God’s love to others.  There is a very fine line between recognizing the fact that we are better than we used to be and believing the fallacy that we are better than others.  Moses reminds his people (and us) that being chosen as the children of God has nothing to do with us.  There is nothing there for us to feel proud about, because we are not chosen by God based on our works.  Paul reminds us in Romans 3:10 that, “there is no one righteous, not even one”.  We are chosen by His grace, and in the end, we will be saved by His grace.  When Christ returns in glory, we will all make our way into the Promised Land.  As we wait for that day, we must keep in mind that we will take possession of that land not because of our own righteousness, but because of God’s grace.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.


Posted on March 8, 2014, in 05 - Deuteronomy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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