David began by reminding us of the five words/requirements from the book of Deuteronomy so far:
In Deuteronomy 11, Moses repeats a lot of what he has shared already. If I was to ask you what kind of emotion does repetition or someone repeating the same thing trigger in you, what would you say? Would you say it’s annoying or would you say it sparks self-reflection leading to character building? I know for me, in most cases it’s the former. Why is that? I would have to admit, probably pride.
We publicly read Deuteronomy 11:1-24 and David asked us to listen out for any of the five words. I found this a really useful exercise.
LOVING God is the supreme command and we can only love because God loved us first.
The second critical requirement is to KEEP (obey) His commands. Obedience to God is an expression of our love and involves a commitment to keeping the commandments of God. His commands are not burdensome or restrictive; they guard and protect, nourish and nurture.
We can only see the commandments in this light if we have a faithful FEAR for the One who spoke them into existence. David shared a quotation from one of my favourite authors:
You know the way some words trigger thoughts or memories (good and bad)? What thoughts/ideas/memories/questions/emotions come straight to mind if someone says to you “God”? For me, it is Creator. I marvel at nature and at us humans and how everything has been built for a purpose.
Moses encourages the people to think carefully about God: His greatness, His mighty hand and His outstretched arm. Moses reminds the people of what God has done in the past to guide and protect them (verses 3-6). Moses hits refresh to enable remembering that God is great, powerful and active.
Moses introduces the idea of choices and consequences as we see with the word IF.
The Israelites had a choice, just as we have a choice today. If the Israelites chose to love, serve and obey, God made known to them what would be waiting in the Promised Land. If they chose not to, there was an alternative path and destination that would lead to perishing.
In a time when motivational speaking is popular in the western world, David reminded us that if we love, serve and keep God’s commands, we will not be guaranteed a good, wealthy and healthy life and in many cases will experience the opposite in this world, but we will know true satisfaction.
Another key theme David drew from verse 13 was the sense of urgency from Moses about the people making decisions ‘TODAY’. This was further referenced with the words of Joshua and Jesus urging us to live intentionally daily. EVERY DAY IS A DECISION DAY.
The fifth word is WALK, stressing the importance of saying and doing what pleases God.
The final word is HOLD: to cling to, take a firm grasp of God and He will hold fast to us.
Shane and Shane have a great version of ‘He Will Hold Me Fast’ in their HYMNS Live album. You can find it on many streaming platforms and it is a good use of our opening thought on the benefits of Repetition.