Education: Listen and Do.

July 9th, 2009

Deuteronomy 4:1-14

4:1. "Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers is giving you.
4:2. "You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take anything from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

Let's look at some keywords in this passage. Listen, observe, live, possess, given, add, take, keep, and command. If you notice, these are all verbs. All but two are things that we humans are to do. The others are A promise from God and his command that this is true, and the right things he wants for us.

God is speaking to the nation of Israel as they are about to enter the promised land. They have been wandering in their sins in the desert, and are on the threshold of something good. It is a message that we can still experience in our own parallel lives. We get into a rut of daily drudgery, but that isn't what God wants for us. At some point he gets our attention. Are you out there, blaming God, or going through thoughts of doubt. Good, that means that thoughts of God are going through your mind. He has blessings and promises he wants to give.

Here's where the education comes in. Listen and understand.

Listen to what?

The statutes and laws that are in Gods word are the list of behavior that will bring you the blessings of God. They are things that God desires, but they are also a way that outlines how to serve others and live at peace with others. As much work as that may sound, don't forget that those others that you are to serve are also serving you.

Obey, or observe. Now that you have listened to God's words and understand them, show it. Put those principles to practice. Honor God by taking the Sabbath to stop work and worship him. Honor your fellow man by treating them well, and not lieing, stealing, and all the rest. Educate yourself in other ways that the Bible talks about.

Live and Possess. Why do those things, listen and obey? It is the correct way God wants to see his little kids play well together. By living in this way he promises that the land that awaits will be given and we will possess it. He has blessings waiting for us, but it requires the little bit of faith on our part to take him at his word and actually do these crazy things that go against the grain of human nature and selfish desire.

Add and Take. Actually these are "don't add" and "don't take" The words of the Bible are what they are. Adding new laws, or adding more restrictions only degrade what God has written. Taking away is just as bad.

If we allow each person to delete the thing in the book that gets on their nerves, or they find hard to believe, or for any reason they want to take out. Pretty soon after all people have had the chance to snip out their pet sin, there won't be anything left to govern our lives. Gods laws are written, and have been for centuries. There are some stories and historical events that seem hard to believe happened. Whether you believe they did or didn't happen, at least consider the moral and ethical message behind those hard sayings.

Adding to Gods word is part of what got Eve into trouble. The command was to not eat the forbidden fruit. Upon being tempted she says that God said not to eat, or even touch it. She added to God's word. Granted if you don't touch it, it could very well be hard to eat it. It gave the serpent in the garden the chance to keep tempting her. I'm sure that in her confused understanding of what God had said that when she touched it and didn't die, it broke down the barriers for her to go further. But that's speculation on my part.

Given and Command. These are the actions that God will do for us when we Listen and Obey. He has treasures of blessings for us, all he requires is for us to get the idea through our heads that by submitting to the regulations of his word, we become liberated far beyond any of our past expectations.

Live life as best as you can in accordance to his laws, and leave the hard obstacles to God, and be blessed.

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