Reviewing the Rules
(Deuteronomy 4:44 – 8:20)
Moses Teaching the People of Israel
Moses' second address to the Israelites contained a proviso, a promise and a key principle.
As God's agent, or intermediary, Moses reviewed the law of the Lord. This Mosaic teaching includes many primary elements of God's covenant with His people, pointing them toward obedience and the fear of the Lord, even as they would venture into the Promised Land.
The ancient Hebrews understood the awe of God. They knew the danger of taking the Lord lightly.
“For what mortal man has ever heard
the voice of the living God speaking out of fire,
as we have, and survived?”
Today, we tend to regard God considerably more casually. Indeed, the Lord welcomes us into His Presence, in the Name of Jesus. Still, I wonder if we take our great and glorious God too lightly sometimes. Do we focus wholly on the love of the Lord, forgetting His remarkable righteousness and power?
Our God is holy. There is no one like Him. A healthy fear, or at least a worthy respect, is due Him. Although we need not be afraid of God, if we belong to Him, we surely must hold Him in awe.
God’s covenant with His people offers a promise of abundant life, now and in eternity.
“So Moses told the people,
‘You must be careful to obey all the commands
of the Lord your God,
following his instructions in every detail.
Stay on the path
that the Lord your God has commanded you to follow.
Then you will live long and prosperous lives
in the land you are about to enter and occupy.’”
Although the faithful live by the grace of God, does He not desire to bless us for obeying Him? Surely we cannot earn His favor. Still, the benefits of following His leading cannot be counted.
What better way is there to thank the Lord for His great gift of salvation than to seek to obey Him? He longs to prosper us, in a host of ways, if we will but serve Him.
The premier commandment of the Lord offers a purpose for His people. Jewish families still treasure this short passage of Scriptures. Known as the “Shema,” these verses are regarded among the most sacred sections of the entire Bible.
The “Shema” includes a reason for living, a guide for parenting and a methodology for Scripture memorization.
“Hear, O Israel:
The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your strength.
These commandments that I give you today
are to be upon your hearts.
Impress them on your children.
Talk about them when you sit at home
and when you walk along the road,
when you lie down and when you get up.
Tie them as symbols on your hands
and bind them on your foreheads.
Write them on the doorframes of your houses
and on your gates.”
(Deuteronomy 6:4-9, NIV)
May God’s Word be so central in our hearts and in our homes.
Will you pray with me?
Lord of Lords,
How grateful we are
That You invite us to meet and speak with You.
Remind us that You alone are holy.
May we ever hold You in awe,
Even as we adore You.
Give us the strength
To obey You daily.
May we hold You and Your Word
In such high esteem
That we post reminders
Wherever we are.
May Your legacy of faith
Begin with us
And pass to our families
For generations to come.