Friday, September 20, 2013

Deuteronomy Lesson 1 Sept. 5

Hello again Ladies. Every Thursday you will return to the sanctuary for announcements and a brief overview of the scripture lesson by me, the Teaching Director or Mary Alice, our Associate Teaching Director.

I hope everyone is excited about their core group. The more you attend and share with the other ladies the more likely you will develop friendships that may last a lifetime.  Some ladies from a core group I was in over 13 years ago still meet for breakfast once a month.
 Each of you received a copy of your course.  You will read Lesson 1 pp.1-6 and answer the study questions in Lesson 2 on pp.7-11. Write answers to as many questions as you can. You will find is easier to complete the entire lesson once you establish a routine.  Pray

THREE LIFETIME EVENTS marked my summer.

  • Family moving to Texas
  • The Death of my Dad
  • Baptism of my youngest Grandson 

God’s timetable often is far different from ours. Earlier this year, my niece moved with her family to El Paso, Texas. The distance can be hours by plane or days by car. Sydney moved with her two small daughters. My sister and her husband had just learned the joy of being grandparents over the last two years. The move was an upward advance in her husband company, but now those precious girls are half-way across country.  Moving can be hard on everyone; adjusting to a new area and climate. Grandparents left behind. Items must be culled and precious things left behind.
Tonight I will introduce our study of Deuteronomy which will last 12 weeks.

                                           I.            Call to Obedience
                                         II.            Remember our Heritage
                                      III.            Teach our Children

Love The LORD. Obey His Commands. Teach your Children.
Moses is credited with the writing the five Books of the Law. Called the Torah which is Hebrew for Law, and in Greek the Pentateuch means five scrolls. The Book of Deuteronomy, fifth book of the Law written mostly by Moses around 1400 is a culmination of the other four books.
Deuteronomy is not just a “second law” as the Greek root word implies, but it is an expansion of the truth, reviewing the past with a look toward the future.
God heard the cries Israelites enslaved in Egypt. It took 80 years for God to prepare Moses to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt.  They had to leave behind their permanent dwellings and plentiful food for a nomadic lifestyle.  Israel was to be like no other nation. Her ruler was Jehovah God (Exodus 19:4-6), and her purpose was to love and obey Him. It did not take long for their grumbling and complaining to lead to disobedience.

I-Call to Obedience
Hadabarim “The Words"
Perhaps the longest farewell speech in written history, Deuteronomy includes three major addresses by Moses, Moses’ song and exhortation, passing the leadership to Joshua, and Moses parting blessing on the people also an appendix with his last words.  Moses now 120 years old sought to prepare this generation for the new life in the Promised Land.
The first covenant between Jehovah and the people of Israel had been delivered at Mount Sinai producing the Ten Commandments. But because of the refusal of that generation to TRUST God, they wandered the desert until no men of fighting age remained except Joshua and Caleb. Israel’s deliverer and leader presents a re-teaching of the law learned from 38 years of wilderness wandering, actually the practical application of the law found in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers.

Love the LORD. Obey His Commands. Teach your Children
This background is the view from my nieces’ backyard in El Paso.
 The first three chapters summarize the span of time from Egypt until their arrival at Moab. A new generation of Israelites had not experienced the miracle at the Red Sea or heard the law given at Sinai. This multitude was about to inherit the Promised Land. The land God commanded their parents to possess. They were about to the enter land of Canaan filled with many dangers, trials, and temptations.
Chapter 4 is a Call to Obedience, to be faithful to the God who was faithful to them. Chapters 5 through 26 are a repetition of the law. 
Like our earthly fathers, Moses offers advice, warnings, reminders, and explanations.
Love the LORD. Obey His Commands. Teach your Children

II-Remember Your Heritage
My father was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in May of this year. My mother passed away almost seven years ago my dad and I were her primary caregivers. My sister who is a nurse stayed with Dad at night and I managed the days.  In July we contacted Hospice and all four sisters assisted in 24 hour care of Dad until July 26 when he went to be with the LORD.
Dad was one of the first members of the Cramerton Volunteer Fire Department and he was one of the last since the town took over. He had definite opinions on many subjects. A dishwasher wastes water. Do not touch the thermostat. (In fact he installed a lock box.) Do not to build a park on Goat Island. It is in the flood zone. I did not talk to Dad about politics, especially Cramerton politics.
Sister Robin took care of the funeral arrangements. Dad had outlined his desires. Our father had a wonderful sendoff with military honors and a fireman’s salute.
If you were there you heard the remark about the flooding of Goat Island, in fact the whole town flooded on the day of the funeral. We had pictures on the National News.
Love the LORD. Obey His Commands. Teach your Children

Perhaps it is wise for us to begin our study of Deuteronomy by being reminded that God called Israel to holiness. 

Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Exodus 15:11 (NIV)
Who is like you--
majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
working wonders?

The relationship between God and Israel is based on God’s faithfulness. He chose Israel not because she was holy but because of His great love. Her responsibility to God’s conditional covenant was obedience and complete trust in God alone.
In Deuteronomy 28 Moses repeats promised blessing of God for Israel’s obedience.

“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you
But Moses also pronounced the consequences of their rebellion.
Deuteronomy 28: 45 “All these curses shall come upon you and pursue you and overtake you till you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that he commanded you.”
At the end of our 12 week study of Deuteronomy, we will say farewell to Moses. Even Moses, God’s friend, who beheld the Shekinah glory of God himself, suffered the consequences for his rebellious attitude.
There are over 200 quotes from the book of Deuteronomy. When Jesus was tested by Satan three times, his response each time was to quote scripture from Deuteronomy.
Matthew 4:4 Deut. 8:3 /Matthew 4:7 Deut. 6:16 /Matthew 4:10 Deut. 6:13
When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment, he quoted twice from Deuteronomy.  Jesus quoted Deuteronomy more than any other book in the Old Testament (except for Psalms). Not all Jews of the day knew the entire Tanakh, Jewish Bible, but they all knew the Law--that made Deuteronomy a good choice of works to quote from.
The Shema (from the Hebrew word for "listen") was the passage in Deuteronomy 6, starting at verse 4.  “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
From the Jewish Virtual libraryThe Shema is an affirmation of Judaism and a declaration of faith in one God. The obligation to recite the Shema is separate from the obligation to pray and a Jew is obligated to say Shema in the morning and at night (Deut. 6:7).

III Teach your Children
Deut.6:7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
The greatest legacy we can leave our children is of truly knowing and loving our God. In many ways, our study of the book of Deuteronomy will be a study of what it means to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength.
Both of my precious grandsons were dedicated as infants, grandparents and parents pledged their support to rearing the boys in the admonition of The LORD. Last Sunday I was blessed to see my youngest grandson Gaven baptized by his grandfather. It was not the dipping in the water that made a change in his heart. It was the instruction all the years of his life by parents, grandparents and teacher in church.
Each of us has a purpose and plan that the LORD has prepared for us from the beginning of time. This year in CBS listen diligently for the voice of the LORD and the prompting of His Spirit to give you new hope for the future.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
           John 1:12-13
You are more than….
            your past
            your financial situation
            your job
            your personality
            your triumphs
            your failures
You are a child of God. 

Love the LORD. Obey His Commands. Teach your Children