Learning from Deuteronomy 6-10
‘Hear’ and ‘do’(1-3; James 1:22-25). In our obedience to God, there is to be the fear of the Lord and love for the Lord (2,5). Fear and love: the two belong together. God is holy - fear Him. God is love - love Him. This is for every generation: ‘you and your son and your son’s son’(2). ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart’(5). Teach the children well so that the blessing of God may be ‘prolonged’ among us (7,2). Our promised land - heaven (John 14:1-3) - is far better than Israel’s promised land. Through faith in Christ, we have received ‘eternal life’(John 5:24; 6:40). Never take the Lord’s blessing for granted. Always remember to thank Him for all that He has done for you (10-12). Teach the children what the Lord has done for them (20-23). Then, and only then, tell them what they must ‘do’ for Him (24-25).
Enter, Destroy, Possess (1-2). Don’t try to jump straight from entering to possessing. Don’t forget to destroy. We enter the Christian life through faith in Christ. We will not ‘take possession of’ a fuller enjoyment of His salvation if we refuse to ‘destroy’ the obstacles to His blessing in our lives. Sin is like a ‘cancer’. It will ‘kill’ us if we let it (Romans 6:23). This is why we must fight it - with ‘the whole armour of God’(Ephesians 6:10-17). From beginning to end, our salvation is the work of God: ‘...it is because the Lord loves you... that He has... redeemed you...’(6-8). The Lord’s love speaks of His keeping power. He will complete the work He has begun (17-19; Philippians 1:6). Saved and kept by the power of God, we travel from Christ’s Cross to our Crown (Romans 1:16; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 2:24-25; 5:4).
The ‘wilderness’ was a place of ‘testing’. God was ‘disciplining’ His people. He was teaching them to ‘walk in His ways’(2,5-6). In the ‘wilderness’, we must remember this: ‘man does not live by bread alone... man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord’(3). Everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord - His warnings as well as His promises! He speaks to us in warnings: ‘Take heed lest you forget the Lord your God...’(11). He speaks to us in promises: ‘the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land’(7). ‘God forbid that I should glory...’ (8:17-18; 9:4-6; Galatians 6:14). God gave Israel the land. He gives us ‘the Kingdom’(Luke 12:32). As earthly kingdoms rise and fall, ‘the God of heaven will set up a Kingdom which shall never be destroyed’(Daniel 2:44).
‘We will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the Word’(Acts 6:4). Moses was an intercessor (25-29). The ministry of the Word needs to be grounded in prayer. Prayerfully seeking the Lord’s help, we are to place His Word at the centre of the life of His people (5). God shows His mercy by providing His servants to carry His Word in a ministry of blessing to the people, a ministry which helps the people to ‘go in and possess the land’(8,10-11). In gratitude to God, our Creator-Redeemer, we are to give ourselves to Him in obedience (12-15). Let your heart and life be changed by the Lord, never forgetting this: ‘He is your praise; He is your God, who has done for you... great... things’(16-21). ‘God... gives the growth’(22; Corinthians 3:7). Read Psalm 126:6 and pray!