The Word for today:
And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power. (Deuteronomy 4:37)
Sing me no song! Read me no rhyme!We spent the last couple days talking about musical declarations of love for Jesus. I wondered whether some of those songs are appropriate for a public setting. It wasn’t until the very end of a two-part article that we got around to what the Bible says love for God should look like:
Don't waste my time, Show me!
Don't talk of June, Don't talk of fall!
Don't talk at all! Show me! ("Show Me," from the musical "My Fair Lady")
The theme of Deuteronomy, which we are just beginning, is to love and obey God:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)
OK, we should love God, but how is that accomplished? The Bible makes it clear that obedience is man’s response to God’s love:
If you love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
***In the books of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy) God models a very important axiom of true love: Show, then Tell.
We are not aware that he is modeling this axiom until we get all the way to Deuteronomy 4:37:
And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power.
Deuteronomy 4:37 is the first time in the Bible that God tells anybody he loved them. But he has demonstrated it from the first verse in Genesis.
We would do well to emulate God by letting our obedience demonstrate our love for him. Whether or not we ever get around to saying ‘love’ is very nearly immaterial.
In the great book of Psalms, which is the Bible’s collection of worship songs, I was able to locate just two verses where the Psalmist tells God that he loves Him. Here they are:
I love you, O LORD, my strength. (Psalm 18:1)
I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. (Psalm 116:1)
Sometimes I can’t help but wonder, as we proclaim our lavish love for God every Sunday, whether our protestations of love are, as they should be, the exclamation point following a week of obedience.
If the Bride of Christ has not first demonstrated love by her obedience, then her 'love' is just a word that was never made flesh.
Sometimes I get the feeling, as we sing our ardent love songs to Jesus, that the Lady doth protest too much.