Opening Up God's Word: Deuteronomy 7:7-8 and 8:17-19
Deuteronomy emphasizes the importance of responding to the Lord right now.
- We are reminded of the past, but we must not live in the past.
- We are pointed to the future, but we must not daydream about the future.
(1) One of Deuteronomy's main themes is the love of God.
God's love points us back to the past, to the death of Christ for our sins (Romans 5:8). It also points us forward, to the heavenly place that the Lord is preparing for His people (John 14:1-3).
God's love is not, however, something that belongs to the past - and it is not something that is kept for the future.
God loves us now. He loved us in the past - and He loves us now. God has not forgotten us - and He will not forget us.
We can face the future with the assurance that God loves us. He loves us with a love that will not let us go. He loves us with a love that will not let us down. He loves us with a purpose. He plans to bless us. His purpose of blessing is a purpose of love. He says to us, "I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3).
(2) Another major theme of Deuteronomy is the land of promise.
In John 3:16, we learn that God's promise is given in love - and His "land" is "everlasting life."
For those who are trusting in Christ, "the land of promise" is not something in the distant future. We are in "the land of promise." Eternal life has begun It has begun - and now, we press on toward its fulfilment.
(3) Deuteronomy stresses that the love of God and the land of promise are not to be taken for granted.
In Deuteronomy 7:7-8 and Deuteronomy 8:17-18, there are very clear warnings against the sin of spiritual pride.
- How easy it is to forget how much God has loved us!
- How easy it to forget the promises that God has given to us!
When we are tempted to forget the Lord - His love and His promises, we need to hear God's Word - "You shall remember the Lord your God" (Deuteronomy 8:18).
When we are tempted to forget the Lord and become preoccupied with ourselves, the Word of God comes to us with this warning: "if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you this day that you shall surely perish" (Deuteronomy 8:19).
The Gospel is a message of joy and gladness - but not to those who have forgotten the Saviour, not to those who think only of their own good works.
The Good News of salvation does not begin with the word, "I" - 'I have done this. I have done that. I have done the other - therefore I will be saved.'
The Gospel cuts right across our human pride, and says, "Jesus saves."
This message brings joy and gladness - but only when truly believe it, only when we receive its truth into our hearts and minds, saying, with the hymnwriter, "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness; No merit of my own, I claim, But wholly trust in Jesus' Name. On Christ, the solid rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand."