Friday, October 11, 2013

Lesson 6-Deuteronomy 12,13,26

In Deuteronomy 1-5 Moses reviewed Israel’s past and reminded the people of all the miraculous signs and wonders that God had supernaturally performed to bring them out of Egypt. He alone provided for their every need the last forty years.
Ch. 6-11 Moses instructed the people how to honor the LORD and respond to His goodness. He explained why they needed to obey the Lord God Jehovah: The promise of blessings for obedience and warnings of consequences for disobedience.
God commanded you shall have no other gods before me. 
As a visual learner, my memory is enhanced by seeing images and well as hearing. Illustrating my lectures with pictures and scriptures I hope better clarifies the points for you and allow them to stick in your memory.
How many of you use a computer on your job or at home to check your email? Do you ever get a warning pop up when you are using the internet? My security flashes hugh red letters saying “WHOA! Are you sure you want to go there?” Most of the time, I believe the warning and back out without loading the page. But if I trust the site, I may ignore the caution.
Another warning appeared on my screen Wednesday night as I was closing my programs. A yellow triangle with an exclamation mark; “Do you want to save changes to you file?” In my haste I failed to save three days of work and had to start over. Ever been there?
Since Word has an auto recover every 10 minutes, I mistakenly thought I knew what I was doing. Did you hear all the I, I, I, in that statement? I’m trusting God to provide what He wants in my lesson instead of relying on my own skills in presentation.
We need to remember to have no other gods besides Jehovah.  PRAY

God’s People in Worship
         Purge the Land
         Beware of Dreamers and Prophets
         Worship God’s Way
Purge the Land
Deuteronomy 12 Moses warned the people “Be careful to do these statutes and rules in the land Your LORD God has given you.”
Our lesson this week gives detailed instructions to rid of the land of idols. The sons of Jacob were originally shepherds then slaves in Egypt. The nomads of forty years they would soon become landowners; people of agriculture, producing olive oil, grapes, honey, and grain. The land they were to inhabit had numerous idols and false gods.
But Canaan mainly depended on Baal, the storm god and Asherah, his consort, goddess of fertility for a good harvest. The people of Canaan worshipped in the high places to be closer to their gods. Warren Wiersbe notes that the wooden Asherah poles were sex symbols and the people used temple prostitutes to worship their gods on the mountains and hills and under large groves of trees. 
 3 …tear down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and burn their Asherim with fire. You shall chop down the carved images of their gods and destroy their name out of that place. You shall have no other gods before me.
God did not want his people to worship in the high places or to follow any of the immoral ceremonies of the pagan people. The transcendent God Yahweh could not be represented by images made with human hands. All pagan distractions had to be removed from the land.
Any temple or idol could be a temptation, a tool of Satan to entice Gods people away. Moses instructed them to obliterate the even the names of the foreign gods so they could not be used as magical incantations.
1231 You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.
Isaiah 43:10b-12 reminds us “Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.  I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior. I declared and saved and proclaimed, when there was no strange god among you; and you are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and I am God.” You shall have no other gods before me.
Ezekiel 8:6 “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel are committing here, to drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see still greater abominations.”
My sisters this prophecy is true. September 28, Pagan Pride Day was celebrated at Stowe Park in Belmont. I shudder to think my grandson had a birthday party in that park. “Their purpose is to advance Religious Diversity and the Eliminate Prejudice and Discrimination based on Religious Beliefs.”
Three times in scripture we find the warning “everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes”
We live in a world characterized by great religious diversity. Tolerance is highly valued in our cultures.  I personally have family and friends that truly have no clue. They want to “cover all the bases,” have a Bible, then a small Buddha in the front yard, some tarot cards, yin and yang, little meditation to clear their mind. But ladies our God is a jealous God. He will share His glory with no one. He clearly said, “You shall have no other gods before me.”
Romans 12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. [2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
The problem with a living sacrifice is we keep getting up and walking away from the altar.
Chapter 13 Beware of Dreamers
 Moses warns the people to beware of prophets and dreamers who try to lure you away to worship other gods. 3-For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall have no other gods before me.
Remember he also tested them in the desert.4 You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him.
We must worship and honor Jesus plus nothing. This is not an easy task, we are bombarded with media and religious leaders that want to water down the gospel.
Verse 6-8 is very detailed “If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter or wife you embrace or your friend who is as your own soul entices you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’”
you shall not yield to him or listen to him, You shall have no other gods before me.
Like wolves in Sheep clothing our youths can be lured away with dark, brooding characters on television and movies. Paranormal is vastly popular in lives of our teenagers. During the time of caring for my dad, my teenage niece introduced me to Anime. The jury is still out on that one! Take a careful look at what your children and grandchildren are reading and watching.
Worship God’s Way
God gave detailed instructions to Moses on Mt. Horeb for the Tabernacle, a place where God would come down and dwell among His people. The Tabernacle was made portable and moved as the children of Israel travelled the desert. Last week I shared the sons of Levi had various duties in the Tabernacle. As they moved across the desert, they worshipped in many places. The light emanating from the Holy of Holies in this picture is the Shekinah glory, from the Hebrew word “to settle, inhabit, or dwell”
6b bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, your vow offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock.
And there you shall eat before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your households, in all that you undertake, in which the Lord your God has blessed you. Taste and see that the Lord is Good.
But once they cross the Jordan, Israel must have one place to worship and bring sacrifices to: 12:11 the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell there. Judges 18:1 tells us Shiloh will be the resting place for the Tabernacle.
Deuteronomy 12:23-28 further instructs the people “be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh.” The Priests, sons of Aaron, respected the sacrifice and the blood of the sacrifice. They would catch the blood and sprinkle it on the altar.
28 Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.
The shedding of blood is at the heart of the Gospel. Through Christ we have redemption through his blood. For those who trust Him we receive eternal salvation but also access to God for the blood covers our sins and provides reconciliation to a Holy God.
You shall have no other gods before me.
Our worship to God is to be joyful and praise filled.  My favorite part of our time at the Regional Conference was the time of Praise and Worship.
Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

Several years ago our TD challenged us to memorize Isaiah 55. Verse 12 always gave me joy and illustrates the joy of worship. Say it with me.
“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing,
    and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Ch. 26 Offerings of First fruits and Tithes

Ø God is the giver of all good things
Ø Deny ourselves
Ø To give God the First, the Best
26 When Israel came into the land of Promise that the LORD gave them for an inheritance, they were to take some of the first of all the fruit of the harvest and put it in a basket of presentation.
They were commanded to go to the place that the Lord your God will choose, say to the priest 3b‘I declare today to the Lord your God that I have come into the land that the Lord swore to our fathers to give us.’ The priest shall take the basket and set it down before the altar of the Lord your God. Israel was to offer the best of everything to God.
The Sabbath following Passover Jews celebrated the feast of the first fruits. Leviticus 23 the priest went into a harvest field and waved a sheaf of grain before the Lord indicating the entire harvest belong to him.
To Christians Passover represents Christ in his death but offering of the first fruits pictures His resurrection. Christ was the grain of wheat that was planted in the ground and produced abundant fruit. The sheaf was waived on the first day of the week. Christ arose first day of the week that is why we gather on Sunday for worship.
“By obeying God’s command to bring the tithe and firstfruits and by repeating the words (Deuteronomy 26:5-10) Israel acknowledged God’s faithfulness and demonstrated their love for God and dependence upon Him. You shall have no other gods before me.
Will you choose to walk in his ways, and keep his statutes and his commandments and his rules, and will obey his voice.