Thursday, March 17, 2016

No Idle Words!

Scripture Readings: Deuteronomy 32-34 1 Corinthians 1:2

Bible Verse: 45 When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. 47 They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”

This is Moses' farewell sermon. He has delivered many messages from God to the people of Israel. Though he has made some mistakes and not always trusted God in every situation, like when he struck the rock in the desert disobeying God's command. No prophet has ever known The Lord face to face and done the awesome deeds that Moses did. So he ends his life urging the Israelites to take these words to heart and teach them to their children. And by them they might have life and life abundantly in the Promised Land.

Finally, Moses says "these are not idle words they are your life." This is not some "self help" sermon but the very words of God. Moses has faithfully preached them, and now they will either obey them or not. Moses could only mediate between God and the Israelites, but they needed to be faithful to make them their life. And part of making it their life, was to teach their children to obey these words. And they could not teach their children if they weren't living by them.

God's word is "living and active sharper than a double-edged sword", the author of Hebrews writes. Moses says, "these are not idle words, they are your life". God's word comes alive when we live according to it. Because we are sinful we often resist obeying God's Word, just like the Israelites did. God can give us His Word but He can't make us obey it. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can obey the Word. It is the Spirit who leads us into all truth.

God wants to bless us and give us abundant life. He revealed His Word, Jesus Christ. The bible has given us the words of eternal life. They are not idle words, they are our life! Moses was a faithful servant of God. He gave the people the Law, by which God set them apart from the nations. But the Law could not save them. It was powerless to do so. Israel's disobedience showed their need for a greater prophet than Moses. It showed us our true need which is Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.

This is God's promise. It is not an idle word. Let's take it to heart and live by it and teach it to our children.

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