HOW TO CONVINCE THE WORLD
As the Israelites stood on the east bank of the Jordan River, preparing to cross over and enter the land of Canaan, Moses addressed them,
See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today? (Deuteronomy 4:5-8)
I am impressed that the nations would look at Israel with admiration and notice their wisdom and understanding. How could Israel ensure that the neighboring nations would look at them this way? By keeping the laws God gave them! If they were faithful and kept God’s laws the nations would be impressed and in awe of them. I noticed that it is the wisdom of God’s laws and God’s understanding that would come through to the nations.
This was the way of the old covenant. If Israel was faithful to the covenant they would have a good reputation among the peoples surrounding them. Consider, it is also the way of the new covenant! If the church of Christ lives according to the commands of God the nations will see and will know that God sent Jesus into this world. What are the commands the church is to follow? Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30, 31). Jesus prayed for us, …that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me (John 17:21). The world will look at the church and see that we are one, that we are united, when we love one another. This is the most powerful apologetic in the world and will convince the world that Jesus was sent by the Father.
If Israel failed to keep God’s commands God would bring judgment upon them. The LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the LORD will drive you (Deuteronomy 4:27). If we do not love one another the world will not believe and our message will lack power and conviction and will sound like foolishness to them. Let us learn to love one another and be one, even as Jesus and the Father were one!