Deuteronomy 4

Deuteronomy 4 has Moses preparing the people to cross over the Jordan.  He tells them to “listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you”.  While God has been leading His people for over forty years to this point where they are ready to go possess the land, there is a requirement.  They have to obey what God has commanded.  The only ones present are those “who held fast to the Lord your God….are all alive today’.  But past success doesn’t mean they get a pass into the future.  Obedience is the requirement

Moses is clear.  “I have taught you statutes and rules….keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples”.  Moses has been diligent to listen to God and teach the people what God has commanded.  Along their 40 plus year journey, they have had plenty of times they forgot or chose to disobey.  But now, as they prepare to enter the next chapter of their history into the Promised Land, Moses is reminding them yet again. “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. 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”. Parents have the responsibility to teach their children well.  It is important stuff.

Moses knows what their biggest challenge will be – the temptation to create idols or other gods.  He commands them to “watch yourselves very carefully”.  We have to guard against the temptation to put anything else in God’s place.  We are reminded that God has been very good.  “The Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance”.  The people are special in God’s eyes.  God has prepared a place for them.  Moses reminds them “I must die in this land; I must not go over the Jordan”.  His sin prevents him from joining their crossing into the Promised Land.  But he still is working hard to prepare them and be sure they reach God’s plan.

He reminds them again to “take care, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord”.  While he knows they are a chosen people, they cannot disobey God. “You will not live long in it, but will be utterly destroyed” if you choose to ignore God and do your own things. God has proven Himself faithful for generations.  “To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him”. We serve the exact same God.  He is equally faithful to us.  We need to keep Him first, and walk in humble obedience to His commands.  Failing to do so will lead to destruction.  But obedience will lead to life!

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