Deuteronomy 10:13 (HCSB)
13 Keep the Lord’s commands and statutes I am giving you today, for your own good.
This pericope, it seems to me, is basically a summary of the Israelites, and our, relationship with God. It is easy to focus in on God’s commandments, and they should be a point of focus for sure, but we can do so to point that we lose the big picture that our relationship with God is just that: a relationship.
The passage starts out with the main point: what does God expect from us except to walk in His ways, to love Him, and to worship the Lord our God with all our heart and all our soul (Deut. 10:12)? And it is not as if there is no reason to do so, not that we should require, or even expect a reason. But we are reminded of just how big God is due to everything, all of creation, belonging to Him. Yet despite his greatness, his power, His immensity: He still loves man, and demonstrates it repeatedly. He is fair, there is nothing we can do to manipulate Him (Deut. 10:17). He loves all people, not just the ones we so often deem lovable (Deut. 10:18). He is for us.
So our response? It should be, just as the passage opened, to love Him. And part of what that looks like is obeying His commands, at least trying to, making it our goal. And it’s not out of fear of being punished, not out of duty, or even in order to “get something” out of it. We obey for two reasons:
- “He is your praise and He is your God.” (Deut. 10:21) We obey because of our relationship with God, and who He is in relation to us.
- “For your own good.” (Deut. 10:13) God’s commands are not for His benefit, He is need of nothing, they are for our benefit. They draw us closer to God, deepen our relationship with Him, rather than drive us away. They bring true joy, rather than despair. His law is for our good.
Lord, thank you for Your law, and for being our personal God. I am sorry for all the times I break Your commands, and the times I push You away. Yet You continue to love me, and take me back. I pray for forgiveness, and the clarity and heart to continually seek You, including through being obedient to Your commands. Amen.