March 14, 2021
Sermon notes March 14, 2021
Scripture: Deuteronomy 4
We have begun reading in Deuteronomy in our daily Bible reading plan. The setting for Deuteronomy is the entry of the Israelites into the Promised Land. God has called the current generation of Israelites to enter and possess the land. The Israelite’s leader for the past 40+ years has been Moses. Due to his own sin, Moses will not go into the Promised Land with the people. And so, Deuteronomy marks a transition. The Israelites in this generation would have lived the majority, if not all, of their lives under Moses’ leadership. The Israelites would have faced uncertainty without Moses, perhaps fear, perhaps worry, perhaps a lack of confidence. Deuteronomy is a final teaching from Moses to the people to strengthen and encourage the people to move forward with God. The people of Israel are being reminded that Moses is not their ultimate leader, but God is. Moses’ instructions in Deuteronomy are another teaching for the Israelites to abide in the Lord. Moses recaps their history and reminds them of God’s plans and greatness, of their position with God, and of their history of failure when apart from God.
Let’s read Deuteronomy 4:5-9 and consider the questions: “Why follow God’s commands?” This passage gives us two reasons. In verse 1 there is a connection made between obedience to God and living and possessing the land. Whereas, verse 3 warns of disobedience by reminding Israel what happened when they were previously disobedient. What we can learn from these verses is there are personal consequences to our choices of obeying or disobeying God. These verses do not promise that obedience equals blessings such as riches, healing, or a life without trouble. Rather these verses show that the best life – a life of hope, of purpose, of fulfillment – is available through obedience to God. This is what the Bible, as a whole, teaches. We do not have a teaching of karma or prosperity gospel, but we are taught that our best life is lived in obedience to God and a life apart from God is subject to God’s discipline.
The second reason for obedience to God is the power of our witness, as our obedience glorifies God. Verses 5-8 tell us if Israel were to be a nation faithful to God, then it would be unique in the world and others would desire God for themselves. Others would know their gods were powerless creations and see the greatness of God being reflected in the lives of the Israelites. You and I today should be doing the same as individuals witnessing of God before others, as married couples, as families, as a community. Even in government, a Christian government is the greatest possible government and would be the best way to live. However, a nation abiding in the Lord starts when its individuals abide in God and then its households and onward.
Verse 9 tells us to teach our children God’s truth. It is so important to teach them, it is reiterated in Deuteronomy 6:1-9. Notice how it is so important to prioritize God’s Word. The Israelites were instructed to repeat it to their children and to talk about God’s Word in their homes, while on the road, and day and night. They were told to wear God’s Word on their clothes and put God’s Word up as signs. This is a constant discussion of God’s Word and a public professing of God’s Word. Speaking about God’s Word is not to be limited to just the church service. We are to talk God all day and every day!
In light of our Scripture today, we must ask of ourselves some questions. Are we living a fulfilled life with hope and purpose? If not, what do we need to repent from and where do we need to put God first? What is our life telling others about Jesus? Are we teaching others about God, particularly those in our homes?