Warmed Over Biscuits

Today's devotion from Deuteronomy 1.

I remember learning a few new phrases in homiletics courses during seminary. One was "sugar stick." A sugar stick was a go-to sermon that a preacher felt very confident in delivering. When a pulpit search committee would call you to preach in view of a call, you needed to have your sugar stick ready. Another one was "warmed over biscuits." A warmed over biscuit is a sermon that you have preached previously, and preach again when you find yourself stretched a bit too thin for writing a new sermon.

What we find in Deuteronomy is a bit of both. One scholar described Deuteronomy as a collection of Moses' sermons. As such, you see repetition. But this retelling is both sugar stick in that these were the messages that the people needed to hear, and simultaneously warmed over biscuits because they really weren't too new.

Just as the Gospels communicate the same story in the New Testament, each is written by a specific author to a specific audience. Therefore, they convey different perspectives on the same events. The books of Moses are similar. Many believe that Deuteronomy (which means "second law") is a recounting of the events of the exodus and wandering for the next generation. Because of this, it makes sense that it records teaching and instruction in sermonic form instead of just being a recorded history or legal document.

This next generation needed to know the whole legacy of their people, for better or worse. They needed to know their story, including victories and defeats. They needed the testimony of God's faithfulness as well as the warning of the outcome of rebellion. In a sense, Deuteronomy is a way for the new leaders to learn from past mistakes so they could move forward into the promise.

Likewise, sometimes we don't need something new or cutting edge. Instead, sometimes the best thing for us is the tried and true, especially when it comes to theology. As much as things change, we must remember that God stays the same. Some times its best to not reinvent the wheel, but just enjoy the warmed over biscuits.