Gods intent for Adam and Eve was to stay in close relationship with them and to bless them. Genesis 3:8 informs us that God came and visited them in the garden. He desired fellowship with them, but sin broke that close bond and drove them from the garden. Their poor choices caused them to lose the blessings God intended for their lives.
After God rescued Israel from bondage to the Egyptians, He sought to renew this intimate relationship with them. He desired to bless them and use them to be His representatives to all the peoples of the earth. The first time He brought them to the promised land they refused to trust Him and enter in (Numbers chapters 13 & 14)
In Deuteronomy the people are again at the door of the promised land. Is it at this point that Moses reminds them of the Lords faithfulness and challenges them to be faithful and obedient so that they can remain in close friendship with God. Repeatedly God refers to His people as His special treasured possession (Dt 7:6; 14:2, 26:18). The relationship God desired with them was far more than simply obeying the laws of the Old Testament. God desired love, affection, loyalty and devotion from Israel. These in turn brought blessings and favor from God. God promised to continue to guide and protect if only His people would obey and stay in the covenant relationship with Him.
Key Verse: Dt 10:12-13;
what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the LORDS commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?
What Does the Lord Require?
To Fear the Lord Your God (Dt 4:10, 6:2, 6:13, 8:6, 10:20, 13:4, 14:23, 28:58, 31:12-13) Definition: Holy fear comes from the believers apprehension of the living God. It is God-given (Jer 32:40) and enables mankind to have reverence for Gods authority and to obey His commands.
A) Holy fear is necessary. Psalm 111:10 tells us that Godly fear is the beginning of wisdom and Proverbs 8:13 says it is the secret of uprightness. Psalm 147:11 says that it is a feature of the people in whom God delights and Isaiah 11:2-3 shows us it was one of the features of the Messiah.
B) Jesus taught about the fear of God (Mt 10:28 and Lk 12:4-5)
C) Godly fear stimulates the believer to seek holiness (2Cor 7:1)
D) Godly fear can be learned in the presence of God (Dt 4:10)
E) Godly fear expresses itself in obedience (Dt 6:2, 6:24, 8:6, 13:4, 17:19, 28:58, 31:12)
To Love the Lord Your God (Dt 6:5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might)
A) We are to love Him because He first loved us (Dt 7:7, Jn 3:16-17)
B) We are to love Him because He is our Creator (Dt 4:32), our faithful Savior (Dt 7:9) and our Father (Dt 32:6)
C) We are to love Him because He rescued us from the bondage of sin and Satan (Dt 33:29, Col 1:13)
To Walk in All His Ways and to Observe His Commands and Decrees (Dt 26:16)
A) His ways are just, loving, full of mercy, generosity and forgiveness (Dt 4:31)
B) His commands are fair. They bring maturity and character development to our life. They cause us to respect each other and act in a responsible manner.
C) Obedience to His commandments brings His blessings into our life (Dt 4:40, 5:10, 5:29, 5:33, 6:2, 6:18, 7:9, 8:1, 11:13-15, 11:26-27, 28:1, 28:9-15, 30:9-10, 30:16)
To Serve the Lord with All Your Heart and All Your Soul
The word serve refers to what a servant does who is under the dominion of a master. A faithful servant gives service, respect and compliance to the commands of his/her master. A servant has to be trustworthy and can only have one master (Mt 6:24).
A) Do not serve other gods (Dt 4:19).
B) Gods people were commanded to destroy the enemies (Dt 7:2, 16, 12:2-3) in the Promised Land. There was to be no compromise or treaty.
The Canaanites were doomed for destruction because they had chosen to do the things that were detestable and abominable to God.
Gods people were to destroy their altars, break down their pillars and burn their idols and images (Dt chapter 7). They were not to take any possession from these idolatrous people lest they partake in the character and nature of these items.
The sensuous appeal of this cult was going to be a real snare to Gods people and thus it had to be eliminated so that Gods people would not be polluted and contaminated. This would remove the temptation to compromise from future generations.
They were not to let anyone convince them (with words or enticements) to worship these false gods. God knew that people become like the god that they serve (Hos 9:10).
- Not false prophets (Dt 13:1-5)
- Not relatives, friends or spouses (Dt 13:6-11)
- Not other people around you (Dt 13:12-18)
C. They were to cooperate with God in driving out the enemies from their lives
Dt 7:2 God will deliver them over to you -- you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them
7:23-24 The Lord will deliver them over to you -- you will destroy them.
9:3 He will destroy them and bring them down -- you shall drive them out and destroy them
12:29 The Lord will cut them off -- you go to dispossess them
19:1 The Lord will cut them off -- you dispossess them
26:1 The Lord will give you the land -- you live in it and possess it
31:3 The Lord will destroy these nations ahead of you -- you dispossess them
How do we obtain the power and will to make these changes in our lives?
1) Trust Gods grace to work in you. Dt 30:6 promises that He will circumcise our hearts. Php 2:13 says, for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
2) Study Gods word to remind yourself of what God has done and teach it to your children (Dt 8:11, 19, 4:9, 4:23, 11:18-19).
3) Do not be afraid of the enemy or the people of the world (Dt 20:1,4, 31:6-8, Heb 13:6)
4) Live in the present. Dont let your failures of the past or the atrocities of others destroy your life. Dont let the expectations of the future keep you from doing what needs to be done in the present.
Deuteronomy is a plea for our obedience and loyalty to God. God will not stand by and let us (His special treasure) live in compromise, but He will continually prod us to cooperate with Him to remove the enemy (Satan) and all his trappings with him. We, in turn, must listen and obey and seek His presence where we will be renewed, cleansed and blessed so that we can be a blessing to others.