The Worldview of God’s Law: Spiritual Practice (2)
The worldview of God’s Law requires continuous preparation.
And when Moses had finished speaking all these words to Israel, he said to them, “Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”
Living toward the promises of God did not come naturally to the people of Israel, any more than it comes naturally to us. God had saved them by a mighty deliverance, which foreshadowed the deliverance we have come to know through the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. But being delivered from slavery was only the first step. Israel’s journey to the land of promise, and her journey to realize all the promises of God in that blessed land, required continuous preparation on their part.
We may think about that preparation along three lines. First, the people needed to prepare themselves day by day to understand the promises of God and keep the vision of those promises fresh in their minds. They would expect to encounter many distractions tempting them to prefer something other than the precious and very great promises of God. Only if they continued meditating in the Law of God and recalling the promises to the fathers would they be able to resist the allure of pagan ways and keep focused on the precious and very great promises of God.
Second, the people needed to prepare themselves spiritually. The sacrificial system contained in the Law of God was intended to make it possible for the people of Israel to keep short accounts with God and to be always renewing themselves in their covenant relationship with Him. The disciplines of seeking the Lord, hearing Him, and worshiping Him were to be maintained continually, according to the prescriptions God Himself had provided. Neglect of these disciplines would surely result in straying from God’s plan into more temporal and fleshly concerns.
Finally, the people of God were to prepare themselves and their children, day by day, to consider the requirements of God’s Law. By hearing the Law, teaching it and conversing about it with one another, and observing the elders and judges as they deliberated over the Law in the gates of the city, the people would be always refreshing themselves in God’s teaching, always gaining new insights into the Law and the needs of their own souls, and setting their minds and hearts for obedience as they went forth each day to pursue the vision of God’s Covenant.
Preparing for God’s promises is a matter of thinking, desiring, and opting (willing) for a future blessedness which is promised always to be exceeding abundantly more than what we have ever dared to ask or think (Eph. 3.20). We live the worldview of God’s Law best when we make continuous preparation a way of life.
For a more complete exposition of the promises of God, order a copy of T. M.’s book, I Will Be Your God, from our online store. Subscribe to Crosfigell, the devotional newsletter of The Fellowship of Ailbe. Sent to your desktop every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Crosfigell includes a devotional based on the literature of the Celtic Christian period and the Word of God, highlights of other columns at the website, and information about mentoring and online courses available through The Fellowship.