32 So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. 33 Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.
Moses wrote these words after two chapters (4-5) of reminding the Israelites that obedience was required by God in order to inherit the land that was promised. Chapter 4 starts out with:
"Hear the decrees and laws . . . Follow them so that you may go and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you. Do not add to what I command you or subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you." 4:1-2
Sandwiched between the opening of 4 and closing of five are reminders of how Great a God they serve and several warnings to "not forget" what they had seen and heard. It was imperative that they obey and then teach their children to obey if they wanted to continue to possess the land God was giving them as an inheritance. (4:9).
Another warning comes in 4:23 not to make forget the covenant and do not make idols for yourselves because "God is a consuming fire, a jealous God!" Disobedience would lead to being scattered (4:27)
In 4:32 Moses encouraged them to "ask about the former days" of any other God who speaks to his people out of fire! How blessed they were and that they were "shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God, besides him there is no other." (4:35)
And then 5 opens up again with a command to "Learn (the decrees and laws) and be sure to follow them." After going over the Ten Commandments Moses again says "These are the commands of the Lord. . . and He added nothing more." In other words, this is what you must obey!
Then the Lord speaks through Moses in 5:29 and says "Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children."
In these passages, Jesus would learn the heart of his Father. His Father longed to give His people their inheritance to Enjoy forever, if only they would obey! In these words, Jesus is reminded several times to "not forget" but to remember the desires of his Father's heart. He is also warned not to add or take away from the law, but to simply keep what the Lord had commanded. Failure to do so would lead to being forever scattered in a land away from the presence of His Father.
Jesus longed to satisfy the desires of his Father's heart. He was not interested in his own fame and glory, but being taught these words as a child by Mary and Joseph, Jesus developed a passion to have a heart after His Fathers heart. A passion to inherit what his Dad wanted to give him. And hear in these words he learned how to receive that inheritance and never lose it! It was not complex, but actually rather straight forward. All he had to do was:
"be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess."
Praise His holy name, Jesus did not forget, but tied these things to his heart, he kept them and obeyed, and now, he will forever enjoy the inheritance that was set before him, his bride, and they will forever dwell in the land that he has been promised!
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says:
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
This is followed by Deuteronomy 6:20-25 which says:
20 In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?” 21 tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 Before our eyes the Lord sent signs and wonders—great and terrible—on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. 23 But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. 24 The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. 25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”
What another perfect display of God preparing the exact words that would be needed for His Son who would one day come into our humanity as our Savior. In verses 4-9 the laws and decrees were summed up for Jesus. The Ten Commandments were condensed into the one thing that would make you follow them with all your heart, Love God! God had proven his love time and again by taking care of His people, and the laws were there not to hinder them, but to keep them in a right relationship of love with God!
And God knew one day his Son would ask "What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded?" He knew His Son would want to know, but more importantly, he would need to know the answer to this question. That is why God prepared an answer for Mary and Joseph to share with him: "The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today." (He had been spared death by Herod as an infant and kept alive on long journeys to E