Week 9: Day 2- Deuteronomy 4:3-5

Deuteronomy 4:3-5
(3) Your eyes have seen what the LORD did because of Baalpeor: for all the men that followed Baalpeor, the LORD thy God hath destroyed them from among you.
(4) But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day.
(5) Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.

Deuteronomy 4:3-5


Moses uses the example of the incident recorded in Numbers 25. Some of the men of Israel worshiped the false God Baal-peor. The false God Baal was often worshiped by the Canaanite people, in this case the Moabites. He was worshiped as a fertility God. Baal-peor was apparently a local manifestation of this god, Baal. In an attempt to call on Baal to make the land to be fertile, those who worshiped Baal would engage in all kinds of sexual uncleanness. Apparently as many as 24,000 men of Israel were involved and judged by God because of their worship of this false deity. Moses refers to this incident as a warning to the people of Israel to follow after God.

He commends them in verse 4 as the ones that “did cleave unto the Lord your God.” This was the opposite response of those who “followed Baal-peor”. To cleve is to “hold fast” or to “follow after”. It denotes commitment, loyalty and love. The result of these remaining following after God instead of Baal was that they were “alive…this day.”

Moses says in verse 5 that the purpose of why he taught them the laws of God were two-fold. First, he taught them because he was commanded by God to do so. This was a good example that Moses gave. Second, He taught the law so that they would obey the law of God as they go in and possess the promised land.


The fundamental problems that they had still exist today.

  1. We put other God’s ahead of the One and True God. Idolatry may not look exactly the same, but it is fundamentally the same. Sex, material wealth, and false religion all reign in peoples hearts rather than God today.
  2. We know the will of God and disobey it. We know the right thing to do but we don’t do it. Someone may say that some don’t have the Bible, but Romans 1 tells us that God has written the law on our hearts. We all have expectations of others that we don’t live up to ourselves. More relevantly, many have multiple copies of God’s Word and are not being obedient to know and obey what God has said in it.
  3. We experience the consequences of our actions. There are always consequences to disobedience. They may not be immediate, but there are consequences to wrongdoing.
  4. We experience blessing for our obedience. We must obey God’s Word and experience the life giving consequences of letting it dwell in our hearts richly. God wrote it so that we may obey and live!


  1. Is there something or someone in your life that is replacing the role that only God should take? (idolatry)
  2. Are you being actively disobedient to God in any area? (repent!)
  3. What blessings are you experiencing as the consequence of doing right?

Week 9: Day 1- Deuteronomy 4:1-2

Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you.

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

Deuteronomy 4:1-2


This particular passage of scripture is in the midst of a speech being given by Moses to the Children of Israel. He is at the end of his life. He reminds them of all that God has done, and all that they have done. He is speaking to them about how to conduct their future lives in the promised land. They were about to go to battle, and then live surrounded by pagan nations. Apart from their obedience, they would lose militarily, morally and spiritually. God knows that. Moses knows that. So we read today’s text.

Moses tells them to “hearken” to the “statutes” and “judgments” with the express purpose of actually doing them. He tells them that the purpose of giving them the law was for them to be obedient. He then goes on to say “that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord GOd of your fathers giveth to you.” There was a connection between obedience and success. If they would listen to the Lord, to His Word, and obey His law, then they would go in an take possession of what they had been given.

In verse 2 He gives a warning about both adding to the law, and taking from the law. God knows how people are. We want to do our own will more than God’s, and if that means changing the rules to fit our desires we will. Moses, by the words of the Holy Spirit, warns against doing anything that would change what has been said. Why? “…that ye make keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” If they changed the word, then the behavior God intended would change. They would obey the wrong thing.


The theme of this weeks passage is obedience to the Word of God. In today’s text Moses tells the Children of Israel two things:

  1. Obey the Word of God. The Word of God carries the authority of God. When God speaks we should listen and obey. He even tied their success to their ability to obey the law of God. The same is true for us. If we listen and obey, God will bless that obedience. This does not mean we will have material, worldly success, but it does mean that we will have success in God’s eyes. His opinion as the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of the World is what truly matters.
  2. Don’t change the Word of God. There is only one Revealer of Scripture, The Holy Spirit. If He spoke it, we should seek to discover and obey the meaning of what He wrote. We don’t get a say in making the meaning of what He already wrote down.

20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

2 Peter 1:20-21


  1. Is there any area of my life where I am living in disobedience? Confess that to God. Repent and live differently!
  2. Am I reading God’s Word with the heart motivation of obedience?
  3. Am I changing the Word of God to fit my own thoughts and desires?
photo credit: kassissieh Duct Tape (60/365) via photopin (license)

Sticky church?

How do we know if people are sticking?

One of the first struggles many of us have in ministry is trying to figure out how to get people to stick.  How do we get people to get connected and stay connected to the church?  This is a question of assimilation. 

Assimilation is an important idea for any church.  According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of assimilation is “the process of becoming similar to something”, and “the absorption and integration of people, ideas, or culture into a wider society or culture.” 

In the context of our churches it refers to making people a part of the life of your church.  Assimilation refers to a process that happens with the people who attend your church.

To achieve the goal of fully assimilating people into the church, you have to be able to identify when it happens.  So, how do you know if someone is assimilating into your church?  Here are some questions that we can ask about those we are trying to assimilate to see where they are in the process.

  1. Worship Service– How often do they attend?  Is there a pattern?
  2. Sunday School/Groups– How often do they attend?  Is there a pattern?
  3. Relationships– Are they becoming friends with people in the church or group?  Do they spend time with people before, after, or outside of the services and programs?
  4. Participation– Do they participate during class or group time?  Are they engaged when they come?
  5. Service– Do they serve in a ministry of the church? 
  6. Invitation– Do they invite others to your group or church?
  7. Spiritual Growth– Do they exhibit life change resulting from the ministry they receive?  Have they made decisions regarding salvation, baptism, discipleship, serving and forsaking sin in their lives?

What are some of the ways you measure assimilation at your church that I may not have named?  What are some ways that you help to encourage new people in each of these categories?

Week 8: Day 5- Deuteronomy 19:13

13 Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee.

Deuteronomy 19:13


This particular verse is referencing the person that has been guilty of murder, has fled to a city of refuge, has been investigated by officials in that city and found guilty. There are three components to this verse.

  1. They should not pity him. Why? He is guilty. He has brought this consequence on himself. It may seem natural to pity a person who has been sentenced to death because of murder, but if they are guilty the city must go through with its responsibility to hand out justice. This is the role of government.

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Romans 13:3-4
  1. They should do justly. In this context it means they should hand him over to the person who is executing justice in his case. When it comes to human life, God values it so highly that he must punish evil doers that take life.
  2. Blessing from God is at stake. He says that they should do the first two components of this verse “that it may go well with thee.” God will not continue to bless a people who is being unjust in how they handle human life.


A Civic Application

We live in a country where we as citizens get a personal say and have a personal stake in the way that the country is governed. As believers we should take that stewardship seriously. Justice for human life, for the unborn, for the most vulnerable among us, should be a top priority for us in the voting booth. Treating the poor with dignity and helping them to have ways to live and take care of themselves where possible should be of utmost importance to us. We should do justly in our civic activity.

A Personal Application

An appropriate verse here is Micah 6:8 which says,

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Micah 6:8

There is a tension between doing justly and loving mercy. There is a place for both. Walking humbly with God is key for making sure that justice and mercy both exist in our lives.


What is a way that you can make a difference in the community when it comes to this issue of the sanctity of human life?