Focal Passage: Deuteronomy 4:5-10, 15-19, 39-40
This week’s lesson calls us to “be exclusive” – to live with exclusive devotion to God. God’s instructions to Israel, calling for their exclusive devotion, flowed directly from His exclusive worthiness of their devotion and worship as the One, True and Living God. God could demand such exclusivity from them (and us) because He alone was worthy of it.
Like everything else God gives His people, the laws of Sinai (Exodus-Numbers) and Moab (Deuteronomy) were given for Israel’s good. The laws restrained Israel’s sin but could not change their hearts. In fact, Israel’s sin under the laws would lead to exile (4:26-28; 28:58-68; 29:22-28). After this exile, God’s saving hand would change hearts to love Him truly and completely (4:29-31; 30:1-10) through a future return from the exile of sin, at the end of the days. It is a fulfillment of His promise to Abraham, which Jesus Christ fulfills as the only answer to sin. Until that time, however, these laws will teach Israel to love God by being wise so that they may reveal God to the nations (4:6-8; 29:22-28).
Ultimately, God’s people would not live exclusively for Him or according to His statutes. Instead of walking by faith in the God who created them and made them His own, they would make gods for themselves, a practice God had strictly forbidden (v. 15-31).
We, like the Israelites, fail to live exclusively for God. And, the law stands before us (as it stood before them) as a teacher, instructing us about our sinfulness and need for a savior (Galatians 3). That is why we need Jesus. He fulfilled God’s law, forgives our sin, and empowers us by God’s Spirit to live obedient lives that will reflect His glory.
Are you – enabled by the Holy Spirit – living a life of exclusive devotion to God? Or, have you made your job, your health, your finances your god? Living a lifestyle of exclusive devotion to God is not only for our good, but also for His glory. Are you living exclusively for God so that, through you, others are drawn to know Him?