Moses has just finished reviewing the Ten Commandments with the people. Now he shares the one thing that holds it all together; the linchpin.
The commandments and all of the rules that build upon them would mean nothing without one thing holding them all together. That “thing” is love. God loved us so He set this whole process in motion. He gave Israel His law to guide and protect them. He gave us Jesus to fully open the way into His presence. But if WE don’t love Him in return we will fail at trying to keep any of His commandments.
When Jesus was asked “Which is the greatest commandment in the law?” (Matthew 22:26) He quoted what Moses shares today. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (verse 5). If you don’t love God with everything in you there is no hope of following Him. You will find yourself being an “emergency believer.” This is the opposite of a “fair weather friend.”
When trouble strikes an emergency believer turns to God for help. If you have any doubt about this just look at what is going on around us now. More people are turning to prayer than at any other time. Even the media is prompting people to pray for relief. But what happens when the crisis passes? Those who only came out of fear return to their previous behavior. They don’t need God anymore.
That was what Moses was warning the people about. God was taking them into “a land flowing with milk and honey” (verse 3b). They were going to have houses again. There were vineyards and olive trees just waiting to give their produce up to this coming people. There would be wells brimming with water that they didn’t even have to dig. Without having a deep abiding love for God this time of plenty would push Him from their minds.
Moses told the people to write God’s words on scrolls that they would keep on their own person. Put it on your hand and between your eyes. Make it so much a part of your daily life that you CAN’T forget! Don’t just write them down, put them in a pouch, and forget about them. Talk about God’s laws with your children, your neighbors, and anyone who passes your way. Tell the stories of God’s marvelous works. Talk about where He brought you from and where He has taken you to. Tell about all the amazing things He has done along the way. This is the ONLY way to keep your heart fresh and tender towards Him.
I love the idea of writing God’s commandments on your hand. When I have something I really need to remember I write it on my hand. People ask me about this sometimes and I tell them it is the ONLY notepad I KNOW I won’t lose. Every time I move my hand it catches my eye. When I wash my hands I’m careful to rewrite my message if I still need it. I can be certain that if it is on my hand I WILL do what is written there. I also find that if it is a not that gets written repeatedly on my hand that it makes it into my permanent memory much faster.
Father God, I LOVE You and want to serve You ALL my life. I don’t want to be an emergency believer. I love looking back in the good times and seeing Your hand and how You brought me to this place of plenty. It reminds me that no matter what lies ahead I can trust You to carry me through it too. I love sharing what You have done for me and reading Your stories about what You have done for others. I think that is one reason I like the stories in Your word so much. Why I enjoy digging deeper in them so I can see it from the participant’s point of view. Why I want to walk where Jesus walked.
I know sometimes I don’t talk about You when given the opportunity. All those memes on Facebook saying “Repost if you’re not ashamed” or “Don’t scroll by without saying Amen.” Sometimes I’ll chime in but most of the time I feel like if I did it would be more for “public approval” than anything else. “Look! So and so commented.” I don’t want our relationship to be judged by what I “like” or share. I want it to be seen in how I act and how I love. I want to show Your love to those who are hurting, like privately sharing a song with someone I know who is struggling. Those are the “displays” I want to make. Displays of Your love done in a quiet way. Not as showy as binding scrolls on my hand and forehead but what I believe You want from me. I’m NOT saying that this kind of post is bad or wrong, it’s just not how I feel drawn to honor You. Without those posts many people wouldn’t hear of Your love. I’m honestly glad that others feel compelled to share this way.
Thank You for loving me and teaching me to love others. I LOVE You most of all! Reminds me of something on Blue Bloods. Danny and his wife saying I love you. “I love you.” “I love you more.” “I love you most.” I think mine is always the middle one because You started it and will always end it too.