Has anyone ever called you ‘slow’?
I hated that when I was a teen. Someone would make a joke, probably an inappropriate one, and everyone would giggle conspiratorially. I would make a valiant effort to get the joke. I would think hard. I would scour all my internal files on double entendres and slang words, but alas, eventually, I would have to speak up. “I don’t get it!”
I’d like to say I’m much more likely to “get it” now, but I’m probably not. I still need a little help.
Just like the Israelites. God had something for them to “get”, and He wasn’t willing to let it go over their heads. Hence, Moses’ sermon.
This section is entitled “Love and Obey the Lord”. Moses talks about God’s laws and decrees, how blessed the Israelites would be if they kept them, and how cursed they’d be if they didn’t.
Not too difficult, right?
After all, we all know that we should love God and obey God. Big duh. Thank you, Captain Obvious.
But do you get it??
Because Moses wasn’t playing! This wasn’t a rote repetition of religious rituals. I mean, just look at what Moses was asking the Israelites.
In verse 8 he tells them to “observe therefore all the commands” of God. Okay, pretty basic stuff. But then he goes on. “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds”. “Tie them as symbols on your hands”. “Bind them on your foreheads”. “Teach them to your children”. “Talk about them when you sit at home”. “Talk about them when you walk along the road”. “Talk about them when you lie down”. “Talk about them when you get up”. “Write them on your houses and door frames”. “Write them on your gates”.
Was he done yet??
What is this? Was Moses paranoid? Controlling? Finally driven crazy by the stress of leading the Israelites?
Or are God’s words really that important? If you’re a Christian, you’d probably answer that question with a confident “yes”. But do we really think that? Read that list over again. Are we anywhere near that vigilant when it comes to obeying God? Studying what He’s said? Remembering what He’s said?
I don’t think we get it. I know I don’t! Because I don’t read the Bible that earnestly or energetically. I don’t talk about God everywhere I go. I barely have any Bible verses memorized!
But I should. God’s words about who He is, how to live, and the eternal glory He has prepared for us are a matter of life and death. If someone gave you a book, and told you to study this book and follow it, or else you’ll die, you would probably know that book by heart by now.
That is, if you really got what they were saying to you.
Maybe you, like me, are realizing that you didn’t understand as well as you thought you did.
That’s okay. God knew that would happen. He already has a solution.
“So if you faithfully obey…then I will send rain on your land…so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil…you will eat and be satisfied…you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you. Every place where you set your foot will be yours…” (verses 13-15, 23-24)
But “be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods…then the Lord…will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain…the ground will yield no produce…you will soon perish from the good land…” (verses 16-17).
In other words, God has set up speed bumps. He’s placed road signs. He’s plugged in big flashing warning signs.
Because He wants us to get it. So He allows us to experience the consequences of sin, or the bountiful rewards of obedience, all so that we will make the right decision, the decision that leads to happiness.
The decision that leads to Him.
“There is no one and nothing you need to know more than Me.”
And we need to let that sink in. We need to meditate on that. We need to absorb it into our pores.
Verses 1-7 do exactly that. “Remember…his majesty, his mighty hand…the signs he performed…the things he did in the heart of Egypt…how he overwhelmed them with the waters of the Red Sea as they were pursuing you…what He did for you in the wilderness…it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the Lord has done.”
He wasn’t done then. He isn’t done now. There’s so much more where that came from – kindness and forgiveness and freely given joy and understanding and companionship and strength and peace and contentment and laughter and deep, deep love.
Do we get it? He is the single most important Person in our lives. We need to believe it. We need to start acting like it.
TL;DR: If you learn nothing else from this life, learn Jesus. And then teach Him to someone else.
What do you think? Do you think we understand these truths? Do you “get it”? Share this with someone.
One thought on “The single most important thing you can ever learn in your entire life (Deuteronomy 11)”
I truly believe that knowing and loving God is the most important thing in this life. Well said!