Because You Love Him

Because You Love Him – Deuteronomy 4:44-5:5

Moses’ first speech related the history of God’s dealings with Israel, which was the first feature of God’s covenant with Israel (Deuteronomy 1:6-4:43). Now Moses begins his second and longest speech (4:44-28:68). This speech gives the rules that govern this covenant relationship, and it is introduced with another quick summary of Israel’s history after leaving Egypt (4:44-49). God’s acts in history are a major motivation to obey God’s laws.

Moses tells the people that they must ″hear″, ″learn″, and ″be sure to follow″ the Law (5:1). This instruction is still relevant to us today. God chose us to enjoy an intimate relationship with Him. This covenant relationship we have with God is the basis for our obedience. Besides knowing His Word, we must practice its teaching too. The Bible teaches that it is necessary and also possible to obey its teachings.

But some Christians think that because they are under the new covenant, they can ignore the laws of the Old Testament. They say the laws specific to the nation of Israel no longer apply to them. But these laws are part of the ″God-breathed″ Scriptures, and all of them are vitally important in ″[equipping] us for every good work″ (2 Timothy 3:16-17<).

While the law does not justify us before God (we are saved by grace), we are called to follow God’s commands and teachings. Some laws, like the Ten Commandments, apply for all time and should be fully and directly followed. There are ethical lessons in these laws which are universally relevant to every age and to all peoples, even those beyond the nation of Israel.

Other laws, though they need not be obeyed in detail today, still have principles behind them that reveal the character and thoughts of God. We must take into consideration the context of each law and find the objective behind that law in Israelite society. Then we apply that objective to our context. Though the way we implement the teaching behind the laws today may differ, the theological and moral principles behind them are applicable under the new covenant too.

Deuteronomy describes how Israel’s national legal system dealt with adultery and disrespecting parents. We may not impose the same punishments, but we are warned about how serious these sins are. The laws given in pre-inflationary times against taking interest for loans may not directly apply in our inflationary age, but they teach us that we must not exploit the needy who come to us for relief. Christians cannot be loan sharks! The laws about clean and unclean foods and those related to worship may seem irrelevant to us. But when we ask why such laws were made and what principles lay behind them, we learn lessons about what it means to be the people of God. These laws, then, give us wisdom about God’s ways. Let us therefore approach the study of the Word with a desire to be with God and to be instructed by Him, who is both our loving Saviour and our supreme Lord.

Think Through:

What are some of the laws in the Bible which Christians tend to ignore and not follow?

Is there something you need to change in your attitude to the laws of the Old Testament?

Taken from Journey Througn Deuteronomy: 60 Biblical Insights by Ajith Fernando.

1 reply
  1. Baingana David
    Baingana David says:

    I was awed by the study of the law (Deuteronomy) and more revelations in Leviticus and Numbers when I joined a deliverance teaching ministry. However before I could sink in it wholesomely ii was diverted by the preachers of grace and found a soft and easy way to relate with a merciful God. True He is merciful, but there must be a way to understand this great God through learning His law and even be able to teach it.
    There must be understanding the physical covenant Israel as a nation and first born of God has with God and the spiritual covenant the body of Jesus Christ has with this same God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob.
    Now I am back on the track of understanding the mystery of a lamb that was sacrificed on the Cross to bring deliverance to man.
    Thank you ymi.today


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