By ​Michelle Schroeder

 

 

 

Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, ~ Deuteronomy 4:6a

 

I clearly remember my attitude toward my parents when I was a teenager, and they laid out various rules. I was not a fan. I was unable to see and unwilling to consider that these rules were imposed by parents who loved me and wanted to keep me safe for the life they knew I should have. They wanted my behavior to reflect the person they knew I was created to be and knew I needed rules to accomplish this. I couldn’t see the point of what appeared to my rebellious young eyes to be arbitrary restrictions preventing me from doing what I wanted to do. Sometimes, I argued with them; other times, I pleaded relentlessly in an attempt to wear them down, and occasionally, I chose to face the consequences rather than obey.

The Rules are Meant to Help

In the first reading today, Moses is tasked by God to lay down the rules for the Israelites. The Lord wanted to help them as they entered a new land. He wanted them to be respected and have others see that these Israelites were different and set apart. He tried to keep them safe and belonging to him in the Promised Land. Deuteronomy 4: 6-7 says, “Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people!’  For what other great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him?”

Of course, we know that throughout the remainder of the Old Testament, God’s people often argued with Him, pleaded to wear him down and get their way, and sometimes, they chose to do what they wanted and face the consequences.
When I do a good examen and allow God’s love to convict me truly, I have to acknowledge that I am still too often like my rebellious teenage self and the Israelites when my will is at odds with God’s law. With a good amount of age and hopefully a tad more wisdom, I can admit God’s rules do protect me and keep me safe for the eternal life he wants me to have.

 

Prayer:

Lord, help me to love your law more than I love my will.

Call to Action:

Thank God today for loving you so much that he gives you the rules you need to experience eternity with him.

 

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