Daily D – Deuteronomy 4:5-8
Deuteronomy 4:5-8 “See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?”
What is God like? We know him by his names and his attributes which are closely connected. His names declare his nature. This chapter is filled with details about our Father in heaven. Moses repeatedly provides insights proclaiming there is no other god like our God. This paragraph tells us God is near, God is interested, and God is kind.
Verse 7 asks the type of question with an implied answer. The only conclusion one could arrive at is there is no God like our God. He is not, in the words of a song from my youth, “a god away out there, a god who doesn’t care.” No, he is near and no more so than when we pray. Listen to Psalm 116:1, 2:
“I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!”
Psalms 116:1-2 NLT
When we pray, God leans in.
Psalm 116:2 in the New International Version says, “Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.” Why do we pray? Because he listens. We might go so far as to say a prayer less life is a godless life. Let’s ponder that thought before it is recorded for all time
Notice the blessing of obedience we find in verses 5 and 6. God’s laws and instructions are not to burden us, but to build us. They do not hurt us, they help us. They do not slow us down, they speed up our progress.
Verse 6 is a theological textbook of its own.
“Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.””
Deuteronomy 4:6 NIV
People will see our obedience – our agreement with God about what is right, just, fair, good, and loving – and declare our wisdom and understanding. They will see us as the positive alternative in our culture.
Our obedience adds breadth and depth and meaning to life. Our God is kind to give us such loving instructions.
Our God is interested in everything about us. He wants his highest and best goodness to characterize our relations, our work, out rest, and our recreation.
Verse 8 is like verse 7. It also is a question with an implied and emphatic answer. God’s laws and instructions enhance and protect life, liberty, property, and responsibility.
Maybe Chris Tomlin should write a song about How Great Is Our God.
Read on down this chapter and see what all Moses tells us about God.
God is God and there is no other. He is near. He is interested in everything about us. He is unfailingly kind. How could we not worship him? How could we ever restrict worship to a single day of the week? Let us worship him now.
I will worship God because he is near, he is interested in me, and he is better to me than I would be to myself.
Our Father, thank you for the beautiful reality of who you are. Thank you for leaning in to hear my prayers. Thank you for your focused interest on my life and how you seek your highest and your best for me now and forever. Thank you for your kindness in making my life a testament to your goodness. Amen.
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1 Chronicles 22:9-13 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would. May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”