We are on the threshold of our future; the kingdom of God is now. And as we enter the land we have been given around us to be salt and light, our command from Jesus himself is to Love God and Love Your Neighbour. That’s all you need to have a stellar day!
1 Moses summoned all Israel and said:
Hear, Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them. 2 The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. 3 It was not with our ancestors that the Lord made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today.
And he said:
6 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
7 “You shall have no other gods before me.
8 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
11 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God.
16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
17 “You shall not murder.
18 “You shall not commit adultery.
19 “You shall not steal.
20 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
21 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Deuteronomy 5:1-3, 6-14, 15-21
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
When Moses presented the ten commandments on the plains of Moab before entering the promised land, he was speaking to the children of the generation which received the commandments back in Exodus 20. Notice that in his opening comments, Moses says, “It was not with our ancestors that the Lord made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today.”
This is a critical statement for the generation standing before him, and it is critical for our generation today. The story of God’s relationship with humanity, and the nature of God’s ways and his plan are not old ideas for old people. God’s covenant is with us. Now. Our relationship with him is alive and active.
Israel was about to enter the promised land, which every person in Israel was looking forward to since they left Egypt and their slavery. They were on the threshold of their future and Moses was saying to them: This is not about your grandparents and your parents. This is about you. God is saying this is about you and Me…
I get it. We aren’t Jewish. The ten commandments are Mosaic Law, which we are not under today. I know. So does God. And that’s why Jesus came back to this in his own time in the first century. When he was asked what was important (which was a trick question designed to ensnare Jesus), Jesus answered that loving God and loving your neighbour make up the whole law and prophets.
That’s our go-forward plan. That’s the truth for you and me as followers of Jesus. And might I underline something really important today: It is not your ancestors to whom Jesus made this statement, but to all of us who are alive today.
We are on the threshold of our future; the kingdom of God is now. And as we enter the land we have been given around us to be salt and light, might we take our marching orders from the Lord Jesus afresh today. Love God and love your neighbour. If you can remember nothing else from the Bible when you leave the house today, these critical words of Jesus will see you through as the Spirit of God guides you.
What are you waiting for?