God is so mean

August 23, 2010

In Deuteronomy Moses gives five “going away” speeches.  Some last thoughts before he died.   Included in these speeches were instructions.  Actually they were more than instructions.  It was the TEN COMMANDMENTS! And in much of the book, Moses gives instructions for living a live pleasing to God.  In Chapter 6 he begins with these words:

1 These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.  3 Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you…”

 So God, through Moses gives four very clear, compelling reasons why we should strive to live a holy life.  Not to gain salvation – Jesus took care of that – but for the here and now, for the life we live before going the Heaven.

I think you can see the reasons listed above, but in case you can’t, here they are.

  1. Verse 1. Because God told me to tell you to do these things.  Moses is being obedient to God.   Moses said, “God commanded me to tell you this.  God directed me to teach you to observe.”   Because I said so does not sound like a good reason when you are a kid, but when it is God doing talking, that is a pretty good reason.
  2. Verse 2 So that you and your children would fear the Lord.  To have respect for him.  To understand that He Is God,  and He alone is God.   So you and your kids and grandkids and great grandkids would fear the Lord as long as you live.  Are you serious about your relationship with God?  Do you hold Him in reverence, respect and AWE?   Do you respect Him…trust Him…obey Him?
  3. Verse 2  So that you will have a long and happy life, and so will your kids, and so will your grand kids.   He doesn’t say, do these things and you will go to heaven.  Do these things and you will have a long happy life.  This is better than a gym membership.  A guarantee that if you do these things you will have a long happy life and finanaly,
  4. Verse 3 So things will go well for you and you will increase greatly.  In other words, God gave these instructions so that we would have a good life here on earth.  Jesus has taken care of eternity.   Obedience to God takes care of the here and now.

From a parenting perspective, this Old Testament  passage is about helping your children get to the point of making the decision to be a Christ follower, and it is about helping your children, and yourself by the way, in making wise choices, so that not only will they get to heaven, but they will have a long, prosperous, life of value while they are here on earth.

God does not give us instructions to be mean to us any more than you teach your children out of malice.  When we trust and obey God it always, always, always leads to our good, to our benefit.

So why do we fight him over this issue so much?


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