This reminds me of an old cereal commercial, where two older brothers are afraid to try a new brand (“Life” if I remember). One boy says, “I’m not gonna try it, you try it!” The other boy says, “I’m not gonna try it, you try it!” Then they team up on their little brother, saying, “Let’s get Mikey! He’ll try anything.” The sons of Israel were in a precarious position with God, saying to each other, “I’m not gonna face God, you try it!” Then they say, “Let’s get Moses! He’ll try anything!”
Moses then begins to repeat the law from Leviticus, but with the teaching perspective of Israel’s blessings by God, Israel’s astonishing and frequent disobedience, and Moses’s interventions with God.
There are 82 timeless verses in Chapters 9 – 13 laying out what unity with God really means. Moses teaches that: the Lord is our inheritance; heaven and earth and all that is in it belong to God; God’s never-ending love is a deep affection; he is God of Gods and Lord of Lords; he is your praise; he has done great and awesome things which our eyes have seen. What soaring beauty!
“Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways and love him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (10:12-13, NASB).
Could it be any clearer? Moses repeats 14 times in these chapters that his children must obey all God’s commandments, and if they do, his never-ending love will pour out on them forever.
Have we in America and in the fractured unity of the Christian church obeyed all the commandments of God? Have we forgotten to fear him?
Interspersed with the God’s expectations for unity are an incredible 45 warnings to Israel (how many of these describe us, too?): God says we are a stubborn people, frequently provoking him to judgment; we have been constantly rebellious against him; he can get so angry that he wants to destroy us; we have acted corruptly; if his anger is kindled against us, he may shut up the heavens and we will perish quickly; we are cursed if we follow other gods that we have not known.
This is not a pretty picture, is it? God says in this passage that he is testing us to find out if [we] love him with all our heart and soul. Do we? Looking at America today, the “other gods” one scares me.
Let’s get Jesus!