Monday, February 10 2020
Forty years after God spoke from the fire of the cloud on Mount Sinai, Moses again instructed God’s people of Israel on the east side of the Jordan River. They were preparing to cross over into the Promised Land. They completed their wilderness journey and were set to engage in conflict with the wicked nations of Canaan. Within this setting, Moses’s preparation was to remind them of God and His Law for them. Moses reminded Israel of the Ten Commands given from Mount Horeb (Deut 5). God gave the Law to Israel so that they may live (Deut 5:32–33).
Today, few people think about God before doing what they plan to do. James wrote, “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’” (Jas 4:15 ESV). Christians can gain great insights about God from Moses’s teaching in Deuteronomy 6. Moses is the archetypal leader of a people who proclaims values of justice and love based upon the nature of the Creator of the universe. Israel represents the nature of humanity to wrestle with God. Some live by faith and others rebel. Within our families, we see foolish rebellion after growing up in Christian homes and the faithful immerging from desperate circumstances.
1. Obeying God’s commands ensures receiving God’s blessings (Deut 6:1–3). God gave the blessings of life, freedom, and land to Israel according to His promise to Abraham who received them by faith. Neither Israel nor their patriarchs earned God’s favor but received His gifts. God gave commands to live in a way that ensured the safety and welfare of the people of Israel. Today, God’s commands are for the betterment of those who obey Him. Life is better according to God’s way.
2. Love Yahweh God with all your heart, soul, and strength (Deut 6:4–6). The rebellious heart responds, “Why should I? Who is God?” God gives everyone life, breath, and a world within to live. The foolish support rebelling against the God who gives life, offers to prolong life, and gives eternal life to the faithful. Therefore, God is more than worthy of love, admiration, and worship.
3. Teach and talk of God’s commands especially to your children (Deut 6:7–9). The fool teaches his children while judging others and not recognizing that he is a sinner too who must come to repentance. Moses’s command was not to teach their children only on special occasions or only when asked but to teach children diligently when one sits, walks, lies down, and rises up.
4. Do not forget the LORD (Deut 6:10–19). People forget what gifts they received last year and who gave them the gifts. Moses warned Israel not to receive the land and forget their God. People live life not thinking about the God who gave them life. Few consider their lives and the world in which they so happen to fit and survive has a greater Cause, purpose, and meaning then to live as one wants.
5. God gives commands for the good of His people (Deut 6:20–25). God’s commands are not arbitrary or selfish. His commands reflect His loving nature for His people — the faithful. Moses taught, “And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day” (Deut 6:24).