The Scriptorium

The Sanctified Life

All of life can glorify God. Deuteronomy 22-24.4

A Holy Nation (3): Deuteronomy 22-24.4 (7)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 132.13-18
For the LORD has chosen Zion;
He has desired it for His dwelling place:
“This is My resting place forever;
Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
I will abundantly bless her provision;
I will satisfy her poor with bread.
I will also clothe her priests with salvation,
And her saints shall shout aloud for joy.
There I will make the horn of David grow;
I will prepare a lamp for My Anointed.
His enemies I will clothe with shame,
But upon Himself His crown shall flourish.”

Psalm 132.13-18
(Finlandia: Be Still, My Soul)
God dwells among us, and He will forever, to meet our needs and clothe us with His grace.
He has to us sent Jesus Christ, our Savior, and made us His eternal resting-place.
His foes are banished from His Presence ever, but we shall reign with Him before His face.

Review Deuteronomy 22-24.4, meditate on Deuteronomy 23.21

1. What is a vow? Why must we always keep our vows?

2. How many different aspects of life are touched on in these chapters?

Chapters 22-24.4 of the book of Deuteronomy touch on many different aspects of life. All of them have the potential for showing love to God and love to our neighbor. We love God when we obey His laws and statutes. And we love our neighbor in the same way.

Let’s review a checklist of the topics covered in these verses: Returning lost possessions; helping a neighbor in need; dressing appropriately; caring for creation; constructing a home; sowing and harvesting; marital fidelity; sexual crimes; order in the assembly; cleanliness; runaway slaves; loans and interest; vows; sharing of your possessions with your neighbor.

As long as this list is, it is merely representative of all the various statutes, rules, precepts, testimonies, and judgments throughout the Law (Exodus-Deuteronomy) that illustrate, clarify, and explain applications of the Ten Commandments.

In all these areas of life we have the potential for honoring God and blessing our neighbor. Which means that all of life is sacred; every aspect of our lives can be a means for glorifying God and blessing others, even down to what and how we eat and drink (1 Cor. 10.31). Everything we are and have – all our time, possessions, relationships, roles, and responsibilities – are given to us as opportunities for loving God and our neighbors. The more we hide the Law of God in our heart, the more it will check our natural tendency toward selfishness and shape our soul for living as God intends (Ps. 119.9-11).

Vows can be especially helpful in the process of sanctification – growing in holiness. By them we target specific areas of our lives for specific actions or changes. In a very real sense, every day should find us offering ourselves to God for His glory and our neighbor’s good, like living sacrifices (Rom. 12.1,2) who are determined to watch over our hearts with all vigilance (Prov. 4.23), take every thought captive for obedience to Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 10.3-5), and focus our conscience on the Law of God in all we do (Rom. 2.14, 15), so that, in everything we do, love for God and our neighbors flows like living water to refresh, renew, restore, and rejoice (Jn. 7.37-39).

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
When [not if] you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay [not wait] to pay it; for the LORD your God will surely [not maybe] require it of you [not another], and it would be sin [not righteousness] to you” (Deut. 23.21). As the song by Lydia Walker says:

I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

You are not your own; you were bought with a price (1 Cor. 6.19, 20). All of your life, and all of your time belong to the Lord. He is sanctifying you for righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit. Press on. No turning back.

1. What do we mean by saying that all of life is sacred? How do you experience this sacredness?

2. What would be an example of an appropriate vow? When should we take a vow?

3. What can keep you from seeing all your life becoming increasingly sacred to the Lord?

The rule of vowing also pertains to the keeping of the Third Commandment, since, by vowing, men exercise themselves in the sanctification of God's name, and to promise anything to God is a kind of swearing. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Deuteronomy 23.21

Lord, I give myself to You for this day and every day, so that I…

Closing Prayer: Psalm 132.1-12
Thank the Lord that He remembers all His promises to us. Ask Him to help you remember and fulfill the promises you’ve made to Him.

Psalm 132.1-12
(Finlandia: Be Still, My Soul)
Remember, Lord, we pray, in David’s favor, the hardships he endured, the oath he swore,
the vow he made to Jacob’s mighty Savior: “I shall not enter through my palace door;
I shall not sleep, nor slumber my eyes favor, until I make a dwelling for the Lord!”

The word throughout the chosen nation spread, to Ephrata, and in the fields of Jaar:
“Now let us go,” the faithful people said, “and worship where our Savior’s dwellings are!
Around His footstool let our worship spread; come, gather to Him, all from near and far!” 

Arise, O Lord, come to Your resting place; Your holy Presence meet with us in might.
Clothe us with righteousness in Jesus’ grace, and we will shout to Your divine delight!
For David’s sake, turn not away Your face, but look upon us in Your holy light.

Remember, Lord, the oath You swore to David; do not turn back, do not deny Your Word:
“One of your sons, with your throne I will favor, and He shall keep My cov’nant evermore, and walk within My testimonies ever, thus He shall ever rule as Israel’s Lord.”

T. M. and Susie Moore

Listen to our summary of last week’s study in Deuteronomy by going to today’s column at the website. You can download all the studies in the series by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy: Ancient Christian Commentary Series III, Joseph T. Lienhard, S. J. ed. in collaboration with Ronnie J. Rombs, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2001). All quotations from John Calvin from John Calvin, Commentaries on The Four Last Books of Moses Arranged in the Order of A Harmony, Rev. Charles William Bingham M. A., tr. and ed. (Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society, 1863. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore