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A journalist had a quirky habit of not using blue pens. So when his colleague asked him if he needed anything from the store, he asked for some pens. “But not blue pens,” he said. “I don’t want blue pens. I don’t like blue. Blue is too heavy. So please purchase 12 ballpoint pens for me—anything but blue!” The next day his colleague passed him the pens—and they were all blue. When asked to explain, he said, “You kept saying ‘blue, blue.’ That’s the word that left the deepest impression!” The journalist’s use of repetition had an effect, but not the one he desired.
Moses, the lawgiver of Israel, also used repetition in his requests to his people. More than 30 times he urged his people to remain true to the law of their God. Yet the result was the opposite of what he asked for. He told them that obedience would lead them to life and prosperity, but disobedience would lead to destruction (Deut. 30:15-18).
When we love God, we want to walk in His ways not because we fear the consequences but because it is our joy to please the One we love. That’s a good word to remember.
Dear Lord, as we read Your inspired story, may Your Spirit be our teacher. Help us to walk the path of obedience as we hear the voice of Your heart.
Love for God will cause you to live for God.
Today’s passage begins with a beautiful statement of how intimately God wants us to know Him. He has not given us commandments that are “too difficult” or “beyond our reach” (Deut. 30:11). This passage ends with the reason His commands are “very near” (v. 14)—that we may love and obey God and enjoy life in Him (v. 20).