Week 9: Day 5- Deuteronomy 4:9

Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;

Deuteronomy 4:9

Explanation:

Individual responsibility and discipline is foundational to the success of the nation at large. Moses says to “take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently”. What does that mean? It means to pay attention to your thoughts and actions. Pay attention to your motivations. Pay attention to keeping God’s commands. In fact, he describes what will happen if you don’t take heed- “lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen”. In context, what is it that they had seen? God had judged their sin at Baal-peor. God had provided for them in the wilderness. What they had seen was God’s judgement for breaking the law, and God’s graciousness and blessing for doing what He said. By not taking heed to themselves, they could forget God’s kindness, God’s will, and the judgement that could come from disobedience.

Moses also commanded them to teach these principles to their children and grandchildren. If they didn’t get these things, they would be in danger of missing God’s blessing and enduring God’s judgement as well.

Application:

Two responses seem appropriate and applicable in these verses:

  1. Keep your soul. We have a responsibility to maintain our relationship with God, and our daily submission to the Spirit. If we are saved, we will always be saved, but our closeness and intimacy with God is what ebbs and flows. If we remain controlled by the Spirit God will grow us. We will remember His commands and experience His blessings.
  2. Teach others. Our own spiritual discipline will impact for good or ill the next generation. The health or your own relationship with God affects far more than our own lives. It affects our own family tree. We teach those inside our family and outside our family the will of God.

Responses:

  1. How is your relationship with God right now? Is there sin to confess? Is there something to obey that you are not being obedient in now?
  2. Who are you teaching about God? This is not just the responsibility of a pastor, Sunday School teacher, or radio/podcast preacher. It’s the responsibility of every believer to teach others, starting in their own family.

Week 9: Day 4- Deuteronomy 4:7-8

(7) For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?
(8) And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

Deuteronomy 4:7-8

Explanation:

Moses continues his argument for the obedience of the nation by asking two rhetorical questions. He has stated in the previous verses that their keeping the law would garner a reputation and platform for the children of Israel to glorify God among the surrounding nations. These two questions provide a logical argument for why that reputation would be gained.

The first question regards the privileged status of the nation of Israel in regards to God’s interaction with them specifically. He asks if there are any other nations that have God working so closely with them, and ready to answer their prayers. What is the answer? There is no other nation with that unique privilege.

The second question regards the privileged status of the nation of Israel in regards to the purity and wisdom of the law that God had given to them. The revelation of God in terms of this law was a huge benefit to this nation, bringing them an immense advantage. Who else had a law like this? Again, the answer is no one.

Why would their keeping the law garner a good reputation among the nations?

  1. God Himself has so closely aligned Himself with this nation by choosing them and revealing Himself to them.
  2. God Himself, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, has given His law for them to follow in written form.

Application:

Of course we know that God revealed Himself to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament, and through their law because He had a plan of redeeming not only them but the whole world.

(11) Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
(12) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
(13) But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
(14) For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
(15) Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
(16) And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
(17) And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

Ephesians 2:11-17

It was always God’s plan to use the nation of Israel to bring about redemption for the whole world, Jew and Gentile, to redeem both to Himself in Christ.

And so we in Christ have not replaced Israel. Their are still promises made to them uniquely as a nation. Yet, these two privileges have been given to us.

  1. We can go to God, because He has revealed Himself to us, saved us, sent His Spirit to indwell us, and uses His Word and His Spirit to grow us.
  2. We have His Word, in written form, available to us in our language. We get to think God’s thoughts after Him. We hold a miracle in our hands.

And for these and many other reasons, we should keep God’s Word and allow our obedience to be a platform for Gospel ministry!

Response:

  1. Are you thankful for the relationship and communion you can have with God because of the redemption that is in Christ Jesus? When is the last time you expressed that to God? Take some time to be thankful.
  2. Is your obedience to Christ a platform for you to speak about him? Are you using it? Who is someone that needs to know about Christ?

Week 9: Day 3- Deuteronomy 4:6

Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.

Deuteronomy 4:6

Explanation:

Moses continues his instruction after warning the children of Israel. He had said, in yesterdays text, that he gave them the statutes and judgements because God had commanded him to do so, and so that they would obey them as they go in and possess the land. In verse 6 he says to obey the statutes and judgements and gives them multiple reasons in the next few verses as to why they should do so. The reason stated here is that they would be seen as a wise and understanding people by the nations around them because of their obedience God’s law.

The laws of God were a great advantage to the Jews. If you think about the dietary laws, many of them would have kept them from things that could really effect their health. For instance, they could not eat pork, or certain kinds of shellfish. Today we understand that there are many sicknesses that could come from ill prepared pork and shellfish. In regards to the moral law, a nation that is full of people striving not to commit murder, not to steal, not to commit adultery, and committed to teaching their kids to do the same will fare more well than nations where those immoral acts are rampant.

The scripture says about God’s law:

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

Psalm 19:7

As the people of God obeyed the law of God, they would grow in wisdom, and therefore appear more wise to the nations around them. They would be a witness of the greatness of God to peoples who did not know Him.

Application:

The application here is obvious. As believers, we understand that we are right with God because Jesus kept the law for us and we have repented of our sin and put our trust in Him. We don’t have to keep the law to be saved.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:8-10

Our good works, our keeping the law, does benefit ourselves, our families, our churches, and our communities. When we live rightly, we will grow in wisdom and be seen as wise. This is God’s will for us after we are saved. He wants to change us into who He wants us to be, and then He’ll lead us to do what He wants us to do.

When we do that, people will see, and we’ll have a platform to reach them for Christ.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 5:16

Response:

  1. What kind of platform for the Gospel is your behavior? Are your good works pointing people towards Jesus?
  2. Would you say that you are wiser now than you were this time last year? If you are growing in wisdom, how is that happening? If you are not, how do you see that happen in your life?
  3. Is there someone that you’ve built a reputation and connection with that it’s time to talk to about Christ?

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

Explanation:

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.

Application:

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!

Response:

  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?