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?

Week 7: Day 5- Numbers 32:31-32

31 And the children of Gad and the children of Reuben answered, saying, As the Lord hath said unto thy servants, so will we do. 32 We will pass over armed before the Lord into the land of Canaan, that the possession of our inheritance on this side Jordan may be our’s.

Numbers 32:31-32

Explanation:

Moses had laid out the expectations. They had to fight. If they fought, they could settle in the land that they wanted. They understood that this expectation had its source in God and was given to them through Moses. They were clear on the expectations. They were submissive to God’s authority. When they obeyed their would be blessing.

Application:

Accountability is a key to so much of what it means to be a leader. We seek God’s direction, cast vision, and lead people to follow what God has directed. We are accountable to God with that stewardship, and that means creating ownership, stewardship, and accountability for those who follow us. Paul said it this way:

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

2 Timothy 2:2

He also said this.

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Philippians 4:9

We are accountable to God. As leaders we understand that, and as leaders we point that out to others. We provide the example, and teach people how to function accordingly. Part of that is holding them accountable to what needs to be done.

Response:

  1. Is there any area of your life that you need to be held accountable in, and who are you going to ask to help?
  2. Why do we resist holding people accountable? Is there someone you need to have a conversation with today?
  3. What are some wrong ways to hold people accountable? Right ways?

Week 7: Day 4- Numbers 32:28-30

28 So concerning them Moses commanded Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the chief fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel:

29 And Moses said unto them, If the children of Gad and the children of Reuben will pass with you over Jordan, every man armed to battle, before the Lord, and the land shall be subdued before you; then ye shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession:

30 But if they will not pass over with you armed, they shall have possessions among you in the land of Canaan.

Numbers 32:28-30

Explanation:

Moses wasn’t content to just make the agreement and believe that the Reubenites and Gadites would accomplish what they promised. Moses let people know about their agreement so that they could be held accountable for the promise they made. The two he told about are Joshua and Eleazar the priest. This was smart because they were already set up to be the future leaders after Moses was gone.

In letting them know the details, he told them what was expected and promised by the parties in question. Moses had promised that if they passed over into Jordan ready to fight, they would receive Giliead as they promised. If not, they had to dwell in Canaan.

Moses, Joshua, Eleazar, and the leaders of Gad and Reuben now all had the information to hold each other accountable to fulfill those obligations.

Application:

Setting up ourselves and others for accountability is not necessarily a sign of distrust. Setting up ourselves and others for accountability is really making success possible. Like Dad used to say, “People don’t do what you expect. They do what you inspect.” There is some truth to that statement. Accountability gives us the possibility of success. A lack of accountability often leads to undesired outcomes.

Response:

  1. Where is there a lack of discipline in your life? It may be a result of a lack of accountability.
  2. Who can you bring into your life for accountability?

Week 7: Day 3- Numbers 32:25-27

25 And the children of Gad and the children of Reuben spake unto Moses, saying, Thy servants will do as my lord commandeth. 26 Our little ones, our wives, our flocks, and all our cattle, shall be there in the cities of Gilead: 27 But thy servants will pass over, every man armed for war, before the Lord to battle, as my lord saith.

Numbers 32:25-27

Explanation:

In this text we see the response to Moses’ conditions in the past couple of verses. The leaders of the tribes of Gad and Reuben told Moses that they were on board. They would not abandon the other tribes of Israel. They would take care of their families, and then go fight with their brothers. They understood Moses commands and God’s commands for them, and they were willing to fight.

This seems like the obvious choice for them to make after all that they had seen over years following God through the wilderness. He had kept them wandering because of disobedience in this area before. He had help them win, and allowed defeat from their enemies because of disobedience. There’s a sense in which when we read this it seems obvious that they should make this choice. However, remember that obedience meant going to war. It meant suiting up for battle. It’s not exactly an easy thing to do. Obedience cost them something. They had to trust God that what they were doing was best and that He would provide for their safety, security, and for their families. They showed an obedient attitude in the face of this kind of circumstance. We can see their obedience in the book of Joshua.

12 And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, passed over armed before the children of Israel, as Moses spake unto them:

Joshua 4:12

Application:

Not only does God demand obedience, He also rewards it. These people promised to obey and that came with certain privileges. God always rewards obedience. We may not see immediate rewards to our obedience. We may not see earthly rewards to our obedience. But we will see heavenly rewards to obedience as long as we are faithful.

How do we know what to obey? We’ve got to be in God’s Word every day. We make decisions every day. To do that in continued obedience, I need God’s Word reminding me and informing my decisions so I will be in line with God’s desires.

Response:

  1. How have you been blessed by being obedient to God? Take a few minutes to “count your blessings”.
  2. How have you reaped bad consequences in disobedience?
  3. Where do you need to be obedient today?