Watering the Tulips
March 19, 2014
“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?” –Deuteronomy 10:12-13
Man wants rules. It is our nature. We want everything to be black and white. From a spiritual standpoint, we just want to know what we can do to be acceptable to God. This is the natural inclination of a depraved heart. Israel desired a law and God gave them one. The Law was perfect and holy just like its Giver. Nonetheless, it was given to a fallen, depraved people who couldn’t keep it even if they wanted to…and they didn’t want to.
What was Israel’s real problem? It is the same problem we often find ourselves in. Israel got so caught up in the “letter of the Law” that they completely missed the “Spirit of the Law”. In other words, Israel tried to find favor in the Law alone without any true desire to serve God. Their supposed adherence to the Law was for selfish reasons (i.e. salvation). They had no desire to glorify God for they didn’t love Him.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalms 111:10). But this is a healthy fear. We are not to be scared of God. There is a vast difference. Children should have a reverential, healthy fear of their father. But they shouldn’t be scared of him. Such is our relationship to our Heavenly Father. In this sense, Israel was instructed to “fear the Lord your God”.
A healthy fear of God will cause us to seek His will in our lives. God’s revealed will today is the Bible. Nothing is to be added to that. Nothing needs to be added to that; it’s complete! “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). God’s people will seek His revealed will in the Word of God if they have a healthy fear of the Lord.
They key to this passage, however, is that we are to “love Him”. Jesus said, “If God were your Father, you would love Me” (John 8:42). Saved people love Jesus. The fact that these did not love Him was proof that they were not saved. It is to those that “love God” that “all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28). Again, when God draws a person to Christ as the Spirit empowers the Gospel, people have a newfound love for Him and His salvation through His Son. This is an unnatural love. It is supernatural!
Dear reader, do you love God? Do you love God’s gift to mankind? Do you love Jesus and His cross? Do you desire to glorify Him daily because you love Him? Israel sought to serve God without truly loving him. Are you making the same mistake?
Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net . “Your App to the Gospel” can be downloaded at iTunes for iPhone, iPad and IPod Touch, Google Play for Android, the Windows Phone Marketplace, and the Windows Store for Windows 8/8.1 based tablets and computers. Please download it today!