Understanding His story helps us to understand that His-Story is our Story!
When Deuteronomy begins the Children of Israel are about to cross the Jordan River and enter the promised land. The Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant are with them as the prepare for what is to come. The older generation that had crossed the red sea (then 20 yrs. old and up) have all died leaving a generation, most of which had not seen or do not remember the great miracles God had performed in Egypt. Since the birth of Cain, Abel and Seth, the passing down of the knowledge, history and the commands of God have been the key to success or failure for each generation. Truthfully, mankind has not done a very good job of that up to this point. If you think about it, Methuselah was the most likely a godly man and must have had a very large family yet everyone Descended from from him died in the flood except for his grandson, and three great grandsons along with their four wives.
With Moses standing before the people, this younger generation hears him recount the history of what God has done with the purpose of encouraging them to keep covenant. He tells them that there is no god like I AM! He also tells them about who they are. Israel! God's chosen people! (Deut. 4:1-40). Moses reminds Israel of the Ten Commandments and many of the other commands received from the Lord at Sinai. The Blessings of God are theirs in only they would abry them! But, he also tells them of the curses that will surely follow disobedience. (Deut. 6:1-26:19).
So what was the purpose of this law? Certainly one purpose was to show Israel band mankind a picture of what would happen to those who would reject God and die without a personal relationship with him. The blessings of eternal lifeAnd a personal relationship with the Lord himself could not be overstated. But, in conjunction with that there is the curses that come to those who reject God. condemnation in Hell, judgment before the great white throne and eternity in the lake of fire as a second death word to be the ultimate fulfillment of the picture of the broken long for those two would not receive the ultimate sacrifice on their behalf.
Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17) Jesus did not come to do away with the law! He came to complete the purpose of the law! The purpose of the law was to show us the need for a need for salvation! A Savior! The process of the law made mankind's sinful nature painfully obvious. Then at the proper time, the Son of God, came, died as the ultimate sacrifice and rose again to bring redemption to us! Salvation came by Grace through faith. (Eph. 2)
The Children of Israel wandered for forty years because of their lack of faith at Kadesh. They allowed fear to rule their decisions and would not go into the land. The older generation has died. At least everyone except Moses, Caleb and Joshua. Israel is about to enter in and cross the Jordan on dry ground and Moses knows that he cannot cross the river. So, with this young generation standing before him it must have been a difficult time for Moses. He restates the law to them and then says his farewells. In his final words there are both a blessing and a song.
Because of what we have been learning through our Chronological Bible Teaching, we can also see that the law also allowed God to show Israel and all of humanity, a reflection (picture) of the One who would fulfill it! Jesus Christ! Christ came to fulfill the law? Yes! The reason is clearly stated in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son…” Salvation is ultimately about God! Not about us! God saves us and redeems us for his glory alone! And Because of who God is, He loves us! Like Israel, He has loved us with an everlasting love and He draws us with lovingkindness. (Jeremiah 31:2-4) "Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:10).
"For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’” (Galatians 5:14) See also James 2:8. In the Greek it is “hies (one) logos (word) Agape (all consuming love)”. AGAPE LOVE. It is more than a word! It is more than a statement! It is the basis and motivation for everything we do. Or at least it should be! Agape love, loves God with all of the heart! Then Agape love loves self and others the way God loves us! With an all consuming love!
Jesus communicated this clearly to Peter when he asked him “Do you love Me?” Peter then confesses after the third question that he did have agape love for the Lord. To which the Lord replies "feed my sheep"! (John 21:17) It is because we love the Lord, that we are able to truly love others! Also, it is because we love Him, that we obey His commands! In fact, Not only are we love others unconditionally, We are to give sacrificially, give of our time, treat others the way HE would, and tell others about Him… Because we love Him, we choose to live a righteous, morally right life and turn from sin. "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me..." (John 14:21). Also: "This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us" (1 John 3:23).The word commandment in this verse is singular! Many people try to preach this as two seperate commands! But it is one! Believe in the Name… BE SAVED, LOVE OTHERS! When you truly believe in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, you willtruly love others! If not, you were not saved! We are not perfect but as saved people, we will have a desire to keep His commands beginning with the first and second commands which are the greatest! “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death” (1 John 3:14). Also: “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20).
The result of TRUE LOVE for Christ results in keeping His commandments! Obeying never makes someone love. People have to obey a boss or sometimes a dictator! But that does not mean they love him or her! But if you love someone, then you want to obey! To serve the one you love! And the more you love the more you trust, obey and serve the one you love!
Be careful not to put the LAW back into power and love yourself or others only if they meet your expectations! That is not Grace! Love the Lord and people unconditionally! (Not according to the law or traditions you think are right!) That’s how we prove we are His! Be careful not to put conditions on your own works as if You are doing something to earn or qualify for your own salvation. Be very careful not to take any credit for salvation! You did not and cannot earn it! “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is the Grace of God that has been given to us through the power and the work of Jesus’ death on the cross and His triumph over the grave! That’s why we can be saved! That’s why we can love God and others! “I am crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20)!
Here is the key!!! All you have to do to find out how much Israel actually loves God is to look at how much effort they gave to try to keep His law? This same principle applied in the Old Testament also applies in the New Testament. That is, the children of Israel were to love the Lord with all their heart and then obey the law out of that love. They were to obey because they love God. So in that light, the truth comes out! Their problem was not that they wanted to break the law. Their problem was that they did not love God! Therefore they could not keep the commandments that God had given. But God showed them Grace anyway! “Thus says the Lord, ‘The people who survived the sword found Grace in the wilderness—Israel, when it went to find its rest’” (Jeremiah 31:2). That is this generation standing before Moses at the beginning of Deuteronomy. God could have wiped Israel from the face of the earth but instead he uses the younger generation to continue the plan toward a messiah! And they found grace.
Of the woman who washed Jesus' feet (Luke 7), Jesus said, "she loves much because she has been forgiven much". All of this connects together. When we are forgiven of our sins, which are many, our love should be much! We obey because we love, therefore our obedience to Christ Himself should be much! So, I think it would be correct to say, the one who loves little, obeys little! The one who loves much, obeys much!
How much do you love God? You can answer that with another question to yourself! How much do you try to keep His commands? To love the Lord? To love your neighbor? To keep yourself pure? To spend time in prayer? To spend time in His Word? To help those in need? To share the gospel of peace with those who are headed to hell? How much of our time do we give Him? How many of of our talents do we use for Him? How many of our treasures do we give to Him? And the list goes on…
All of this tells us the amount that someone (or ourself) loves Jesus! That's how much we really love God! Be careful not to lie to yourself and think that you love God with all of your heart and at the same time, refused to love certain people. I believe it is very accurate and very scriptural to say that the amount of love you have for the person that you love the least is the actual amount of love that you have for God. What is the purpose of Deuteronomy? To show us the need for a savior. To show us the picture of the Savior. And, to show us the difference between those who love God and those who only offer lip service! So, from the scriptures that we've listed above, Deuteronomy teaches us the difference between those who are saved and those who are lost.
Copyright © 2018 Michael & Angela Anderson - Prodigalmike.com, Connections Bible Study - Connecting God's Word From Cover To Cover - Finding Jesus on Every Page! "We receive no compensation from any websites listed in this site or from any part of this website. We just love Jesus and want to spread his Word! All opinions in the website are my own! Always check the things we say against what the Bible says and decide for yourself." - Mike & Angie - All Rights Reserved.
STAY CLOSE! STAY CLEAN! READ THE WORD!