Over the past few weeks, my wife and I have been intentionally eating the proper portions of fruits, vegetables, meats, carbohydrates, proteins, etc. that are recommended each day. This routine made me painfully aware that my regular diet is not very balanced. For example, I tend to eat too many carbs and not enough vegetables. But the point of this reflection is not upon my food choices but upon our diet of Scripture.
Some writers have described the genres of Scripture in terms of the various food groups. The Hebrew Scriptures are similar to vegetables in that they are powerfully good to digest but most people leave them out. The New Testament Epistles are like fruit in that each letter has a different flavor and can be sweet for some and sour to others. The Gospels are like carbohydrates which are easily accessible, welcomed most readily and fill us quickly. Psalms are like our 'protein’ because it contains critical elements about God, humanity and the gospel and can found in traces throughout the New Testament.
Now every analogy breaks down at some point, so don’t read too much into this. The goal of this comparison is to highlight that we need the entirety of Scripture brings us a balanced diet. We need Deuteronomy just as much as we need the Gospel of Luke or Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.
In light of this analogy, I’m grateful that we’ve been taking this fifteen week journey through Deuteronomy. Moses’ last speech contains some terrific insight into the character of God and His desire for His covenant people. It’s a gentle, but firm, reminder that the Hebrew Scriptures still apply to the New Testament church.
However, I am also grateful that our daily Scripture readings take us into other ‘food groups.’ For this reason, every Wednesday for the rest of the year, will lead us into another chapter in the book of Acts. The Apostle Luke’s eye witness account of the expansion of the Early Church contains precious reminders for us which pair nicely with Deuteronomy.
Acts 5, for example, reminds us that the name of Jesus and the call for repentance caused the disciples to be beaten and imprisoned. Yet their response to such persecution was always the same. Non-violent reaction, worship in the midst of the trial and prayer throughout for they “rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name of Jesus” (Acts 5:41). Likewise, Deuteronomy declares, “You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve Him only and hold fast to him, and by his name you shall swear. He is your praise. He is your God” (Deuteronomy 10:20-21a). The consistent theme found in both ‘food groups?’ Cling to and rejoice in the name of the Lord no matter the circumstances! As you press on this fall in your diet of Scripture reading, not only seek to keep a balanced meal, but also continue to cling to and rejoice in the name of our Sustaining Creator. “He will feed you with the finest of the wheat” (Ps 82:16) as you delight in the fullness of His Word.