As Christians around the world including here in America face home-grown terrorism and persecution, we must ask whether the storms have already begun for us and whether they might be God’s response for our failure to obey his commandments. Hear God’s passionate heart:
“O that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear me and keep all my commandments always, that it may be well with them and their sons forever!” (5:29, NASB)
Imagine my delight when I read this in my “Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible” concerning this section of Deuteronomy:
“The grand design of all the institutions prescribed to Israel was to form a religious people whose national character should be distinguished by that fear of the Lord their God which would ensure their divine observance of His worship and their steadfast obedience to his will. The basis of their religion was an acknowledgment of the unity of God with the understanding and the love of God in the heart.”
We are right on target studying Israel’s history of the Cycle and asking where we are today by comparison!
Here is a summary from Chapters 5 – 8 of what God expects from his children:
· The Lord is perfect unity – love him with all your heart, soul, and might.
· Teach your children diligently – at home, along the way, when you lie down and rise up.
· Our survival today depends on obedience to his commandments.
· God is faithful and keeps his covenant for those who love him in obedience.***
· God humbles us when we disobey, testing us to know what is in our hearts.
· God’s never-ending purpose is to do good for us.
But here are God’s severe storm warnings if we do not obey his commandments:
· Watch yourself, for the Lord in the midst of us is a jealous God.
· Do not test God.
· Do not intermarry with non-believers; if you serve other gods, the Lord will destroy you quickly.
· When you achieve great success, do not become proud in yourself and forget God.
According to Deuteronomy 7:10, which completes the verse annotated *** above, if we do not keep God’s commands, we hate God, and he repays those who hate him to their faces, to destroy them; he will not delay with anyone who hates him.
American culture has been given over to other gods. Many Christians and churches have been given over to the gods of power and greed rather than sacrificial love. Are we hating God?
God warned Israel. Is e now repaying us?
There is hope. We must repent in the perfect unity Jesus prayed for in order to obey the commands of God. This is the mission of Streamside Unity.