Saturday, January 20, 2018

Happy New Year! Do, Keep, Perform—Got It?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014, 0:01
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Happy New Year!
Do, Keep, Perform—Got It?

How can we miss what God expects of us?

Leviticus 25:8-22

“You shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years. Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land. And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan. That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of itself nor gather the grapes from the undressed vines. For it is a jubilee. It shall be holy to you. You may eat the produce of the field.

“In this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his property. And if you make a sale to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor, you shall not wrong one another. You shall pay your neighbor according to the number of years after the jubilee, and he shall sell to you according to the number of years for crops. If the years are many, you shall increase the price, and if the years are few, you shall reduce the price, for it is the number of the crops that he is selling to you. You shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God, for I am the LORD your God.

“Therefore you shall do my statutes and keep my rules and perform them, and then you will dwell in the land securely. The land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and dwell in it securely. And if you say, ‘What shall we eat in the seventh year, if we may not sow or gather in our crop?’ I will command my blessing on you in the sixth year, so that it will produce a crop sufficient for three years. When you sow in the eighth year, you will be eating some of the old crop; you shall eat the old until the ninth year, when its crop arrives.”

Do, keep, perform—how many different ways can the Lord impress on us His intention for us with respect to His Law? The neglect of the Law of God today is deplorable; to God, it is an abomination (Prov. 28:9). God connected Israel’s security and prosperity with obedience to His Law. He would cause the land to provide for them and for their enemies to leave them alone. All they had to do was obey. But they didn’t have the heart for it (Deut. 5:29).

Do we?

With the statutes regulating the year of release we come to an end of the first four commandments. Let us not suppose that these four are only intended to teach us how to love God. They do, of course; however, as we have seen in various places, loving God is intimately connected with loving our neighbors. How we love and fear God will work out, in part, in how we show love for our neighbors.

At the same time, as we prepare to begin the last six commandments, which deal more horizontally, we might say, love for neighbors is how we demonstrate fear of God, as we have seen even in this statute. The Law of God is all of a piece, which is why James said that if we break one law we break them all (Jas. 2:11). The more we work at loving God according to His Law, the more we will love our neighbor—just as Jesus insisted (Matt. 22:34-40).

No wonder they who do, keep, and perform this Law, and teach it to others, will be called great in the Kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:17-19).

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In the Gates is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore, editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).

Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001, 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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