• William T. Howe Ph.D.

February 28, 2021

Daily Reading: Deuteronomy 3-5

Deuteronomy 4:2

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Someone once said to me that the Bible is like a cafeteria, "Take what you want and leave the rest." Nothing could be further from the truth. Although many live as if that saying is true, the fact is that the Word of God may not have been written to us, but the Word of God was written for us. Romans 15:4 proves this. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

Moses warned Israel not to diminish or add to the word which he commanded unto them. That word was the Word of God, given to Moses to give to the people. They were not free to pick and choose. Their only choice was to obey or disobey the word. Today, we face the same. In the very last book of the Bible, the last chapter we read these words: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Revelation 22:19.

Of keeping the commandments of God, Moses said: Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. Deuteronomy 4:6. Israel's keeping of God's commands was their wisdom and understanding. Their only defence is that God gave them a command. By keeping the commandments of God they distinguished themselves as God's people. And, you know, we are told the same thing in the New Testament. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:35 True disciples today are marked by love. Obeying God's command to love one another is our wisdom and our understanding, or rather part of it.

The things written in this devotion are common knowledge, there is nothing new here. Yet we, like Israel, have a free will to choose. We can be hearers of the Word only, or we can be hearers and doers of the Word. By hearing and doing we do not add to nor subtract from the Word. Furthermore the doers will be blessed of God, as they have been throughout all of history. Proof? James 1:25. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Be careful that the Word of God is not lowered to a mere cafeteria. Whatever it serves up is good, wholesome, righteous, and worthy to be consumed. It is food for the brain, love to the heart, and godly energy for the flesh. It spurs us on to good works, which glorifies the Father in Heaven.

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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