I never noticed how many things God tried to give to Israel to help them remember! In Deut 28:11-26 not only did God instruct the Levites to declare the commandments, with their accompanying curses, they were to perform an elaborate responsive reading with the whole nation hearing the words and in unison declaring, “Amen.” In saying “Amen,” they were saying, “surely it is true!” This had a strong affirmation of what is declared and acceptance is clearly implied.
After laying out all the commands and curses, Moses reminds them of what God promised, if/when they obey! This is another example of the circle of safety. God knows the best circumstances for us. He knows what environment is going to allow us to thrive. The commandments were the fence, the circle, that if they would just stay within the circle, they would experience the abundant goodness and provision of God.
It’s interesting that David, in Psalm 119:1-11 declares how he is pursuing and seeking the blessing of God. “Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!… Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!” (Ps 119:1,3) David recognized that God’s blessing was tied to his keeping his ways “steadfast” in following God’s statutes. David goes on in Psalm 119:1-11 to explain how he was striving to do that:
- v3 blessed are those who seek him with their whole heart
- v5 oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes
- v6 having my eyes fixed on all your commandments
- v10 with my whole heart I seek you
- v11 I have stored up your word in my heart that I may not sin against you
- v11 I delight in the way of your testimonies as much as in all riches
As you read through Psalm 119 there are many more examples of this. Although David did have his short comings and failures, we can see through the Psalms, and from God’s testimony of him in the beginning (a man after his own heart 1 Sam 13:14) David did experience God’s blessing, and experienced life inside the circle of safety (high tower, refuge, etc (Ps 18:1-2 ) But, that didn’t necessarily mean safety from hardship, or freedom from earthly trials. But, while David sought the Lord, he enjoyed rest.
Unfortunately, we also see from David’s life, that when he did sin with Bathsheba, and chose to live outside God’s circle of safety, he experienced the affects of that choice. But, all the while, God was still pursuing David and desiring to bring him back to the place of safety (Ps 51:1-19)
- Peace and rest are found in obedience. This doesn’t mean rest from earthly trials, but rest from God’s conviction and pursuit of holiness in my life.
- Give me a heart like David’s. May I see your commands as your protection for me and the place where I will thrive.
- As I meditate on your greatness and love, may it motivate me to want to live for you.
- Don’t let me forget!