Read: Deuteronomy 7:6‐11
The time had come for Israel to finally occupy the land, which God promised to them. After forty years of wandering in the wilderness of the Way of the Red Sea, God instructed Moses to command Israel’s new generation to engage into another journey and cross over Jordan, the way to the promise land. Along the way, Moses reminded Israel of God’s greatness and faithfulness. He also commanded them to pay attention in observing the commandments, statutes and judgments that God set so they may live abundantly and eventually possess the land.
Deuteronomy provides both the interface between the faithfulness of God and the ensuing failure of the people of Israel to remain faithful to God. Thus in chapter 7, Moses told them of what they are going to do and observe when they finally possessed the land. By telling them of how they should conduct themselves, he also declared what God had spoken to him ‐ the certainty of the fulfillment of God’s covenant to Israel. He reminded them that the fulfillment of the promise, as well as their being chosen as God’s people were results neither of their aptitude as a nation “for they were the least of all peoples” nor of their obedience for their disobedience disqualified them from entering the promise land but it was in consequence of the covenant or promise made with their pious forefathers.
In verses 6 to 11, God is portrayed as a “Keeper” ‐ the God who upholds His covenant and maintains mercy for a thousand generation. And since God is a Keeper, His people ought to be a keeper like Him; a keeper of God’s commandment, statutes and judgments for it is only through such environment that God shall bless them tremendously. This idea, that obedience brings blessing and life, and disobedience brings curses and death, a way of affirming the positive results of life properly ordered under God, is prominent in the whole book of Deuteronomy. In the covenant into which God entered with Israel, He promised to bestow upon them a variety of blessings so long as they continue to obey Him as their heavenly King. He pledged His veracity that His infinite perfections would be exerted for this purpose, as well as for delivering them from every evil to which, as a people, they would be exposed. That people accordingly were truly happy as a nation, and found every promise which the faithful God made to them amply fulfilled, so long as they adhered to that obedience which was required of them.
God is bound to fulfill everything He has promised down to the last detail since faithfulness is His characteristic. In return, we should exemplify who He is in our lives. As God keeps His covenant, we should keep His commandments. By being a keeper, total loyalty to God is crucial and this means rejecting the worship of any other gods. As keepers, we should be concerned with justice, especially toward the weaker members of the community. Also, reflected in keepers’ lives is God’s love for His people and a desire for a mutual loving relationship.
As we stride the course to our promise land, may it be our personal conviction that since “My God is a Keeper…and so I must be.”