The Daily Walk
Study Through the Bible in 2024
The Daily Walk includes devotion and Bible readings for each day of the year and informative charts and insights that will help you understand more as you read from Genesis to Revelation in 2024.
The Bronze Snake and Brash Seer
Key Passage: Numbers 22–24
There is warfare on the march to the promised land as the Israelites defeat the opposing Canaanites, Amorites, and Bashanites—victories that are soured by Israel’s persistent complaining. Once again, God’s hand of discipline falls, this time in the form of venomous snakes. The reputation of Israel’s God precedes the nation on its relentless march, causing Balak, the king of Moab, to hire Balaam to curse Israel. The plot backfires when Balaam blesses Israel and predicts her future prosperity. But the people of God bring misfortune upon themselves through idolatry and mixed marriages.
Your Daily Walk
Look up the words sovereignty and reign in the dictionary and read what it says about each. Chances are, the definitions will sound somewhat similar.
Balak, king of Moab, knew his days were numbered. In a desperate attempt to preserve his life and the life of his nation, he hired Balaam to bring down a curse upon Israel. Yet, God so controlled the circumstances that Balaam uttered blessings instead of cursing. Rather than bring harm to Israel, Balaam became an agent of God’s blessing upon His people. And all of this happened while the nation remained completely unaware of the threat to its safety! That is sovereignty: God reigning in the affairs of His people.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to see God’s sovereignty in the present, but you can clearly observe it in the past. Looking back over the first few weeks of this year, how often can you see God’s sovereignty at work, protecting, guarding, and keeping you from physical harm? Write out two examples and place them where you will find them at the end of February. Then, you can rejoice again as you remember God’s sovereignty.
Insight - Immortalizing Balaam’s Words
When Samuel Morse was looking for a suitable phrase to test his new invention, the telegraph, his thoughts turned to the statement of God’s sovereignty in Numbers 23:23—“What hath God wrought!” (KJV).
Recounting and Reviewing
Key Passage: Numbers 26:52–56; 27:18–23
Nearly 40 years have passed; the unbelieving generation has passed away, a new generation has grown to take its place. Once again, it is time to number the people and assess Israel’s military might. In spite of divine judgments that take the lives of more than 38,000 people (16:49; 25:9), the nation’s fighting force still totals more than 600,000. Moses, who has led the people, will never live to see the conquest of Canaan. His successor, Joshua, will lead the people to victory.
Your Daily Walk
If you were suddenly incapacitated, who would be qualified to pick up the responsibilities and duties of your job? Your family? Your church? As Moses approached his final days as Israel’s leader, he asked God not to leave “the Lord’s people...like sheep without a shepherd” (27:17). Moses was commanded to take Joshua, lay his hands on him, deliver a charge to him before all the Israelites, and “give him some of your authority” (27:20).
The commissioning service, conducted before Eleazar, showed the people whom they must now obey. In this way the transition of leadership would be smooth so that when Moses, the man of God, died, the work of God would not falter.
That’s good advice for any generation. Are you making others more and more dependent upon you at home and church, or are you busy discipling them to one day take your place and carry on the work that you’ve begun? Complete this sentence: “Knowing that no individual is indispensable in the program of God, today I will help prepare (whom?) __________ to continue the work I am currently doing (where?) __________ by (how?)__________.”
Insight - Picking Your Lot by Lots (26:52–56)
There were two aspects to the partitioning of the land of Canaan. The size of each tribe’s parcel was determined by the second census, each tribe receiving territory in proportion to the size of its population. The location of each tribe’s parcel was determined by lot so that no tribe could grumble about the quality of its land.
The sacrifices God required of Israel had to be offered both daily and on special occasions. These rituals taught the people the necessity of shed blood as the grounds for acceptance by God. The sacred calendar was so important that God provided the new generation with a summary of His sacrificial requirements in Numbers 28–29.
*This text indicates that all of these sacrifices were offered along with the daily offerings, called in Numbers 28:3 the “regular burnt offering.”
The Last Days of a Great Leader
Key Passage: Numbers 31:1–24; 33:50–56
The final days of Moses’ administration are just as productive as the first. As Israel’s commander-in-chief, he leads a highly successful campaign against Midian; as administrator he wisely handles the request of the tribes of Reuben and Gad that they be allowed to settle east of the Jordan River. He grants permission, provided the two tribes assist the other ten in conquering the promised land first. The remainder of the book of Numbers is a review of the Israelites’ travels from Egypt to Moab.
Your Daily Walk
You’re doing some work in the yard, pulling weeds, when your hand slips and you come up with a finger full of splinters. You think you’ve pulled them all out, only to discover later that you (ouch) missed a few! At that point it doesn’t help much that you removed most of the splinters. It is the few remaining ones that really matter.
God clearly directed Israel to rid the land completely of its pagan inhabitants when the time came for conquest. He warned that any Canaanites left behind would become like painful splinters to the Israelites (33:55–56). Disobeying God, Israel failed to drive them all out, and she was eventually corrupted by immorality and idolatry. The nation was victimized by forces it should have controlled.
Are there any “splinters” in your spiritual life today? Secret sins, nagging habits, little things you know displease God? Carry a pair of tweezers with you today as a reminder that what you fail to remove now will only fester and grow more painful in the future.
Insight - Do Easy Paths Lead to Easy Living?
Moses handled the requests of the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh in a prudent manner. However, their choice to remain outside the promised land in the rich grazing lands of Transjordan was comparable to Lot’s selfish decision. And their choice manifested similar result—of unbelief and conformity to the worldly standards of those about them. God allowed foreign kings to take these three tribes into exile (see 1 Chronicles 5:25–26).
Laws of the Land of Promise
Key Passage: Numbers 34:1–15
Perhaps no greater promises can be found in the pages of Scripture than those contained in Numbers 34–36, little-read chapters introduced with the phrase, “When you enter Canaan...” (34:2). It is a detailed description of inheritances in the land of Canaan—thousands of square miles—when as yet the nation of Israel does not possess as much as a spadeful. Representatives from each of the 12 tribes cast lots for land they as yet do not own; the Levites are given 48 cities, not one of which has as yet been conquered. Fortified by faith, the people prepare to fight battles that have already been won.
Your Daily Walk
With eyes on the television screen, a group of hometown hockey fans howl their approval as the match progresses. When the home team falls behind 1–0 in the first period, the fans are delighted; when the score goes to 2–0 in the second period, the excitement grows; when in the third period the home team still trails 2–1, they go crazy with joy. Why? Because before the broadcast began, the fans turned to another channel and learned the final score—3–2, in favor of the home team! Victory was assured even before the program began.
In the same way, the Israelites could face the walled cities and giant warriors of Canaan confident that the victory had already been won in God’s strength.
Tape the words of Luke 1:37 to the corner of your television or computer screen to remind you that when the battle is the Lord’s, the outcome is already certain.
Insight - Cities of Refuge, Savior of Refuge (35:32)
For the murderer of the innocent, there was no refuge from death. But for the accidental manslayer, six cities would later be designated as places of protection (Joshua 20). Notice the parallels between these cities of refuge in the Old Testament and the Savior of refuge in the New Testament—both were of divine origin, necessary to save from death, accessible to all, and all-sufficient for salvation.
Composed mainly of three great orations by Moses, the book of Deuteronomy (which means “second law”) is a review of the Law first given at the time of the exodus. Here, Moses recounts God’s past dealings with His people and prepares the nation for its arrival in the promised land. Deuteronomy stresses the necessity of obedience to God in every action. Whether possessing the land, defeating the enemy, or simply enjoying life in a new homeland, God’s people must exhibit complete obedience to His commands.
Motives for Obedience
Key Passage: Deuteronomy 1, 4
In his first of three sermons to the nation, Moses begins with a review of the past. God had promised His people a new homeland, but Israel failed to possess it because of unbelief and disobedience. For 40 years, they had wandered and died. Now, with the passing of that unbelieving generation, God has led the nation in smashing victories over Sihon and Og, bringing them to the threshold of the promised land once again. But before they are ready to enter, they must learn a crucial lesson from the past—the lesson that obedience brings victory and blessing, while disobedience results only in defeat and judgment.
Your Daily Walk
When you listen to a preacher, you will often hear him make three painfully pointed statements: (1) “God says to do this: __________.” (2) “You are doing this: __________.” (3) “Therefore, you need to change __________ now.” That’s why preaching can make you uncomfortable. From God’s Word, it shows where you are wrong and tries to persuade you to change your attitudes or actions to conform with God’s commands.
Moses’ first sermon to Israel is a masterpiece of godly persuasion as he points out the past, present, and future dealings of God. Israel should obey God because of her past experience of God’s deliverance, provision, and judgment; Israel should obey God because of her present experience of God’s sufficiency in supplying her needs and in fighting her battles; and Israel should obey God because of her future promises of blessing or cursing, all hinging on her proper response to God’s pointed commands.
If you were preaching Deuteronomy 1–4 instead of Moses, which of God’s past, present, or future dealings in your life could you point to as proof positive that God ought to be obeyed?
Insight - Standing on the Promises of Old
Moses’ confidence in God is primarily rooted in God’s promises to Israel’s forefathers. The phrase “the Lord swore” (1:8) or its equivalent is repeated at least five times in Moses’ three sermons!
THE INFLUENCE OF
Both Old and New Testament writers show great familiarity with the lessons contained in Deuteronomy. The New Testament writers alone quote it directly in 17 of the 27 New Testament books and allude to it more than 80 times. Jesus turned back each of Satan’s three temptations in the wilderness with words from Deuteronomy (see Matthew 4:1–11). When He summarized the entire Old Testament Law (Matthew 22:37), He quoted Deuteronomy again. Below is a chart showing how extensively the writers of Scripture have drawn upon the contents of Deuteronomy.
Measures of Obedience
Key Passage: Deuteronomy 7
Moses’ second sermon begins in chapter 5 and goes through chapter 26. He opens with a repetition of the Ten Commandments (hence the name Deuteronomy—“second law”) and encourages the people to obey the Lord from a heart of love, to teach their children obedience, and to be careful not to forget the Lord in times of prosperity. Victory over the pagan occupants of Canaan is assured as long as the people obey God’s commands. They will prevail, not because of their strength, but because of their all-conquering God.
Your Daily Walk
Reading today’s section, you may be reminded of the fairy tale about the goose that laid the golden egg.
A farmer, upon discovering a most remarkable golden-egg-laying goose, got impatient about having to wait for the daily quota of eggs. He chopped off the goose’s head to find the source of the eggs...and, in a fit of impatience, destroyed the very source of his prosperity.
“I want it all—and I want it now!” is the cry of the day, even among many Christians. But God is not limited by our impatient timetables. He gave the Israelites a principle for conquest that still applies today: “little by little” (7:22). God’s methods often take time. He could have given the land to Israel in a day, but instead, He instructed them to move step by step, trusting Him each “cubit” of the way.
Where are you hoping for instant results in your Christian life: victory over a habit, knowledge of God’s Word, spiritual maturity? God’s way is not rush, rush, rush but “little by little.” Look for a small but significant step of growth you can take today: a verse to memorize, a command to obey, a promise to treasure.
Insight - Rich Milk and Sticky Fingers!
The description of the promised land as “a land flowing with milk and honey” depicts a land of wealth and prosperity. Milk was part of the Hebrews’ staple diet, and a rich supply indicated vast pasturelands. Honey was a delicacy.
Mentality of Obedience
Key Passage: Deuteronomy 8–9
Moses continues his review of Israel’s history as an illustration to the people of God’s faithfulness throughout their 40-year wilderness trek. God’s provision in the past provides confidence for the future. He will continue to do great things for His people if they continue to walk in obedience to Him. But if they are disobedient, ignore His commands, and worship other gods, God will judge their rebellion. The facts are clear: If Israel loves and obeys God, she will experience blessing. If she disobeys, God’s judgment will be sure.
Your Daily Walk
Walk through the rooms of your house and note all the items you own that you did not purchase yourself, but received as gifts. As you look at each item, try to remember who gave it to you and when. If you are like most people, it will be difficult.
Moses’ review of Israel’s history was a verbal recollection of all the good things Israel possessed as a result of God’s blessing. The manna in the wilderness and God’s other provisions merely foreshadowed what lay ahead: a land flowing with milk and honey. But the promise of prosperity in Canaan pointed to a potential problem. The people of future generations might forget who gave them these good gifts and take personal credit for their own prosperity. Moses drove home the message that the Israelites were never to forget it was God who supplied their needs and gave them their abundance.
Have you forgotten who gave you the gifts you possess? Write a thank-you note to God, expressing your gratitude for something He has given you in recent days. He loves to hear you say, “Thanks.”
Insight - “Do Not Forget”
Moses reminds the people not to make God’s goodness a basis for personal pride. Complete these critical thoughts:
Remember how the Lord __________ (8:2).
Remember that God gives you __________ (8:18).
Don’t forget how you __________ (9:7).
Key Passage: Deuteronomy 12:1–16; 14:22–15:11
Following his review of the past and preview of the future, Moses turns to the more specific and detailed statutes that will be in effect as Israel takes up residence in the land. Desiring that His people be separate from the nations around them, God commands that Israel’s religious life be free from all associations with idolatry. God’s chosen people must be characterized by only the highest standards of purity, hygiene, and treatment of the poor—actions that will demonstrate Israel’s unique relationship with God. In addition, Israel’s festivals must be times of consecration as well as celebration.
Your Daily Walk
When you hear of some need, are you a grudging or a generous giver?
Yesterday, you learned that everything you own is a gift from God. Today, there is a companion lesson: God expects those whom He has blessed to reflect the same generosity to others that He has shown to them. God specified to Israel that they were to be openhanded with their possessions if they saw a brother in need. Since God was the source of their supply, it was almost as if He were doing the giving Himself. Therefore, His people could give generously, knowing their needs would also be met by the Giver of every good gift.
When seen in the light of Christ’s command, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8), your giving can take on new depth and meaning. You can be a source of blessing to someone else and, at the same time, receive a blessing yourself. Tap into God’s vast storehouse and help someone you know who needs financial assistance this week. Remember, “freely received, freely give.”
Insight - A Painful (and Prohibited) Funeral Ritual (14:1)
The practices of self-inflicted wounds and baldness were signs of mourning for the dead that the Canaanites used as part of their pagan worship. God strictly forbade such activities for His consecrated people. Does He expect any less from you? (See 1 Peter 2:9.)
Key Passage: Deuteronomy 17
In addition to the religious laws regulating national worship, Moses sets forth civil laws to govern the selection and application of civil authority in the land. How do you choose a king? How do you prove the trustworthiness of a prophet? How do you protect innocent manslayers? How do you treat captured people humanely and impartially? You’ll find the answers in today’s section, along with regulations for prophets and priests, kings and kingdoms.
Your Daily Walk
If it is indeed true that “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34), how would you grade your nation in its efforts to promote righteous- ness in the following areas (A = Excellent, C = Average, etc.)?
_____ Dealing with idolatry (objects of worship, 17:2–5)
_____ Promoting justice (impartiality and fairness, 17:8–11)
_____ Prohibiting occult practices (witchcraft, etc., 18:9–14)
_____ Practicing truthfulness (in government, in court, 19:15–19)
As a concerned Christian, you cannot do everything to promote national righteousness, but you can do something. Prayer, fasting, phone calls, letters, emails, a fresh commitment to Christian distinctives—all are powerful deterrents to evil in your nation, but only if you use them. Will you pick one and put it to work today?
Insight - Three “Don’ts,” One “Do” for Future Kings
In 17:14–20 you’ll find four specific commands directed to future monarchs who would reign over God’s people. Consider each command, and compare the performance of Solomon (one such future monarch) as recorded in the Book of 1 Kings.
God's Command (Deut)
“Don’t acquire __________” (17:16)
Solomon’s Response (1 Kings 4:26)
“Don’t acquire __________” (17:17)
Solomon’s Response (1 Kings 11:3)
“Don’t acquire __________” (17:17)
Solomon’s Response (1 Kings 10:14)
“Don’t acquire __________” (17:18)
Solomon’s Response (1 Kings 11:11)
Key Passage: Deuteronomy 23:1–8
How do you promote peace and stability in the land and at the same time deal with unsolved murders, foreign settlers, divorce, family inheritance, stray livestock, sanitation problems, territorial disputes, and a host of other matters? Moses seeks to answer many of these “What if?” situations before they arise in order to insure the orderly management of God’s holy people in the Holy Land.
Your Daily Walk
Have you ever seen a restaurant sign that says, “No bare feet allowed”? What was the reason? Why would restaurants pick on people with bare feet?
Under the Mosaic Law, some people were excluded from the assembly: those with certain defects, those born illegitimately, those of Ammonite or Moabite descent (23:1–3). Why this seemingly arbitrary exclusion of parties from Israel’s religious community? Just like the bare feet in the restaurant, each was a potential source of defilement for all the others in the community.
Mutilation of the body, brazen immorality, and pagan intermarriage were common practices in the Canaanite community. If these defilements were to be kept out of the Israelite camp, certain exclusions had to be enforced.
The church today is often both inclusive and exclusive. Carefully and thoughtfully, read Ephesians 2:1–7. Then write down your answer to this question: “Because of my inclusion in the body of Christ, what is one source of defilement I need to exclude from my life of service to the Lord?” Ask God to give you the strength you need to completely eliminate that sin from your life.
Insight - Buried Like a Common Criminal
The burial of a criminal who is hanged (21:22–23) foreshadows the ignominious death suffered by our Lord. Verse 23 is quoted in the New Testament in reference to Christ’s taking the curse of our sins upon Himself: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree” (Galatians 3:13). Also see John 19:31.
Commitment to the Covenant
Key Passage: Deuteronomy 27–28
Moses has come to a solemn, climactic moment in his address to the nation—the time for a recommitment of the people to God’s covenant. He reminds the new wilderness generation that the potential for God’s richest blessing awaits them in the land, as well as the potential for His severest judgment. Moses dramatically delivers the challenge: “I have set before you life and death....Choose life” (30:19).
Your Daily Walk
“I wish I were dead!” Perhaps at an unguarded moment of despair or shame, you vented your frustration with such words. But you didn’t really mean them literally. Most people want to live. In fact, they will do just about anything to preserve their life. But that strong survival instinct doesn’t always carry over into the spiritual realm. Moses made the choice transparently clear for Israel with these two simple (and unalterable) formulas:
1). OBEDIENCE = LIFE
2). DISOBEDIENCE = DEATH
And yet, in the months ahead you will read the tragic national consequences of Israel’s bad decisions.
You are facing similar decisions today with equally far-reaching consequences. You, like Israel, can choose death by rebelling against God’s will. Or by obeying, you can choose life—and daily fellowship with the God of life. Which will it be?
Take a note card and write the two formulas on it. Tape the card to your refrigerator, bathroom mirror, or computer screen. Let it remind you often of God’s timeless principle of life and death. The choice is yours.
Insight - The Day the Slave Markets Were Glutted
The horrible curse of 28:68 literally came true! After the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, the slave markets of Egypt became so glutted with captive Israelites that there were not enough buyers for them all. God always keeps His promises—both those that carry blessing and those that carry punishment.
Culmination of Moses’ Ministry
Key Passage: Deuteronomy 32, 34
With the covenant established again and the nation poised at the Jordan River, Moses completes his duties as the leader of God’s people. He commissions Joshua as his successor with a sober warning of Israel’s future rebellion. In order for the people to remember his message of life, Moses records his final words as a song and teaches the melody and message to the nation. After pronouncing blessings on each of the 12 tribes, Moses climbs Mount Nebo and the Lord gives him a glimpse of the promised land. There he dies, physically strong in spite of his 120 years. And though his final resting place remains a mystery to this day, he had the finest of Undertakers to arrange his funeral.
Your Daily Walk
You’ve heard of fair-weather friends — the kind who flock to you when everything is going right, and disappear when things start going wrong. But have you ever heard of “foul-weather friends,” the kind who cling to you when things are going badly, and ignore you when everything is running smoothly?
“Foul-weather friends” is a perfect description of the children of Israel. During their times of need in the wilderness, Israel followed after God despite occasional grumblings and rebellions. But God warned the nation that coming prosperity would bring indifference toward Him. When the promised land was conquered and occupied, the nation would abandon God for the idols of the land they were entering (31:16; 32:15, 18).
When you’re face to face with a crisis, it’s natural to cry out to God for help. But what about when things are running smoothly? When the wind is at your back, your health is excellent, there’s money in the bank, and the bills are all paid—what then? Try singing a few verses from the “Song of Moses” (chapter 32), expressing your devotion to God in the good times as well as the bad.
Insight - A Fitting Epitaph for Moses’ Tombstone
“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (33:27).
FOUR THINGS GOD WANTS YOU TO KNOW
God loves you and has a purpose for your life. And the only way you can discover it is to accept His gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. All you need to know about your need for salvation is spelled out in the Bible.
- Your Need As God Sees It
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
- Your Own Helplessness
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" (John 14:6)
- God’s Provision for Your Need
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16)
- God’s Promise
“[Jesus said], ‘I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand’ ” (John 10:28).
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
Knowing these things, put your trust in Jesus Christ. “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10).
Talk to God about your eternal salvation. This prayer could guide you: “Lord, I confess that I am a sinner and cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus was both God and man, and that He paid for all my sins when He died on the cross. I believe that He rose from the dead, ascended to heaven, and will one day come again. I now commit my life to Jesus Christ, trusting Him alone as my Savior. Amen.”
If you want to speak to someone about a relationship with Jesus, call 1-863-859-6000.