Monday after the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Deuteronomy 5:22—6:9 (NKJV)
5:22 “These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly, in the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and He added no more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.
23 “So it was, when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, that you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders. 24 And you said: ‘Surely the LORD our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he still lives. 25 Now therefore, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the LORD our God anymore, then we shall die. 26 For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? 27 You go near and hear all that the LORD our God may say, and tell us all that the LORD our God says to you, and we will hear and do it.’ 28 Then the LORD heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and the LORD said to me: ‘I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They are right in all that they have spoken. 29 Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever! 30 Go and say to them, “Return to your tents.” 31 But as for you, stand here by Me, and I will speak to you all the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments which you shall teach them, that they may observe them in the land which I am giving them to possess.’ 32 Therefore you shall be careful to do as the LORD your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. 33 You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.
6:1 “Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, 2 that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. 3 Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised you—’a land flowing with milk and honey.’
4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Much of the Book of Deuteronomy is simply Moses retelling the Israelites what God had told them at Mt. Sinai. In vs. 22 “the Lord spoke to all your assembly…with a loud voice.” In vs. 24 the people say, “we heard His voice…we have seen…that God speaks with man; yet he still lives.” Then they immediately say, “if we hear the voice of the Lord our God anymore, then we shall die.” (vs. 25). Their words reveal their, and our, human nature. “We’ve heard God speak, but we don’t want to hear anymore!” If God were anything like you and I, that would have been the end of the road for the Israelites! How lacking in faith, how dumb, could they have been? But fortunately for them and for us, God isn’t like that.
The merciful and loving God responds in 6:3-4: “Hear, O Israel.” David writes in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” And Paul writes, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17).
Through God’s Word, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper, you and I have been given hearing. We have been given faith and eternal life in Jesus Christ.
We pray: “Blessed Lord, Who has caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning, grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of Thy Holy Word we embrace and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which Thou hast given us in our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.”