Sunday, November 14, 2010

Remember God 101114AM@TBC

Important background
1. The hard life of slavery in Egypt. Ex. 3:7, 9
6 Moreover He said, "I am the God of your father--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.  7 And the Lord said: "I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.
 9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt."
·        The Lord repeatedly reminds the Israelites of the dire cirumstace of slavery in Egypt.  It was important for them to remember.
·        We too were in slavery to the prince of this world.

2) The Covenant at Mount Sinai. Ex. 19:3-5
·        We have to make special note of the setting as we make application to the Church in the 21st Century.
·        There are principles about the character of God and His relationship with people, but we must be careful to filter out some specific applications to the nation, Israel, which God had chosen from among all the nations of the earth.
Ex. 19:3-5
3 And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: 4 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself.  5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.

3) The rebellion after the spies’ report.
·        Why were they just now entering the promised land 40 years after exiting Egypt?  It was punishment for their rebellion at Kadish Oasis.
Num. 14:28-31
28 Say to them, 'As I live,' says the Lord, 'just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: 29 The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. 30 Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. 31 But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. 32 But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. 33 And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness.

4) The promised land before them.
·        This was the long promised land. The Lord has sworn to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The Israelites, from Joseph on and especially during their slavery, had carried this hope of the land which God had promised.  Now they were on the verge of entering the land and the promised of God.
Deut. 1:8
7 Turn and take your journey, and go to the mountains of the Amorites, to all the neighboring places in the plain, in the mountains and in the lowland, in the South and on the seacoast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the River Euphrates. 8 See, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to your fathers--to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob--to give to them and their descendants after them.'

“These are the
words which Moses spoke
to all Israel
on this side of the Jordan
in the wilderness…”
Deut. 1.1

Big Idea: Remember God.

The bookends:
be careful to observe
1. Remember v.2
2. Keep v.6  (nivobserve)
3. Bless  v.10-11  (nivpraise)
if you … forget the Lord

The Beginning of the chapter
1 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.
careful Strong's H8104 - shamar - to keep, guard, keep watch, or observe
ylt, kjv—observe to; nasv, nkjv, esv, niv, nlt—careful
·        The words “be careful” speak to the intentional nature of  following the Lord. 
·        It doesn’t happen by accident.
·        And it takes vigilance to not become careless in our walk with the Lord.

The End of the chapter
19 Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.
20 As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God.
walk  Strong's H1980 – halak- (lit.) to walk; (fig.) manner of life
serve Strong's H5647 - `abad – to work; serve as subjects (to serve with Levitical service)
woship  Strong's H7812 – shachah – (Qal) (lit.) to bow down (in worship)
·        Note here that God had made promises to the nation, but this generation’s enjoyment of those promises depended on their carefully observing or doing the covenant obligations.
·        “…both as arising out of human sin and rebellion and as having a divine purpose.”  --Christoph Wright in NIBC
·        If they disregarded the covenant, they would not enjoy its blessings.
·        If they acted like the pagan nations before them, they would be treated in a similar manner.
Transitional Statement: The 17 verses between these two “bookends” lay out the way for them (and for us) to follow the Lord and warnings for snares that they should endeavor to avoid.

I. Remember the Lessons of the Desert (2-5)
A. To test Israel’s heart through trials.
2 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.
humble Strong's H6031 - `anah (Piel) - to humble, mishandle, afflict
test Strong's H5254 - nacah [nä·sä' ] (Piel) - to test, try, prove, tempt, assay, put to the proof or test 
ylt—try; kjv—prove; nasb, esv, nlt—testing; nkjv, niv—test
know Strong's H3045 - yada` - (Qal) to know by experience
keep Strong's H8104 - shamar - to keep, guard, keep watch, or observe
·        It is instructive for us to see how the results of  Israel’s rebellion in Nmbers 14 was used to accomplish the divine purpose.
·        It was important for them to remember all that God had done for them.
·        He had afflicted them with hunger and thirst to see their response,  whether they would keep/observe his commandments, which was their part of the covenant.
·        How do we respond in difficult times?  What is in our hearts?

B. To teach Israel through miraculous provision.
3 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.
humble Strong's H6031 - `anah (Piel) - to humble, mishandle, afflict
Psalm 119
71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
That I may learn Your statutes.
75 I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right,
And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
word Strong's H4161 - mowtsa' [mô·tsä' ] - act or place of going out or forth , that which goes out from the lips, an utterance
ylt--produce; nasb--everything;
kjv, nkjv, esv,niv, nlt--word
Matt 4.4 Rhema [hray'-mah ]- that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word
·        …a humbling daily reminder of their dependence. 
·        All life on earth needs bread (or its equivalent):  human life needs the mouth of God…
·        …while bread will keep us alive physically, it is the word of God that uniquely gives human life its meaning, shape, purpose, and value.
Isaiah 55
1 "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. 3 Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you-- The sure mercies of David.
·        God did not prevent them from meeting their physical needs, but he provided for them in a way that dramatically reminded them of their need to depend entirely on him. –Comm. On NT Use of OT
Turn to Matthew 4 to see Jesus use this verse.
(Luke 4)
1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
Matthew 4
3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4 But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' "
·        “One might imagine the Devil retorting, “But the context of Deuteronomy is precisely that of the very kind of miraculous provision of food I am asking you to replicate!”
·        The point, however, is that the Devil is asking Jesus to do it in a context that would break his fast, use his divine power for solely self-serving ends, and demonstrate his unwillingness to depend on his heavenly Father for the strength He needs.” --Craig L. Blomberg in CNTUOT
·        It was not can you, but what should you.
·        We need to read Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness in the larger context of the Scriptures. This is an obvious parallel with Israel as God’s son (Exodus 4:22-23), God leading Israel in the desert for 40 years, and God’s testing of Israel through hunger and thirst. Jesus’ testing clearly echoes Deuteronomy 8:2-5. Matthew is showing us that Jesus, the true Son of God, obeyed in the exact place where God’s son, Israel, disobeyed. He is the true Israel who did what God’s people could not do. Jesus is our representative who obeyed the Father for us. We are not saved because of our faultless obedience but because of Jesus’ faultless obedience for us. –Jim Johnston

C. To discipline Israel like a father.
4 Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. 5 You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.
swell Strong's H1216 - batseq - (Qal) to swell, become blistered (or calloused)

1)  Compare with Deut 29.5
5 And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet.
The miraculous provision regarding clothing and food here parallels with Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 6:25-34.
2)  chastens Strong's H3256 - yacar [yä·sar'] - (Piel) to discipline, correct, to chasten, chastise
ylt, kjv, nkjv--chasten**; nasb, esv, niv, nlt--discipline**
·        Here is an example and lesson in parenting.
·        God’s parental protection and support for His children.
·        God’s parental discipline in teaching them spiritual lessons.

Feed on God’s  faithfulness.
Psalm 37
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass. …
Family Table Talk: What does your family do to remember God?  What kind of reminders have you set up?
TE: When we remember the Lord, we will be faithful to keep his commands.

II. Keep the Commands
6 Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God,
 to walk in His ways and
 to fear Him.
 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land,
 a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills;
 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey;
 9 a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing;
 a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper.
keep Strong's H8104 - shamar - to keep, guard, keep watch, or observe
fear Strong's H3372 - yare' - lit. to tremble, (Qal) fig. to fear, reverence

A. How?
1. To walk
Speaks of our actions
2. To fear
Speaks of our heart attitude. Empty obedience is not enough.  Our acts

B. Why?
The commands were integral to the covenant that God had made with them.
The anticipation of the blessings were their motivations.

God’s children keep Christ’s commands.
John 14.15 If you love Me, keep My commandments.
1 John 2
4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
Family Table Talk: What commands does your family do a good job keeping?  Which ones do you need to work on?
TE: Times of distress and trials try our faith, but they also have a tendency to sharpen our spiritual focus.  It is the times of plenty that are often the real test of a man’s heart.

III. Bless the Lord (10-17)
It is instructive that two of the three indicators of being filled with the Spirit in Eph. 5 have to do with our praise and thanks to God.
Ephesians 5
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,
20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
·        It is a good habit for us, just like it says here in De. 8.10 to bless the Lord with a grateful heart often through our day.

Lest you forget and…
A. Ignore the Commands. (11)
 10 When you have eaten
and are full,
 then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.
11 "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,
full Strong's H7646 - saba` [sä·vah' ]- be satisfied with
kjv, nkjv, esv, (nlt)--full; ylt, nasb, niv--satisfied
bless Strong's H1288 - barak - lit. to kneel; fig. (Piel) to bless, praise, celebrate
ylt, kjv, nasb, nkjv, esv--bless; niv, nlt--praise
beware Strong's H8104 - shamar - to keep, guard, keep watch, or observe
ylt--take heed; kjv, nasb, nkjv--beware;
esv--take care; niv, nlt--be careful;
Same word as in verse one, “be careful”
forget Strong's H7911 - shakach – to forget; to cease to care
·        We see here the rational for the Jewish custom of “saying grace” after the meal with we are full.

1) The Keeping …
Forgetting invovles two things
·        First, forgetting or ignoring the history of what God has done, our relationship with Him.
·        Second, it is defined as moral disobedience.  Failing of carefully follow God’s directions and commands.

2) The Covenant ...
·        The reference to the commands is not an empty exhortation to do an arbitrary list of actions. 
·        The commands brings to mind the covenat with “the Lord your God.”  Living in light of His character, because of his past actions and future promise.

Lest you forget and…
B. Get Proud.  (14)
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--
1) The God who had …
It was important for Israel to remember where God had taken them from and, more importantly, what he had brought them through.
2) The God who will ... do good to you in the end--
An important lesson in the book of Job is articulated in the last chapter.  (42)
12 Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning;
James 5.11-12
10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. 11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord--that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

Lest you forget and…
C. Feel self-sufficient. (17)
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.  

1) Practical Atheism
Living with the foolish notion that I can be independent of God.
2) Humble Thanksgiving ...
Recognizing that God gave me the power to get wealth and that all I have is really His.

Develop a grateful heart and
praise God for His blessings often.
Psalm 34.1b
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Family Table Talk: Is thankfulness a family trait?  How do you rember to bless God?  Parents, (Psalm 92.2) each morning remind your family of God’s steadfast love, and each evening recount His faithfulness when you put your children to bed.

Big Idea:
Remember God.
(Carefully) Keep God’s commands.
Bless God often with a thankful heart.

The Lord is very compassionate and merciful.
May you remember Him and
            carefully keep His commands, and
May His praise be continually in your heart and mouth.