Sorry to those of you who read this early in the morning - I forgot to put the Bible verse!
He said to them: "Take to heart all the words that I am giving in witness against you today; give them as a command to your children, so that they may diligently observe all the words of this law. This is no trifling matter for you, but rather your very life; through it you may live long in the land that you are crossing over the Jordan to possess." Deuteronomy 32: 46-47 NRSV
This verse sounds so British, I am wondering what the nationality of the translator(s) for this section is! I also can't help but hear Moses as a parent speaking: This is no trifling matter for you, young man/woman!
But Moses is giving his death-bed speech, including teaching a song to these people he has been shepherding for so long. He is like a parent to them. He really does want them to take all that has been said and taught extremely seriously. Moses wants them to do well in the promised land.
As a parent, I get frustrated when I see my son not taking things seriously. I do realize that he is still a child but there are things I want him to take seriously. Hopefully not playing with guns or matches would be among these. Also, talking to God is another. Perhaps I do want more seriousness than he is able to give at this age - I need to be more flexible about such things as returning the garbage cans to the driveway and cleaning his room.
I am sure Moses and God has been somewhat flexible before this. But the Children of Israel had now reached the promised land and received a complete set of instructions. They had come of age. Time to take all of God's commandments very seriously indeed.
You and I need to examine ourselves to see what parts of the Christian life have been for us "a trifling matter." What aspects of being Christ's follower have we, well, fudged a bit on? Is there something that we have not been as serious about?
This is no trifling matter but our very life.
God, you want us to do well. You love us so much. Give us discernment and an obedient heart. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims