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February 7, 2022 - Deuteronomy 10-13

God said to Moses, “Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and come up to me on the mountain and make an ark of wood. And I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets that you broke, and you shall put them in the ark” (10:1-2). In the following chapters, Moses reminds the people about their covenant relationship with God and the requirements for remaining in covenant fellowship with the Lord. He explains, “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord which I am commanding you today for your good?” (10:12-13)

At times, we tend to think of the commandments of God as onerous and heavy. That’s largely, I think, because we see them merely as lists of “do”s and “don’t”s rather than what they truly are, that is, instructions that are good for us and which keep us in sweet fellowship with our God. Think about it, how much easier and joyful it is to come into God’s presence when our lives are reflections of his holiness but how burdensome and troubling it is to try to approach God with known sin in our lives. As Israel, and we, live according to his commandments, we enjoy sweet fellowship with him. My grandfather’s favorite hymn, which we sang at his funeral, was “In the Garden.” How sweet to walk in the garden with the Lord and enjoy his presence!

I come to the garden alone,

While the dew is still on the roses;

And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,

The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own,

And the joy we share as we tarry there,

None other has ever known. -- C. Austin Miles (1913)

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