Deuteronomy 4:3-5Deuteronomy 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- We experience the consequences of our actions. There are always consequences to disobedience. They may not be immediate, but there are consequences to wrongdoing.
- 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!
- Is there something or someone in your life that is replacing the role that only God should take? (idolatry)
- Are you being actively disobedient to God in any area? (repent!)
- What blessings are you experiencing as the consequence of doing right?