God is the living Presence who can be encountered and known through his word addressed to each generation in turn.
Word and Presence: A Commentary on the Book of Deuteronomy
This is the theme of Deuteronomy according to Ian Cairns. I like it, though I wouldn’t buy into all his presuppositions on the book. I have long appreciated the “presence” theme in the Old Testament, so if I had the wherewithal I just might buy the dead-tree book. (I don’t use Logos, just saw the link on Twitter and took a peek.)
In marriage, a man and woman abandon their interests in other people to dedicate themselves exclusively and totally to each other. When God becomes our Lord, something similar happens. This was true of Israel, and Moses’ words apply to Christ’s people today:
Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you except to revere him, to obey all his commandments, to love him, to serve him with all your mind and being.
Deut. 10:12 NET
Many call themselves Christians, many say they’re religious, but it’s all in vain if they do not serve God above all others and with all their being. It’s just a lie to think that one can conduct one’s life as others do and still receive God’s approval.
It must be said that, as the Israelites did, many play at religion. They don’t take God’s word seriously. They don’t know his will. They impose on the Lord their own ideas. They carry God in their pocket and pull him out only when it serves their desires. Maybe they say a little prayer now and again, or do some good work sometime, but their life as a whole is dedicated to a home-made idol. They obey only those divine laws they find convenient.
So the great question is: Does the Bible verse above describe my life? Or the previous paragraph?
Lord God of Israel and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, make me to discover my duties toward you. Teach me to fear and love you.