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Devotionals :: Day by Day by Grace :: Today's Reading

Hoekstra's Day by Day by Grace (May 31st)

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Israel's Response to the Law's Demand

Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, "All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient"…Today you have proclaimed the LORD to be your God, and that you will walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments, and His judgments, and that you will obey His voice. (Exodus 24:7 and Deuteronomy 26:17)

God's law demands wholehearted obedience. "This day the LORD your God commands you to observe these statutes and judgments; therefore you shall be careful to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deuteronomy 26:16). When the Israelites heard this summary requirement of the law, they confidently promised that they would obey. "Today you have proclaimed the LORD to be your God, and that you will walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments, and His judgments, and that you will obey His voice." Forty years earlier, when the Lord first gave His law to His people, they responded in a similar fashion. "Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, 'All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient.'"

Their intentions were certainly commendable. However, their performance was definitely unacceptable. Even before they had departed from the mountain where the law was given, they plunged into disobedience. "They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it" (Exodus 32:8). Soon after the death of Joshua (who led them into the Promised Land), they repeatedly rebelled against the Lord their God. The book of Judges documents this clearly: "And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD" (3:12); "And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD" (4:1); "Then the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD" (6:1); "Then the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD" (10:6).

Twelve hundred years later, Stephen would summarize Israel's history of disobedience. "You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you" (Acts 7:51). What a sobering evaluation of those who were so confident of obeying the law of God.

Dear Father, I humbly bow before You, confessing that I am so often like the children of Israel. I confidently promise to live in obedience to Your will. Then, I quickly stray from Your path and indulge my own will. Thank You for Your forgiving grace. Yet, I earnestly cry out for more. I need Your transforming grace to renew my inner man unto increasing obedience to You, through Jesus, my Lord, Amen.


CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.