Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Project 4:4--Day Forty-Seven

Day Forty-Seven, Deuteronomy 4-8

On this next day, we have yet another address from Moses to the people of Israel. He shares more of his wisdom with the people, and I may have to end up posting some portions of this address here, because it's just that good.

First of all, he urges the Israelites to obey! He reminds them of their blood covenant in which they agreed to obey the Lord's commands. First and foremost of this command, he reminds them, is, "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."

He stresses the importance of remembering God's laws and decrees so that they are not just known in mind but are impressed upon the people's hearts. He says, "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." It's obvious that the Lord wanted His law the be constantly before His people. I thing He desires the same for us as His people today.

Lest the Israelites feel a sense of self-pride, he reminds them that they are not the Lord's chosen people because of anything they've done, but simply because the Lord loves them. He says, "The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numberous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath He swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefor that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. But those who ate him, He will repay to their face by destruction; He will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate Him. Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees, and laws I give you today."

Moses also reminds the people the purpose of the Lord's laws, that they are to teach the people how to live and to discipline them. He says, "Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his sons,s the Lord your God disciplines you." Reminds me a little of a passage from my favorite book of the Bible (did I mention that I love Hebrews???), a passage that reminds us that we are His children.

The Hebrew writer says, "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?...we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!...No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."

How great is the love the Father has lavished upon us, that we should be called children of God!

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