Moses reminded the Israelites how he told them to take possession of the promised land and not to be afraid, discouraged or terrified (Deuteronomy 1:21 & 29). The Lord would fight for them just as He did for them in Egypt (Deuteronomy 1.30).
He had been with them in the wilderness, but they were still full of unbelief (only Caleb and Joshua had really had enough faith). Yet they had lacked for nothing in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 2:7).
God had given them some rules to be their guidelines and they were so privileged to have been chosen, as a nation, by God, to know Him and have a relationship with Him (Deuteronomy 4:6-8). God meant them to be a shining example to other nations. They were to pass on the stories of what God had done for them to the next generation.
Moses warned them of the consequences of going away from God and worshipping idols, other gods, and, sadly, this was to happen in the future. They would be scattered in foreign countries all over the world. Yet God would never forget His promises to His chosen people, and when they turned back to Him, He would have mercy on them (Deuteronomy 4:27-31).
After repeating the ten commandments of God to the people (Deuteronomy 5), Moses spoke of the greatest commandment of all. ‘Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). Five times in Chapter 6 of Deuteronomy, Moses exhorted the Israelites to be careful to obey God’s commandments to them. It was so ‘that you may enjoy long life, ‘that it may go well with you’, ‘that you may go in and take over the good land’, and ‘that we might always prosper’. If they were careful to obey all the law as God had commanded them to, then it would ‘be our righteousness’.
In Chapter 7, Moses explains that they are chosen in God’s purposes purely because God loved them. ‘For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD has chosen you out of all the peoples on the earth to be his people, his treasured possession’. They did nothing to earn God’s love, but having received it, God expected them to love Him in return. He wanted them to show their love by giving Him their hearts and remembering His commandments. They were to destroy idols, the carved images of false gods, by fire, even if they were made of silver or gold.
If we have received the love of God and have experienced His mighty power in our lives, He expects us to respond in the same way. We are redeemed from slavery to sin and the devil by Jesus, God’s own Son. We are to be holy to the LORD our God and live in relationship to Him as our heavenly Father. We can be confident that we are ‘His treasured possession’ and give Him our loyalty and aim to do the things that please Him. We are to show others what it is to have a relationship with the true and living God, the Creator of this whole universe. We are also to teach the next generation all that we know about Him.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, thank You that You choose me to be Your ‘treasured possession’ and You want me to love You in return with all my heart and soul and strength. May I understand the privilege I have been given and take up the responsibility it brings to be holy to You, to obey Your commandments and to teach the next generation about You. In the name of Jesus, my Saviour and Lord, Amen.