I really do. It may be my favorite OT book. This is going to be a bit of a mixed-salad post…so please forgive the rambling.
In Deuteronomy, Israel is about to enter (finally) the promised land. God has told Moses that he is not allowed to enter it, and the older generation that was disobedient to God is just about died off…before they go in, Moses gives them a little history lesson and gives them a pep talk/exhortation of how to act once they get into the Promised Land.
I think his whole thought could be summed up by Deut 8:1
The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go and possess the land that the LORD swore to your forefathers.
God has carved out the nation of Israel, set them apart. That’s why he has mandated all of the 600+ commandments in the law – he wants them to stand out from the other nations around them and he has perfectly told them how to do that. Right down to what they should eat. (Deut 14). Jesus has since come and declared all foods clean – the separation between Israel and the other nations is no longer necessary – Christ has come from the nation and line of Israel and has done his perfect sacrificial work on the cross – bringing all of us to God – as our mediator.
Elsewhere he pleads: “Remember”
Moses is begging the nation not to forget the LORD when they get into the land of milk and honey and everything is groovy. When things are going well – we can tend to forget God…right? Maybe even think that we had something to do with our success…well, we did…but GOD gave us the strength, the intelligence, the opportunity that allowed us to succeed – we cannot forget that – and we cannot forget to tell our children of it. Deut 8:11-
11“Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, 12(M) lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, 13and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, 14(N) then your heart be lifted up, and you(O) forget the LORD your God,….
17Beware(V) lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18You shall remember the LORD your God, for(W) it is he who gives you power to get wealth,(X) that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
Moses goes into a little history lesson in chap 9 about the wandering in the wilderness, the golden calf and the refusal to enter the land the first time because of their fear of the inhabitants, the 10 commandments and Mt. Sinai…he then asks a rhetorical question about what the LORD requires of Israel which I think we can benefit from still today…
12“And now, Israel,(W) what does the LORD your God require of you, but(X) to fear the LORD your God,(Y) to walk in all his ways,(Z) to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13and(AA) to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today(AB) for your good?
- Fear the LORD your God
- Walk in His ways
- Love Him
- Serve Him with ALL your heart and ALL your soul
- Keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD
Like Israel, when we consider all that GOD has done for us – created us, redeemed us, sustains us daily by His grace – what does he require of us today?
As parents it is also our job to declare the works of the LORD to our children. Deuteronomy has plenty to say about that in Chap 6 and Chap 11.
19You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 20(AC) You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates…
We are the primary learning community for our children (as Marc Bray has dubbed it the “PLC”) – not the church, not the school…our family.
Are we doing that? I know I need to be more intentional in making the small moments teachable ones. (BTW – we are doing a study group on this book – highly recommended: The Age of Opportunity, by Paul David Tripp)
And also…we stayed with some wonderful new friends this weekend that had the biggest Bible verse I have ever seen painted on their wall above their doorposts…it was funny how I was reading that section in Deuteronomy above staring at that verse on the wall…so begins my quest to do the same…I’ve got the perfect place picked out for it…now I just need to settle on a verse! Such pressure. 🙂