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Deuteronomy - Chapter 4, Lesson 4
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Pastor Ovid Need
NOTE: Time requires I leave in the minor errors, e.g., abbreviations in text, wrong abbreviations, mixed tenses in a sentence (though I have tried to catch all of them), caps, etc. As time progresses, we will correct the lessons. There are also some comments at the end of this chapter.
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We have seen God's promised results (blessings), if His people will hearken to His statutes and judgments given through Moses. We have seen the promises fulfilled not only in David's and Solomon's day, but also in recent history, in the early days of this nation, as our fathers made God's law the basis law the law of the land. We are also seeing the results as this land turns from God's statutes and judgments. A good example is in the area of economics. Since this nation has gone off of the gold standard, as called for by the constitution and by scripture, look at what has happened by inflation. The trust in paper will not last forever. Sooner or later the paper will lead to what happened in Germany in the 30's.
We also saw from v. 9 that the only hope is to teach the statutes and judgments of God's law to the children. Doing anything less causes a society to turn from God and reap the results.
V. 10, God told Moses to bring the people to the Mount, as seen in Ex. 19. Ex. 19: 5, 6, is I Pet. 2:5-9 and Rev.20:6, making the laws given to God's people at the Mount the same laws given for God's people of the new Mount Sion. (Heb. 12:18-29.) The method of holiness is still the same, for we serve a Holy God which changes not.
I had a young man tell me some time ago that he believed the Spirit pulled texts like the ones mentioned above (Ex. 19:5,6, and I Pet. 2:5-9) out of their contexts. The Spirit, according to his thinking, did not really mean to apply the whole context of the OT passage to the situation in the NT; rather, the Spirit meant to only apply the verse from the context which He quotes. This belief opens some real problems. First, the devil came to our Lord with OT passages out of context. And second, this is one of the things the religious leaders Christ confronted had a problem with: they used verses out of context to support their view of the law. Moreover, passages used out of their context is a major problem among religious circles today. "Christians" pull verses from everywhere to support all kinds of strange doctrines. Sadly, one reason people do not like to use the context of a quote from the OT is because many times the context directly contradicts a tradition they desire to teach for doctrine. Ex. 19:5, 6, in its context with I Pet. 2:5-9 is a good example. We as Bible believing Christians hold cult teachers to the Word of God with "A text without a context is a pretext" to discount their stand, and rightly so. Yet far to often in our attempt to support what we want to believe and teach, we also use OT texts a text without their contexts.
1.The purpose of hearing God Himself speaking to Moses in sight of all the people was to cause the people to what, Ex. 19:9?
a. Probably a major reason their fear did not last any longer than it did was because of the failure to teach the children this fear of the Lord, Deut. 4:9, 10. Christians today are so involved in the world that we also fail to teach our children this fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of all knowledge, Prov. 8:13; 9:10. What would be a definition of proper fear of God, Prov. 16:6?
2. Deut. 4:11-12. We can find a description of the Lord's appearance and voice in Ex. 19:9, 16-20. However, what was missing in the Lord's terrible appearance, Deut. 4:12?
God did this for a purpose. He wanted them to know that His nature was a heavenly nature that could not be identified with anything this earth. Moses says more about the Lord's appearance in vv. 15-19. (See also, Heb. 12:20, 21.)
Deut. 4:13 goes with Ex. 20:1-17. There we see that the voice of the Lord spoke His covenant law, or the Ten Commandments (ten words, The Decalogue). See Deut. 9:9.
3.We can trace the Commandments, the covenant law, in Heb. 8:10 and 10:16. There we find the difference between the old covenant and the new covenant. Note, however, that both covenants still contain the same law, judgments and statutes. There are at least two differences: First, the different methods of the sealing, which we have already seen in a previous lesson (blood of bulls, goats vs. blood of Christ). Second, rather than the covenant law being written in tables of stone, where is it now written, II Cor. 3:3?
Compare Deut. 9:9-10; Jer. 32:39, 40; Ezek. 36:26-27; Heb. 8:10; 10:16. We can also find in Hos. 8:1 that it was God's people who violated, broke or transgressed, the covenant, and the results were devastation. God kept His part at all times: obey and live--disobey and die. We will cover the covenant much more in chp. 7.
Deut. 4: 13-14 identifies more than just the Ten Commandments as given at the Mount; there were also statutes and judgments given by God through Moses, applying the Ten Commandments to every area of life.
Deut. 4:14-20 shows the reason for the law, statutes and judgments that were given to His people. That reason was to set them apart from the heathen around them, so they might be an inheritance unto the Lord. (See also, Ps. 2:8; 28:9; 33:12; Eph. 1:18; Col. 1:12.) God's people today also show they are His covenant people by the same means: "observing all things whatsoever He has commanded us" in His word.
4. What are the two warnings of Deut. 4:15-19 (15-18 and 19)?
Both sins were very prevalent in Israel's day. Egypt, as well as the land where they were going, worshiped their gods in the form of a calf and in the form of heavenly hosts. Egypt served the sun under the name Ra. Today, we see Egypt's Ra worship being revived, e.g., cartoons and the toys, where many are named for or refer to Ra. Egypt also worshiped the moon under the name Isis, a worship also being revived today. The radical Environmental movement is worship of "Mother Earth."
5. Let us make a point to be developed in the next lesson. What is the common warning to God's people here in 4:15-18; Ex. 20:4?
Though the Church of Rome (Roman Catholic Church) did not remove Ex. 20:4 from its Confraternity edition of God's word, the RCC totally removed v. 4 from its list of the Ten Commandments. The RCC still lists Ten Commandments, but they split the last commandment against covetousness in two: "9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors' wife. 10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods."
Lesson 4-5 will develop vv. 14-20.
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