A few months ago, I learned a new meaning of the word “keep”—a common word. When I originally learned it in relation to “keeping” God’s 10 commandments, I simply thought that it meant the observance of them; thus obedience to God, no more. But its meaning goes deeper than that.
In ancient Hebrew, keep means “sheepfold.” Wow! That sets me on new course because the reason for a sheepfold is to protect the sheep. Lights on! The 10 Commandments are important safeguards for my relationship with God and my relationships with other people.
But Jesus also said to His followers, “If you love me, keep [protect] my commandments” (John14:15, NJKV). That provides an added element, making me a protector of His law because I am one of His followers. How do I protect God’s law? By remembering it, so that it not be forgotten. If I don’t keep His law, I’m not protecting it.
Lack of Trust
When someone says, “It’s impossible to keep the commandments,” they’re really doubting God’s Word; His promises. It’s a lack of trust. Why would God ask us to keep something that’s impossible to do? And if He asks us to “keep” it He’s allotting us a privilege of protection. God created the commandments out of His own character.
Now when I consider my daily commandment-keeping, I’m doing it with a new purpose, in that of protecting God’s law.
After so many years, I feel like a woman with poor vision whose been given clear sight. He protects me by giving me His law, and because I love Him I want to protect it by keeping it—never to be forgotten.
I was invigorated to read how Eugene Peterson analyzes the words of Jesus in Matthew, chapter 5, verse 18, The Message, “…God’s law is more real and lasting than the stars in the sky and the ground at your feet. Long after stars burn out and the earth wears out, God’s law will be alive and working.”