Obey God, For Your Good (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)
And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good? —Deuteronomy 10:12-13
Let’s begin with prayer. Heavenly Father, we come to You in Jesus’ name asking You to awaken our hearts to hear and obey Your word. Thank You for the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth who is given to every Christian to teach, guide, and enable us in Your Word. Strengthen and equip us now with everything good that we may do Your will, working in us that which is pleasing in Your sight through Jesus Christ to whom be the glory forever. Amen.
Context and Observation —Ask the 5Ws and H: Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How?
Our look into the book of Deuteronomy last week gave us the tone of our Fighter Verse passage for this week. Who? Moses is speaking to the nation of Israel. How? As God’s representative. Where? Near the banks of the Jordan River. When? Before they enter the promised land and before his own death. What? He reminds Israel of God’s faithfulness to them, in spite of their unfaithfulness to Him. And once again, he instructs them as to what “the LORD (Yahweh) your God (Elohim)” requires of His people Why? For their good. Take time this week to read the full chapter of Deuteronomy 10.
Look for Repetition Underline the words and phrases that repeat in these verses. The name “the LORD your God” tells us that the relationship between God and His people is one of covenant and possession. He is God, Israel’s God, and they are His people. Being identified with Him, Israel is not left to its own imagination as to what is required in this relationship.
Interpret Moses appeals to them and makes clear the expectations God has for His people:
To fear the LORD your God.
This fear is not the fear of being punished by God, but it is fear rooted in love, to worship and be in awe of Him, to love His holiness and greatness.
To walk in all His ways “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12. The ways of mankind (the flesh) are sinful, leading to eternal destruction, but as God’s own possession, we are to be different. Our attitudes, words, and actions should leave no doubt to a watching world that we are God’s people, obeying Him, and walking in His ways.
To love Him
The love we have for God comes from Him. It is an “all-or-nothing,” sacrificial love, pure devotion, adoration leading to worship of Him with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and all our strength.
To serve Him with all your heart and soul In Deuteronomy 28:47, we have a warning that God’s people will end up serving their enemies,“Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things.” God delights in our giving to Him, not grudgingly or expecting something in return, but from a loving heart that is free and joyful in serving Him.
To keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD Now, having given these commands, God is requiring His people to keep them. To keep something means we will treasure, protect, and watch over that something. So Israel is to walk in the ways of the LORD, circumspectly, carefully observing His commandments and statutes...
…for your good. God promises His people good if they will keep His commandments. The blessing of obedience to God is immeasurable. We can have confidence that God is conforming us to the likeness of Christ as we learn obedience. Our hearts are softened as we walk in God’s ways, to glorify Him in everything, to
truly enjoy Him and praise Him for His goodness to us.
We cannot accomplish this obedience perfectly. This points us to the ultimate good God provided for His people in giving His Son Jesus Christ who fulfilled the demands of the law for our salvation. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 8:1-16).
How would you explain to a non-believer why God is “your God”?
What heart attitudes, actions, and speech would indicate that you are walking in God’s ways?
In what situations this week have you found it difficult to obey God?