TODAY’S READING: Deuteronomy 11–13
The Lord has so much more for His people than to just live, work to provide for families in order to raise godly children, so that they can live, work to provide for their families, in order to raise godly grandchildren, so that they can live, work, provide, raise godly great grandchildren and so on until Jesus comes. What kind of small-minded and numbing cycle is that. Yet, it is the ambition of so many of God’s own. God has bigger ambitions for us. God wants us to live our lives out for His glory in such a way that will impact the peoples of earth.
In Deuteronomy, God told His people that He was taking them to a different reality. He was taking them to a land where the harvest would be so much bigger than a little vegetable garden watered “by foot” (Deut. 11:10). Greg Beggs, AGWM Africa Regional Director, sets the picture of a little humble Israelite slave, just back from work on Pharaoh’s buildings, wearily standing on a tiny plot framed by an irrigation channel of simple earth. With his foot, the farmer squiggles a little path through the soft dirt mound for the creeping water to enter another tiny patch of tomatoes. It’s not bad to block and open a little channel with your foot for vegetables, but God has a much grander vision. God took that slave people and said: “I am going to plunk you down as an example in the center of the great civilizations of the day. Though you are weak and feeble tomato farmers pushing soil around with your feet, I am going to give you a land and a platform that will yield bountiful harvest. I will bless you and increase you so that all the nations of the world sit up and notice, so that they will see what you have and desire it, so that they will realize what you have is the blessing and favor of God Most High!” God has a much grander vision for us than just farming the fruit of our little family generation after generation, beautiful as it is for a family lineage to be redeemed. God’s vision for our farming is that our harvest will include the nations.
Chris Wright says: “One of the most characteristic features of Deuteronomy is its motivational rhetoric. It gives multiple reasons why Israel should obey God’s law and frame their community life according to his standards…a primary motivation for Israel’s obedience is…the watching nations. Israel has been called to be a special possession of God in the midst of all the peoples. That calling includes the demand of ethical holiness. By fulfilling that demand, Israel becomes a kind of model to the nations, or, to borrow the language of Isaiah, ‘a light to the nations’ (Isa. 51:4).”
Moses instructed his children that if they obeyed God’s commands, it would go well for them and their children (Deut. 12:28). God’s consistent command from the garden to this generation has been to go forth and multiply. God never tires of calling His children to higher ambitions, to link our vision to His, a vision that sees a harvest from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation. The greatest gift we can give our children is not a comfortable life. The greatest inheritance is to give our children their Heavenly Father’s missionary heart. God will be much more glorified if you raise your progeny to fluently proclaim Christ in the Tamil tongue among the Sri Lankan Moor Muslim people than if you teach them to live an indulgent, visionless, backyard garden life.
 Christopher J. H. Wright. The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2006. 261.