And now, Israel, what does Yahweh your God ask of you? Only this: to fear Yahweh your God, to follow all his ways, to love him, to serve Yahweh your God with all your heart and all your soul, to keep the commandments and laws of Yahweh, which I am laying down for you today for your own good. Look, to Yahweh your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth and everything on it; yet it was on your ancestors, for love of them, that Yahweh set his heart to love them, and he chose their descendants after them, you yourselves, out of all nations, up to the present day. Circumcise your heart then and be obstinate no longer; for Yahweh your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, triumphant and terrible, free of favouritism, never to be bribed. He it is who sees justice done for the orphan and the widow, who loves the stranger and gives him food and clothing. (Love the stranger then, for you were once strangers in Egypt.) Yahweh your God is the one whom you must fear and serve; to him you must hold firm; in his name take your oaths. Him you must praise, he is your God: for you he has done these great and terrible things which you have seen for yourselves; tand, although your ancestors numbered only seventy persons when they went down to Egypt, Yahweh your God has now made you as many as the stars of heaven.’
Anyone who reads these texts and records them in their hearts understands very well the connection between the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is the same God who speaks here and proclaims his wonderful love to his people. The tender love of our Heavenly Father has already been communicated to the people of Israel and revealed a new dimension in the coming of His Son.
The clear statements of the Lord about the relationship with Him are valid till today. And also his promise: If we fulfill the commandments of the Lord, serve Him with all our hearts, love Him, then life will be good for us.
The “good life” is certainly not limited to the earthly dimension. The true “good life” means that one finds in our heart that peace that only God can give.
It is true peace to live with God in unity, in a real harmony with Him and therefore also in unity with oneself. This should also give us the ability to live in peace with other people as far as possible.
So many people are longing for peace and the desire for it is justified. But true peace is not possible without God, for the “wars” come from the disordered passions, as the Apostle James describes (Jak 4:1). „Where do wars come from with you, where do disputes come from? Not by the passions that argue in your limbs?“
It is precisely the unity with God, together with the path of following Jesus, that tames our disordered passions and we become “capable of peace”. However, this should not be confused with a superficial desire for harmony by avoiding the difficult and contradictory things.
Conflicts do not resolve themselves by overlooking them.
The wonderful word: “God is your hymn of praise, He is Your God” means that we do everything with regard to God, thank Him in all things.
If we praise the works of creation, it is important that we always remember the Creator, for he is the praise. From this praise grows the joy in God and of one’s own existence.
The other is the hint to think of the poor and strangers, not to overlook their plight, just as God himself does not! This, too, is to be done with a free heart, for “God loves a joyful giver” (2 Kor 9:7). The memory of the benefits that God gives his people invite us to do the same! From this way of giving also grows the joy in the Lord!