“Listen to the statutes… 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… I have taught you statutes and rules… that you should do them in the land you are entering… Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all 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..? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?
“Take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children— how on the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, [he] said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live…’
“Therefore watch yourselves very carefully… Beware lest you act corruptly… Take care, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord… Keep his statutes and commandments, which I command you today, that it may go well with you and your children, and that you may prolong your days in the land that the Lord is giving you.” Deuteronomy 4:1-2,5-10,15a,16a,23a,40
Moses knew God’s people would enter and take the promised land without him, so he made sure they would take his admonition. He knew that they were God’s treasured people, and wanted them to remain set apart by worshiping Him alone. He knew it was the Lord who gave wisdom and understanding, so he commanded they hold fast to His word. He who was at first reluctant grew strong through obedience and ongoing communion, and knew well the power of receiving and keeping (and not keeping) God’s word. He’d experienced supernatural courage and miracles, and witnessed spoken promises fulfilled, so he conveyed to Israel the supreme importance of knowing and keeping God’s word. (Exodus 3:10-14; 12:29-36; 14:21-31; Hebrews 11:24-28)
It is one thing to hear a message, or about someone’s experience with God, and quite another to deal with Him directly. The alphabet that makes up God’s word comes spiritually alive when the inspired words it composes are heard, applied, and conveyed. Then comes the guarding, the insight, the blessing. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:3)
When and how do we partake? When we close our ears, we calcify the rebel heart that lurks within to our detriment. We shut off and out protections and spiritual wisdom. But when we delight in the word, it becomes to us light and life for the dark pressing world. What are we doing with what we learn, and where will we spread it? (Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 4:22; Isaiah 30:9-14; Jeremiah 15:16; Jude 18-21)
My Lord, as one called, beloved, and kept for You, may I faithfully love and keep, live and speak Your holy word, to the praise of Your excellence and power. (Jude 1)