Beware and Take Care

from Lynda Lindsey

But from there (exile) you will seek the Lord your God and you will find Him, if you search after Him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29

Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments…Deuteronomy 5:29(a)

You shall be careful therefore to do as the Lord your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess. Deuteronomy 5:32-33

Beware is a warning to be cautious and alert to danger, to take precautionary steps to avoid trouble. Moses issued warnings to the Israelites, now on the edge of the promised land, to beware and take care lest they forget all God’s wondrous acts on their behalf, and in forgetting, let their hearts grow cold and indifferent to God. Hold fast, Moses exhorts. Take care. Keep your soul diligently focused on God. Obey and teach your children to obey, to keep and to do all God says. Beware idolatry; God is a consuming fire, a jealous God, a God who demands total loyalty. 

Idolatry, Moses warns, will result in exile to pagan nations. Yet, even in exile, God offers hope of return and restoration for those willing to repent and seek God wholeheartedly. God allows us to find Him when we diligently and faithfully look for Him. God, in His lovingkindness and compassion, is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but repent. When we turn to Him in repentance, He exclaims with joy, “Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments.” God wants our hearts to belong to Him, and only to Him, forever. 

Be careful to do as God has commanded. Don’t turn aside. Don’t veer off course. Walk obediently in a straight path in all God’s ways. Don’t add to or subtract from God’s Word. Don’t deviate from God’s plan. Moses disobeyed God’s specific directions; as a consequence of that sin, God banned Moses from entering the promised land. The enemy’s shortcuts and substitutions are unwise and dangerous; resist the enemy’s distractions. There is great reward for obedience: our life will be full to overflowing with God’s presence and love, now and through eternity!