Sunday October 20, 2019
4:38 pm

Moses reminds us that God’s law to love is already there on our tongues and written in our hearts

      I have most likely heard or read this weekend’s reading from Deuteronomy (30:10-14) literally a hundred times or more. But this week, it really grabbed my attention. It was as if a light bulb went off over my head.

      Let me set the scene for you. . .

      Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Jewish Torah, is a series of speeches written by Moses for his people, the Israelites, who he has led through the desert for 40 years, seeking the Promised Land. In Deuteronomy 34:7, we’re told that Moses lived to the ripe old age of 120. However, the Lord had told him that, despite all his efforts, his people would enter the Promised Land, but he would not.

      So, there it was, Moses could see it, but he knew he would not cross over into it. With care and concern, he prepares his last exhortations for his people. I’ve always found that touching. I mean, if it was me, I might be tempted to rejoice that I would soon be rid of the many who spent the last 40 years grousing about the weather, the lack of food and drink; those wanting to go back to slavery in Egypt. Their faith in God was at times weak, at best. (Remember that ugly incident with the golden calf?)

      But Moses, despite the struggles, kept his faith that God would keep his promises if they kept their promise to obey his law. I can picture him standing there high on a rock (or maybe not, he was 120 years old!). Filled with hope, filled with encouragement, he tells them: “Hey folks! This ain’t rocket science!”

      Well, maybe not those exact words, but close.

      “For this command which I enjoin on you today is not too mysterious or remote for you.” (v10)

      He continues, “It is not up in the sky. . .Nor is it across the sea. No, it is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to carry it out.” (v12-14)

      How simple is that? God’s law is already written on our tongues and in our hearts; it’s already in our DNA. As Moses so succinctly explains – this is not something too complicated or out of our reach. How hard can it be to follow God’s commands? According to our brother Moses, it shouldn’t be hard at all.

      As we should remind ourselves, Moses reminds the Israelites of all God has done for them, of all the promises made and kept. He reminds them that instead of incessant whining, they should be reflecting on all they have been given.

      His words all those millennia ago ring true for us today. Our lives can either be blessed or cursed, depending on how willing we are to faithfully serve the Lord. And here’s the thing, what God wants, needs, from us is never beyond our grasp. God not only knows our limitations, God knows exactly what we are able to achieve. He has faith that we can do it and he’s made it as easy as possible.

      However, if our empty pews on Sundays are any indication, quite a few of our sisters and brothers have thrown up their hands in defeat. Whether it is born from indifference, ignorance or just plain laziness, there are an increasing number of faces that have gone missing. Many use today’s culture as an excuse.

      Well, I can’t imagine the culture of ancient Egypt was too great either; and I know that wandering lost in the desert for 40 years couldn’t have made for a terrific social clime. But, with the exception of some back-sliding, people preserved and God kept his promise of a Promised Land. The seemingly impossible suddenly became a reality.

      There were only 10 commandments that Moses lugged around that desert; Jesus profoundly narrowed those down even more.

      “You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-38)

      Take it to heart and it becomes simple.

      Or, as Moses reminds us, it’s there in our hearts, we only have to let it come forth!

     

      Debbie Bosak is the former editor of the Northwest Indiana Catholic. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

           

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