Hearing God’s Commands

MEMORY SELECTION: “Therefore thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.” —Deuteronomy 11:1

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: II Kings 23:1,2; Deuteronomy 10:12 – 11:1

THE Law Covenant that God gave the nation of Israel was an expression of the divine principles that would measure the stature of a perfect man. The Lord speaking through Moses said: “Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord.” (Lev. 18:4,5) The thought is that anyone who could keep God’s perfect law would be perfect, and as a result would earn the right to life.

Because of inherited adamic weaknesses, no man, and certainly not the nation, could keep God’s perfect law. The Apostle Paul states the matter thus: “Now we know that what things soever the Law saith, it saith to them who are under the Law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the Law is the knowledge of sin.” (Rom. 3:19,20) The constant striving to keep the precepts of the Law, without ever being able to attain to it, should have led the Israelites to the conclusion that they were fallen human beings and that they would never, by their own endeavors, be able to attain to perfection. The Apostle James states, “For whosoever shall keep the whole Law and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”—James 2:10

The Apostle Paul in explaining the real purpose of the Law said: “Wherefore then serveth the Law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made. … Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:19,24) Their experience in trying to obey the precepts of God’s law should have brought the nation of Israel to the realization that they needed a better mediator than Moses.

God, knowing their imperfections, did not expect the people to be able to render perfect obedience, but he did expect that they would try, and, having failed, be repentant of heart. Also in recognizing their failure to actually perform, God expected them to manifest the spirit of the Law to the best of their ability. The Prophet Micah, we believe, expresses the thought, “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”—Mic. 6:8

The Scriptures tell us that at the time of the death of Jesus, he nailed the ordinances of the Law to the cross. His death opened a new and living way whereby it became possible to recognize that Jesus was the propitiation (satisfaction) for our sins, and thus, by faith in his blood, be justified in God’s sight. Under this arrangement the Heavenly Father accepts the obedience of the spirit for the deed. The Apostle Paul in Romans 8:2-4 states: “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the Law of sin and death. For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin [a sin offering], condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

How then do we hear the commandments of God under this new arrangement? God has given the thoroughly consecrated followers of Jesus the Holy Spirit, and it is this holy influence of God that reveals to them his will. The Apostle Paul states: “God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. … Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.—I Cor. 2:10,12

Dawn Bible Students Association
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