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Deuteronomy 5-7


A Devotional Journey
     led by Dr. Gene Pearson                                                                                                                        
Thru the Bible in a Year

         The Ten Commandments are restated in this section which begins with the most famous sentence in Hebrew lore:  Hear, O Israel!  The message Moses delivers is a reminder that the people are to be blessed or cursed based on adherence to their Covenant with God.  The sense of present ownership of past history and dealings with God is emphasized in the statement  “It was not with our fathers that the LORD has made this covenant, but with us...”
         Following the review Moses makes clear how important it is to maintain integrity and consistency in applying God’s standards:  be careful to do what the LORD...has commanded not turn aside to the right or to the left.”  In a political world which uses the two directions as symbols of ideologies, the image is especially interesting.
         The First Great Commandment quoted by Jesus in Mark 12:30, is first spoken here in 6:5.  The heart of loving and reverencing God is clearly seen to be in obeying Him.  Love is not a feeling in the Bible; it always shows itself in action.
         The key test of Israel’s love and obedience to God is going to be their faithfulness at driving the idolatrous nations out of Canaan.  This assignment is given out of God’s grace, not because of Israel’s strength or innate goodness.  In fact, the people will have to guard themselves against the polluting influence of these pagan cultures, who will be a snare.  In fact, the power to succeed can only come from Him and therefore they must trust and obey Him if they are to succeed.
         Does anyone ever truly succeed in life without knowing, trusting and obeying God?  That depends a little on the definitions of success, trusting and obedience.  In fact, there is no way to fulfill our destiny without a personal relationship with God – it is for this that He created us.  In fact, there is no way to sanely stand up to the pressures, setbacks and unpredictable, uncontrollable elements of life with trusting Him.  In fact, our self-centered bias is so strong and so misleading at points that we have no hope of sorting everything out by ourselves – obedience to His standards eliminates a lot time-consuming decision making.
         There are lots of alternatives in the world to concentrating on God and His Will, but none is more satisfying, or gives more peace of mind.  Take another look at the Ten Commandments today and ask yourself if there isn’t something you should be working harder on.  Take some steps in that direction and watch what God does.
         Set aside a set time (even if you have to get up early or go to bed late) to speak with God and read His Word to you.  Write down thoughts that come to mind as you read and pray and see if you do not find some unexpected and helpful ideas.
© A. Eugene Pearson 2011