The basic requirement that the LORD makes of His people, Israel, is found in Deut. 10:12,13: “And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God, with all your heart and with all your soul.” These two verses capture the essence of the covenantal relationship that the LORD desires with His people.
When it says “And now” in v. 12, what is implied in these 2 words is all of God’s past faithful dealings with His covenant people……….The LORD blessed and watched over Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He was with Joseph in Egypt and blessed Jacob’s family when they went down to live with Joseph during the famine. He caused them to multiply greatly while in Egypt and then delivered them from Pharaoh’s slavery through great signs and wonders. He constituted them as a nation at Mt. Sinai when he gave them the 10 commandments. He guarded and guided them for almost 40 years in the wilderness and put up with their many rebellions and murmurings. Indeed, the LORD has been faithful to his side of the covenant.
And now a whole new generation is poised on the edge of the Promised Land ready to go in. What does the LORD require of His people? Loving obedience, ” flowing from the grateful consciousness of covenant relationship and fellowship with this glorious and faithful God” (Baxter). Obedience is emphasized in almost every chapter of Deuteronomy. The word “do” occurs over 50 times. The LORD, through Moses, is urging His people to be faithful in response to His faithfulness to them. The Promised Land is flowing with milk and honey and can only be fully enjoyed as Israel maintains fellowship with God.
Another point I would like to highlight from our reading today is God’s word of caution to Israel in Deut. 9:4-6. He makes it clear that He is giving them the Promised Land not because of their righteousness. There is no room for boasting on Israel’s part. The LORD is fulfilling His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in giving them Canaan (9:5b). And He is dispossessing the other nations from Canaan because of their wickedness (9:4b,5a). Many years before, God had promised to Abraham that He would give His descendants the land of Canaan when the sin of its present inhabitants reached full measure (Gen. 15:16). That time has now arrived.
We have seen in Deut. 10:12,13 what the Mosaic Covenant required of the Israelites. Is anything less required of ourselves today under the New Covenant? Definitely not! Our privileges in Christ (Eph. 1:4, 3:19, 4:23. 5:18, Gal. 2:20, Col. 1:9-11 etc.) far exceed those of Israel under the Mosaic Covenant. We are under more obligation to obey, in the spirit of love and godly fear (Jo. 14:21-23). In Christ’s love and service, Pastor John