“And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, in order that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers is giving you.”(4:1)
With this introduction, Moses begins one of his most inspiring messages to the Israelites. As he speaks, you can feel a father’s heart toward the people. Just think what he must be feeling. For the last forty plus years he has led this group on a mission from God.
He exhorts them to inquire from one end of the earth to the other and see if anything like this has ever been done before…”that a god has tried to go and take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?”(4:34)
The significance of their relationship with God is beyond anything ever seen or heard. But Moses knows how easy it is for people to forget unless they are reminded over and over. So he is gving them a final charge.
They must remember that “the Lord, He is God in Heaven above and in the earth below; there is no other.”(4:39)
He warns them of making idols with their hands. Today, idols are still made with hands, but they usually aren’t of wood or stone. They are bank accounts, stock portfolios, or even education – anything that you might trust more than God.
All of us have to guard our hearts so that we are locked into the One True God.
Blind Bartimaeus has faith and he boldly shows it. His crying out annoys the disciples, but not Jesus. Jesus hears the faith in his voice.
When Bartimaeus casts aside his cloak, he is showing faith. Blind people of that day wore cloaks to signify their handicap, so as he casts it aside, he is indicating that he won’t be needing it anymore.
“Go your way; your faith has made you well.”(v. 52) If we can just grasp this, our lives will change forever. Jesus is still in the healing and delivering business, and our faith can still make us well.
Read, meditate, believe. Read, meditate, believe. That’s the way our faith comes to us.
I want to be like Bartimaeus, and I know that you do also. I don’t want to settle for the status quo; I want to believe – and receive – God’s best.