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31 January, 2014

Deuteronomy 6-9 - Warnings - Promises - Gratitude & Obedience to God Part 1

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I have been stuck in Deuteronomy 6-9 for three days now. I read them over and over and each time I am overwhelmed by Who God is. I find myself meditating on Him and His promises, accompanied by warnings.

Deuteronomy Chapter 6 teaches that we have to obey God in order to prosper. I do not care to talk about the prosperity part because we all know what He had in mind for the Israelites. But I get stuck when I read His demands. For instance, Deuteronomy 6:5 says: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” I get stuck because I realized how much God never changes. His requirements of us are always the same. For the first time, it dawned on me how many times He repeated the same thing to us in Mathew, Luke, twice in Mark, and three times in Deuteronomy.

Then in verse 7 He put the responsibility of teaching their children not only to walk a daily righteous walk with God, but also with gratitude in their hearts because they were also bound by the conditions God had imposed on their parents which basically was “obey walk with me or else there are drastic consequences.”  Again, it was not the first time I was reading that but it was the first time I noticed the depth of the reality of His demand as He used the word DILIGENT twice in the same chapter. (v7 & 17) He is telling us not only we have to teach them, but we have to make sure they understand it and incorporate it in their lives.

But the word diligent implied a life completely focus on Him. Diligence demands complete abandon to what our heart is aiming for and diligence consumes everything and every decision and everywhere we turn. The word diligence, forces us to see what we have received from God is our most treasured prize possession. So, as parents, how do we do that with our own children if we have not gone forward with Him for ourselves in diligence so that we can acquire patience, sound judgment, and wisdom and so on.

God also kept telling the Israelite to fear Him. But if you noticed, He never stopped at
"FEAR THE LORD YOUR GOD" He made sure we understand that this fear should be motivated by love and gratitude. Why do you think God bothers to make sure we understand that? Simply because if we do things just out of fear, then there cannot be fellowship with Him, it also means there is no faith.  Fellowship was God’s goal with Israel and it is His goal with us. He said to us: “draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you”  Notice that it seems like He is asking us to take the first step, but in reality He is saying if you truly received what I gave you and it has become your prize possession, then draw near to me. How do I know that? Well, God taught me through Romans 6: If you read Romans 6 with the Holy Spirit’s guidance you will see it all over the chapter. But Paul spelled it out for us in verse 16 when he said: “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?”

So, the word of God tells us that we live life surrendered and near to God or we live surrendered and near the Flesh and Satan.

 Furthermore, look at the way chapter 6 ends with verse 25 “For we will be counted as righteous when we obey all the commands the LORD our God has given us.'
The word of God tells us by living with diligence, with is a lifestyle, dedication, abandonment; through obedience, love, gratitude and knowledge of Him bring pleasure to Him. The end result is righteousness.

Part 2, tomorrow!