The book of Deuteronomy is a spoken journal of sorts, a summary of events and a review of the commands that God had given to the children of Israel. Moses knew he was not going to cross over the Jordan with the people he had shepherded those past forty years, so he reminded them and encouraged them and warned them in his last book.
” ‘For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day? Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren…
Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD your God is giving you for all time.’ ” ~ Deuteronomy 4:7-9, 39-40
What a beautiful passage! There indeed is no other nation like Israel, God’s chosen people.
But remember, Christian, we also belong to God and are His children by His grace – unearned, undeserved mercy and love and forgiveness and kindness – through faith in Jesus Christ. That passage applies to us! What blessings there are for those who follow God and His statutes and commands!
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” ~ 1 John 3:1-2
Back to Deuteronomy. It must have broken the heart of Moses, after leading the people to the river’s edge, to not be able to set foot in the promised land. But I wonder if perhaps the foreknowledge that the people would turn away from the LORD their God broke his heart even more.
” ‘When you…do evil in the sight of the LORD…and the LORD will scatter you…’ ” ~ Deuteronomy 4:25a,c, 27a
When you do evil, the LORD will scatter you.
How many times do we break God’s heart, by walking away from Him? He created us, knowing we would make poor choices, and He gives us the freedom to do just that. To choose for ourselves, right or wrong.
Yet Moses also knew God would remember His people and redeem them once again, when they chose to turn back to Him. After all, this was the man God spoke with face to face (Numbers 12). God had shown Moses a glimpse of His glory and a peek into His very nature (Exodus 33-34). Moses knew God intimately and trusted Him completely.
” ‘But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the LORD your God and obey His voice (for the LORD your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.’ ” ~ Deuteronomy 4:29-31
God is faithful and patient, like the father of the prodigal son (Luke 15), and He waits for us to choose to return to Him. And when we do, He always forgives us and always greets us with love and grace.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ~ 1 John 1:9
“So He spoke this parable to them, saying: ‘What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!” I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.’ ” ~ Luke 15:3-7
Have you chosen God for yourself? He is waiting and ready to rejoice over you! 🙂