The Book of Deuteronomy
Pr Edi Giudetti 12/3/2017
We live in a world that does not like to be reminded of its faults and its errors, of its tendencies to make the same mistakes again and again, of its nature to live according to its own desires and not discipline itself to live wisely, learning from history.
George F.W. Hegel who said
“We learn from history that we learn nothing from history”.
NO, the world certainly does not like to REMEMBER its failures, BUT RATHER TO FORGET THEM, it wants to be told positive things, to IGNORE its errors and bring out only the good stuff. As a result they seem to repeat the same errors again and again.
Not exactly the same, but so closely related that they would seem to be from the same Poem. It was Mark Twain who is reported as saying;
“history does not necessarily repeat itself, but it often rymes”,
The Bible is that book through which we are reminded about ourselves but also told of the hope we can enjoy.
Perfect History found in the Bible is vital for our understanding the more we read it the more we are reminded of the nature of ourselves and the nature of God, through this repetition we learn. An old Latin expression states “Repetition is the Mother of learning”.
Our passage at HOPE Baptist Church says
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Rom 15:4
And so we come to Deuteronomy, a book whose very title speaks to remembering, the name means -Deutero = Twice or second time
Nomy = Law
It is the second giving of the Law of God to the people of God.
There is nothing new in the Book of Deuteronomy, most everything historical is a repetition of all that has happened to Israel through their journeys. 40 years have now gone by in their wilderness wanderings, much of which is accounted in Exodus and Numbers.
Deuteronomy is a sermon preached by Moses, it is a long sermon and it looks like it was at least given in two sections. Nevertheless, it was preached to the people, to all the people.
It was done in the last month of the fortieth year of the wandering nation, it was delivered just near where Israel would make their way across the Jordan River into the promised land.
The first four chapters Israel are reminded of their history from Egypt, where they were slaves in bondage and afflicted for four hundred years, to where they now stand, near the edge of Jordan just north of the Dead Sea (Known as the Salt Sea in the Bible)
A repetition of the Decalogue (The Ten Commandments) is given to the people and a charge to live as a separated people is given from chapters 5-11.
A code of laws also given for living in the promised land from chapters 12-26.
A summary of the promised blessings for obedience to Gods words and Cursing for sustained disobedience to Gods laws are given in Chapters 27-30, blessings and cursing’s.
The last four chapters close the sermon with an encouragement from Moses, the Song of Moses, a blessing from Moses upon each of the twelve tribes and the death and burial of Moses in Mont Nebo.
This is that history and that summary of the book. The lesson we are to gain from Deuteronomy is that which is based on the key word and understanding of the book and that is;
GOD has given the people a charge to remember;
Points this morning are;
Remember Your History
Remember Your Salvation
Remember Your Nature
The first point for you to remember this morning is;
Remember Your History
DEUT 5: 15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.
DEUT 15:15 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day.
DEUT 16:12 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: and thou shalt observe and do these statutes.
Moses chief desire for the people is to remember, An arch of gofer wood is made and covered in Gold, it has wooden staves also covered in Gold to carry.
It has a solid gold lid to it called the mercy seat, it is kept in the holy of holies; within it is place several items;
- The Tables of Stone containing the Law written by the very finger of God
- Adams Rod that budded
- Manna from heaven
It was for them to remember. Moses instructed also that this Law be written in plaister for the people to remember. Later, after the nation crossed over Jordan under Joshua, 12 large stones where commanded to be piled up on the other side Jordan so the people would remember the crossing. Later again, an alter is built on this side of the Jordan so that the main nation of Israel consisting of 10.5 tribes, remember that their brethren have set up homes on this side Jordan.
Not least to remember is the Genealogy of the nations and peoples. No other nation on earth has done as Israel have done to recall and remember their family line and tribe.
What advantage hath the Jew?
Much ever way, because that unto them where committed the oracles of God
And these oracles of God contain the perfect account of true history of the nations in general and Israel in particular.
If there is a history that you want to get your teeth into and know that it is untainted by bias or fabrications of truth, the Bible is that history that was written aforetime and written for our learning, that we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
BUT WHAT DOES THIS TELL YOU OF WHAT YOU ARE TO REMEMBER?
In this case the bible is looking at a nation, to remember and to call to mind firstly where they came from.
Where did you come from? What is your history?
There are some things we can know both about Israel AND about ourselves, for the Bible calls the history of both to remembrance.
- Israel was in bondage to Egypt, Egypt is a picture of both sin and The World in the Bible.
- Before being saved from our sin and the judgment that will come upon all for that sin, we were slaves to sin;
Turn to Romans 6:14-23
In John 8:34 Jesus said
“ … Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.”
The word “Committeth” is a verb in the present and active tence, that means it is an activity that is ongoing, a way of life and being, not a single action. Jesus speaks here of the world who’s very act of being is in a constant state of sin, A true servant of sin does not think he is in bondage to it, for he serves wilfully.
This is why the Bible does not call it a ‘slave’ to sin or a bondage in this way, for who thinks they are bound when they are happy in what they do?
Yet it is clear that scripture represents our will-full service of sin as Bondage or enslavement from which we are to be set free. And if have been saved by Christ, you are free indeed. Now Paul here in this passage speaks of the new state of the new man saved by Christ and answers the question that naturally comes to the minds of those who understand what we have been saved from.
Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
O how many are the teachings that come from this single passage in the Bible. Friends and brethren, this history is the history about yourselves that you are called to remember, even from the Book of Deuteronomy.
We remember where we came from for the purpose of glorifying God for delivering us both from the sinful state of our hearts but most importantly from the judgment that would otherwise engulf us and commit us to an eternity in hell. To remember how close you were from that end if it was not for hearing the Gospel!!
Friends it was not for us to end in eternal death for sin, but our sin placed us into the same condemnation as the devil and THIS IS WHY CHRIST CAME.
Just as God delivered Israel from the bondage of Egypt, so Christ came to deliver us gentiles from the bondage and judgement of sin, this is not the bad news but the good news, this is not something we murmur about but something we remember and rejoice in and glorify the saviour for. This history we remember so we can thank God for his mercy and grace.
But also know and understand that this deliverance is also committed to your charge to tell other. The Bible refers to the saints also as Prophets to the world.
Rom 10:14 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Remember Your Salvation
DEUT 15:15 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day.
Israel were to recall with clarity the heavy bondage of their enslavement to Egypt. The burdens they carried and the early deaths in which they died. This sermon of Moses was given to retell what this generation had experienced. Now let us recall the context of this reminder;
All of the people older than 20 years of age at the time of the Exodus are now dead apart from Caleb, Joshua and Moses.
40 years had no gone by, the oldest person apart from these three would be 60 years of age. Moses here was 120 years old and still full of strength.
Those between the ages of 40 and 60 years personally experienced the Exodus from Egypt, some too young to remember, and this is the reason for this writing and this sermon of Moses.
In Chapter 32 Moses gives they a song they are to remember. Recalling their disobedience and their salvation.
Friends, I remember well my life before the Lord had mercy on me and saved me…and what a salvation it was. I remember what I was like, how I behaved, what I trusted in, my pride and my vain life. The language that came out of my mouth was a picture of the filth within my heart.
But Jesus came, touched my mind with a realisation that he is real and I believed. I knew nothing of Christianity till then. I did not know that Jesus came to die for me, I did not know that he would literally wash away all my sin, past present and future. I did not know that I would be clothed with the righteousness of Christ and that my salvation is secure in him and in him alone; Paul said;
for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (2 Tim 1:12)
I knew none of these things, but I did know that I could not disbelieve anymore. I did know that God certainly exists and that I certainly am not right to stand before him. I knew deep down that if God judged me, he would not be happy and I would be in a lot of trouble. I knew that the decision I was about to make was absolutely huge and I did not take it lightly. That was the moment I was born spiritually.
Turn to Ephesians 2
2 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Remember Your Nature
Tendency to turn
In this sermon of Moses and his reminder for the people, contains within it a song, known as the Song of Moses. Unlike the songs of today which tell lies about you, puffing up your pride and your vanity, the song of Moses reminded Israel of their natural state and their tendency to turning from the Lord.
Turn to Deuteronomy Chapter 32:7-17
7 Remember the days of old, Consider the years of many generations: Ask thy father, and he will shew thee; Thy elders, and they will tell thee. 8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, When he separated the sons of Adam, He set the bounds of the people According to the number of the children of Israel. 9 For the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. 10 He found him in a desert land, And in the waste howling wilderness; He led him about, he instructed him, He kept him as the apple of his eye. 11 As an eagle stirreth up her nest, Fluttereth over her young, Spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, Beareth them on her wings: 12 So the Lord alone did lead him, And there was no strange god with him. 13 He made him ride on the high places of the earth, That he might eat the increase of the fields; And he made him to suck honey out of the rock, And oil out of the flinty rock; 14 Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, With fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, And goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; And thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.
15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: Thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; Then he forsook God which made him, And lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. 16They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, With abominations provoked they him to anger. 17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; To gods whom they knew not, To new gods that came newly up, Whom your fathers feared not.
This portion of this song, even this small segment is enough to betray the natural tendancy of Isreal to turn from the living God unto Idols that have no value. Idols that take away their joy and hope. As we read The Bible, especially the Old Testament, you cannot help but wonder WHY GOD PUTS UP WITH THE JEWS.
But, lest you puff out your own chest and fail to see you own nature, these are given that you would be reminded of your own failings in your walk with the Lord. Certain we are that, If you have been born again, your true desire is to follow after the things of the Lord, to obey him, to live for him, to serve him.
One part of our nature has changed, in that NOW rather than desiring to disobey God, we desire to obey him, rather than running from the law of God we desire to keep it, to hold it to trust in it and to live by it….something really has changed.
BUT, we have an old nature that still lives within us, one that we fight and struggle with, and we do well to remember that we all struggle with what the Bible refers to as the Flesh, or The Old man.
Turn to Galatians 5:16
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
The things that ye would do are to walk in the spirit. Here we have action being done cortary to the will. We have a natural tendency toward the flesh. At times we choose this CONTRARY TO OUR WILL!
14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Now take care to understand that Paul is not giving the OK to sin, but rather educates us to help us understand the natural state of the person until he/she is brought home to be with Christ. There is every likelihood that the Christian may turn back into the world and follow it and live like it just as Israel did. The only problem is the misery that follows. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
God was the one to deliver Israel, Paul thanks God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Brethren, Israel were called to remember their nature to turn from the living God unto idols, so too are we to understand and be careful to watch.
Blessing of Trust
15 The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; 16 According to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. 17 And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. 18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. 19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets usince the world began.
22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. 23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
And in the same book the martyr Stephen also gave testimony as he gave his historic reasoning’s to the men who would stone him ABOUT JESUS in Acts chapter 7 saying;
37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.
This Jesus is that same prophet that the people themselves knew and understood was that prophet spoken of in time past, even by Moses and all the prophets when they saw the miracles that he had done after he had fed five thousand men on the mount with a multiplied miracle of barley loaves and fish, and the people cried recognizing;
John 6:14 … This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.
This Jesus is that same prophet who was asked of John while he was in the wilderness by the Pharisees and preaching that all should repent and believe the Gospel for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand, and they questioned him asking;
John 1:19-23 …Who art thou? 20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. 21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. 22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? 23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
Of whom was he to make straight the way of, but the LORD, the one who was promised to come into the world from the beginning; From the fall of mankind in the Garden, God had promised a saviour to the world to restore the people to himself, that again man would live with God forever in the most glorious joy any can imagine.
Through Christ (that Prophet that should come),
- like unto Moses who delivered the children of Israel from bondage to freedom and into the promised land,
- so too Christ would deliver mankind from the bondage of sin and the judgement to come, to freedom from sin and the promised of eternal glory with God to all who believe.
And how is this attained? How is it that you should take part in this treasure?
The same question was asked by the jailer of Paul and Barnabas and the answer is found all through scripture concerning eternal life and how it is attained, nothing wavering, it is the answer that has gained life for all;
Acts 16:30-31 …Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thine house.
This is that Prophet, he is the saviour for all who believe. Though you might desire to forget your sins and choose to forget that a Prophet was promised and that came, there will be a time that you will be reminded, not only of one or two, but of all your life work against God.
In eternity, the conscience that you put to sleep will be awakened and at the very least the torment of your own wickedness and the opportunities you rejected to believe will come back like a flood.
BUT; if you will only remember Christ, believe Christ and be saved, then the Bible says your sins are forgotten and cast as far as the East is from the West.
There will be no more remembrance of sin in the real sense of living therein, but now living unto God through Jesus Christ. This is the choice;
- Forget your sins now and remember them forever later;
- Remember them now, and be freed from them forever through Christ.
Believe then on the Lord and be saved, ask Jesus to save you from your sin, be born anew of that spirit now dead. Give it life that you may live.