Deuteronomy: A Heart Message
Today, I would like to share some thoughts and quotes—a message to the heart from the Law of God.
God is dealing with our hearts. It is the heart problem that we must deal with; we have been dealing way too much with the mind. Only the Holy Spirit can do this work; however, everything depends upon our will as to whether the Holy Spirit will make us a faithful doer of the Word or not.
That is what I see throughout the book of Deuteronomy: a heart message. And that is the kind of message that is coming out in our video message now on Love. It is the heart that must change from seeing the Law as the legalist sees: something that is undesirable, a heavy burden, a work that is wholly on us. That is why we must understand Faith first—that the Spirit-containing Word itself does the heart work, then it is not a ‘hard’ work.
As I studied Deuteronomy 6 some today, I found where Sister White quotes from it below. I found it interesting where she connects the heavenly angels with obedience to the Law. If we walk in obedience (faith that works by love), the angels are with us, protecting us, giving us life as ministers of the Holy Spirit. If not, they depart and the enemy imparts his power to us. This is the danger if we do not walk in increased light. The angels may have been with us before, but if we do not continue on the upward path, they must leave us; and this is the situation we must consider. Here is the quote:
A Message from Deuteronomy to the Heart
“Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: that thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.” [Typical of the true Promised Land, the whole restored earth, headquartered in the New Jerusalem, these brackets mine.]
— Deuteronomy 6:1-3
Here is a promise in keeping the commandments of God, and teaching them to our children. What does that mean? Every one who obeys the commandments of God from the heart, every one who follows in the path of obedience, God makes the promise unto them. The heavenly intelligences are ready to co-operate with them. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” The Lord has declared, “That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.” If not, how can God let His blessing and protecting care and guardianship be over you?
The enemy is after his possessions. He pleads that the race has transgressed the commandments, and says, ‘Let me bring my power to bear upon them.’ But God can protect His people that are obedient. If you are disobedient, it is important that you consider your situation.
— E.G. White, Manuscript 26, 1894
Fear the Lord Thy God
Again, it is written to “fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments”. What does it mean to fear God? We know it is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10; 1:7; 9:10); therefore, our counselors should be those who are wise. But here we see a link between fearing God and keeping His statutes and commandments; and we find the same link multiple times in the Scriptures. For example: “Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
I’ve been thinking about this subject lately of fearing God. I don’t believe that it means being afraid of an angry, vindictive god that wants to harm us, but I believe that it has to do with whom or what we respect.
Do we respect and obey God more than man, more than our own desires and dictates? Do we consult God through His Word or do we go to these inferior, unreliable sources? So, I believe that the fear of God is to respect and reverence Him in a way that we obey and do everything that He commands of us, in every particular – not just what seems convenient to us or agrees with us or agrees with those whom we want to like us. And when we pray, we will pray with reverence and awe; there will be a holy solemnity in our worship. And when we speak of God, we will not do so flippantly but reverently.
There Will Be a Revival
I want to see this in my people. I want to see this even more in myself as I desire and as God desires. Yet, we are promised, “Before the final visitation of God’s judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times” (Great Controversy, p. 464). But what will initiate this?
Let us read further in that chapter to find out:
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly…. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:1-3. It is only as the law of God is restored to its rightful position that there can be a revival of primitive faith and godliness among His professed people.
— Ibid., p. 478
There it is: a restoration of the Law. O friends, that is not legalism. We must put away foolish thoughts from us. Our hearts need to change. And if we allow influences to come in among us that speak against the Law, the heavenly intelligences will depart from us and the power of the enemy will vanquish any spirit of revival. Brothers and sisters, we cannot let that happen anymore to us. Fear the Lord thy God. Let this message from the heart of His Law enter into your heart with the transforming power of the Creator.
I pray that you will, and I pray that God will bless and prosper you in the obedience of His Law.