11 “This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you, and it is not beyond your reach. 12 It is not kept in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven and bring it down so we can hear it and obey?’ 13 It is not kept beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear it and obey?’ 14 No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it. — Deut. 30:11-14 NLT
At this time, the Holy Spirit had not yet been given to us to remain on the earth until Jesus retruns, so God gave the Israelis their instructions and commands through Moses. In the following chapters of Deuteronomy, we read that God instructed Moses to write all of these instructions in a Book. That Book is now included as the first five books of the Bible. Moses instructed the priests to keep the Book of Instructions beside the Ark of the Covenant at all times as a sign of remembrance to the Israelis of their covenant with God. It would also serve as a witness against them in times of disobedience. It was to be read to the people, in its entirety, every seventh year during the Festival of Shelters. God is a just God and never holds anyone accountable for things they can not know. He can and does hold us responsible for those we could know but refuse to learn.
Now, since Jesus has returned to Heaven, He has sent the Holy Spirt to abide in us and lead us into all truth. We have no reason for our disobedience. We may try to excuse ourselves because of a lack of knowledge, but that excuse won’t hold water since God has made the Holy Spirit available to be our Teacher. His love for us and our love for Him is more than sufficient reason to study, learn and obey as much as we possibly can. The Lord, our God, is a jealous God and he is unhappy with anything less than a total commitment to our relationship with Him.
2 For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. — 2 Cor. 11:2 NLT
21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise. 24 These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.—Gal. 4:21-26 (NIV)
As we have seen in the earlier verses, the Jewish leaders have been trying to convince the new converts to return to the old Jewish traditions. Paul is making the point here that they need to consider the hardships and severity of the law before they turn back to it. He is using the birth of Issac and Ishmael to demonstrate the difference in natural and spiritual things. Those that return to worldly things (the natural Jerusalem) are still in slavery to those things. But since Issac was born to fulfill a divine promise, there is now a choice that we can make. We can follow the fleshly lineage and remain slaves or we can follow the divine lineage, accept Jesus and become citizens of the Jerusalem which is above. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.–Phil. 3:20 (NIV)
But one day, the New Jerusalem will come down to earth and all those that have chosen the divine lineage (Jesus) will be citizens of the New Jerusalem. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband—Rev.21:2 (NIV)