Day 1 of 7

International Day of the Bible: 7 Passages about Public Readings of Scripture


Deuteronomy 31:9-13

Read These Laws

9Moses wrote down all of these laws and teachings and gave them to the priests and the leaders of Israel. The priests were from the Levi tribe, and they carried the sacred chest that belonged to the LORD.10-11 Moses told these priests and leaders:

Each year the Israelites must come together to celebrate the Festival of Shelters at the place where the LORD chooses to be worshiped. You must read these laws and teachings to the people at the festival every seventh year, the year when loans do not need to be repaid.12-13Everyone must come—men, women, children, and even the foreigners who live in your towns. And each new generation will listen and learn to worship the LORD their God with fear and trembling and to do exactly what is said in God's Law.

DAY 1: GENERATION NEXT

PRAY:

Lord, guide me into an exciting future, through your holy Word. And help me share your truth with others who need it.

READ:

Deuteronomy 31:9-13

Key Verse:

"...each new generation will listen and learn to worship the LORD their God with fear and trembling and to do exactly what is said in God’s Law."
Deuteronomy 31:12-13 (CEV)

It was the end of the line for old Moses. At the age of 120, he knew he wouldn’t be entering the Promised Land with the rest of the Israelites, but he wanted to prepare them well for the future. The final chapters of Deuteronomy record his long goodbye to the people he had faithfully led.

Along with many blessings and warnings, he offered these instructions: Every seven years, the whole nation should gather to hear a public reading of God’s law. Children were specifically included as well as men and women. Moses even extended an invitation to foreigners. Why was this so important? “Each new generation will listen and learn to worship the LORD their God.”

We don’t know how long this Scripture-reading tradition lasted after the Israelites entered Canaan. Joshua tried it at least once (Joshua 8:30-35), but it wasn’t long before God’s law was largely forgotten (see Judges 21:25).

In our modern world, we’ve seen a similar forgetting. A couple of generations have grown to adulthood with little awareness of God’s word. We can’t assume anymore that people know anything about the Bible. They’re likely to think that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are just members of the latest boy band.

Perhaps that idea from old Moses is exactly what we need today: regular public readings, so that the Bible comes alive in the hearing of new generations.

REFLECT:

How did you first learn to love the Bible? How has its truth changed your life?

RESPOND:

Find a way—email, card, phone message, etc.—to send a Bible verse you love to someone younger than you.

Lord, I never want to forget your words and your ways.