“Let me proclaim your power to a new generation.” (Psalm 71: 18)
The title of the book “Deuteronomy” comes from “Deuteros” (second) and “Nomos” (law). It’s a second version of the giving of the Law to Moses and Israel and tells the story of Israel on the verge of entering the Promised Land and the transfer of leadership from Moses to Joshua. It’s not like a Readers Digest abridged version, but rather the opposite: it’s taking part of the story and going into greater details.
So why write it again? Some believe that it was a later version to drive home the truth of the old story for a modern generation. Perhaps it was something like a new version of the Bible written in the spirit of “Let’s go over that again” so that we can hear it afresh in our own language and idiom. Maybe a new situation called for a new understanding of the old Law. Perhaps the question arose (as it does in every generation): How does the “old, old story” apply to today?
Now it’s not a matter of changing the substance of the message, but proclaiming its power to a new generation in a way that they’re going to get it! That’s why you need contemporary translation in your own language. Why? Because the Word of God is not just words but power. Hebrews (4:12) tells us that “The Word of God is living and active.” It penetrates and judges. I need to receive that loud and clear.
Sometimes I get the sense, when I’m preaching, that I need to just get out of the way, as it were, and let the Word speak for itself. Away with the smoke and mirrors, the jokes and stories and entertainment-value keep-them-interested-at-all-costs stuff.
It’s the truth that sets free, after all, (not the cheesy illustrations).
Lord, give me the grace and opportunity to proclaim your power to a new generation.