See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” (Deuteronomy 4:5-6 ESV)
“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—” (Deuteronomy 4:9 ESV)
Moses reminds Israel of what he has taught them, the statutes and rules that God had given them. The Lord established structure and order for a sinful nation, much like a parent setting house rules so that there would be stability and peace within the home. Any form of disobedience will be punished with consequences, not to cause harm, but to correct behaviors.
As we know, rules are often broken or disobeyed because we have a rebellious nature within us. Independence from anyone, including God himself, gets plugged into our psyche because the devil tempts us by offering gifts and benefits based on our desires. Feeding into those temptations is what creates distance between us and the Lord, which is why Moses said, “Take care, and keep your soul diligently.” He wants everyone to be watchful and to remember all the works of God so they do not fall into the trap of sin.
We are to do our best to live by God’s rules, a holy life, so that we can reap the benefits of his favor over us. He enjoys blessing us with gifts and abilities. He loves to forgive and embrace the broken-hearted. It is his will to heal and restore our minds, bodies, relationships, and environments. Our Father knows we will sin and fall short, which is why our faith in Jesus has become the utmost priority of our spiritual growth. Without him as our foundation, everything else just falls apart, including our attempts to live a holy life.
When we abide in Jesus, all the hard work of salvation has been completed. We are already forgiven and redeemed, and we must therefore purge any distraction that keeps us from living out this truth. Otherwise, we waste a lot of time wandering in a cycle of guilt and transgressions, like passing through a revolving door and yet not going anywhere. We are empowered by the Lord’s grace to fully resist temptation, and we are free to choose to walk with God and in his truths. Therefore our journey can now be focused on spiritual growth and inviting others to join us.