Sunday, September 26, 2010

Deuteronomy 10, 11, 12

The Ten Commandments on a monument on the grou...Image via Wikipedia

In these chapters, Moses knew that his time of shepherding Israel through the desert was coming to an end.  Although he loved his people, Moses worried about Israel’s ability to continue in God’s will.  After all, they rebelled numerous times over the past forty years, incurring God’s anger and judgment. . 

As he recounted Israel’s history, Moses gave the younger generation a sense of belonging to a long line of people with whom God had a relationship.  Israel existed not on the basis of anything they were or did, but simply because God chose to love them.  As Moses gave the younger generation a vision of Israel from God’s perspective, he enabled them to understand that they were a people with a destiny, with special directions from God.  As the time drew nearer for Israel to enter the land of Canaan, Moses sought to impress God’s Law, which separated them from all other nations, onto their hearts.  Because he didn’t want it to be just about the letter of the Law, Moses desired for Israel to love the Lord with the strength of their entire being.

That being said, Moses charged the nation to demonstrate their love for the Lord by keeping His commandments. In Deuteronomy 11, Moses also stated that because Israel was witness to God’s mighty signs, wonders, miracles, and works, they saw and experienced the true, living God in action.  Having experienced God in such extraordinary ways, Moses felt that it should put Israel into a frame of mind of almost involuntarily wanting to worship God through obedience.  Moses went on to say that obedience, as an expression of their love for the Lord, would give them the strength to go and possess the land of Canaan.

The word strength as used here does not refer to muscles or body building.  Rather it is the Hebrew חָזַק (chazaq), which connotes determination, perseverance, steadfastness, or resolve.  It is interesting to note that Israel’s ability to take possession of the land of Canaan was linked to Israel’s obedience to God’s Law.  If Israel’s obedience stemmed from their absolute love for the Lord, then they would have complete confidence in God’s promise to give them the land of Canaan. 

Israel was not supposed to look at who lived in the land of Canaan but rather to look only to the Lord their God who promised the land as an everlasting covenant to them.  Then, as now, love and obedience enable the believer to look to God with the full confidence of knowing that His promises stand.

Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for chazaq (Strong's 2388)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2010. 26 Sep 2010. < http://
Strongs=H2388&t=KJV >
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