Deuteronomy 11.1, 2
“You shall therefore love the LORD your God and keep his charge, his statutes, his rules, and his commandments always. And consider today (since I am not speaking to your children who have not known or seen it), consider the discipline of the LORD your God, his greatness, his mighty hand and his outstretched arm…”
John 16.8-11; Hebrews 12.5-11
That “therefore” cues us to look back to the preceding passage for the reason God requires the obedience of His people. Deuteronomy 10.22 reads, “Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.” This is a direct reference to God’s promise to Abram in Genesis 15.1-6, and it invites the people to respond to the grace of God just as their forefather did: “And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.” This is how the divine economy operates: God graciously selects a people to be His own, and draws them after Him by holding out precious and very great promises (2 Pet. 1.4). They respond by faith, demonstrated in obedience, thus making it possible for God to bring them into His promises, if only in an initial phase. Receipt of the promise at that level engenders renewed faith on the part of the faithful, leading to obedience and further realization of the promises, and so forth.
God had just delivered His people from Israel, graciously “remembering” His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Ex. 2.24). Now, on the plains of Moab, east of the land of promise, Israel was poised to begin enjoying the next phase in God’s covenant promises. And how would that happen? How would they gain further benefits from the God of grace? By looking to the promises and walking in obedience to God’s Law.This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to www.MyParuchia.com and click on our Book Store.