Remember the Requirements

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?”  Deuteronomy 10:12-13

Recently my daughter was sharing with Sherry and I about a particular scholarship offered at her college.  She said there were 15 requirements that must be met for the scholarship.  After listing some of the requirements, I thought, “Beth does not meet these requirements.  Especially the one that stated, the applicant must be from Alaska.”  Suddenly Beth broke out in laughter and said, “I applied anyway.”

Without a doubt she will not get the scholarship.  Now in a much more serious manner, God laid out for Israel, in Deuteronomy 10:12-13, His requirements for a successful life in the Promised Land.

As one reads this text, he or she must read what comes before and what comes after to clearly understand the implications of God’s requirements.  These verses actually come in the midst of Moses exhortation (9:1-11:32) to the nation concerning her future.  Very quickly Moses reminds Israel that God is giving them the Promised Land, not because they were righteous, but because He loved them.  The fact is, they were unrighteous all along the way.  Moses comments about their unrighteousness, “You have been rebellious against the Lord from the day that I knew you,” 9:24.  

The fact is, God challenge to Israel was to change her way of living.  Unless she began to meet God’s requirements, the blessings of the Promised Land would be forfeited.

These chapters remind us of God’s grace in His love to unloveable people.  God’s amazing love came to us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8).  These chapters also remind us of man’s inability to carry out the requirements of God without His empowerment.  Israel’s heart was not different.  Yes she experienced victory for a period of time, but her heart remained unchanged.

Question, “has your heart been changed?”  Your answer will only be yes if your heart has been circumcised.  How does a person know it there heart has been circumcised?  Just as circumcision is an outward sign.  So to will there be outward sins of an inward change.  Consider Deuteronomy 10:12-13, 1) A person’s life will be lived with the desire to honor God (Fear).  2) A person’s life will be characterized by obeying God (Walk).  3)  A person’s life will be marked with the love of God (Love).  4)  Finally, a person’s life will be identified by their life of service to God (All your heart).  

This day, I pray you will look at the requirements and you will remember that it is by God’s grace and by God’s power that you are able to both understand and carry out God’s requirements.

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