This article explores the impact of Deuteronomy chapter 4 verse 5-6 on the culture of Israel and how we can apply its principles today.
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See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' - Duet 4:5-6
Moses recounted the Law of God to a new generation of Israelite, and as he did so, we begin to see some amazing things about the Law of God and what it can produce for the observer of these commands, decrees, status and instructions.
The first thing that Moses said to the Israelites in Duet 4:1 was the word “shamah” which means to hear, listen to and to obey. “Shamah” is about calling the audience to attention because of the importance of what the person is about to say. After the shamah, Moses preceded to teach what the Lord commanded him to instruct Israel. For any teacher, the response that is expected from the hearer is always one of obedience after the instruction is given.
The command that the Lord gave to Moses here was intended to produce life because he said “follow them so that you may live...” - Duet 4:1. Whenever the Lord instructs us it is intended for us to live in keeping with his heavenly reality on the earth. The commandments of God have a heavenly origin, so when His people live by them, we should experience the reality or culture in keeping with the kingdom of heaven.
If I was to visit Saudi Arabia, I expect to experience a culture that expresses the Quran and rightly so. The reason for this is the government have tried to implement the sharia law throughout the land. So my interaction with the people is an engagement with their deity, who is the embodiment of the people because they are the expression of the will or law of their deity in their land and life.
In the same way, the believers of the kingdom from heaven are the embodiment of the will or law of the King of kings which should be seen in our everyday culture. In Duet 4: 5-6 It states that the other nations will say 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people'. What will happen when we hear, follow and observe the commandment of God is a culture that produces people who will be called “wise and understanding...”. It is unfortunate that we rarely hear people say that about citizens of God’s kingdom today.
In today’s climate of information and knowledge, where data is king and science is a god. I think what will set the believer apart is hearing, following and observing the commandments of our God.
The commandment of God always produce a set apart people who are wise and understanding. Psalm 1 talks about people producing leaves that do not wither which mean that the leaves are not affected by the season of life whether we are in a season of plenty or hardship we are still satisfied. But when it comes to us producing fruits it is a little different, growth is always a product of seasons. Psalm 1:4 also acknowledges that we can only produce fruit in the appropriate season in other words we are not expected to produce fruit in all four seasons only in the appropriate season.
Everything is governed by laws, so I expect if the citizen of the kingdom of heaven obeys the laws and the commands of God the results of our obedience would be a unique culture that produces un-withered leaves and lasting fruits of wisdom and understanding.