The Why and How of Soul-Keeping

“Listen to the statutes that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord is giving you. You shall not add to the word, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God. Your eyes have seen what the Lord did at Baal-peor, for [He] destroyed all the men who followed the Baal of Peor. But you who held fast to [Him] are all alive today. See, I have taught you statutes and rules,.. that you should do them… Keep them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as this law that I set before you today?

“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart… Make them known to your children and your children’s children… Watch yourselves very carefully… Beware lest you act corruptly by making a carved image for yourselves, in the form of any figure… Beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars,.. you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them…

“The Lord has taken you and brought you out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance… Take care, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord, which he made with you… Seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul… Know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him.” Deuteronomy 4:1-9,15-16,19-20,23,29,35b

Why are we to keep our souls before God? So we may live, and fully possess all the glorious riches of our inheritance. So His word will be for us wisdom and understanding that not only guard and guide us, but show the watching world that they flow from God’s favor. Because the practice keeps us close to the Lord and His righteousness, focusing our sight and filtering out corruption. Because they identify us as God’s people. The benefits are divinely beneficial, numberless, and sure promises- God says so.

How do we soul-keep? Listen, do, retain, and obey God’s commands. His word must be infused into our DNA, inform our decisions, and motivate our actions. Recollect it, relate it to present circumstances, retain it in memory, recount His ways, recite His truths, and remind our loved ones of their sweetness and power. Take care, and beware.

What priority does soul-keeping have for us? What do we pursue that has no eternal value? Are we as diligent, as vigilant, to guard our hearts and fill them with God’s word as we are in other lesser endeavors? (Proverbs 4:23)

Lord, keep me keeping my soul, so Your word is wisdom and strength for my days, and so You keep the supreme place of honor You wholly and only deserve. (Isaiah 33:5-6)

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