45 And when Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. 47 For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”
What do you love? What do you treasure? It is easy to discover. To what do you devote your time and energy? To what do you give your attention? To what do you listen when conflicting voices arise?
Here near the end of the book of Deuteronomy, Moses gives the people of God a command that is worthy of our attention. HE calls the people to take God’s word, his law, to heart. They are supposed to look at the law as something real, something important, something sacred. They dare not ignore it. They dare not give it too little weight.
How important is God’s word according to God’s word? Moses says, “For it is no empty word for you, but your very life” (v 47). You cannot overemphasize this issue. The law as Moses presented it to the people of Israel was no empty word, it was their life. With the word of God and in obedience to it, the people of God would live. Apart from God’s word or in disobedience to it, they die.
Now we think about this issue from a gap of over 3,000 years. And, you know what, the value and importance of God’s word has not changed. We now have more books than Moses wrote. We now have the entire canon of God’s written revelation to man. We now have the words of and about the Lord Jesus Christ. But these words of God still hold true. We are to take God’s word to heart. His word, all of it, is no mere collection of empty words, it is—it must be—our life.
What do you love? What do you treasure? Do you love and treasure the word of God? How can you tell? It’s easy to determine. Do you spend time with God’s word? Do you take God’s word seriously? Do you receive God’s word as authoritative on all issues of life? Does God’s word guide your thinking on every issue? When you have an opinion, do you judge the validity of your feelings based on the written revelation of God? Do you allow God’s word to govern your actions and motives?
What is the alternative to loving God’s word? The result is death, but what does that alternative look like? Such a person would ignore God’s word. They would look at God’s word as a mere collection of writings of fallible men who are no longer in touch with our modern realities and sensitivities. Such a person would give the Bible only the most cursory of readings, or would not read it at all. Such a person would allow his or her own opinions and emotions to overrule anything written in the scripture. Such a person would find ways to justify the ignoring of clear commands of God. Such a person would be able to say that the word of God will not interfere with his or her day-to-day decision-making.
Are you a believer in Jesus Christ? If so, do you love God’s word? The Bible is no mere collection of words, it must be your very life.