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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

March 2, 2024

Read to Read …Again


Daily Reading:  Deuteronomy 9-10

 

Deuteronomy 10:12-13

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?

 

Why obey God? …for thy good. That is what Moses told Israel. This is what most people miss. They don’t understand it, or they have not been taught, or in some other way it has escaped them. Keeping God’s commandments and His statutes are for the good of those who keep them. Think about the various laws of God given to Israel through Moses. They were all for the benefit of the nation and every individual.

 

The laws dealing with blood, dead bodies, food, personal interactions, washings, even the religious laws of offerings and sacrifices, were all for the good of Israel. In the keeping of them they were clean, safe, and learning about the awful penalty of sin which always brings forth death. For example, keeping His command to build the tabernacle, moving it, and caring for it all gave them a work to do, it kept them busy in the wilderness wanderings.  Yes, God dwelt in the tabernacle, but think about it… He could have dwelled in the trees, or in a cave or somewhere else. But according to His divine wisdom and knowledge He commanded Israel to construct the tabernacle. Which not only gave them purpose, but it also taught them about the coming Saviour; in a way it was their Bible. Today, looking back at the wilderness tabernacle we learn much about our bodies, which today are temples wherein God lives through the Holy Spirit.

 

Yes, God’s laws, the keeping of them, are for the good of those who keep them. Consider the New Testament law of forgiveness. In Ephesians 4:32 the Bible commands: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Notice that last phrase …even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. God has, or can, forgive all your sins, every one of them. His is an eternal forgiveness. He continually forgives and cleanses His children from their sin. Over and over and over again He forgives us the same thing. Those who have received this type of forgiveness are to forgive others in a like manner. Jesus dealt with this twice. When Peter asked the Lord how many times he should forgive someone, “even seven times?” Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:22 In another place, Luke 17:4, Jesus said: And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. Hey, If God commands us to do this, He will do this!

 

Forgiveness seems to be more for the forgiver than the one receiving the forgiveness. It releases bitterness, eliminates grudges, and maintains good relationships. If a person does not forgive others, they allow that hurt to continue, grow, linger, and remain. Releasing others through forgiveness releases the one doing the forgiving.

 

But this is not a devotion on forgiveness, it is to answer the question why obey God? …for thy good.

 

Dr. William T. Howe

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