christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

deuteronomy 10:12-11:25, love and obedience

Read Deuteronomy 10:12-11:25 at Bible Gateway.

Previously: deuteronomy 10:1-11, rejecting God

Please review the teaching tools of scripture, especially the Hebrew paragraph divisions and chiastic structures. The paragraphs marked by an “s” at their close are weak paragraphs, which indicate a change of facet but not a change of theme or topic. The paragraphs marked by a “p” at their close are strong paragraphs, which indicate the completion of a theme or topic. The paragraph divisions reveal the chiastic structures: narratives which zero in on the main point of the narrative at its center, like a bull’s eye at the center of a target. The main point is revealed, because the narrative elements before the main point (or central axis) are repeated after the central axis, in reverse order, while the central axis itself is not repeated.

This is the final section explaining the first commandment, Worship YHVH only, which we discovered was THE commandment. (The first commandment is explained in Deu 6:4-11:25, and this is my summary of it.) The paragraph divisions for this section are:

Deu 10:12-11:9 {s} Fear, love and obey YHVH always for our good
Deu 11:10-12 {s} The goodness of the Land
Deu 11:13-21 {s} Listen, pay heed, observe, and teach YHVH’s commandments
Deu 11:22-25 {s} Carefully keep His commandments that Israel may possess the Land

The chiastic structures for Deu 10:12-11:25 are posted here.

There is a repeating admonition that is seen as a component and often the central axis, of all the chiastic structures in this section:

Deu 10:12-13, Fear the LORD/ walk in His ways/ love + serve Him with whole heart + keep His commandments for your good;

Deu 10:20, You shall fear the LORD God; Him shall you serve/ to Him shall you cleave/ swear by His name;

Deu 11:1, Therefore you shall love the LORD your God/ keep His charge + statutes + judgments + commandments always;

Deu 11:8-9, Keep all the commandments which I command you this day for your good.

Deu 11:13, If you hearken diligently to My commandments: to love the LORD your God + serve Him with a whole heart;

Deu 11:16, Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived/turn aside to serve + worship other gods;

Deu 11:18-20, Lay up My words in your heart/ bind them on hand + forehead/ teach them your children: speak + write them;

Deu 11:22, If you shall diligently keep His word/ do commandments + love the LORD + walk in all His ways + cleave to Him.

Repetition is another teaching tool of scripture! In order to worship YHVH only, and have no other gods before Him, we see that we must guard our hearts with all diligence, and keep our love for the LORD our God.   We must diligently keep His commandments — it is the main way we express our love for Him! This section is not full of admonitions to sing to Him in worship and praise with hands uplifted, or to pray to him daily, or any of the other good things that we do, because we love Him and desire to worship Him. But keeping His commandments and treasuring up His words within us, is His best safeguard for us, to ensure that we worship Him only and have no other gods before Him. If something else was a better safeguard, He would have repeated that ad infinitum!

But notice that obedience to commandments is a matter of the heart, not just outward or rote compliance. God knows that rote compliance may work in the short term, but it is never a long- term solution. The heart must be circumcised (the fleshliness or worldliness cut away) so that it longs to serve and worship God. Obedience flows from the heart that loves Him wholly.

The chiastic structures are full of buried treasure, please study the central axis’ and matching pairs to gain amazing insights!

Continued: deuteronomy 6:4-11:25, first commandment chiastic structure


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