Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 6

“We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And the Lord showed signs and wonders, before our eyes. And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give our fathers. And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day.” (Deuteronomy 6:21-24)

Fresh out of Egypt, Moses commands all of Israel, “Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may belong. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Deuteronomy 6:1-3).

It surely was an extraordinary time. All around, the Israelites surely felt God’s presence and God’s mighty power because they saw God actively working before their eyes. God led them out of Egypt by sending the plagues so that Pharaoh would let them go. God then led them to victory against the thousands of Egyptians who chased them on horseback at the red sea. God then led them by the pillar of cloud and fire. All these were indeed a miracle for a nation of slaves. 

When Moses first gave this command, everyone would have bowed down with a humble and crushed heart. They would have praised God for what He had done and His faithfulness that never left them. However, if we fast forward into history, we see the reality of what happened to God’s people. Once they entered the promised land full of milk and honey, they started to forget God. 

Moses had already explicitly said, “take care lest you forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Deuteronomy 6:12). Yet, we see how the Israelites started worshipping Baal, they asked for a human king, turned to all sorts of idols, and ended up in exile because they completely forgot about what God had done or who God was. If we read the narrative of the Old Testament, one of the things that will stand out is Israel’s ignorance and stiff-neckedness. Even after countless prophets who preach judgement at the top of their lungs, they do not repent. Again and again, the same history repeats itself. 

If we look closely, Israel’s journey exactly represents our walk of faith. God called us out of the slavery of sin. He brought us into His Kingdom, where He is the bread of life and the fountain of living water. He calls us to serve Him and to worship Him because that will always be the best for us. He promises us a new life in Him and joy everlasting when we obey Him. Yet, what do we do? Despite God’s infinite love for us shown on the cross, we deliberately choose to disobey Him again and again. God reminds us countless times, yet we are ignorant and stiff-necked. We do not listen, and we continually stray away from God because we think our past lives in the world are a lot more attractive. We forget God’s love and what He has done for us on the cross. 

However, despite our failures, what do we see about God? He is faithful. He chose to love us not because we were going to be faithful to Him. Instead, because He chose to love us, He is faithful to us. Deuteronomy 7:9 says, “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations”. 

Do we keep God’s commandments? No. Do we love God? No. Yet, because God is faithful, He gently turns us back when we go astray. He forgives us when we fall. And He is continually working to change our hardened hearts to become obedient ones that love God because of the perfection we have in Christ’s justification. 

Praise God for His continual faithfulness to us, unfaithful people. May God humble us and teach us to obey Him day by day. 

Lord, thank You that You are the faithful God who freed us from the bondage of sin. Even though You have given us the greatest gift, we still disobey You and reject You. We are nothing, God, and truly unworthy of Your love. How wicked and shameful are our actions when we disobey You. Yet, help us, God. Shape in us an obedient heart that grows to love You. May we learn to treasure You and prize Your glory above all else. Lord, no one can understand Your faithfulness and steadfast love. Praise be to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.