The Impetus for Keeping

“The Lord called [Moses] out of the mountain, saying,.. ‘Tell the people of Israel: “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

“So Moses called the elders of the people and set before them all these words… All the people answered together, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do.’ And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord.  And the Lord said, ‘Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may believe you forever…’

“Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up…

“Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and stood far off…  Moses said, ‘Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.’” Exodus 19:3-9,17-20; 20:18,20

Before giving out the law upon which the nation of Israel would be established, and which ultimately pointed to Jesus who would uniquely and perfectly fulfill it, God established His whys. We want to do what we want to do- what is pleasant, worthwhile, doable, even simple or easy. What feels good, looks good, or gets me ahead. Life’s all about me. But when Almighty God enters our world, motivation and reason turn upside down and inside out. He presents a new motive and method for our keeping on and keeping His word, and it all has to do with Him. (Matthew 5:17; 2 Corinthians 5:17)

He has delivered us from captivity to sin and hopelessness, and borne us up with life. This almighty, transcendent, omnipotent Supreme has condescended to meet us personally and make Himself known. He has called His children out from the world as His treasured possession, His holy nation, once not His and now belonging. He is the One we are privileged to obey, the One whose word He helps us keep. (Deuteronomy 7:6; 1 Peter 2:4-5,9-10)

His aim for our obedience has everything to do with Him and His highest and best for us. Man is born insular, self-focused, and measured in desire and capability according to neatly planned preferences. But right fear of the Lord opens wide our hearts, diminishes our pride, reorients our aims, and establishes the honor of Christ as our chief desire. What keeps us from bowing before Him in humble, adoring fear?

Lord Jesus, Whom have I in heaven but you?
    There is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
For me it is good to be near God
and keep Your word. Amen. (Psalm 73:25,28)

One thought on “The Impetus for Keeping”

  1. Whenever I think of our God who “ almighty, transcendent, omnipotent Supreme has condescended to meet us personally and make Himself known”, my heart is so touched that I can’t ever thank Him enough.


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