Sometimes we use the phrase ‘half-hearted’ meaning we do not feel total commitment to what we are doing. We cannot follow God and His Son, who died for us, in this frame of mind. Our chapter in Deuteronomy today contains a powerful appeal by Moses to the people he will soon leave, about the frame of mind they should set themselves to possess when they start to live in the promised land and enjoy its blessings. They will need sincerity of heart in serving their God who has given them great blessings, realizing He is the only true God.
Moses’ speech contains several passages which are powerful exhortations for us in the twenty-first century and our anticipation of a wonderful ‘promised land’. He writes, “You shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from your land that the LORD your God is giving you … and you shall go to the place that the LORD your God will chose to make his name dwell there” (26:2). Then Moses gives a brief history of the formation of the nation from the days of Abraham to the time when “the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds …” (verse 8).
At this time of entry into their promised land, he tells them, “you shall rejoice in all the good that the LORD your God has given to you …” (verse 11). Moses reminds them of “all the statutes and rules … the LORD your God commands” adding, “You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul” (verse 16). He reminds them that they “have declared today that the LORD is your God and that you will walk in his ways …” (verse 17).
The parallel to our commitment to Christ reaches a higher dimension with Moses’ next words, “… you are a people for his treasured possession … he will set you in praise and in fame and in honour high above all nations … you shall be a people holy to the LORD your God”. They briefly achieved this under Solomon, but then God had a greater Son of David in view, and a wonderful promised land for those who follow him. Peter was granted a comprehension of this that he, with all who follow this Son, “are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession …” (1 Peter 2:9).
Let us make sure we are “careful … with all (y)our heart” to show by our words and actions that we belong to this holy spiritual nation now, for the time is surely close when our faith will be turned to sight.