As the Lord Commanded

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Regarding Scripture: Deuteronomy 5.32, 6.3

It is sometimes difficult to maintain God’s Word and to do as He commanded. I suppose that it is fair to say that most people, at the minimum, dislike, and at the worst, despise being told the how’s, the what’s, the where’s, the when’s, and the why’s of things to do. Children rebel against their parents. Employees rebel against their employers. Citizens rebel against their government. Whatever the reason may be, it seems that we are predisposed to do what it is that we want instead of what someone else wants. The question that we must ask ourselves: is this the predisposition we have when reading and studying God’s Word? In the closing orations to Israel, Moses has several statements about God’s commands and Israel’s need to follow those commands. The phrase as the Lord is found 21 times in a KJV search.1

Deuteronomy 4.5 and 10.5 speaks of Moses doing as God commanded. In the first passage, Moses taught Israel the judgments and statutes they would need in the Promised Land. In the second, Moses states that the second set of stone tablets has been placed in the ark, and this was done as God commanded. While Moses taught everything God commanded and placed the stones in the ark as commanded by God, he unfortunately did not always obey God. Numbers 20.12 and Deuteronomy 34.4-5 tell us that Moses disobeyed God and Moses lost the Promised Land. While Hebrews 11.23-29 gives us confidence that Moses has eternal salvation, through Numbers and Deuteronomy we see that it is possible for one to teach others God’s commandments and themselves lose a promise. This is why Paul is deliberately determined not to lose his salvation when he declares “I keep my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”2

Moses declares to Israel that it is God’s commands to keep the Sabbath;3 and to honor father and mother.4 While these may seem fairly straightforward, we know from our own society that father and mother are not honored, and our society does not take time to rest. An interesting command that God has Moses declare to Israel is that they are not to go left or right of the commands.5 Again, this may seem straightforward, but we ourselves have labels to describe people’s deviation to the left or right. God’s righteousness is not anti-ism, conservatism, liberalism, or any other ism. God defines righteousness; and it is neither to the left nor to the right. If we find ourselves wearing a label, then we have moved, even if by a matter of a few degrees.

It is also interesting that God has Moses command Israel to be observant.6 Not observant in the aspect of noticing things going on around them, but observant in the fact that they are to do, to perform, to carry out the commandments that God gave them. It does not seem coincidental that one of the closing verses of Deuteronomy expresses that Joshua did as the Lord commanded.7 The Lord Himself declared that His commands are not grievous but easy.8 Yet, as humans, we consistently enslave ourselves to the yoke of heavy burdens instead of following God’s commands.

1 e-Sword KJV Bible search; Deuteronomy 1.19, 21; 2.1, 14; 4.5, 7; 5.12, 16, 32; 6.3, 19; 9.3; 10.5,9; 16.10; 17.16; 20.17; 27.3; 28.63; 31.3; 34.9.
2 I Corinthians 9.27
3 Deuteronomy 5.12
4 Deuteronomy 5.16
5 Deuteronomy 5.32
6 Deuteronomy 5.32, 6.3
7 Deuteronomy 34.9
8 Matthew 11.29-30