Crystal Writes A Blog

A place to read what Crystal writes

A Love of Titanic Proportions


Nearer My God to Thee by Flickr User Tim Green aka atoach, CC License = Attribution

Nearer My God to Thee by Flickr User Tim Green aka atoach, CC License = Attribution
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

There is a theory that the last song played on the RMS Titanic, was the song Nearer My God to Thee. We can see how fitting it seems for the members of a band that has chosen to calm fearful passengers instead of getting rescued themselves to wish to be nearer to God before each takes his final breath. And, of course, this wish is also a wonderful blessing on others whose lives are coming to an end. However, even before we face our final moments, we should desire to become nearer to our Creator, and that desire should be the strongest ache in our heart if we claim to love and serve Him. After all, we want to be like Him, and it is His desire to be nearer to us, so our response in kind would bring us nearer to Him.

In today’s reading from Deuteronomy 4:5 through Deuteronomy 4:40, we read of Moses’ encouragements to the community of Israel before they enter into The Promised Land. He tells them to observe and follow the laws he has taught them as he received them from God, so that all people will see them as having wisdom and understanding. He says that as others see Israel living under the laws of God, they will say things like, “This great nation is surely a wise and understanding people.” And then Moses quotes one of my favorite verses (verse 7, Complete Jewish Bible)…

For what great nation is there that has God as close to them as Adonai our God is, whenever we call on him?

Moses goes on to ask what other great nation has laws like the Torah he is giving them, and he reminds them to be watchful and not forget what they have seen with their own eyes. He says they should make the laws known to their children and grandchildren, so they will never vanish from their hearts. And then he reminds them of the day they stood at the foot of the mountain and heard the voice of God coming out of the fire as God proclaimed His covenant to them.

Moses reminds the people how when they heard the voice and saw the tables of stone, they did not see any image or shape of God at that time, so they should never try to make God into any kind of image later. He says for them to not make any representation of male or female human, animal, bird, fish, etc. For the same reason, he tells them not to look up at the sun, moon, and stars and see them as gods or as anything they should worship because God Almighty has allotted these things to all people on the earth.

Next, Moses reminds Israel that God pulled them out of the smelting pot that was their life in Egypt specifically to make them a special people for Him. He again tells them how he himself cannot go into the land because of them and to watch themselves, so they will not corrupt themselves and become separated from God in their hearts. Moses says he will call on the sky to be a witness for him that on the day this people forgets their God and carves and worships false gods to serve instead, The Lord will scatter them throughout the earth, and they will disappear from the land they are about to possess.

Moses then encourages the people that–on the day they have given themselves over to false gods that cannot see, hear, eat, or smell–if they will call out to The Lord in their distress, and if they will seek and search for Him with their whole heart, they will find Him and He will answer. He tells them that Yahveh is a merciful God who will not fail or destroy them, and He will not forget the covenant He has made with them or with their ancestors.

I love what Moses says to them in verses 32 and 33 (CJB)…

Indeed, inquire about the past, before you were born: since the day God created human beings on the earth, from one end of heaven to the other, has there ever been anything as wonderful as this? Has anyone heard anything like it? Did any other people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of a fire, as you have heard, and stay alive?

He goes on to ask them if God ever tried to take any other nation from the bowels of the earth and used His might to make a people especially for Himself. Moses reminds Israel that with signs and wonders and an outstretched arm, God did exactly that right before their eyes. He tells them these things were shown to them, so they would know that Yahveh is God, and there is no other like Him. He, as their God, wants them to know His instructions because He loved their ancestors, and because He wanted to bring these present people to their new land. He closes today’s words with a message for them to keep all of God’s laws so they can do well and live for a long time in the land God is giving them forever.

It’s a little hard for me to condense these words and still let you see how big they are. Click on the link above to read the portion for yourself, so you can see just how much power and love is in God’s laws for His people. Many of the commands and words are repeated, and I think it’s for emphasis both to them and to us today. God wants a people for Himself forever, and by keeping His commands, we keep ourselves separated from anything that would try to come between us.

As God’s children, we have a promise of God’s big love for us. His word tells us the following in Romans 8:39 (New Living Testament)…

No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God loves us with the greatest love that exists, as He proved when He laid down His own life for us on the cross at Calvary. It is a love of titanic proportions, and He desires that we give it back to Him by willingly seeking His wisdom in everything we do and say, in all our desires, and in every day we live. May all of us who love God be constantly praying to draw nearer to Him today and always.

 

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July 27, 2014 - Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , ,

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