DEUTERONOMY 5:29-30: “So you must take care to do as ADONAI your God has commanded you—do not turn aside to the right or to the left. You are to walk in all the way that ADONAI your God has commanded you, so that you may live and it may be well with you and you may prolong your days in the land that you will possess.” TLV
OBSERVATION: Why did God give us His Word? Why did He send the living Word, Jesus Christ, to live among us? So many view the Bible as a restrictive book. Before I knew Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord I viewed it as a book of “do’s and don’ts.” Yet, when my spiritual eyes were open I saw it as a book of life and freedom.
God did not give Moses the Law in order to restrict the lives of the Children of Israel. Rather, He gave them His Law so that they could live, flourish, and be blessed in the land He was giving them. The Lord loved them so much that He did not leave them without His guidance. Through Moses and the Prophets He gave them His “Living Word.”
Man is alway prone to walk to the right or the left of God’s commands. We have a natural bent in our lives that needs constant attention or we will find ourselves landing in the rut that we were delivered from. Without a constant reminder, without a constant nudge, we all slip from the pathway of life. It doesn’t happen immediately, but it happens.
In life – “Shift Happens!”
Jesus came as the Living Word to show us both the will and the heart of the Father. Even God’s written word can be used incorrectly if we do not know the spirit of the law and only focus on the letter of the law. The Word of God is meant to be life, yet it can also produce death if the only thing we focus on is the letter of the law. This is the condition that the religious Jews found themselves during the ministry of Jesus. What was life from God they had twisted and made a tool of death and judgment.
Yet, we see from these verses in Deuteronomy that this was never God’s intent. His Word was always meant to produce life in those who heard it. Earlier in Deuteronomy chapter four God commanded the Children of Israel,
- “You must not add to the word that I am commanding you or take away from it—in order to keep the mitzvot of ADONAI your God that I am commanding you.” Deuteronomy 4:2 TLV
The Word of God becomes an instrument of death and judgment when we “add” or “subtract” from it. When we take away the difficult teachings and admonitions we keep others from true conviction and repentance that leads to life. When we add our own understanding to the Word we pile on unnecessary burdens upon people that neither they nor we can carry. Yet, when we look at God’s Word with an open and honest heart we truly discover the pathway of life. Jesus said,
- “Then Yeshua said to the Judeans who had trusted Him, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!…So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!” John 8:31-32, 36
So, if I want to be “free indeed” I need to abide in the Word of God. The entire counsel of God’s Word is needed. And as we study the Scriptures we realize that there really is not an Old Testament and New Testament, there is simply God’s Word proclaimed and God’s Word fulfilled. The teachings and promises that are proclaimed in the Old Testament are the teachings and promises that are fulfilled in the New Testament through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ!
As I enter into the celebration of the last week of Jesus’ life, I pray that I will look at the Word of God in an entirely new way. Whatever I read, Old or New Testament, I pray that I will see what the Lord was truly proclaiming – Jesus Christ my Lord – Who was, and is, and is to come!
In Jesus Name!