God had promised deliverance for His people. Here he is beckoning them to draw near and hear His words. Several things jumped out at me this morning.
1) God, through His Word, teaches us profitable things. Matthew Henry pointed out that "He that is their Redeemer will be their instructor: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit," that is, teaches thee such things that belong to thy peace. Whom God redeems He teaches; whom He designs to deliver out of their afflictions He first teaches to profit by their afflictions. He "leads you in the way you should go." He not only enlightens their eyes, but directs their steps." God's word contains "all that is necessary for life and godliness" (2 Pe 1:3). It teaches me what to believe, it tells me how to live. My God has spoken to me in His word and all that He has spoken is for my good and for my growth.
"All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim 3:16-17)
"The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure enlightening the eyes.... The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward." (Ps 19:7-11)
2) God has spoken, I should listen. If He has taken the time to give me this glorious word which is for my profit then shouldn't I heed its wisdom and warnings? "If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your well-being would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea."
Hear Mr. Henry's application of this to ancient Israel. "God assures them that, if they had been obedient, that would not only have prevented their captivity, but would have advanced and perpetuated their propserity. "Your well-being would have been like a river, and your righteosness like the waves of the sea." You should have enjoyed a series of mercies, one continually following another, as the waters of a river which always last. Such should their righteousness have been that nothing should have stood before it; whereas, now they had been disobedient, the current of their prosperity was interrupted, and their righteousness overpowered."
God's Word is good for me! I need to walk in it! He has given it to us that we should keep it diligently (Ps 119:4) and we should keep it diligently so that we will not stumble and falter along life's highway. "Your word is a lamb to my feet, and a light to my path." (Ps 119:105)
3) Listening to God's Word will not only affect me, but also my children and my children's children. Here again is beautiful covenant language. Just as my sin never affects just me but has consequences on and in my children, so my obedience has benefits to them. I do not live in a vacuum. Every action of mine will have a reaction on Joshua, Elizabeth, their children, their children's children, etc. etc. Kind of puts a different light on how I live, eh?!
"Your descendants would have been like the sand, and your offspring like its grains; their name would never be cut off or destroyed from My presence." I fall one final time to Henry's words. "The rising generation should have been numerous and prosperous; whereas they were now very few, as appears by the small number of the returning captives (see Ezra 2:64). The honor of Israel should still have been unstained, untouched. Their name should not have been cut off, as now it is in the land of Israel, which is either desolate or inhabited by strangers; nor should it have been destroyed from before God's presence. This should engage us (I might say enrage us) against sin, that it has deprived us of the good things God had in store for us."
Hear those words again: "This should engage us (I might say enrage us) against sin, that it has deprived us of the good things God had in store for us." Sin always gives birth to sin, "and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death." (Ja 1:15). Sin looks good at first glance but "there is a way which seems right to a man but its end is the way of death." (Pr 14:12). Sin always and only steals from us!! We need to listen to God's Word and we need to walk in God's Word that it may go well with us and with our children!
4) There is no peace apart from listening to this Word. God provides for His people what they need most. Just as "they did not thirst when He led them through the deserts," just as "He made the water flow out of the rock for them" just as "He split the rock, and the water gushed forth," so He shall continue to care for the true needs of His people - at times from the most unlikely of places. Abiding in His Word brings security, safety and peace. But, "there is no peace for the wicked," says the LORD."
Lord, teach me to profit by Your Word as I listen to Your Word and grant peace to me, to my children, and to my children's children.