Sometimes, Scripture speaks with unmistakable clarity about the true heart behind God’s every command. Tucked into this passage is one of those moments.
It begins with remembrance. “Remember and do not forget,” Moses says (Deuteronomy 9:7). Why would the moment of stunning clarity start with a command to remember? Likely, because we are prone to forget. All too often we forget God’s kindness, His promises, and His intervention in the past. Dangerous things can happen to a person who cannot remember past events. Knowing God’s heart in His every command starts with this invitation: Remember.
Has that been your experience to move on from moments when God’s heart and voice have been clear with a sort of spiritual amnesia? That was the story of God’s people “from the day [they] left the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 9:7). Both this generation and the one that came before them were prone to forget, even after encountering God in powerful ways.
Even still, God is committed to revealing Himself and His heart to His people. At this point in Israel’s story, He does so through His commands. God continues to remind them of His character in His instructions as a means of drawing them back to Himself when they continue to forget. The God who chose these people stays with them in patient love as He establishes them in Canaan (Deuteronomy 9:29; 10:15).
This is such good news! Faithfulness and forgiveness have always been God’s way, while rebellion and repentance have always been ours. How often do we, just like our ancestors in the faith, forget the goodness, kindness, gentleness, and love of God?
Moses says, “Keep the LORD’s commands and statutes I am giving you today, for your own good” (Deuteronomy 10:13). That is the reality behind God’s every command—it is for our good, our life, and our joy, found in Him. Every boundary is for our liberation. Every restriction, for our freedom.
What is it that the Lord really wants for us, in the end? To fear and revere Him, to walk with Him, to love Him, and to worship Him with every fiber of our being (Deuteronomy 10:12). It’s all for His glory and our good so that we might learn to walk with Him and come to know Him through experiences, our hearts learning to delight in God above all else—that is the true heart behind His every command.