“OH THAT THEY HAD SUCH A HEART AS THIS ALWAYS”  Today, in Deuteronomy ch. 5 we read ‘the heart’ of Moses exhortation to those who would soon enter the promised land. He gives them a history lesson of what happened when many of them were impressionable teenagers; their parents, all those 20 and over, had died in the wilderness (not a desert) as they had wandered and camped from place to place over the last 40 years.

At that time they had heard their parents declare, “If we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, we shall die. For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of fire as we have, and has still lived?” [v.25,26] Their parents had said to Moses, “Go near and hear all that the LORD our God will say, and speak to us all that the LORD our God will speak to you, and we will hear and do it.’ [v.27]

They had heard – but had not been steadfast in doing it – their faith had collapsed when faced with the opportunity to go into the promised land (Numbers14) The all-seeing-knowing eye of God knew this was going to happen. Moses recalls how “the LORD said to me, ‘I have heard the words of this people, which they have spoken …’ [v.28]

Then comes the LORD’s heart moving, indeed heart-searching observation – and desire, “Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them …”[v.29] We read how Moses conveys the divine message to their children who are now adults – aged up to 60 years! “You shall walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land…” [v.33] And, under Joshua, this happened.

Our thoughts travel forward to see the degree to which these words apply to us who are anticipating being among the ‘latter-day’ redeemed. What kind of ‘heart’ do we have at the moment? May our hearts be ‘alive’ with anticipation – and “the full assurance of hope” and “of faith” (see Heb. 6 v.11; 10 v.22).

But how many are stumbling because of the intensity of modern life which is both distracting and even blinding their faith? May we all recapture the “heart” we had when we were baptised and, as Moses declared in ch. 6 v.4 and – more than ever – “love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” To which Moses adds (next verse) ” And these words … shall be on your heart.”

Let us carefully examine what is on our hearts!

By Bro D.Caudery

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