Posts Tagged ‘Deuteronomy’

The Heart of the Mosaic Law

March 7, 2016

As Christians we tend to think of ourselves as being free from the Mosaic Law.  Many Christians do not spend much time reading the Old Testament, and many others will read Genesis and parts of Exodus, but then skim through the rest of the Pentateuch.  (The Pentateuch consists of the first five books of the Bible, Genesis through Deuteronomy.)  I would suggest that at the Heart of the Mosaic Law are the same basic themes that are in Christianity.

I.  Seek God:  Deuteronomy 4:29

 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

It should be obvious to us that God is not lost.  Rather, we need the eyes of our heart to be opened that we may see Him.  We need the ears of our heart to be opened that we might hear Him.  We need to take our focus off of the things of this world so that we can focus on the things that are not of this world.  This was true in the Mosaic Law and it is still true in the New Covenant that we have through Jesus Christ.

II.  Love God:  Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

We may recognize this verse.  When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, this is the verse that He quoted. God has always desired that we would love Him.  Of course, we know that “we love Him because He first loved us.”  (I John 4:19)

III.  Please God:  Deuteronomy 8:2-3

And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.

You might recognize these verses as well.  Jesus quoted the last portion of them when He was being tempted by Satan in the wilderness.  (Luke 4:4)

A.  Humble You:  God allows the circumstances of life to humble us so that we would recognize that we need Him.  Pride is a dangerous sin.  We should diligently guard against it.

B.  Test You:  God uses many ways to test us.  Do we trust God even when things are not going well?  Do we trust Him to guide, provide and protect?  We can trust God, for He is able to take care of us.  He is the Good Shepherd.

C.  Know You:  God wants to know what is in our hearts.  How will we respond to success, or to failure?  Do we love and trust Him, or do we just desire the blessings of this world?

Throughout the events of this life, it should be our desire to please God.  Hopefully, we can pass the tests of this life.  We can, if we place our trust fully in Him.

IV.  Remember God:  Deuteronomy 8:11-18

 “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, 12 lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; 14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 15 who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end— 17 then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’

18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

We should beware of the dangers of success!  When times are tough, it is easy to remember to call out to God.  We need His help and we know it!  When things are going well, sometimes we forget that it is God who has blessed us with success.  Sometimes we allow the things of this world to take priority in our lives.  We should remember to keep God first in our life at all times.  (Matthew 6:33)

V.  Serve God:  Deuteronomy 10:12-13*

 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?

These verses are similar to Micah 6:8.  They give us a condensed statement of what God desires of us.  My focus for this message will be the part to serve God.  God has given us everything that we have in this life and the next.  It is appropriate to serve Him.  We serve Him in a wide variety of ways, but it involves our whole life, not just a portion of it.

We should not quickly dismiss the Mosaic Law.  It is true that we are no longer bound by the sacrificial system, or the dietary requirements, but the heart of the Mosaic Law: to seek God, love God, please God, remember God and to serve God, still apply to us as Christians.

These are the sermon notes from 2/14/16.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

*This is the memory verse for this week. 

 

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A Reason for the Wilderness

November 13, 2014

We all experience difficult times.  Sometimes we know that those difficulties are a direct result of our own stupidity.  Other times we are unable to discern what went wrong.  It is nice to know that God has a reason for everything and can even use difficult times to continue His work in us.

I.  The Wilderness:  Deuteronomy 8:1-2

 “Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers. And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.

Deuteronomy is the farewell address of Moses.  He has led the children of Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness for forty years.  As they are on the verge of entering the promised land Moses reviews what they have learned.  The time in the wilderness was a time of humbling.  Israel could not survive without God’s help.  We too, should accept the fact that we need God’s help to face our own wilderness.  The time in the wilderness was a time of testing.  We too, are tested by the difficulties that we experience.  Are we able to continue in faith and obedience to God when times are difficult?  The time in the wilderness was used to examine their hearts.  Did they love God?  Were they willing to keep His commandments?  Do we?  Are we?  Difficult times reveal our character.

II.  Not By Bread Alone:  Deuteronomy 8:3-4

So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years.

God allows us to hunger, so that we might recognize both the provision of God, and the need for God.  These verses were referenced by Jesus when He was being tempted in the wilderness.  We too, should remember that we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.  We should not find our primary fulfillment in the things of the world, but in the Word of God.

III. Know in Your Heart:  Deuteronomy 8:5-6

 You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.

“Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.

Sometimes the difficulties that we experience are used by God to chasten us, to correct us.  Sometimes we don’t listen.  Sometimes we are disobedient.  When difficulties come it is appropriate to ask God if He is trying to tell us something, or if we are being disobedient.  We should listen for His still small voice.  If we are being disobedient, then we should repent and change our ways.  We should love God, and respect Him enough to listen and obey.

When we experience difficulties we should ask God if there is something in our life that we need to change.  If not, then we can trust that it is only a test and we can hold fast to our faith in God and our obedience to His Word.  God will see us through the wilderness if we will humbly walk with Him.

These are the sermon notes from October 26, 2014.  Any advertisements that accompany this blog are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

Blessed or Cursed?

August 1, 2013

Here are the sermon notes from 7/28/13.

I.  Blessing or Curse:  Deuteronomy 11:26-28

 “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.

Over and over throughout scripture we are presented with a choice of action.  We can choose to follow God, or reject God. Here, we are told plainly that to obey God brings blessings, to be disobedient brings a curse.  First, we need to know what commandments God wants us to obey.  We recognize that we are no longer expected to follow the Mosaic law, so what commandments are we to obey?  This question is answered by careful, consistent reading of God’s Word.  Secondly, we must believe that God is sincere about the promise of blessing and the threat of a curse.  Although these words were spoken to the children of Israel long ago, as the people of God today, we can claim these words for ourselves.  Finally, once we have identified the commands we are to obey, and believed the promise of God, we must actually live out our lives in obedience.  This does not mean that we will not have any problems.  There will still be the tests and trials of our faith that are a normal part of the Christian experience.  However, even in the midst of the storms of life.  we will be able to recognize in our lives the presence of the blessings of God.

II.  Beware!  Deuteronomy 17:14-20

“When you come to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’ 15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. 16 But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’ 17 Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.

18 “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.

Solomon should have heeded this warning.  He multiplied horses, wives, and gold; and in the end his heart was turned away from God.

Today, we do not need to be concerned about multiplying horses, but we do need to be concerned about an unhealthy pursuit of power.  Many people today desire to be powerful, whether it is in business, politics, or even in the church.  We should be careful about the pursuit of power.  We are called to be servants, not to acquire them.

We cannot legally multiply wives today, at least not in most countries, but there is a major problem with sex.  Premarital sex, adultery, homosexual activity, pornography, and divorce are prevalent in our culture.  Christians are called to purity.  Sex is meant to be shared between a husband and wife, meaning a man and a woman, joined together in holy matrimony until death do they part.

We may not trade in gold and silver, but certainly the desire to be rich has not changed.  We are warned that the “love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” but do we take it to heart?  Or do we continue to feverishly pursue the almighty dollar?  We need to be careful to have the right attitude towards wealth.

We need to guard against pride.  Sometimes Christians develop an attitude of self-righteousness.  This is extremely bad.  We must never forget that we can only become the children of God, by the grace of God.

III.  The Law

In the verses we have read from Deuteronomy 17 we are told that the king was to write a copy of the law, and to read it daily.  It is not necessary for us to make a hand-written copy. (Although that might be a truly wonderful experience!)  We should, however, read from the Word daily.  We should continue to respect God and to be obedient to His Word.

We are faced with a choice.  We should choose to live our lives according to God’s Word and receive the blessings He has for us.

The Journey of Our Lives

July 30, 2013

Last week was even busier than the normal busy week.  These are the sermon notes from 7/21/13.

I.  God Fights For Us:  Deuteronomy 3:22

You must not fear them, for the Lord your God Himself fights for you.’

This verse brings me both comfort and peace with the knowledge that God is actively involved in the lives of His people.  As Christians, we are the new Israel and can claim many of the promises that God made to the children of Israel. I believe that if we are doing what God wants us to do, then He will “fight” for us.

II.  Promise of Blessing:  Deuteronomy 6:3-9

Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Israel is promised the blessings of God.  This promise is a conditional promise.  Israel is commanded to love God and keep his commandments, and then they will receive the blessings of God.  This holds true to the believer today as well.  If we read the Word of God, and follow it, then our lives will be blessed.  This does not mean that we will not encounter various tests and trials of our faith, but rather that our lives will be marked overall with the blessings of God.

III.  The Testing of the Wilderness:  Deuteronomy 8:2-3

And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.

We are humbled by the tests and trials that come our way.  We recognize that we need the wisdom and strength that comes from God.  We need His help.

God tests us to see if we truly love Him and trust Him.

God sees our heart, if He is truly first in our lives.

The life that God has for us is not found in the things of this world, but rather by the presence of God in our lives.  God is present in our lives in many ways, but certainly is revealed to us most accurately in His Word.  His Word brings life.

IV.  The Testing of Prosperity:  Deuteronomy 6:10-12

“So it shall be, when the Lord your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build, 11 houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant—when you have eaten and are full— 12 then beware, lest you forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

Sometimes our lives are tested; not by trials, but by success.  When we are facing difficulties it is easy to recognize our need for God.  When everything is going well, we sometimes forget the importance of God in our lives.

V.  A Heart for God:  Deuteronomy 5:29

Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!

That is our goal.  That we would have a heart for God, not just for a period of our lives, but throughout the journey of our lives.

 

 

 

 

The Journey Through Life

March 26, 2012

Here are the sermon notes from Sunday, March 25, 2012.

I.  Deuteronomy 8:2-7  The Journey

A.  God leads us

1.  He humbles us.

2.  He tests us.

3.  He chastens us.

When bad things are happening in our lives, it is appropriate to search for a reason.  We do not always understand, but we can always trust.

B.  Man does not live by bread alone.   Do not neglect the Word.  Remember to feed our spiritual nature.

C.  Keep the commandments of God.

D.  God is bringing us to a good land.

II.  Deuteronomy 10:12-13  Walk With God

A.  Keep the commandments of God.

B. The commandments of God are for our own good.

C.  Bonus Point: Love the stranger.  (or immigrants, verse 19)

III.  Deuteronomy 11:26-28  It is Your Choice

A.  God promises blessings if we are obedient.

B.  God warns of curses if we disobey.

Conclusion:  The journey of life goes better if we walk with God and live according to His commandments.