Like Lisa said last week, because we live on this side of the cross, we can know that Jesus has already come in the flesh. And because of His coming, we can have Him always near, since He’s sent His Holy Spirit to indwell us. (John 14:16-17)
But the ancient Israelites lived before Jesus and the indwelling of the Spirit in all Believers. At this point in their history they knew about God through the leaders He’d chosen, the miracles performed, and the laws He’d given.
In this Palestinian covenant (given just before the Israelites entered the Promised Land), Moses shares God’s heart for the Israelites to follow Him. They were to be set apart for holiness and obedience. Like us, they were called to live distinctly different from the heathen and pagan peoples around them.
“Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’” (Deuteronomy 30:13)
Beyond the Sea?
After having lived in Egypt where the worship of false gods was common and “spiritual wisdom” was reserved for the elite priests, could the Israelites have wondered if the only way to please God looked something like what they’d seen there?
In today’s verse, Moses tells the people that they don’t have to travel far and wide to get God’s commands. Instead of traveling long distances to retrieve wisdom from the idol-worshipping nations around them, God sent wisdom and truth to them.
He still does this today through the gift of His Son, Jesus.
We don’t need to travel beyond the seas. We don’t need to be afraid we’re missing some important piece of information about pleasing or following God. We don’t need to feel that God’s commands are meant only for those who are strong enough, brave enough, or have the right resources to hunt them down and obey.
But, Who will bring it?
Just as Moses’ audience didn’t have to travel, seeking wisdom and enlightenment like the heathen philosophers of the age, they also didn’t have to sit and wait for a person to bring it.
We can easily fall into the trap of not seeking God for ourselves. Sometimes, we run to others instead of going to God. Or we read the latest books, expecting the authors to solve our problems. Or we trust in our plans, feeling the need to rush God’s timing along.
It’s important for us to seek Him.
We are blessed, dear sisters! God’s commands are given to us! His Word (the Bible) is complete and readily available to us. His Spirit is near us, in us. His Word is a gift to us, meant for following, and sharing with others. We need only trust in Him.
And because of that wondrous nearness, we can “hear it and do it.” What joy!