Deuteronomy 10 (NLT) “At that time the LORD said to me, ‘Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones. Also make a wooden Ark—a sacred chest to store them in. Come up to me on the mountain, and I will write on the tablets the same words that were on the ones you smashed. Then place the tablets in the Ark.’… “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the LORD your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. And you must always obey the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good… “For the LORD your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. You must fear the LORD your God and worship him and cling to him. Your oaths must be in his name alone. He alone is your God, the only one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes. When your ancestors went down into Egypt, there were only seventy of them. But now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky!
After falling so many times as a nation, it is amazing that God still wants to bless Israel with Himself. Is there more to this than meets the eye?
The chapter starts off with a reminder to Israel about getting back to the Word of God. The first time the commandments were given, Moses broke the tablets of law not only out of anger but also to signify the breaking of the law of God. Now God wanted to restore His law by bringing forward the new tablets and protecting it by the sacred ark.
God is in the restoration business and has far more mercy than we can even begin to understand. His graciousness is impossible for us to begin to comprehend and His love for us is beyond any love we can know. To ask why God showed so great a mercy on the Israelites is futile because clearly God loves them and us beyond everything else in His creation.
His love is so deep and sincere that thousands of years later, He would send His only son Jesus Christ to come and die on a cross at the very hands of the ones He came to love. In all the combined wisdom of the world, we can never fully understand God’s motives but we can celebrate the fact that we have a God who cares so deeply for us personally.
Many have said that they do not believe in this supernatural being who is supposedly beyond time and space and created it all but they have no explanation for why we are created with hearts, minds and emotions, something far greater than just being living organisms. We can try to understand how things work and create some things ourselves but we can never match or compete with our creator who did it all and directs His creation for His own glory.
When God gave the Israelites His law again, He also provided for them mediators to help them in their faith walk. These mediators were referred to as the priesthood of Israel and were from the Levites tribe. This tribe was set apart from the 12 other tribes of Israel and their life service was to mediate between man and God. There were to have no possessions of their own but were to live off the much God’s people provided them and their life was spent serving God on behalf of those placed in their spiritual care.
God’s provision of the priesthood was to tell Israel loud and clear that they were not going to be able to walk their faith alone. If any were to refuse priestly mediation but rather trust in their own abilities, they would perish. This sounds harsh and cruel but it was a needed provision that the Israelites had to receive and comply with.
Put that in context to our lives today and we can see how God provided us the fellowship of the church and pastoral care and teaching, to direct us to Him. More importantly, God provided His son Jesus Christ to be our chief priest who sacrificed His own life for us that we might live when we accept Him as our Lord and Saviour and in so doing, we are in-dwelt by His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit living in us is symbolic of the tabernacle that God lived in among the Israelites and is proof of how deeply connected our faith is to the lives of these Israelites thousands of years before.
God’s requirement of Israel was to reverentially fear Him, to walk in His ways, to love Him, to serve Him with their heart and soul, to keep His commandments and statutes and to do it for their own good. This same need is what God has for us today and the reason is that He loved our ancestors and has chosen us to serve Him.
In His Loving Service,