For Your Good
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 (ESV) – “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good?”
The reputation God’s commands often have in our culture today is bad. Most people see God’s rules and laws as restrictive to our joy and happiness. This is a completely backwards way of thinking. God’s rules may be restrictive and create boundaries for us, but never to lessen our joy. On the contrary, it is to give us true and lasting joy.
We see this in our passage today. In Deuteronomy 10:12-13 we read, “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good?”
There is a lot to unpack in this text but focus specifically on the part of keeping the commandments of the LORD. God commands us to obey Him. But notice that He says it is for our good. The commands and statutes of God are not to take joy and happiness away from us. It is to give us those things. They are for our good. The lie of Satan is to convince us otherwise. The culture fights hard to tell the opposite story.
Many narratives exist around God’s commands that they rob us of true happiness, but it is only in God’s commands that we find real happiness. They are for our good.
My friend, Dean Inserra, uses an illustration about letting kids play in the backyard versus the front yard. When the kids play in the front yard, they must be watched and always protected. When the kids play in the backyard, particularly one with a fence around it, they are safe. The fence may be looked at as restrictive by some, but the fence is where freedom is. They can run and play and enjoy themselves in the yard without fear of being kidnapped or hurt by a car on the street. The fence is for their good. God’s laws and commands are a fence for us. They don’t restrict our joy. They secure it.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why does God need to remind them that His commands are for their good?
- What are some examples of how God’s commands are for our good?
- How can we fend off the lies of the culture that say God’s commands are restrictive to our joy because they prohibit us from acting on certain impulses we may have?
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