Deuteronomy 4 has Moses preparing the people for their future. He is leaving them soon, so he takes this opportunity to remind them how they need to live to be successful with God.
- “Listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you
- do them, that you may live
- go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you
- You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it
- Your eyes have seen what the Lord did
- I have taught you statutes and rules, as the Lord my God commanded me
- do them in the land that you are entering
- Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding”
Nothing really new here – just a summary of the expectations for how to live God’s way. It all comes down to obedience. God has set the rules, it is up to the people to live by them.
Moses goes on to remind them of their responsibility to lead their kids well. “Keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen….lest they depart from your heart….make them known to your children and your children’s children….that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so”. This is some important instruction. We hear that key word ‘remember’ once again. Oh how short our memories truly are. But Moses reminded them that he was able to “teach you statutes and rules, that you might do them….watch yourselves very carefully….lest you act corruptly….lest you raise your eyes to heaven” and fail to worship the One True God. We have a huge responsibility to teach our kids. That begins with us first remembering God and His goodness ourselves. But then being intentional to teach and train our kids in His ways.
Moses reminds them that “the Lord has taken you and brought you….out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance….take care, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God”. God has saved them and set them free. They need to remember the covenant God has with them. It is important because “the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God”. He is not willing to be second fiddle to our own passions and desires. He alone is the Lord. We will have times we stray, but Moses calls out the reality that “you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul”. That is a powerful promise. If we truly look for God, we will find Him. If we seek we will find. Scripture is clear about that over and over.
Moses is also clear it won’t always be easy street as we walk with God. “When you are in tribulation….you will return to the Lord your God and obey his voice”. We will stray into the weeds and then we will remember to come back to God. He will be there “for the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers”. God never fails. He is always there. He is always available. He is always waiting to have us come back to His love. We just need to remember that “to you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him”. If there is one thing we need to keep in mind, it is that God is God alone. There is no other. And because of that truth, “you shall keep his statutes and his commandments….that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days”. Trust and obey – there is no other way!