And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? — Deuteronomy 10:12-13
Do you remember when you first tried to hit a baseball? In order for the bat to make solid contact with the ball, there were a multitude of things to consider: your stance at the plate, your grip on the bat, the speed and trajectory of the baseball speeding your way, and the mechanics of swinging the bat properly. Perhaps someone gave you the same remarkably helpful advice I was given when I was a young boy standing at home plate: Keep your eye on the ball! That one simple suggestion has helped countless youngsters and uncoordinated adults to successfully hit a baseball. Good baseball players realize that there is no way they can hit the baseball if they can’t see it. All the other steps are important, but it is crucial to keep your eye on the ball.
In chapters 11 and 12 of Deuteronomy, Moses gave the Children of Israel many important instructions, and good reasons why they should follow these instructions. In our focus verses, Moses reveals to the Israelites the crucial element in their service to God: they were to love God with all their hearts and souls. In essence, he was saying, “Keep your eye on the ball!” This was the key element.
This principle spans the generations of time. In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus taught that the greatest Old Testament Commandment was to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind. As we strive to live according to God’s holy Word, there are many important doctrines to understand, promises to claim, and admonitions to follow. However, we must remember to keep our eyes upon that crucial “ball” — our love for God. If all of our actions are motivated by our love for Him, then every other element in our Christian walks will fall into place.
Moses encouraged the Israelites to love and obey God by comparing what would happen in the Promised Land with what had happened in the wilderness: the waters of the Red Sea overwhelmed Pharaoh’s army and brought death, but the Promised Land would be a land flowing with milk and honey to give provision and life to God’s people; in the wilderness, the earth swallowed Dathan and Abiram, but in the Promised Land, the land would drink rain from Heaven. Moses reminded the Israelites that their eyes had seen the trials in the wilderness, and then comforted them with the promise that God’s eyes would be on them in their new land.
Since Egypt was a flat land with little rainfall, the inhabitants had to depend on the Nile River and an extensive irrigation system. Water was pumped into canals from the Nile and then into fields by foot-propelled paddle-wheel devices; hence Moses spoke of Egypt as a land that was watered by foot.
At the end of chapter 11, Moses described a covenant renewal ceremony that was to take place once the Israelites had entered the Land of Canaan. Since they had not yet entered the land, Moses gave them specific directions for the location of this ceremony. Joshua faithfully carried out Moses’ instructions.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The second discourse: exposition of the Law
B. The exposition of the Decalogue
2. The explanation and application of the Decalogue
h. The warning against disobedience (10:12 — 11:32)
(1) The admonition to fear and love God (10:12 — 11:7)
(2) The reason to fear and love God (11:8-17)
(3) The necessity of the instruction of children (11:18-25)
(4) The provision of a blessing and a curse (11:26-32)
C. The exposition of the principle laws of Israel
1. Religious legislation
a. Law of a central sanctuary (12:1-32)
(1) The destruction of false worship (12:1-4)
(2) The centralization of true worship (12:5-14)
(3) The character of true worship (12:15-32)
(a) The avoidance of blood (12:15-28)
(b) The avoidance of ensnarement (12:29-32)
Moses gave the Israelites several reasons why they should love God and keep His commandments. He encouraged them to be no more stiffnecked, but to observe to do all that He commanded. Do you need to be convinced to love and obey God, or does your love for God propel you to follow His commands?