Bible Society of South Africa

God’s word is not difficult to obey – 6 June 2022

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

14No, it is here with you. You know it and can quote it, so now obey it.

Deuteronomy 30:14GNBOpen in Bible reader

8What it says is this: “God's message is near you, on your lips and in your heart” — that is, the message of faith that we preach.

Romans 10:8GNBOpen in Bible reader

God’s people were on the threshold of entering the Promised Land and Moses was giving them the last instructions as he received it from God. He spoke about the renewal of the covenant, the commands and laws that God had given them and especially the promise that if they obeyed these laws and commands, God would bless them and they would prosper in the Promised Land. If one reads through the list of laws and commands, it seems virtually impossible to keep them all.

In spite of how difficult it might seem to us, in Deuteronomy 30:11 God says that it is not difficult at all. In the next few verses, beautiful figurative language was used to illustrate the truth of this. God’s message was not somewhere up in the sky and nobody needed to go across the ocean to try and find it, no, it “is near you, on your lips and in your heart.” They were already able to talk about his commandments and to put it into effect. The secret of how this could be done is revealed in verse 16: “… if you love him, obey him, and keep all his laws.” It does not start with laws and commands, but with love for God. From this love, the eagerness to keep his commands will then emerge.

This message is so important that Paul quoted this verse from Deuteronomy in his letter to the Romans, but what was still in the future in Moses’s time has now been accomplished. Paul used this same metaphor to say that it is not necessary to try and bring Jesus back from heaven or to look for him in the grave. Again, the secret is revealed, this time in Romans 10:9: “… if you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saved.” How difficult can it be to understand that?

It matters not whether you were a Jew in the time of Moses, Greek or Roman in the time of Paul, or you and me in 2022, we are all saved because God loves us and makes it possible for us to return his love. That is what he said and his word is always reliable and true.

Prayer: Our heavenly Father, today we confess that we sometimes see your commands as very difficult to obey. Please help us to understand that all you want from us is our love for you. Amen

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