Love God and love your neighbor as yourself is how Jesus summed up the 10 Commandments (Matthew 22:37-40). The two greatest acts we can fulfill are to love God and others. Sometimes we don’t know how to do this, but the 10 Commandments give us a framework. We are given such a framework so that we will have peace with God and peace on earth. The whole Word of God focuses on our relationship with God and one another. When we don’t know God’s Word, we can’t do God’s Word and we certainly can’t teach it. And we must teach it because every time man failed to teach God’s Word division between God and man and man and man ensued. Check out Psalm 78, particularly verses 1-11.
Here we learn that the Psalmist warned the Israelites to teach their children God’s Word so that they and the following generations wouldn’t become “a stubborn and rebellious generation” like their forefathers. These rogue Israelites, in spite of God’s provision for them in Egypt and the wilderness, didn’t have their heart (mind, will, emotions, passions) on God nor did they trust in His salvation (v. 8 & 22). As a result, they didn’t (couldn’t) follow God’s Word (v. 10). They not only ignored God’s commands, but they also forgot all that He had done for them (v. 11). They complained to God and did whatever they wanted, including fight each other (Numbers 16). There was no peace with God and no peace with men. The same is true today.
When we know God’s Word, we know what He requires so He sees us as righteous and not just another rank sinner (Romans 4:23-5:2, 10:9-10). When we know God’s Word, we are able to teach others so God sees them as righteous and not just another rank sinner. When we know God’s Word, we are able to live God’s Word and be in proper relationship with Him and others. But as we see with the Israelites, a teacher of God’s Word needs more than knowledge of His Word; there has to be an experience with God that remains in the forefront of the teacher’s mind that cements His Word in the teacher’s heart so the teacher is passionate about God, trusts in His salvation and wants others to know. This passion is contagious and students are bound to replicate their teacher’s life. So I urge you: Know God’s Word. Live God’s Word. Teach God’s Word so there is peace with God and peace with men.
Copyright 2009 by Rhonda J. Smith