The bible is replete with words of wisdom. In Proverbs 3:1-2 we find the wisdom in Solomon’s, words, “My son, do not forget my teachings, but keep my commands in your heart.” “for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity”.
To him who finds these words irrelevant to our times, brushing them off as if meant for “old testament people”- the Israelites to be exact-, I submit to you that Gods words of wisdom then, ring true today. Likewise, His commands still stand through the New Covenant in Christ.
While God’s commandments through the Moses Law (for the Israelites) were intended as a sign of impending judgement; the underlying benefits were two-fold. In other words, God was saying, “I’m warning you of impending judgement but through your obedience, blessings and prosperity are sure to follow”. To the reader, if you know the balance of this story, you will most likely agree that the Israelites would ultimately face the consequences of their continual disobedience but not without also experiencing the merciful hand of God. I would challenge the reader of these short scripts to go to the bible and study out the old testament for its commandments and then take a journey down the road of the NT and see where it leads you in God’s wisdom and His overflowing grace.
What ever variance between the commandments in the OT and the commands through out the bible both Old and New; The bottom line is that God’s instructions to us are clear. Make no mistake His desire is simply to pour of His abundant wisdom and masterfully draw us closer to Him as we determine in our hearts to walk in obedience. However, rest assured that He will not hesitate to discipline us in our disobedience. The good news, is that God only chastises out of His abundant love, Mercy and desire for us not to perish for lack of knowledge of his word.
To paraphrase Deut. 30:10, The Lord says Today if we harken (Obey) the voice of God, and follow His commands, and His statutes, He will Prosper us. He will not only prosper us, but He will heal, restore and abide in us through His saving grace. Let us drop down, if you will, to vs.11-14. In His endless love and mercy, God is giving us a guarantee as to what will follow. He is so wise, that in the midst of the commands, He also makes allowances by letting us know that we don’t have to go far or even ask because the word is accessible. God tells us, “It is in your mouth and in your heart”, so that all we need to do is trust and obey. God has made our path clear should we decide to follow His instructions and respond to His call.
In Matthew 22:36-40. we find the living God teaching the multitudes when He is briefly interrupted by a group of skeptic Pharisees one being an expert. In todays world, we might know him as an intellect. The purpose of course, was (to tempt) Jesus and so he asks “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? to which Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself “.
The afore mentioned scripture summarizes pretty much how God expects us to live, as it pertains to His requirement of us as a people of God and in general. At first glance, it might appear safe to overlook all the other commandments/commands etc. Especially, since some commentaries allude to the reduction process which is merely to go by Matt. 22 alone thus eliminating the rest of scripture. However, in so doing wouldn’t we be neglecting the significance of God’s total and un-adulterated word. Especially, the importance of His commandments in the Old as well as the New Covenant in the New Testament?
For this reason, I have to submit to you a fundamental portion of scripture. One that were I to overlook explaining, would be most negligent on my part. In Matthew 5:17, Jesus so eloquently states, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”. He goes on to say in vs. 40 that on the above two commandments hang all the law and the prophet. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that “all scripture” and certainly “all the commandments” are “God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correction and training in righteousness”. Jesus desires that we grasp the deeper, underlying purpose for His statement. That is; that we determine in our hearts and re-direct our attention to loving God and one another, the rest of His commands will become easier to follow which of course will necessitate the Grace of God and our willingness to obey.
My friend, I present to you that God’s word is as relevant then as it is in the now. Make it your life mission to study, meditate, digestion, and correctly divide the word of truth. That is, walk according to Gods word without being ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus. For, as Paul goes on to say, in Romans 1:16-17 ” it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth… !17 for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith”.
Make Gods word part of your life for it is Life changing to those who find it.
Ephesians 2: 8-10 reads “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, least any man should boast: Fall into the loving hands of Jesus and experience His Grace.
Let me close with a brief childhood memory. Some of you from way back when, may recall the character “Wimpy” from the Popeye cartoon. Well he used to go around saying “I’d gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today”. This always made me laugh and though I didn’t understand the implications which meant eat now and pay later.
I say to you with the love of Christ, today is the acceptable day of the Lord! Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can have today. The hamburger may be available today but what price are you willing to pay on Tuesday!