#DailyDevotion Are You Going To Learn Your Lesson From The Israelites Or Live Like Them?
Deut. 4:6 Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ 7 For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? 8 And what great nation is there, that has statutes and just decrees so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?
9 “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children”
The Lord’s plan for the Israelites is that the Law he had given them would make them a wise and understanding people. Indeed, if one reads through all the laws, particularly the moral and civil codes of the law you will see great wisdom. Justice is tempered by mercy. Vengeance is tempered by law and justice. Many a great figure in western thought has read the laws therein and modeled their governance on them. Indeed even our country’s laws are seen to be reflecting much of the moral and civil code in the Book of the Law.
Yes, the nations surrounding Israel were to see how the Israelites followed the Law of Moses and declare what a wise and understanding people they were. The nations were to marvel and think what a great God the Israelites had that would give them such laws and be so close to them. Then in turn, they would convert, leave their false gods and become followers of the Lord themselves.
The Israelites were to make sure they taught all these things to their children and their children’s children so they would always remember the Lord and all the great things he had done for them. And they were to be diligent about following the Law.
But as it was, the nations they were to conquer and the nations surrounding them were much better evangelist than the Israelites were. Perhaps their worship services were more fun. More likely, as the Lord would describe them, they were a stiff-necked people. Instead of converting the nations they became like the nations and followed their gods and the Lord punished them. He sent some into exile never to be seen again and others into exile until a couple of generations would be dead.
Now we as Christians should take note. The same Lord Jesus Christ who gave the Law to Moses did he not give us the most marvelous good news? Indeed, Jesus gave us the message of reconciliation for all peoples everywhere: The Lord God himself provided the atoning sacrifice, namely himself in the flesh, fulfilling the law and its curses against us, removing God’s wrath we richly deserve and declares us to be his children and gives us his kingdom freely and eternal life. Then he gives us a way to live; love others, forgive others even a God in Christ Jesus has loved and forgiven you. He even gives us the Holy Spirit that we might do this! Yet as we look at the Israelites, do we live as if this isn’t true and instead of attracting people to Christ we repel them instead? Do we adopt the ways of the world instead of living like little Christs? Good News! We can repent and turn to Christ today and receive power from above to live differently.
Heavenly Father, grant us your grace and Holy Spirit that we may live lives like little Christ and attract people to Jesus and his message that they too may be saved and live eternally. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.