#DailyDevotion Christian Have A More Encompassing Law Than Israel
Deuteronomy 6:1 “Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the just decrees that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, 2 that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. 3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
As the Israelites were about to enter into the Promised Land, the Lord recounted to Israel all the commands, statutes and just decrees he had given them at Sinai. He was reviewing them with the Israelites because the generation he had given them to had all died along the way because of their unbelief and from unbelief their disobedience.
The purpose for these commandments was so they and their children and their children’s children would learn to fear the Lord their God and so that they may live long in the land their God was given them. To fear the Lord is not just being terrified of disobeying him. It is more of a filial fear, the fear a child has for disobeying their father, a fear of losing their respect and love. It is tempered by trust and faith in the individual you are called to fear. To fear the Lord is to love and trust in him so that your desire is to please him through your obedience to all the commands, statutes and just decrees.
These statutes and the like were for the Israelites to rule themselves when they entered the land, a land flowing with milk and honey. They were there so that things would go well with them and they would multiply greatly. The Lord had promised them things would go well if they trusted him did all that he commanded. The Israelites we initially multiplied and brought to the Promise Land because of a promise God the Lord had made to Abraham. It was because of his love for Abraham the Lord had brought them there.
But God’s love and promise are not given us that we could be licentious. Indeed, Jesus has freed you for freedom. But the freedom Christ has freed you to is the freely fear, love and trust in God and his Son Jesus Christ. The freedom Jesus has called you to is to live your life with love of your neighbor as your chief concern second only to your love for God in Christ Jesus. Jesus has freed you from sin, death and the power of the devil. Now we have these two commands far more encompassing than what he had given the Israelites, 1Jn 3:23 “And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.” So on the one hand we have it easier than the Israelites, their whole life was regulated by the Torah. On the other hand it is much more difficult because in all our actions, thoughts and deeds we have to determine if we are acting in love of the other or love of ourselves. May God grant us his grace we live in conforming ourselves to the image of his son, mercy, kindness and forgiving.
Heavenly Father, as you called your people Israel to fear and obedience you call us to faith and love. Grant us always your Holy Spirit that we may persevere with faith in Christ Jesus and love for our neighbor. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.