Most of D’Varim (Deuteronomy) is a discourse from Moses reminding the children of Israel all that has happened to them over the past forty years, reminding them of God’s commandments and encouraging them to obey God after they have gone into the land and conquered it.
This parashah starts with Moses continuing his discourse on the history of their journey. He reminds them of the wonderful ways God has protected and fed them, and also of the horrible ways they have rejected God and tested Him. Moses goes back and forth from what God has done, what He will do to help, and how He has kept His part of the covenant, then about how they have, for their part, broken the covenant because they refused to obey and what will happen to them if they continue to refuse.
He tells them they are to go in and take over the land, destroying all the pagan items and peoples, and that even though the people there are stronger and mightier than they are, God will go before them and battle for them.
Moses warns the people that they shouldn’t become complacent when God has done all these wonderful things, and begin to think that they deserved any of it. He is quite adamant that they don’t, and they better not forget that. They are getting the best not because they deserve it, but because God loved their ancestors, who did deserve it. They don’t. He wants them to continually be humble before the Lord- as should we all.
I like how Moses tells them in chapter 10, verses 12-13 that all God requires is for the people to fear God, walk in His ways, love and serve Him. Sound familiar? Read Micah 6:8.
The message here for all of us is that we need to remember that God will do for us all that we could ever want, and when we walk in trusting faithfulness, He will be there, in front of us, protecting us and forging a path for us so we can complete the trip. He will smooth the path, place hedges on the right and the left to keep us straight, and destroy the enemies blocking our way. And if we fall, He will pick us up. If needs be, He may even carry us for a way. However, He won’t carry us all the way; there may be a smooth path but there will be hills to overcome and valleys to pass through. It won’t be easy, it won’t always be fun, but we must keep going.
That’s really the whole story, isn’t it? From beginning to end, the basic A-B-C’s of salvation are:
A– Accept your own sinfulness and need for God, Accept the rule of God, and Accept His Messiah;
B– Be obedient, Be dedicated, Be an example of God’s wonder and goodness;
C- Continue to work at being more of what God wants you to be so you can Complete the journey.
That’s all there is to Salvation: it’s easy to attain, it’s hard to keep, but it’s well worth having.