“For I proclaim the name of the Lord;
Ascribe greatness to our God!
The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are just;
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Righteous and upright is He.”
— Deuteronomy 32:3-4, NASB
If the greatest commandment is to love the Lord Our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves, then perhaps the greatest calling any of us have is to proclaim the name of the Lord and ascribe greatness to Him.
This was my reading this morning–the last three chapters of Deuteronomy. In some ways, Deuteronomy has a profound poignancy to it. God–who has already given Israel chance after chance to obey–tells His people that if they forsake His commands, they will be under judgment. Of course, He already knows they will break faith with Him–they always do–and yet He continues to promise ultimate fulfillment of a divine plan that will one day exalt Israel.
But that’s not the point of today’s meditation for me.
My mind kept coming back to those two verses, wherein Moses proclaims the greatness of the Lord. And I kept thinking about how this ties into the greatest commandments that Christ gave us.
How do we love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength? By PROCLAIMING His greatness and glory with passion, knowledge, wisdom, and commitment. By ASCRIBING to Him greatness–acknowledging that His works are perfect, that He is unchanging, faithful, and just.
How do we love our neighbor as ourselves? The same way, except that we alter our verb tenses and pronouns a bit.
I certainly acknowledge the need for the church to serve the poor, the widows, the orphans, and those in need through offerings of our time, resources, and gifts. We are obliged to feed, clothe, and visit the least of these.
But ultimately, the best expression of love we can give our neighbors is to tell them about the greatness of God.
To PROCLAIM through our words, deeds, actions, lives that He is unchanging, faithful, just, righteous, and perfect.
I think it’s easy in modern Christendom to focus on the action part of that–to believe that we should only proclaim through our works.
But Moses wasn’t just proclaiming through works.
He proclaimed LOUDLY for all of Israel to hear.
Think about that for a moment.
Moses, with his unnamed speech impediment.
Moses, who was certain he could not go back to Egypt because he was a wanted man, because Pharaoh was too strong, because because because.
Moses, who was denied entry into the Promised Land because of his disobedience.
How can we do less?
Is this not the heart of evangelism–to proclaim the name of the Lord to all the nations? To share that He Is, and that He is so great that He hurled Himself into our time as one of us so that we could eventually meet Him on His turf and be made like Him?
We are called to proclaim. Whatever gifts, whatever wisdom, whatever strength we have, we are to use it all to proclaim the name of the Lord and ascribe greatness to our God!
What a calling!