Deuteronomy 4:3–9; Mark 12:28–34 (read online ⧉)
Imagine walking around and loudly announcing that ALL of God’s commandments are righteous. How long before people would denounce you and unfriend you? Even those who might believe similarly to you might distance themselves.
This part of Moses’ speech to the Israelites is definitely part of a “ra-ra” kind of speech. Our God is great! Only our God is actually with us! Only our God listens to us! Only our God gives us righteous rules to follow!
Only our God!
It’s not that God has changed, and really not that this was intended to be a ra-ra speech. Moses was indeed trying to invigorate the people before he died. Moses wanted to make sure they started out well. From a cultural perspective, the Israelites were going into another god’s domain. Culturally that would mean they are the weaker party…and they are entering for battle. Moses was telling them that God was with them regardless of country (many of the gods were territory based). God was saying, I am with you.
Perhaps not quite the same as Moses’ speech, Jesus talked about the Great Commandments. The reality is, though, that we love the Lord our God because of the very pieces that are part of this ra-ra speech. The righteous statues are part of the Second Great Commandment.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, eternal God, unchanging and ever loving, we thank you for the Great Commandments that lead us into the heart of who you are. Amen.
1) How does the triumphal pieces of Moses’ speech guide you in regards to the Great Commandments?
2) In what ways do you think the Old Testament laws apply to today, and in what ways do you think they don’t?
3) What is important about Deuteronomy 4:9, and how does that apply to today?