God is speaking to His children, those who worship Him, to we who go to church, refrain from sinful behavior, and call ourselves Christians. What he said to the Israelites through Moses, He is saying to us in 2023.
And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when ye spake unto me; and the LORD said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of the people, which they have spoken unto thee; they have well said all that they have spoken. O that there were such an heart in them…” (6:28-29a)
Did you hear it? Did you detect a hint of sadness, of longing in His voice? If you go back to verse 27 you’ll know what God is referring to. The Jews had heard what God’s message through Moses was, they understood that they didn’t want to repeat the sins of their ancestors.
“Tell us everything God has said, Moses,” they declared. “We will hear it. And we will do it!”
God liked what He heard. He told Moses that the people had done well to make that declaration. But verse 29 breaks my heart as I hear the longing in His voice.
You see, God knew that their promises to obey Him didn’t go very deep, as sincere as they probably were at the time. It wasn’t a behavior change God longed for. It was a change of heart.
That reenforces the fact that religion is not what God demands. Of course obedience is important. But doing the right thing can be a sin if it’s done for the wrong reasons.
God longs for hearts so in love with Him that doing the right thing spills over, a natural outpouring of His love, done to make Him, not us, look good in the eyes of people around us. He wants children who obey Him out of fear of angering Him, children who would rather look into His eyes and see approval rather than disappointment.
Well done, good and faithful servant.
Are you determined to obey God? Then give Him your heart. Love the LORD with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, ALL your mind. I think you’ll be surprised how easily obedience is after that.
Because, although obedience is important, it’s not the most important thing.