October 12, 2009
God is so gracious and merciful to us. He is so patient and kind. Day after day we sin, sin and sin again denying him and thumbing our noses at his power by taking for granted his attributes.
Deuteronomy 29 was very interesting to me this morning, here God is renewing his covenant with the people of Israel , (in whom we are included through Christ), through Moses who is the mouthpiece of God at this moment in time.
As I was reading verse 4, I marveled at the thought that it is God who did not enable the people to understand, see or hear what God had done and had been doing. They were living from day to day going about their business completely oblivious to what God was accomplishing and they had even seen his great power in their deliverance from the Egyptians. If God doesn’t want you to understand, you won’t…he controls it all.
The picture begins to unfold as we see in verses 10-11 all the people including the “aliens” or foreigners standing among them before God and Moses so that God can confirm this uncomprehending, ragtag bunch of people as his people.
Have you ever noticed that God always takes into the fold of his arms everyone that society rejects? Verse 13 says that God wanted to “confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you ….” I'm glad the non-jewish people there were claimed as his people as well, God doesn't leave anyone out and he doesn't play favorites.
God keeps his promises and the desire of his heart is and has always been to be our God, keep his promises to us and have relationship with us. Our God is a faithful God. Verse 14 goes on to say… “I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only to you who are standing here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God but also with those who are not here today.” That would be us as well! If you want to know the details of the covenant that God made with us just read Deuteronomy 28.
If we do things God’s way we will bring blessings to ourselves but if we do things our way we will bring curses upon ourselves. Deuteronomy 29 continues on by saying what “bitter poison” idolatry is to us. It is following other things instead of God and it is a dead end that leads to more emptiness. Nothing can satisfy like God, he fills your whole being with peace and deep joy.
When we hear the word of God verse 19 says the person who hears invokes a blessing on himself, man, that’s some powerful stuff. So many times I don’t really think that the word of God is anymore than just words on a page and yet here we see it is so much more.
There is a warning that God is bringing to the people about the blessings and the promises in the last half of verse 19 and it is how God’s people have a tendency to think … things are going good, I’m being blessed, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way.” God’s my friend, we think to ourselves, and he loves me so he will let me get away with continuing in my own way of doing things. Yeah, this or that behavior isn’t exactly what the bible says to do, but those scriptures don’t apply to me. There is a whole host of lies we allow to invade us when we want to continue worshipping our idols.
Yes, God does love us and he is our friend that’s why discipline comes to his disciples. As this scripture continues we see the disaster that is brought upon the people and how angry God becomes with this kind of attitude. God will not tolerate anything between him and his people, he is a jealous God and he wants the path between us to be clear. God wants you all to himself and he will not share, nor should he because he is our creator God.
The very last verse of Deuteronomy 29 tells us that God reveals these things to us for a purpose and that purpose is this: “…that we may follow all the words of this Law.” This is so that we may please God for our own good so that blessings can flow to us through the promises of God that he so wants to lavish upon us but God demands that our hearts be free from anything that would hinder our relationship with him.
What is the law that God is asking us to follow? Jesus himself tells us in Matthew 22:37-40, “Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Jesus is making it easy and clear for us by his last statement in verse 40. He is saying that if we follow these two commandments or laws the rest of them will fall into place, these are the “bottom line” laws.
As I thought about my life, I found myself asking God to show me the idols in my way. I wondered how much I really do love God. Do I love him like Jesus said to love him? Do I love my fellow man like Jesus said to love him?
God, help me to be free from anything that hinders me from entering into the restored relationship Jesus died to give me. Clean out the dusty, dirty rooms of my heart clogged with things that don’t fill and satisfy me like you do. Help me to love you and others as you have commanded me. I come into agreement with your powerful, precious Holy Spirit and your Word. Amen.
October 12, 2009