We have been studying the Ten Commandments and the explanation of them in Deuteronomy. We saw last time that the Lord uses repetition over and over in the Scriptures to get His point across, and in the section in Deuteronomy which explains how to worship the Lord God alone, the 1st Commandment, the Lord repeated four instructions: Listen to His word, pay it heed, observe it, and teach it to your children.
Then there was a second repetition that I noticed in Deu chapters 6 through 11, the chapters that explain how to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, all our souls, and all our strength. The second repetition was in the numerous times Moses admonished the people to remember something, or not to forget something. So I traced it back to the first occurrence:
“Then it shall come about when the LORD your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied, then watch yourself, that you do not forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” Deu 6:10-12
Moses is telling us that in order to maintain a heart devoted to the Lord our God, we must watch ourselves – guard our hearts – pay heed! – by remembering certain facts. The facts which we are to remember:
2) Fear the Lord and worship Him only (Deu 6:13);
3) The Lord is a jealous God, and if I forsake Him, I will earn death for myself (Deu 6:15);
4) Do not test the Lord by complaining about or despising His care of me and the life He has given me (Deu 6:16);
5) I am holy to the Lord, and the Lord God has chosen me to belong to Himself because He loves me, therefore I am a special treasure above other peoples (Deu 7:6-8);
6) The Lord does not love me because of my own merit, but because of His great faithfulness to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Deu 7:7-8);
8) The Lord leads me through the wilderness with provision, and humbles me, and tests me, to see whether I will keep His commandments or not (Deu 8:2);
9) I shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Deu 8:3);
10) The Lord chastens me to teach me obedience during my time of testing as a father chastens his son; therefore obey His commandments (Deu 8:5-6);
11) When I prosper because of the blessing of the Lord which comes upon me because of obedience, it is the Lord who is prospering me, not me myself (Deu 8:18);
12) When I dispossess those mightier than me before me, it is not because of my self- righteousness that the Lord dispossessed them before me, for in myself, I am stubborn and stiff- necked (Deu 9:4-29).
It is interesting that each of these points which we are to remember, which we are to take care not to forget, is designed to thwart the enemy’s common tools which he uses to try to deceive even the elect if possible. We have already discussed a few of them: not knowing the word of God is thwarted by living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God; the deceitfulness of sin and focusing undue attention on the adversary or others’ faults is thwarted by remembering all of the Lord’s commandments and being careful to observe them. The other common tools? Keep reading …