Purpose-Driven Israelites

A Clear Purpose

 “Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always.”

With these words from Deuteronomy 11:1, God, through Moses, gave Israel a purpose. Her purpose was to “love God and obey him… always.” That’s a pretty clear purpose. Solomon summed it up like this in Ecclesiastes 12:13,

Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.

But there’s more to it. It also included a “here’s what it looks like” portion. If the Israelites would be obedient to God, they would take possession of the land – the Promised Land – which God had set before them. Obedience would be tough, the risk may be great, but God assured them it would be worth their effort. More importantly, he promised to be with them always and never forsake them. In Deuteronomy 11:11-12 we read:

But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. [12] It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.

Love and Obey

The blessing of obedience to God’s covenantal commands was that Israel would get this coveted land and more. The curse of disobedience was that she wouldn’t… and more.

Obedience is an essential part of purpose. We can’t wiggle out of it in the New Testament, even though we know we are saved by grace through faith in Christ alone. Why? Because Christ reminds us multiple times in John 14 and 15, as well as in 1 John, that an expression of our love for him is doing what he says… it’s obeying his commands. This is to our Father’s glory, that we bear much fruit (John 15).

What would be the point of knowing God’s purpose for your life – the very reason for which you were created – if you didn’t pursue it? It’s only as we reveal our love for God by obeying him that we experience God’s blessing for our lives – which may take on a variety of manifestations as we travel down the path of righteousness.

But can any of us hope for more than the knowledge that the eyes of the Lord are continually on our purpose, from the beginning to the end? And it’s as we trust and obey God’s commands and pursue that purpose that we find ourselves aligned with his will for our lives, which is blessing enough for any of us.

Thanks be to God.

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