“Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you” (Deuteronomy 4:1).
Text: Deuteronomy 4:1-9
A general in the army wanted to do a social experiment to prove that people would respect him whether he wore his uniforms or not. He instructed his driver to carry a junior officer in his personal car that was equipped with sirens. Meanwhile, he sneaked out in his friend’s car in mufti. To his amazement, everyone saluted the junior officer and no one noticed him in his friend’s car while in mufti. He found out that people respected and showed allegiance to his office once he wore his uniform, but as soon as he wore civilian clothes, he was treated as an ordinary person.
Moses, in rehearsing the laws of God to the would-be inheritors of the Promised Land, made them to understand that it was only in the keeping of God’s word that their preservation in the land was guaranteed. It was like giving them a complete manual or owner’s guide that would enable them to maximise their enjoyment of the privileges God had in store for them in the Promised Land. God demanded full obedience to His word from them. They were charged to neither add (any superstition or human idea) to the word nor deduct (by omission any inconvenient part) from it.
The Israelites needed to be reminded of the grievous judgment that was visited on those who indulged in idolatry at Baalpeor and also the impudent Israelite and Medianitish lady slain by Phinehas to which they were witnesses. They had also witnessed the blessings of obedience as was the case of Phinehas and the Levites.
In God’s economy, God’s blessing and punishment are conditional. Once a person fulfils the condition of His promise, he/she is bound to receive the dividends of obedience. However, when a person flaunts the commandments, he/she reaps the attendant consequences.
Thought for the day
Complete obedience to God compels divine blessings.