- Righteousness Before Relationships (Deuteronomy 13:6-11)
- Morning Meditation: Listen to Words not Wonders (Deuteronomy 13:1-5)
- Morning Meditation: Inquiring After Their Gods (Deuteronomy 12:28-32)
- Morning Meditation: Obedience is Always an Option (Deuteronomy 12:20-27)
- Morning Meditation: How to Enjoy God’s Blessings (Deuteronomy 12:15-19)
- Morning Meditation: One Pattern, One Name, One Place (Deuteronomy 12:8-14)
- Morning Meditation: Shrine or Sanctuary? (Deuteronomy 12:1-7)
- Morning Meditation: A Blessing and a Curse (Deuteronomy 11:26-32)
- Morning Meditation: A People of the Book (Deuteronomy 11:18-25)
- Morning Meditation: The Primacy of Obedience (Deuteronomy 11:13-17)
- Morning Meditation: Characteristics of the Land (Deuteronomy 11:8-12)
- Morning Meditation: A Heritage of Obedience (Deuteronomy 11:1-7)
Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 11:13-17
Verse 13 begins with two inseparable realities. The first is listening and obeying. The second is loving and serving. The first teaches us that one does not truly receive the Word of God until he obeys it, for the very point of God’s Word is that it be lived. The challenge for us is to have no category of Bible reading that does not directly and intentionally challenge our lives. We are to listen obediently. In fact, we may use only the word “obey,” because it implies we have listened already. The second reality of love and service teaches us that affections are one with actions. The Lord asked Peter of his love to Him, and the proof the Lord demanded was “feed My sheep.” Christianity would be an easy thing if feelings for Christ were its only mark. It is easy to admire One Who selflessly gave Himself. But an entire life committed is the only true mark of an entire heart committed. Love for Christ goes beyond admiration, though it ought to start with awe; it cuts to the depths of our priorities and asks if we are willing to yield everything we are and do to His will.
The next verses remind us of the worth of obedience, for it is followed by rain and satisfaction. One thing to note is that the rain was “in its season.” God’s blessing was seen in the context of a year which would have days of varying difficulty. So, there is no question that our obedience will be rewarded, but we must allow God to define the timeframe. He does send the blessing for our work, but usually in the context of a big picture. It has to be this way lest man take the credit for God’s work. This is so we can be truly satisfied when God sends the rain, for when He does we know it will be done right.
The following verses outline consequences of disobedience and idolatry. God calls it a deception, for there is no true worth in going after idols. Not only would Israel experience the emptiness of the idols themselves, but they would “perish quickly from the good land” due to famine and divine judgment. Loss is far too great a cost, yet sin always brings it. We follow sin because we think it contains worth. This we think until it ensnares us and reveals its true nature. Sin is a hard taskmaster, and it is deception to follow after it. Like the golden calf made while Moses was delaying on the mountain, sin promises immediate blessing while we wait for God’s time; then it yields long-term grief that cripples us far beyond the time we would have had to wait for God. Sin is never worth the cost.