63: God’s Heart and A New Insight
Many years ago I was reading Psalm 119 and was struck by the love that David had for the law of God. Each of the 176 verses speaks of the word using different terminology; commandments, precepts, laws, testimonies, righteous rules, and statutes. David loves the law of God. “Oh, how I love thy law” captures the spirit of the Psalm. I believe there is a connection between loving God and loving His words. David certainly embodied both.
When I read this poem expressing his adoration for the word of God I think that David was speaking predominately of Deuteronomy. I can’t prove this, but it is a gut feeling. Jesus also quoted extensively from Deuteronomy. This book was penned by Moses and inspired by the Spirit of God. It was his last exhortation, the distillation of his life, from the man of God who spoke to God “face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” Exodus 33:11
If you were to ask me one verse that captures the essence of Deuteronomy I would be tempted to pick Deuteronomy 17:18 “And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law.” That phrase, “copy of this law” is translated in the Septuagint, deuteronomion in Greek, which is where the title of the book originates.
I have liked this verse for some time as it is the only time we are exhorted to read the scripture “all the days” of our life. When we do there are five benefits that will follow our obedience. Deuteronomy 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, 20 that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.
As wonderful as this section is, it is not my first choice. Neither is another favorite section, Deuteronomy 30:11, 14 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
The winner to me, is the verse that provides a window into the great heart of our Heavenly Dad. It is Deuteronomy 5:29 “Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their descendants forever!”
God loves us to pieces. As I read this word “Oh”, I hear a father’s yearning, longing, and desiring that life will go well with them and their descendants. He earnestly desires only good things for us and our children. As we assimilate God’s loving heart, consider Deuteronomy 6:24 “The LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day.” What is uppermost in His mind, is our welfare. His word is given to us, “for our good always.”
In the same spirit this next verse was penned, Deuteronomy 10:12 “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good?”
The new insight I have received of late is that while my obedience will only result in my good, my disobedience will not change my relationship with God. He is sad for me when I sin, but He is still my Dad. God never changes. He loves His children. God is love. When I disobey His commands, I pay a price. I will reap what I sow and I will suffer. But God still likes me. He is my Dad and I am His adopted son.
Every parent knows the feeling of watching a child disobey our instruction and suffer the consequences. When we tell a child to not play with fire or they will be burnt, we know they will be harmed, and they will learn. But we still love them, for they are our children. When God tells us to love Him with all our heart, this is for our good. He doesn’t need or depend on our love, for He is God and He is complete in Himself. When we disobey we are the ones who miss out.
There are many applications to this concept, but what I have received is the assurance that God always has my back. Regardless of what I do or don’t do, His commands are for my good. When I obey them my life is enriched and enhanced. But whether I obey or not does not change the relationship. His love is steadfast and unchanging. He is always faithful, merciful and full of grace. He is my Dad and I am His kid. This is who God is, and He doesn’t change.
Resting in God’s Unchanging Grace,
PS 10 more days for the Rookie Bible Challenge. When May 10th rolls around, send me your tallies for the previous 40 days. Tell me how many days you met as a family to read God’s word. Example: The Martin Family met 27 days. If you want to add a testimonial of how it went that would be lovely as well.
Rookie Bible Challenge
10 more days for the Rookie Bible Challenge. When May 10th rolls around, send me your tallies for the previous 40 days. Tell me how many days you met as a family to read God’s word. Example: The Martin Family met 27 days. If you want to add a testimonial of how it went that would be lovely as well.
One of the resources at Building Faith Families is Hymns for Family Worship, a booklet that has sheet music and history for 62 classic hymns, as well as a three CDs with piano accompaniment.
We have included a link download a sample song in the monthly newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter to get more samples.