Moses was reviewing God’s Law in advance of the Israelite conquest of Canaan. The people needed to know what God demanded, but knowledge was not enough. He said that he was teaching the commandments of God “that you may do them in the land” (v.1). As a wise leader, Moses knew that he needed to explain the “what” of the Law (the content of it), but he also needed to communicate the “why” of the Law (the motive for obeying it).
Their primary motivation was to be their love for the Lord (v.5). Out of love for the one true God they were to give their whole-hearted devotion, putting all their hearts, all their souls, and all their might into keeping all His commands all the days of their lives (v.2). That principle still applies to God-followers today, for Jesus restated it as the most important of God’s demands (Mark 12:29-30). Later He added, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15).
Moses was nearly 120 years old at this time, and he had seen generations come and go. He knew that God’s people would fulfill God’s plan only if they were purposeful about passing their faith along to the younger generations. He mentioned it three times in this chapter alone. In verse 2 Moses spoke of the necessity of fathers influencing the two generations of boys who would follow them, “your son and your son’s son.” In verse 7 he encouraged spontaneous family discussions about God’s Law. Where these spiritual discussions took place was not important (inside, outside, bedside) — they just needed to have them.
Then in verse 20 Moses anticipated the question children were sure to ask: “Why do we observe all these rules and laws? What do they mean?” Questions like that would prompt conversations about God’s deliverance, God’s plan for His people, and God’s provision of moral boundaries and spiritual standards. If the Israelites, young and old, would be careful to observe the Law, they would enjoy God’s protection and they would have the assurance of being right with God (“it will be righteousness for us,” v.25).
One line in this chapter is jumping off the page at me: “He brought us out…that He might bring us in” (v.23). Think about how God has brought us out of the slavery of sin, out of darkness, out of death, and out of hopelessness. But that’s not all! He brought us out that He might bring us in — into righteousness, into His great family, into His covenant of blessing, and someday into heaven! I rejoice today that God brought me out so He could bring me in. Amen?!