Deuteronomy 11

Deuteronomy 11 has Moses continuing to get the people focused on entering the Promised Land.  You’d think after over 40 years waiting for this moment, they might have been ready, but as a great leader Moses is not taking any chances that they have received the message of what they have to do.  After all, this is life and death stuff, blessed and cursed reality.  He wants to be positive that they hear it well.  “You shall therefore love the Lord your God and keep his charge, his statutes, his rules, and his commandments always”.  Their future and success depends on this one statement – that God is God in their lives and the land they will live in.

How do we keep God where He belongs?  The world constantly wants us to push God off the throne and put ourselves on it.  Or the temptation is to make other idols and give our worship and attention to something other than God Himself.  Moses tells them the secret.  It is to remember.  He tells them to “consider the discipline of the Lord your God, his greatness, his mighty hand and his outstretched arm, his signs and his deeds that he did in Egypt”.  There is a very long and rich history of God’s faithfulness.  That is how we keep Him as God, we consider constantly all that He has already done. “For your eyes have seen all the great work of the Lord that he did”.  This isn’t a stretch.  God has been amazingly patient and faithful to His people.

But there is a requirement on His people – obedience.  “You shall therefore keep the whole commandment that I command you today, that you may be strong, and go in and take possession of the land….that you may live long”.  It carries a pretty stiff price if failed.  “And if you will indeed obey….He will give the rain”.  Obedience is optional.  But there is a price when we make a choice not to be obedient.  “Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them; then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and he will shut up the heavens”.  The Promised Land was an unbelievably beautiful place that God has prepared for His people.  But God expects His people to walk with Him to keep it that way.  This was an if/then operation.

Moses gives three very clear directives on how to keep God first:

  1. You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes”
  2. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise
  3. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates

There is a responsibility on us to do the things that help us keep God first.  In our lives personally by building spiritual disciplines that keep us focused, as we train up our kids and continually talk of God’s faithfulness, and in our witness to those around us.  We have to take action and make the daily and moment my moment choice to be obedient.

Does it matter?  Absolutely, and in fact Moses makes it clear that “if you will be careful to do all this commandment that I command you to do, loving the Lord your God, walking in all his ways, and holding fast to him, then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you”.  At the end of the day it is a choice.  We must choose whom we will serve and who will be on the throne of our life.  Moses describes it as “I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse”.  We have the option of blessing, but if we make the wrong choices and do the wrong things, we cannot be surprised if we receive a curse.  Obedience is what God requires.

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