Memory Text: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10, NKJV).
Old Testament prophets repeatedly called upon the people of Israel to obey God’s instructions. Disobedience and carelessness would lead to apostasy and disunity. Obedience to God’s laws was intended as a means to preserve the people from the natural consequences of sin and to sanctify them in the midst of many foreign nations. Following God’s will would create harmony among the people and strengthen their community resolve to withstand the inroads of the pagan and evil worship practices that surrounded them from almost every direction. God’s intention was for His people to be holy and to be a witness to the nations around them.
As the Lord said to them after delivering the Hebrews from Egypt: “Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people’ ” (Deut. 4:5-6, NKJV).
No question: were they to remain faithful, His people would be greatly blessed and would have been a blessing to others. Unfaithfulness, though, would lead to a host of problems, disunity being just one of many.
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, October 13.