Friday, September 20, 2013

Deuteronomy 4-5, Lesson 3, September 19

Sing with me "O Come Let Us Adore Him:"

Each week your Core Leaders and Servant Team arrive before 5:30 for Leaders Council. Promptly, we began our meeting with praise and adoration to the Lord God of all creation. PRAY

Holy, Holy, Holy, LORD God Almighty. Immanuel God with Us, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and Omega. Omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, great and mighty is He. Father hear us as we worship you tonight and give you all our praise and our obedience.  Prepare our hearts for your WORD.

When I was a single mom raising teenagers, I took a bible study  Help for Hurting Parents. As I would despair and get frustrated with the action of my beloved children, one thing stuck with me from the course. God was the perfect Father, yet His children were disobedient. 

When our children or grandchildren behave well, show success, or make good grades, we are so proud. We could just about bust. When a photo of Brayden playing soccer was chosen to make a huge banner that hung in the entrance of the church, I was a proud Nanny. But Monday night when Gaven crossed his arms and refused to participate in flag football practice, I was irritated. He had forgotten his bag with his cleats and gloves. “I can’t catch the football with these hands.” I was mighty glad to hand him over to his Dad when he came (with the cleats and gloves.)

 I get a chuckle out reading Exodus 32. Moses is on the Mountain receiving the 10 commandments. The children of Israel are celebrating around the golden calf.  
Exodus 32:7 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves.
V.11 Then Moses implored, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?”

 Deuteronomy 4 -5 Moses reminded the people of the character of their God and the proper response He deserves.

  •  The God We Worship
  •  The Ten Commandments of God

God chose each of us who profess His name and blessed us with His Word.
The God We Worship
·        God is powerful-hear Him
·        God is holy-fear Him
·        God is wise-learn from Him

God is powerful-hear Him
2 Samuel 7:22 Therefore you are great, O Lord God. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
 In the beginning” God spoke the world into existence. “God said” is used eleven times in the first 2 chapters of Genesis. “God said” and it was done! He is creator of all.
The verb "to hear" Is used nearly 100 times in the book of Deuteronomy.
  The traditional Jewish confession of faith is called the “Shema” from the Hebrew word which means "to hear, to pay attention, to understand, to obey.”

Hebrews 4:12
For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
 Hearing the Word of God is an active part of worship. It does not mean sitting in the church pew absentmindedly letting sound waves vibrate your eardrums.
Hearing the word of God is focusing with “all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”  It must penetrate our hearts and into the marrow of our bones.

Jesus said at least eight times in the gospels who has ears to hear, let him hear!

God is holy -fear Him
Holy is a term we cannot easily comprehend. Holy means sacred; set apart for devotion to deity; regarded with reverence. God is spiritually pure without sin. So holy we cannot look upon His face. Exodus 33 Even Moses only got to see the back of God’s glory as he past the cleft of the rock.
4:10 the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’

 God chose us to be His Children and blessed us with His Righteous Word.
Remember illustrations of the tabernacle in the desert showed the barrier of white linen to keep the people from accidently falling into the Holy Place. When Moses went up the mountain at Horeb, they people were warned not to come near the base of the mountain lest they die.
As I search for images to illustrate the PPT, I was shocked at the irreverent attitude of bloggers and artists and people who treat the name of God and the Word of God lightly. Before I could find a suitable image of the Ten Commandments, I had to enlarge each one to read what it said. 
I shudder at the mocking, unbelieving treatment of all things holy.
Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
On my drive to Denver today I noticed a stone facsimile of the 10 Commandments in someone yard; a testimony of their beliefs. Do your neighbors know whom you worship? Think of ways to express your faith in the world.
 God is wise- learn from Him
Proverbs 3:19 “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;  by understanding he established the heavens;”
Romans 16:27  "To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be glory forever and ever."
Psalm 111:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endures forever.”
Moses taught the statutes and laws that God gave him on the mountain. God's Word reveals his wisdom. To the world God's wisdom is foolishness but His wisdom has to do with the character of God and describes the right use of knowledge. Israel was to remember the commandments and demonstrate wisdom and understanding in their journey into the Promised Land.  Then pagan nations would declare "surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”4: For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?
 God chose us to be sheep of His flock and blessed us with His Holy Word.
 11 Your commentary says, “Moses was only the mediator; he is not the originator, for God alone was the source.”
5:The Lord spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire, while I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord. For you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up into the mountain.
  Moses instructed the people. 4:2 You shall not add to the Word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.”
 How often have Christians teachers, even ministers, added their interpretation to a scripture by leaving out offensive words; sin, death, blood, abomination. Some have chosen “ user friendly” passages out of the Bible and ignored the entire Old Testament as irrelevant?  Members of our family may spout, “Judge not that ye be not judged” and yet refuse to believe the first chapter in Romans.

Romans 11:33 and 36

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.

 The Ten Commandments of God
Most of use as children memorized the 10 Commandments and repeat by rote. We had little postcards for our bible and I even had a bracelet with a charm for each commandment. Even now I have kept a special bookmark from childhood. In depth study brought a renewed and more complete understanding of what God was trying to teach Israel.

In the first four commandments God is discussing his relationship with the people. The verse prior to the first commandment reminds them that The Lord your God brought them out of slavery He is the one God, the only God, the true God.
We serve Him because of Who He Is.

I- Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
II- Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
They had not seen God for this very reason, so they could not make an image of Him to worship. They were to worship the Creator not something man created.
III- Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. He is Holy!
When God says Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy He is reminding Israel to rest in the fact that they were no longer slaves. To rest in the fact that He brought them out of Egypt. This day is a remembrance of the great and mighty works God did
Last six govern out relationships:  parents and children, neighbors and spouses, possessions and truth.
The Fifth Commandment is the only one with the promise of a blessing.
“‘Honor your father and your mother, as the
Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Commandments 6-10 are respect by most people and accepted by any government in any country.
VI- Thou shalt not kill
Thou shalt not commit adultery
Thou shalt not steal
Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Thou shalt not covet.
The only Commandments our government has a problem with are the first three. By removing the Ten Commandments from public buildings they are removing the very foundation of our country. One nation under God
Our God is the only God. Jesus is the only way. The LORD God is the only God we must Worship.
God chose you and me as His Daughters and blessed us with His Word.

One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:6

Deuteronomy Ch. 1-3 Lesson 2 September 12

In our hurry, hurry, fast food, drive thru banking world, God timetable is not like ours.  When God told Abram in Genesis 12 that He would make from him a great nation, I am sure Abram did not expect to wait until he was 100 years old to have a son. Like us, Sarah thought she could help God out.
·        How many of you have tried to help God fix something: your husband, your children, the next door neighbors?
·        How many churches start a new ministry and then ask God to bless it?

Last year when I was told we must have 60 registrations by May to maintain our class. Immediately, I sought different ways to build our class. At the TD conference I took note of the
·        Agape Ministry for individuals with special needs
·        Ethnos for a foreign language class
·        Engaging God’s Word new book from CBS available to small groups
·        My pastor even offered us our building to have our Bible Study

My Regional Director, Clokie reminded me that it was not up to me to drum up business. It was up to God.  I made an appeal to you ladies and we surpassed our goal. God was not surprised. After all it is His CBS.

 Depending on your resource; it took 500-700 years for God’s covenant with Abraham’s offspring to be fulfilled. But God had been working His plan in His timing. Now many generations after the death of the Patriarchs, innumerable descendants are finally going to see the fulfillment of that promise.

We need to remember God’s faithfulness to ISRAEL so we can trust God and triumph over our problems.

·        Faithlessness at Kadesh-barnea (1:1-46)
·        Discipline in the desert (2:1-15)
·        Conquest of East Jordan (2:16-3:29)

Faithlessness at Kadesh-barnea (1:1-46)
Totaling the days spent along the way Larry Tate author of The Journey estimated a total of 49 days to reach Mt. Sinai from Egypt. You know me I went back and researched every place they stopped. In fact, God had them circle back and wait for Pharaoh to trap them at the Red Sea. Why? For a supernatural event so amazing the no one could take the credit but God.
49 days did not seem that long to reach Horeb. Knowing this make is easier for me to understand the sense of abandonment the people felt when Moses stayed on the mountain for 40 days.
The Israelites stayed at Sinai for almost a year. The LORD was teaching them total dependence on Him. God supplied food and water for over 2 million people and their animals. The people seemed settled and quite content to stay at Sinai.  During this time the Tabernacle was constructed and the priests and Levites were sanctified for the LORD’s service. However the LORD God told them to it was time to move. 

From the book Numbers 10:11 In the second year, in the second month, on the twentieth day of the month, the cloud lifted from over the tabernacle of the testimony, 12 and the people of Israel set out by stages from the wilderness of Sinai.

  Numbers 11 tells us an incident we need to remember. This might be a good story for our children. Three days, ladies, three days into the journey and the people were complaining about their hardship. God sent fire down on the camp and burned the outskirts of the camp. Moses prayed to God and he relented. The place is called
Tab e rah. Now don’t you think they would be careful about complaining.
Nevertheless the rabble among them, non-Jewish who followed from Egypt, began to cry and wail for meat to eat. They wanted to run back to Egypt.
Moses had had it with these people and complained to the LORD, “Did I birth all these people, must I carry them as infants by myself. Kill me now! Paraphrase by Ann.  
This is when Jethro advised Moses  to appoint tribal leaders to settle small matters.
The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Numbers 14:18  A wind drove quail in from the sea for them to eat.
From reading Deuteronomy, it appear that most of the messages delivered by Moses were “east of Jordan” in the upper land of Moab, overlooking the city of palm trees. Now they could at last see Jericho, the first city conquered beyond the Jordan River.

Moses states in Deuteronomy 1:2 It is eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea. Imagine if the Israelites had been obedient they could have been at the entrance to the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey.  12 times this promise mentioned in OT.
·        The first problem was sending the twelve spies. Deuteronomy leads us to believe they brought the idea to Moses. Did they not trust God?
·         Could we not just listen to the LORD God Jehovah? Ladies what do we do in our churches when we want to change something in the church form a committee?
·        Deuteronomy 1:28 Ten spies reported back “The people are greater and taller than we. The cities are great and fortified up to heaven. And besides, we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.”’  Giants
v.31( Remember) how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.’
·        After a severe tongue lashing v. 41 says “We have sinned we will now go up and fight.” But they went up heedlessly to the ridge of the hill country; neither the ark of the covenant of the LORD nor Moses left the camp. The Amorites who had lived in the hills “chased them down like a swarm of bees.”
Learn from Israel mistakes; trust God and triumph over our problems.
Discipline in the desert (2:1-15)
Thomas a Kampis “Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience. Whoever strives to withdraw from obedience, withdraws from Grace”
(Num 14:33-34 NIV) Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the desert. For forty years--one year for each of the forty days you explored the land-you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.
The number 40 holds particular significance in the Bible and refers to a precise number, not just a long period of time. There are many instances of 40, whether days, months, or years is ALWAYS a period of testing, trial, probation, or chastisement (but not judgment) and ends with a period of restoration, revival or renewal.
Have you ever “wandered through the desert” for a long period of time while trying to figure out whether to obey God and do His will. Delayed obedience is not obedience. It is disobedience.
Whether it is pulling oneself out of the bed on Sunday morning, or following God’s prompting to move us out of our comfort zone. Selfishly we want to stay where we are, comfortable, safe. But being in God’s will is the only safe place to be, under the shadow of His wings. Putting off obedience means missing a blessing God had planned for us.
 Dr. B.J. Miller once said, "It is a great deal easier to do that which God gives us to do, no matter how hard it is, than to face the responsibilities of not doing it." Just ask Jonah.

Trust God to when he gives us a task to do.
On Day Four of our study questions in Chapter 2 we breezed through 38 years in the desert. However it is important to take note: God gave his care and provision to those he has promised to protect; descendents of LOT and ESAU.
God ordered Moses to “cut through the land belonging to your relatives, the People of Esau who settled in Seir. Don’t try and start a fight. I’ve already given all the hill country of Seir to Esau—he owns it all. Pay them up front for any food or water you get from them.” The Message   “Then the Lord warned us, ‘Don’t attack the Moabites or the Ammonites, for I will not give you any of their land; I have given it to the descendants of Lot.’ TLB

Conquest of East Jordan-Deuteronomy 2:24-Ch.3
The same offer of peace given to their relatives was given to Sihon the Amorite King.
 Let us pass; we will go only by the road; we will pay food and water. Only let us pass through on foot,
Deuteronomy 2:30 But the king would not let Israel pass by, for the Lord God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, that he might give him into your hand. They began to take possession and occupy his the land.’
Remember how God hardened the heart of Pharaoh in Egypt. Exodus 14:1-4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp …. facing by the sea. And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.”
The Lord God also gave into their hands Og, the king of Bashan, and all his people, they took sixty cities, the whole region.
3:21-22 And I commanded Joshua at that time, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the Lord your God has done to these two kings. So will the Lord do to all the kingdoms into which you are crossing. 22 You shall not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.’
Why the history lesson? Because history is such a great teacher. Essentially, Moses says, Learn from your successes and your failures—and from those who went before you.
It doesn’t take my grandson Brayden long to figure out the strategy of a board game. He watches me and observes my actions as we play. It takes him the longest time to decide what tiles to put on the board. Why is he so good at Rummy-O while I have been playing it for years? He learns from my successes and failures.
The Past is behind us, learn from it.
            The Future is what is ahead, prepare for it.
            The Present is now, live it wisely and to the Glory of God.

Learn from the past; trust God to fight for us.
While we don’t have to fight the Anikim and Amorites, we do have a spiritual battle everyday “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”
The Word of God is your anchor in this troublesome and self-seeking society. The Word of God is your refuge of safety and permanence. The Word of God lives, abides, and endures forever.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Mark 13:31
Psalm 44:1-2 says, “We have heard it with our ears, O God; our ancestors have told us what You did in their days, in days long ago. With Your hand You drove out the nations and planted our ancestors; You crushed the peoples and made our ancestors flourish.”