A verb is one of the main parts of a sentence in English. You can’t have a sentence without a verb. That’s how important these “action” parts of speech are. The verb signals an action, an occurrence, or a sate of being. Whether mental, physical, or mechanical, verbs always express activity.
God, Creator of everything including grammar, knew the importance of verbs. In Deuteronomy 7, God uses verbs to clearly express the actions He is instructing the Israelites to take. When He brings them into the Promised Land and drives out the enemy nations, these are the actions (verbs) they are to perform. No exceptions. No questions.
Break down their altars
Smash their sacred stones
Cut down their Asherah poles
Burn their idols in the fire
Purge the evil
In Deuteronomy 10, God shares what He wants the Israelites and us to remember using more verbs: Fear Him, Walk in obedience, Serve and Love Him with all of our being, and Observe His Commands.
The Israelites are reminded of His 10 Commandments in Deuteronomy 5. What should they (and we) do with His Commands? More verbs: Fix these words in your hearts and minds, Tie them unto your hands, Bind them to your foreheads, Teach them to your children, Talk about them all the time, and Write them everywhere.
Too often people are turned off by the Bible, God’s love letter to us, because they believe it is filled with too many verbs. Too many uncomfortable do’s and mega-tons of restricting don’ts. Rules ruffle our-free-to-live-how-we-want-to feathers. We spend our lives under someone’s thumb of authority: parents, spouses, bosses, and government. We don’t want any more rules and commands coming from another source in our lives especially not an invisible God. Ugh! So we rebel whenever and however we can. We bend, if not break, most or all of His verbs. We can and we do. I can and I have. The Israelites did. In Deuteronomy 31, the Israelites’ rebellion is predicted. God shares openly with His good friend, Moses, whom He will bury Himself (what a perfect love story ending).
“You are going to rest with your ancestors, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake Me and break the covenant I made with them.” Deuteronomy 31: 16 NIV
They didn’t get it. The Israelites missed out on the life God wanted for them. I don’t want to miss out on the life He wants for me. But that will take obedience and yielding to not my will, but His Will in my life. It will mean following His verbs.
But then I stop to consider WHY? Why so many verbs from God? I quickly realize it isn’t because My God is a tyrant or dictator. No, quite the opposite. All He has ever done and will ever do is from His favorite verb of all: LOVE. He loves us so much. Parents who love their children provide boundaries/guidelines for the child’s safety and well-being. Same concept.
During a sleepless night, I started my own list of verbs. What activity God expresses towards me through verbs. My list of God’s verbs follows the ABC’s.
My God adores, blesses, created, defends, embraces, forgives, gets, hugs, improves, justifies, knows, loves, molds, notices, overwhelms, purchased, quiets, reassures, saved, teaches, understands, values, welcomes, X-Y-Z Me.
Verbs express activity. What verbs has God used in your life, to demonstrate His amazing Abba Father love towards you? If any start with X-Y-Z, please let me know 🙂
Let’s Walk Worthy!