Russell and Duenes

That It Might Go Well

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“Honor your father and mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you. . . Oh that they had a heart as this always, to fear Me and to keep all My commandments, that it might go well with them and their descendants forever . . . 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.”  ~ Deut. 5:16, 29, 33

Why does God command us to reserve sexual intercourse for marriage between one man and one woman? Why command such a “narrow” or “limited” application of our sexual desires? So that “it may go well with us.” Why does He command us to refrain from vengeance and instead love and pray for our enemies? Particularly when our enemies are literally slaughtering us? “That it may go well with you.” Why does God counsel against greed and envy, against love of money and the hunger for it? Why command that our every word should be intended to build others up, when we’d really like to verbally let them have it? “So that it may go well with you.”

Indeed, God’s every command – whether we think it hard or easy, tough or tender, stern or kind – is designed toward one end: our good and God’s glory. As Jonathan Edwards has said, “God’s respect to the creature’s good, and his respect to himself, is not a divided respect; but both are united in one, as the happiness of the creature aimed at is happiness in union with himself.” (The End for Which God Created the World). God is infinitely wise and gracious, and seeing as He created us, He knows what’s best for us. His commands are like a doctor’s prescription, to borrow an analogy from Daniel Fuller.

I suppose God could have been the kind of god who commands just because he’s on a power trip, or conversely, who issues no commands, like some kind of absentee parent who will  let his young children “decide on their own what they’ll believe.” But He’s not. He commands because He “delights in the welfare of His servant.” (Ps. 35:27). He commands because He yearns for our happiness and joy. He made us for infinite delight. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Lord, give us hearts to fear You and to be careful to keep all Your commandments, so that it might go well with us. Amen.



Written by Michael Duenes

September 29, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Posted in Deuteronomy, Duenes

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