Deuteronomy 8: Obedience Is Critical
God leaves little room for negotiation when it comes to our obedience especially in Deuteronomy chapter eight.
Deu 8:19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.
Deu 8:20 As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.
These are strong words, but they explain the high value that God places on our obedience.
Now, there is an interesting implication of this passage.
It is obvious that there are millions of people in the world today who give God virtually no value and follow their own idols.
Does this passage apply to them as well?
One thing that we can safely assume from this passage is that we are not talking about physical death here. After all, it is not like people immediately die because they are not followers of God.
It could mean that He is talking about nations that either follow God or do not. That seems to be the general theme of the chapter here. There are several nations around the world that are not Christian and are thriving, but I think that Israel was held to such a high standard because they had witnessed God firsthand.
This nation had been blessed in so many ways beginning with their miraculous escape from Egypt and continuing through the years of wandering in the desert. They had so much proof that God was looking out for them that to leave at that point would at the very least be ungrateful.
So, even though it seems as if at this this passage is clearly pointing to the nation of Israel, I do think that there can be an application on the individual level.
If you look at this from a spiritual perspective, if we do not live in obedience to God by putting our faith and trust in Him, there will be a spiritual death. I know this is not a very happy thought to end on, but I think that the encouraging part lies in the fact that the spiritual depth can be avoided.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
It is pretty simple.