"That it may be well with you"
Deuteronomy Chapter 5
By Pastor Josh Oestreich
Deuteronomy 5:29 says, "Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!"
Here, in chapter 5, after Moses reviews the giving of the Commandments, Moses and the LORD dialogue, and in their conversation the LORD reveals His heart for His people, and says this in verse 29: "that it may be well with them..." This makes my heart rejoice! For this is the heart of our Heavenly Father! He desires to bless us; He has our best interest at heart. With that in mind, I want to connect that truth with 1 John 5:3b, "His commandments are not burdensome." As fallen people, still battling with the flesh, we can tend to kick against the thought of obeying commandments. To obey is to surrender our will to the will of Another, and that does not come naturally. But, as we see the heart of God behind the commands that He gives, I believe, it helps lift the "burden" that our fallen nature feels. When we begin to understand that the LORD is not simply "power-tripping" but is actually seeking to bless us, we realize that "His commandments are not burdensome." In verse 29 the LORD even says, "that it might be well with them AND with their children forever!" Moses reiterates these thoughts in verse 33, "You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, THAT you may live and THAT it may be well with you, and THAT you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess."
Notice where our obedience is to start; verse 29 says, "that they had such a HEART in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments." As we understand our Father's heart behind His Word and His commands to us, it will soften our heart toward Him and His Word. 1 John 4:19 says, "We love Him because He first loved us." We are the responders, not the initiators. When we see His heart's desire to grant blessing in our obedience, our heart yields and our will surrenders to Him and His will. Even in this, the softening of our hearts, the LORD is the initiator and the enabler. He makes this promise to His people in Ezekiel 36:26-27, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them." (This inward, spiritual transformation would become known as the New Birth, being born again by the Holy Spirit [cf. John 3]). Here again we see that this is to enable us to walk in His statutes, and to keep His judgments and do them (cf. Ezek. 36:27). Then, directly following verse 27, we see again the Father's heart in verse 28, "Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God." As He changes His people and enables them to walk in obedience, He blesses them and makes it well with them—they will dwell in the land and He claims them as His own.
Any boundary set by the LORD is given to benefit and bless us. Any prohibition placed by the LORD is there to protect us. So, let's seek to walk in all the ways which the LORD our God has commanded us, and see His word fulfilled with us.
Grace and peace.