Moses' speech continues. Today, we're reminding of the whole law of God, the ten commandments and the people's need to keep these commandments ever before them.
Moses will tell the people, "Hear, O Israel..." Watch today's video for a great explanation of what it means to shema (listen).
DAILY READINGSDeuteronomy 4-6 & Psalm 54
DAILY NOTESDeuteronomy 4:1
- These were never rules. Moses has communicated them as life.
- Following God's commands will make them wise among the other people. What we understand is that these laws God gives differ from those of people around the Israelites. Indeed, they are to be set apart.
- "Observe them diligently" means to study them and do them.
- These ordinances are "just" compared to the other nations.
- Watch yourselves or be on guard.
- How can the people make an idol of anything under or above the earth since God has created everything and "has allotted to all the peoples everywhere" these things?
- This is a distinguishing attribute of the Israelites. They are to serve one God.
- God is depicted as a "devouring fire." Hebrews 12 reminds us of this depiction. What brings this jealousy, read zealousness out of God? Idolatry.
- Moses serves as prophet.
- The people will reject God (we all do.). Moses promises, however, that God will not abandon the people. When they forsake God, they will understand what they have done and seek God once again. And they will find God.
- The nations the Israelites faced were more powerful and should have overtaken the people. But God was fighting for them.
- They have always lived under the shadow of the promise of a new land God made to there forefathers. This covenant, though, is theirs. God has spoken to them.
- The ten commandments (words).
- the "living" God
- Have other people heard from a god, but have died?
- These words are to be in the heart of the people. That is, the law of God is ever before them. The heart keeps the law on the inside of the person. And the forehead (Verse 8) is an outward reminder.
- Take care. Guard yourself.
- This psalm is a desperate cry for help.
OTHER OBSERVATIONSI can't help but notice that several times Moses reminds the people to keep the commandments of God so that they may live. Now, I didn't keep track so I'm not sure if this is entirely correct, but it feels like, in today's readings, Moses mentions more times that keeping the commandments of God is also for the benefit of future generations.
Have you considered that the things we do now have repercussions for the next generation to follow us, and the ones that follow them? Yes, what we do matters to them. You can also say that what we don't do matters to them.
We are wise in our families and churches to recall that sentiment. It's a lot to think about to keep our own lives in order, I know. But part of the faith God has given us makes it just as important to consider how our lives and decisions help shape our children and children's children.
Can you think about a recent action or decision you have made for your family or church? Did you ask yourself what impact it could have on someone in your family or church you don't know yet? Living for ourselves is easy. God seems to want to make sure we don't always have it so easy.