The Bible, Love and Obedience
Deutoronomy 10: 12And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13To keep the commandments of the LORD, and His statutes, which I command you this day for your good?
The fact that God requires something of us is in of itself sufficient to transform all life. It shows that God thinks of us and cares about us. Pause and consider what life would be without this conviction. Daniel Webster said once that the only doubt that had crossed his mind as to the truth of revealed religion, sprang from the thought of man’s littleness and God’s greatness, and the fear that a God so great could not concern himself with a creature so small. But if God has requirements for us, He must have thoughts about us. Even without the incarnation, the moral law and God’s expectations in Old Testament law and prophecy reveal in their requirements the thoughtful mind of God. Our life then is not a personal caprice, a thistledown without a law, blown by unordered winds. It is a free conformity asked for by the loving Father, Who has revealed to us on the Mount of Sinai, and on the mount of His Son, in the word of the prophet and the heart of every man, His will for His children’s ways. What is that will? The Old Testament thought of fear is equivalent to the New Testament thought of faith. To fear God is not the same thing as to be afraid of God. Those may be afraid who do not fear, and those who truly fear are not afraid. When John says that perfect love casts out fear, he means fear in the sense of afraid, and not in the Old Testament sense of faith, of reverent love. People know us by our ways. It is a homely, illuminating phrase, and we can discern God’s ways. It is not His way to hate any one, to be untrue or unjust. And we are capable of walking in the ways of God, of living like Him in the quiet and orderly workings of our lives. Life needs to be transfused with love. And it is great that God is willing to be the loved one, and makes our loving Him a requirement of our lives. To be allowed to love God is wonderful. To be summoned to love Him is life. This is God’s call for the consecration of heart and mind. All our emotion, and all our intellect, are to go into His work. No cry of ‘emotionalism’ is to intimidate us on one side, or of ‘rationalism’ on the other. The infinite heart is the infinite mind, and all that we are is to be satisfied in Him and to serve Him. When men speak about the progress of humanity, and the new spirit of the age, as though these could remove the moral landmarks of God, it is good to remember that the infinite living Spirit is the source of law, and that He has spoken to man in commandments and statutes that are to obtain approval and obedience, not abrogation from the moral nature of man. How are we to live in the sense of the glory of God? Great emotions tend to expend themselves, but by walking in all God’s ways we may abide in His presence. His will is to be supreme. A divided allegiance is the death of godly fear. It dethrones God. Let Jesus occupy the whole being. He only takes the place we give Him.
As our surrender is thorough, His filling is thorough. Walking thus with Him will we see horizons of blessing. A mother is one who lives to love. She is love incarnate. Such should we be for Jesus. The whole heart and soul are occupied for God. Race and language, history and literature, law and government are all strands woven into the mighty web by which God has bound us together. But the seal of a people’s unity is the sense of a Divine calling and election. It remains true in England, as it was in Israel, that a covenant with God is the ground of all covenants between man and man. National righteousness is bred in a people as they recognize the judgments and the mercies of the God of truth.