Promises & Doubts

Summer Devotional 2023

Getting Started

When I started college, it took me a while to fully process how big a transition I was in the middle of. The list of changes went on and on – beyond simply moving to a new place, signing up for the classes I wanted, and picking my meals at the dining hall. It wasn’t until my junior year that I realized one of the biggest transitions I was going through was how I encountered God.

Coming into college, I knew that God was good. Yet so often, He felt so far away.

I yearned to hear from Him and became convinced I was missing something. Maybe I wasn’t good enough? Maybe He didn’t want to speak to me? Could it be that I wasn’t reading scripture the right way? I soon found myself spending more time wrestling with how to interact with God, and wallowing in my self-doubt, than I spent with God.

As we step into this passage, we see Moses encouraging the Israelites. After years of ignoring their commitment to God, Moses invited them to take up their covenant (a fancy word for their relationship agreement with God) again. He reminds them of God’s promise for them to flourish and of God’s desire to know them personally.

Deuteronomy 30:12-16

11 Now, what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is “it” that Moses speaks of in verses 12-13?
  2. This passage presents a clear choice for people to make. Why do you believe God allows us to make our own choices?
  3. Moses claims in verse 11 that what he’s commanding (to love God and obey him (v.16)) is “not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.” Do you agree with him? What makes it difficult for you to be obedient to God?
  4. What would it look like for you to hold God’s word in your mouth and your heart (v. 14)?

Closing Reflection

As Moses invites the Israelites to choose to be obedient to God and their covenant with Him, he reminds them of God’s promise to bless them and His desire to walk alongside them. How can your faith be transformed by seeing that God already provided us with His word?

Moses tells the Israelites that God’s glory and truth are within their reach. He says that they can believe it without needing someone to reveal it to them. Yet, now, we have the added gift of knowing that God did send someone to reveal God’s word to us. He sent someone who, like the passage says, ascended into heaven and crossed the seas to get it and proclaim it to us so we can obey it.

That someone was Jesus.

Despite having revealed Himself to mankind repeatedly, God knew that we would doubt Him and question our ability to hear from Him. So he chose to make sure that we would no longer have any reason to doubt, sending Jesus to walk among us and share His words directly with His people.

As you step into your day, what would it look like for you to answer Moses’s call to obedience? What is one step you could take towards trusting God’s promises to you?

About the Author
Campus Staff Minister


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