Ki Tavo
For the week of September 8, 2001 / 20 Elul 5761
Torah: Devarim / Deuteronomy 26:1 - 29:8
Haftarah: Isaiah 60:1-22

God's Ways

The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in his ways (Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:9).

About a month ago, we saw that keeping God's commandments was not only about doing them, but carefully keeping watch over them. This implies our taking great care to understand what his commandments are and how they are to be followed (see

This week we also read that the people of Israel could only truly live as God's people if they would "walk in his ways."

To walk in God's ways - like keeping his commandments - means more than just following his instructions. To "walk in God's ways" is much more than simply knowing what he says to us, it is the how of doing what he says. God is not interested in our coldly following his instructions. In fact it is how we follow those instructions that sets us apart as his people.

I once encountered someone who was very concerned that people understood the truths of the Bible - a concern that I and many others share. Yet in his zeal for correctness, he abused people by cornering and battering them with his understanding of these things. He didn't realize that his presentation style was actually misrepresenting the God he was attempting to explain. God doesn't go around undermining the spirituality of people who may not be able to verbalize spiritual facts correctly. So this man may have been able to reduce the Bible's content into clear and accurate statements, yet he hadn't grasped God's ways.

This was the same problem that many of the religious leaders of Yeshua's day had. As he said concerning them,

So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach (Matthew 23:3).

While these leaders were able to communicate the truths of God, they were detached from the reality of those truths. This is a warning to all of us. Hearing God's word, knowing what he says, being able to recite it and teach it will not benefit us unless we walk in God's ways.

To walk in God's ways is to imitate how God himself relates to life. It is to love what he loves, and hate what he hates. It is to find pleasure in the things he finds pleasure in and treat with disgust those things that sicken him.

So how do we learn to walk in God's ways?

I can try to teach my children what I believe is right and good, but until they see me do those things, they will never fully grasp how to do them. In order to walk in God's ways, we need to walk closely with God himself.

God is seeking to interact with us all the time through the circumstances of each day. We need to pay attention to what he is saying and doing. If we will turn our attention away from ourselves and our own agendas, I believe we will find that God is seeking to direct us. If we will cooperate with him, I also believe that we will find ourselves walking in his ways.

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