Read Deuteronomy 32:4
“He started it.”
“She told me to do it.”
“No one said not to . . .”
I hear these phrases frequently from my young students at school. They really do want to please the teacher at their age, but even more so, they don’t want to get in trouble. For the most part, they are rule followers and expect everyone to be held accountable. Believe me; they are quick to tell me if someone is NOT following the rules. And surprisingly, they like to see their classmates get their deserved consequences. In some way, it is reassuring to them that all is in order; that bad behavior is not tolerated and good behavior is rewarded. In a very basic way, they are seeking justice. They want to know that right is right and wrong is wrong.
We serve a God who is just. It is His very nature. God always does what is right. He cannot help but do what is right. In Deuteronomy 32, Moses is addressing the Israelite people and he proclaims that “God is the Rock; His work is perfect. Everything He does is just and fair.” It is almost like a warning to the people: Look out, Moses warns, nothing gets past this guy. He doesn’t bend the rules to let you off the hook.
Haven’t we grown to expect just that? We have become accustomed to, and even expect, people to cut us a break instead of sticking to the rules. When driving, we know we can get away with driving a little bit over the posted speed limit, so we do. We expect deadlines to be extended when we can’t quite meet them. We want the person who tickets cars for parking too long to extend a little grace and allow us to park a few minutes longer than posted.
Prior to Moses’ proclamation to the people, He delivered the Ten Commandments to the Israelites. These rules were meant to establish right from wrong. God was helping His people by setting these rules in place and creating an equal playing field for all. However, when things didn’t go as the Israelites expected, they started bending those rules. They bent them so far, they broke. And God, being just, couldn’t look the other way. He won’t look the other way for us either.
It should be reassuring to us that we don’t have to hit a moving or changing target. He will be consistent and fair to all.