Deuteronomy 4 is an awesome chapter and it’s laced with many take-aways. The first comes quickly as Moses begins reviewing the law with the new generation of Israelites who will soon inherit the promised land. He says, “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you” (Deut 4:2).
Of course, over time, they both added and subtracted – and so do we. When we add to God’s Word we get caught up in legalism. And when we subtract from God’s Word we slide into liberalism. In some ways it’s a struggle for more or less when God says all along that He’s already given us exactly what we need. Now if we could just give His words the attention, the seriousness, and the urgency that they actually deserve!
For example, Jesus says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth” (Matt 6:19). But we relax that statement and justify the hoarding of our useless possessions. Somehow we always find a way to tell ourselves that God doesn’t mean what He says. The Israelites that fled Egypt found out the hard way, that God does mean what He says; they died in the desert and never entered into the promised land. “Lord, place in me a desire to know Your Word, and to keep Your Word.”