An Exhortation to Obedience

One winter a resort in Breckenridge, Colorado, posted signs instructing skiers to keep off a certain slope. The signs, large and distinct, said, “DANGER! OUT OF BOUNDS!” In spite of the warnings, however, several skiers went into the area. The result? A half-mile … More

Law

This chapter concludes Moses’ review of Israel’s wilderness journey. Moses stops talking about Israel’s past and emphasizes the present. He wanted to make sure that the people did not soon forget all they had seen God do. At the same time he wanted Israel to know the importance of keeping God’s laws and statues. They were not to delete from or add to the law (v. 2). To add to the law would make them a burden. This is what the religious leaders did at the time of Christ (Matthew 23:1-4). To subtract from the laws would make them incomplete. Therefore the laws were to remain unchanged (vv. 1-2).

  1. One purpose of the law was to give the Israelites a full life as they obeyed God (vv. 1-4). It is true that many of the laws we read in the books of Moses were specifically directed to the people of that time and culture. However, even though a specific law may not apply to us today it has a principle that does apply.
  2. Another purpose of the law is to make Israel morally and spiritually unique (vv. 5-8). If she would obey the instructions she would be the envy of all Nations. God’s laws were designed to guide all people toward life styles that are healthy, upright and devoted to God. They point out sin (or the potential for sin) and show the proper way to deal with it (v. 8). Moses wanted to make sure that the people did not forget all that they had seen God do so he urged parents to teach their children about God’s great miracles (vv. 9-10). 

Application

It is easy to forget the wonderful ways God has worked in the lives of His people. I can remember God’s great acts of faithfulness by telling our children, friends, or associates what we have seen him do in and through our lives.

Deuteronomy 4:1-10 (English Standard Version)

"And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you. Your eyes have seen what the LORD did at Baal-peor, for the LORD your God destroyed from among you all the men who followed the Baal of Peor. But you who held fast to the LORD your God are all alive today. See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 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.' 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? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today? "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-- how on the day that you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, the LORD said to me, 'Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so."'

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