So now, Israel, give heed to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. You must neither add anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it, but keep the commandments of the Lord your God with which I am charging you.
You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!” For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is whenever we call to him? And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today?
But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children. ~ Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 6-9
There are many reasons to keep God's commandments.
But this is one I don't always think of: it shows wisdom and discernment.
I preached recently about the commandments and mentioned how sometimes they make us feel hemmed in. And I'll admit, that when I feel hemmed in, I don't think so much about how wise or discerning I'm being.
But when we see the commandments as the thing that they are: - God's way to build a community of people - then the wisdom begins to make sense.
And discerning becomes a bit easier.
To be in true community where all are lifted up and allowed to share in God's grace means to live wisely.
It means having a way to discern right from wrong so that those who are outliers can be corrected and the community can function more smoothly.
But we all seem to mess that up sometimes don't we? Keeping all the commandments isn't something any of us are super great at.
And so, community suffers.
It helps me to remember that God's desire is for abundant life in a thriving community where all are part of God's grace. And when I remember that, I don't really feel so hemmed in anymore.
Write your commandments on my heart, O God. Amen