Robert L. Joseph • Sermon • • 188 views
Moses was a wise teacher of God's truth. First he reviewed what the Lord had done for Israel (Deut. 1-4) and reminded the people of God's mercy and goodness. Then he reaffirmed the basic principles of God's Law (Deut. 5-6), what we know as the Ten Commandments (10:4). In chapters 6 and 7, Moses discussed motives for obedience and explained why the people should honor God's laws. He wanted the nation's obedience to be based on spiritual principles, not just personal opinions, and to be encouraged by the right motives. Only after Moses had laid this strong foundation did he apply God's commandments to specific areas of Israel's life. God gave His law to build the people individually as well as the nation collectively. How could over 2 million people live together and work together, let alone fight the enemy together, unless they had rules and regulations to govern them? Israel's civic peace and general welfare depended on the people respecting the law and obeying it. Unfortunately, over the years, some of the religious leaders added so many traditions to God's law that the people felt like they were wearing a galling yoke (Acts 15:10; Gal. 5:1). The Law was also meant to reveal God and draw the people closer to Him. If Israel was to be a holy people and a kingdom of priests (Ex. 19:1-8), they needed a holy law to guide them. Certainly God was concerned about the external conduct of His people, but He was also concerned that their hearts be devoted to Him. When you read Psalm 119, you discover what the law of God meant to Jewish people who were spiritually minded and devoted to the Lord in their hearts. They saw God's righteous law, not as a heavy yoke, but as honey (v. 103), light (v. 105), a treasure (vv. 14, 72, 127, 162), freedom (v. 45), and a source of great joy (v. 14). They delighted in the law and meditated on it (vv. 15-16, 23-24, 47-48, 77-78; see 1:1-3). Yes, the Ten Commandments were engraved on tables of stone, but the spiritual Jew also had the Word hidden in his heart (119:10-11). One of the key themes in Deuteronomy 6-7 is motivation for obedience. These two chapters answer the question, "Why should we obey God's Word in a world where most people ignore it or deliberately disobey it?" Moses explained four fundamental motives for obedience.