The Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 5) and the Great Commandment to love God with our entire being (Deuteronomy 6.5) are the pathways to a blessed life.
It is painful to think about all of the wrongs that are happening in the world today. Think about how much of the world’s sorrow is caused by people who disregard God’s guidance through these commandments.
Satan has deceived humans into thinking that God’s commandments are restrictive. He has successfully convinced multitudes of people into believing that it is foolish to follow God’s directions for the good life.
The litany of human woes is a result of the belief that the Ten Commandments and the commandment to love do not apply to life.
Let’s be inspired to follow God’s direction, because of the promises he gives to those who are willing to be guided by his loving hand.
God’s Promises for the Obedient
I have counted four promises for the obedient in Deuteronomy 7.12-16.
— Promise #1 – Deuteronomy 7.12 – If you heed these ordinances, by diligently observing them, the Lord your God will maintain with you the covenant loyalty that he swore to your ancestors.
God’s first promise to people who follow his guidance is the best one of all. People who follow him have the opportunity to live in a personal relationship with him.
Jesus expanded the ideas of this verse.
— John 14.21, 23-24 – They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
“Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my word . . .”
How can we experience God’s love in a very meaningful way? From Moses to Jesus the answer is the same: to show our love to God by our behavior.
— Promises #2-3 – Deuteronomy 7.13 – He will love you, bless you, and multiply you; he will bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock, in the land that he swore to your ancestors to give you.
Notice the words, “love,” “bless,” and “multiply.”
God’s blessing includes the loving friendship that God grants those who follow his guidance. I believe Dallas Willard’s phrase “living the Jesus-kind-of-life” is what is meant by following God’s directions.
Success is another aspect of God’s promised blessing. I have been reading a book, “Why Nations Fail.”
Nations fail because the powerful extract labor, power, and money from the less powerful. The most successful nations in history are inclusive. They allow others to profit from their creativity and industry.
Whether it is a person or a nation, the most successful people embrace God’s principles.
— Promise #4 – Deuteronomy 7.14-15 – You shall be the most blessed of peoples, with neither sterility nor barrenness among you or your livestock.
The Lord will turn away from you every illness; all the dread diseases of Egypt that you experienced, he will not inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you.
God promises health to those who follow his principles. A WebMD article cites 10 health benefits for people who obey God’s commandment to love.
According to the article, people who love experience fewer doctor visits, have less depression and anxiety, maintain lower blood pressure, and heal faster.
I know several people who have lived very full and meaningful lives into their 80s and 90s. Their personalities reflect Paul’s description of the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5.22-23).
Faith and the Commandments
I have a theory about God’s promises and our obedience. If we believe God loves us and has our best interests in mind, then our actions will show it.
To the degree that we neglect God’s guidance, we demonstrate that we don’t think his way is the best way.
This passage in Deuteronomy challenges me to seek to follow God’s direction, whether it seems easy or not.
We should strive to live the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 5) and Jesus’ thoughts about them in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5.17-48).
In addition, the Great Commandment to love (Deuteronomy 6.5) and Jesus’ explanation of it (Matthew 22.36-40) should be the highest aspirations of people of faith.
Our faith is revealed by our behavior with regard to these commandments.
About This Blog
Rudy Ross and I discuss this outstanding passage on the Bob Spradling YouTube Channel. Rudy and I have been friends for many years and enjoy discussing the Bible together. We hope you will find time to view our conversation on this topic.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.