After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, Israel is poised to enter the Promised Land. But before they can prosper in the “land flowing with mild and honey,” Moses reminds them that they must love God wholeheartedly and obey his commands.
In today’s study passage, we see a clear connection between a deep love for God and obedience to him. The same principle remains true today: “If you love me,” Jesus says in John 14:15, “obey my commands.”
Interact with God’s Word:
- Israel’s economic prosperity was tied to obedience (v. 3). What kinds of “riches” are promised to those who obey Christ? (See Romans 8:17, 23, 29-30; Col. 1: 12-14.)
- Practically speaking, how are Christians called to live out verses 4 and 5?
- What does it really mean to “fear the LORD your God” (v. 13)? (See Hebrews 12: 28-29; Psalm 33: 8-22, Psalm 118:4, Proverbs 23:17.)
- What “gods” (v. 14) are Christian men in our culture most tempted to worship?
- How are Christians “counted as righteous” (v. 25)? (See Romans 4: 1-5.)
- Since we aren’t saved by our good deeds, why do them? (See James 1: 22-25, James 2: 14-26.)
Spend Time in Prayer:
Confess ways in the past week you’ve failed to put God first; ask him to help you demonstrate your faith and love for him through both your thoughts and actions.
A Call for Wholehearted Commitment
“These are the commands, decrees, and regulations that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you. You must obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy, 2 and you and your children and grandchildren must fear the Lord your God as long as you live. If you obey all his decrees and commands, you will enjoy a long life. 3 Listen closely, Israel, and be careful to obey. Then all will go well with you, and you will have many children in the land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
4 “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
10 “The Lord your God will soon bring you into the land he swore to give you when he made a vow to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is a land with large, prosperous cities that you did not build. 11 The houses will be richly stocked with goods you did not produce. You will draw water from cisterns you did not dig, and you will eat from vineyards and olive trees you did not plant. When you have eaten your fill in this land, 12 be careful not to forget the Lord, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. 13 You must fear the Lord your God and serve him. When you take an oath, you must use only his name.
14 “You must not worship any of the gods of neighboring nations, 15 for the Lord your God, who lives among you, is a jealous God. His anger will flare up against you, and he will wipe you from the face of the earth. 16 You must not test the Lord your God as you did when you complained at Massah. 17 You must diligently obey the commands of the Lord your God—all the laws and decrees he has given you. 18 Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so all will go well with you. Then you will enter and occupy the good land that the Lord swore to give your ancestors. 19 You will drive out all the enemies living in the land, just as the Lord said you would.
20 “In the future your children will ask you, ‘What is the meaning of these laws, decrees, and regulations that the Lord our God has commanded us to obey?’
21 “Then you must tell them, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his strong hand. 22 The Lord did miraculous signs and wonders before our eyes, dealing terrifying blows against Egypt and Pharaoh and all his people. 23 He brought us out of Egypt so he could give us this land he had sworn to give our ancestors. 24 And the Lord our God commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear him so he can continue to bless us and preserve our lives, as he has done to this day. 25 For we will be counted as righteous when we obey all the commands the Lord our God has given us.’
Prayer for the Week: Lord, it’s easy to say I follow you; it’s much harder to show it by the way I live; help me, with your empowering Spirit, to choose daily to live in obedience to your calling.