Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Concentrated Effort To Teach

About two months after bringing Israel out of Egypt, God made his contract or covenant with Israel.  Forty years later, a few days before his death, Moses reviewed the contract with Israel, and reminded them of their responsibility to obey it, in Deuteronomy6:1-5.    

“Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.

Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

The laws had been given so that the people would know what God expected of them and how to handle different situations that might arise.  By taking the time to learn what he expected and obeying it they show their love and respect for God, and as a result, They would enjoy the blessings he had promised for generations to come.    It is similar to the promise Jesus made to Christians in John 14:21.  “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”   If we love him enough to learn what he expects and obey him, he will reveal himself to us in special ways, just as he ‘d promised Israel to walk among them.

If they were to experience these blessings in the future generations, it would be incumbent on the Jews to teach their children these same laws.  Their children and grandchildren would have no memory of God freeing them from slavery, or enabling them to cross the Red Sea.  They would not have lived on the manna and quail or seen how God defeated their enemies, so that it would take  a special effort to impress the power and God upon them.  Deuteronomy 6:6-9 describes the extent to which they would need to go. 

“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.  And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” 

They were to memorize those laws themselves, and teach them to their children.  They were to constantly talk about what God demanded , so the children would understand how very important it was to obey God.  They were to have copies scattered around their homes as a constant reminder of What God demands.  If they failed to impress their children with the importance of obeying, they would develop a sense of entitlement, convinced they were better than other people and deserved the blessings just because they are Jews, as Deuteronomy 6:10-12 warns. 
“And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.”  

Today we see that same attitude of superiority and entitlement among the Americans,  If we want to continue to receive God’s blessings, we are going to have to learn to obey God’s laws ourselves and make a concentrated effort to teach our children to do so.    We need to remember, actions have consequences.

No comments:

Post a Comment