By: Joshua Strader
Our family lives in the sleepy area of Cottontown. Our boys, Gabriel (5) and Alistair (3), love to frequent our shady back yard where our play set can quickly convert into a space ship and even the smallest acorn or fallen tree branch can be imagined into any infinite number of playful objects. With the weather getting warmer and sunnier, we find our family spending more and more time outdoors together. Each time I hear our kids ask excitedly, “Can we play outside?!” I smile to myself as I anticipate the fun world of imagination we’re about to enter. As they sprint out the door (often with their shoes half on!), I catch them each time to remind them of some important instructions. “Stay well clear from the road. Watch for cars. And don’t walk down to the creek without Mommy and Daddy,” I’d remind them. Though they always seem annoyed by the delay of our instructions, I know they realize their importance and appreciate the sentiment of our care for their wellbeing.
In the story of Deuteronomy (meaning “second law”), Moses gives the Israelites some final commands and reiterated instructions before blessing them to enter the land promised to them generations before…
“If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering…” (Deut. 30:16)
Though they were both excited and anxious, the Israelites needed those final words of reminder before they experienced the fulfillment of God’s promise. Without adherence to His instruction and guidance, God new that it wouldn’t take long for the Israelites to find themselves in perilous danger. It was as if God evoked a caring parental voice saying, “Don’t run so far ahead of Me that I can’t see or protect you.”
We all need reminder, don’t we? We need to remember that the God’s commandments aren’t purposed for our hindrance, but for our protection and prosperity. Only through our obedience to what God has commanded can we fully delight in the blessings He has bestowed and avoid the entanglements that so easily destroy. It is how we demonstrate our reciprocated love and appreciation to God’s gifts (John 14:15).
So let’s remember the blessing of God’s commands and head out to the back yard. Oh, and don’t forget your shoes!