Remembering God entails far more than pondering about him or obtaining warm feelings toward him. Remembrance entails the dreaded “O” word: obedience. For the Jews, remembering involved obeying the law that God had offered on Mount Sinai.
But let’s be sincere. Most of us are not thrilled when we hear the phrase “God’s law.” To several of us, speak of religious laws conjures the prospect of legalism, of becoming bound to a life of rigid guidelines and regulations. Although English translations of the Bible translate the Hebrew word torah as “law,” Jewish translations frequently render it as “teaching” or “instruction.” So if we believe about what transpired on Mount Sinai, it tends to make sense to believe of it as the moment when God gave his people today essential guidelines for their journey. Devoid of these guidelines, they would in no way have reached the Promised Land. God was teaching them to come to be his followers, people today who stayed close to him and did not stray. To obey would bring them wonderful happiness. To disobey would bring them wonderful discomfort. Rejecting God’s guidance would imply losing the fulfilling, vibrant life to which he had known as them.
Why did the Israelites have to have instruction or guidance? Mainly because they had entered into a connection with God, and becoming in connection generally entails some sort of specifications. Students, for instance, have to be prepared to understand from their teachers. Spouses have to really like and serve every single other. Good friends have to be loyal. If these specifications are not met, the connection will deteriorate.
Due to the fact this is correct of human relationships, why ought to we be shocked to understand that becoming in connection with a holy God also has its specifications? Belonging to God and enjoying his fellowship signifies that we give up the need to be our personal god. Belonging to him signifies that we are known as to listen and do what he asks. It signifies that we really like what he loves—justice and mercy and goodness. We are to be holy even as he is holy. That was God’s goal for drawing his people today out of Egypt in the 1st location. He wanted not just to absolutely free them from their captors but to really like them and reside in their midst.
So God chose Israel to belong to him in a unique way, and Israel became holy. He gave them the present of becoming his people today. But the present, as David Pileggi points out, needs “maintenance.”1
Envision for a moment that an individual has just offered you a incredibly costly gift—the auto of your dreams. For me that would be a 1957 Thunderbird. It would have a supercharged V–8 engine, fourteen-inch wheels, and a removable difficult prime comprehensive with portholes. It would also be starmist blue. Now that would be a present to cherish—and to care for. Although I do not imply to equate our connection with God to a vintage sports auto, I do want to make the point that the priceless present we have been offered in God requires to be maintained. We sustain it by closely following his guidelines and his teaching regardless of how we really feel at any offered moment.
God says, “You shall not steal,” so you do not cheat people today even when you really feel backed into a corner. God says, “Honor your father and mother,” so you show respect regardless of whether or not your parents deserve it. God says, “You shall not commit adultery,” so you do not sleep with an individual just due to the fact you are in really like. God says, “You shall have no other gods just before me,” so you cherish his methods rather of bowing down to the idols of our era—political correctness, cash, sex, energy. As Pileggi says, “The present is absolutely free, but the upkeep is pricey.”
1. From David Pileggi’s unpublished sermon, “That I Could Dwell amongst Them,” delivered on March 28, 2009, at the Narkis Street Congregation in Jerusalem (http://www.narkis.org/listen) (accessed June 27, 2019).