Do you remember this song? I cannot tell you how many times I played this on the piano, both solo and as duet, over the years. For a few years it seemed that it was played by everyone even close to a piano! In case you have forgotten, here is a video of the song from the movie “BIG” starring Tom Hanks:
What does Heart and soul really mean? I ran across this statement as Moses is wrapping up with the people with the covenant summary. He has just spent what we will call 16 chapters expressing the covenant stipulations. These boundaries for the blessing are for their own good and the development and maintenance of their relationship with God. Here are some of the things listed in these chapters:
- Worship – anything smacking of ANYTHING else is to be totally destroyed
- Tithing – 10% is to be given to honor the Lord and the Levite
- Holiness – both the inside and outside of a person is to be clean and pure as would be presentable to the Lord
- Attendance – daily, weekly, monthly, and annual sacrifices and festivals were to be attended without excuse
- Justice – treat each with respect both personally and judicially
While not an exhaustive list, this does cover a large amount of what is delivered. For the details you can read start reading it here. As we approach the end of this section, Moses gives a summary of both parties: God and the people.
16 “The Lord your God is commanding you this day to follow these statutes and ordinances. You must be careful to follow them with all your heart and all your soul. 17 Today you have affirmed that the Lord is your God and that you will walk in His ways, keep His statutes, commands, and ordinances, and obey Him. 18 And today the Lord has affirmed that you are His special people as He promised you, that you are to keep all His commands,
19 that He will elevate you to praise, fame, and glory above all the nations He has made, and that you will be a holy people to the Lord your God as He promised.”
Moses states that the people must follow them with all their heart and soul. What does this mean? On the surface, we could easily say that we should follow the prescriptions of the law with every part of ourselves. Heart and soul would have dealt with the emotional and spiritual aspects. Emotionally, we are to follow these laws. It has always been the design of God that we be in a relationship with Him. If we simply read these cold and lifeless, then we are not engaging them emotionally. We are to love God and love His message. How many of us just skip through these books to get to the “good stuff” of Joshua and Jericho? To do so would be to skip the whole foundation of scripture. To emotionally involve myself with scripture I would read, ponder, examine, and listen (more on this next time).
Moses does not end with the emotional aspect but adds that the people should follow with their soul also. Now, soul leads to a spiritual aspect. How do we follow with our soul? How do we follow spiritually? Faith is key to our understanding. So much of what we read is foreign to us, though it was not for the original hearer. They would have understood what was being said to them. However, just 40 years prior their parents had not acted on faith concerning the Word of God. We are to obey His commands even when we do not understand or see a positive outcome. This group of Israelites are being reminded to act on faith more than fact. As we read the scripture today, there is relevance for us today. We must act of faith. When we do not understand it or even agree with it in light of our culture today, will we still follow God? Will we follow with our soul?
I haven’t played that song in years. How long has it been since we have loved God heart and soul?
Heart and soul, I fell in love with you
Heart and soul, the way a fool would do,
Because you held me tight
And stole a kiss in the night
Heart and soul, I begged to be adored
Lost control, and tumbled overboard,
That magic night we kissed
There in the moon mist
Oh! but your lips were thrilling, much too thrilling
Never before were mine so strangely willing
But now I see, what one embrace can do
Look at me, it’s got me loving you
That little kiss you stole
Held all my heart and soul