“When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. And 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. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.’” Deuteronomy 6:20-25
How easy it is to pontificate, exaggerate, or skirt real issues when we have our own inflated agenda. As Moses reminds God’s people to obey for God’s honor and their good, he also makes clear how they should describe these parameters to their offspring. We don’t force obedience to wield superiority or power, or because we can as one with authority, but because they promote a healthy fear of God, are for our good, and are the path to righteousness and life. Moses knew it was vital His people never forgot where they’d come from, that they’d been delivered by love, grace, and great power, and that God intended fruitful purpose in that deliverance.
We must stick to unadorned truth, and be able to explain reasons and benefits of a life of faith. God does great wonders that captivate our senses and take our breath away: a speck of a rainbow to give hope in sadness, a message of love that breaks through loneliness, a spiritual transformation from darkness to light. He also performs grievous works that teach deep lessons: grief that chokes but becomes our friend, losses here on earth that remind us our treasure is in heaven, agony that gives birth to comfort that we can then pass to others. In all His orchestration of moments and days, His word is a steady foundation and guide. (Matthew 6:19-21; 2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
How much do we tell when we meet the lost? How do we answer questions about Jesus and our faith? How do we explain the hope we have to the despairing? When we know God’s word and apply His word, we express His truth in practical living. When we think His wisdom and sing His melodies, we bless others with His fragrance. To explain the meaning of God’s statutes is to motivate the knowledge and fear of Him, and rich meaning and fulfillment ensue. (2 Corinthians 2:15; 1 Peter 3:15)
How prepared are we to answer for our security and joy? To whom will we offer the hope of faith?
“Take my voice and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee.” ~Frances Havergal, 1874
Lord, may my words spread truth and hope, and everywhere and always glorify You.