Deuteronomy 4, Don’t Forget To Remember
1. Remember To Obey God’s Commands (v1-8)
2. Remember All That God Has Done (v9-14)
3. Remember To Watch For Known Dangers (v15-20)
4. Remember To Put God Before All Else (v21-24)
Deuteronomy 4, Don’t Forget To Remember
Deuteronomy 4, Don’t Forget To Remember
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Here, as we look at Deuteronomy chapter 4 this evening, I've titled the Message.
Don't forget to remember.
Don't forget to remember here Moses is ministering to the Nation of Israel.
And he is basically giving a farewell address.
The word Deuteronomy means second law.
It is the retelling of really the things that we have been reading through up to the.
This point, the things that took place in the Book of Exodus.
Things that took place in the Book of Leviticus and Things that took place in the book of Numbers and Deuteronomy is kind of the summary and retelling of those events and those details as Israel is right about now to enter into the promised.
Land, and so I thought it would be helpful just to kind of revisit a little bit of the timeline here to understand Israel time in the.
Wilderness as God brought them out of Egypt, we find the time mentioned several times throughout the the books of Exodus and Leviticus and numbers as well as Deuteronomy to give us a little bit of a sense of how these things took place.
And so the first occasion there is when Israel.
Was given manna in the wilderness because they're hungry.
They have been in the wilderness for one month.
At that time God LED them out from Egypt and provided for them, and from then on out they received manna from the Lord every day.
Well, also as they were in the wilderness, they were on their way.
First of all, not to Israel but to Sinai where they would meet with the Lord.
And so they arrived there at the second month, and so a little bit of time has passed.
City arrive at Mount Sinai.
They spend about a year there at Mount Sinai.
Getting all of the log, getting the instructions about the Tabernacle and then actually doing the work of building the Tabernacle and setting it up and so that happens right around a year after they had left.
In Egypt during that time, they also celebrate the second Passover, because remember, the first Passover was when they left Egypt, right?
Remember the blood on the doorposts and then the Angel passed over them so so they leave Egypt on the 1st Passover.
The second one they celebrate and partake of out in the wilderness at Mount Sinai.
By soon after the Tabernacle had been set up.
Well, then jumping into numbers chapter one, we have the census of Israel that took place shortly after that and then they depart from Sinai about a year and a month after leaving Egypt and they head towards the promised land.
But of course you know what happened.
They get to the border, they decide we're not going to go in, and so now they're in the wilderness.
For about 38 years and so we jump really far ahead in the timeline to numbers Chapter 3.
3 Aaron Death happens right around 40 years after their departure from Egypt.
He's one of the last to survive from that generation.
You remember that God said all the men of this generation who refused to enter into the promised land?
Everybody who's 20 years old and older they're going to die in the wilderness.
They will not see the promised land except for Joshua and Caleb.
And so Aaron is one of the last.
Moses will be the final one.
And then the rest of the people will enter into the promised land.
And so the book of Deuteronomy.
Now the the account that is recorded here it is Moses giving kind of a overview, a recap of all of these things, and it's right here at that time after 40 years.
Of being with Israel in the wilderness. Now he is saying his goodbye by reminding them of the things that God has said and the things that God has done at the end of the book and Deuteronomy chapter 34 it's going to record his death, and so he gives this farewell speech.
His life is over at that point, and then Joshua takes the baton and leads the people into the promised land and they celebrate their first Passover in the promised land in the 41st year after leaving Egypt, and so all of that to just give some context to understand that the people that Moses is ministering to the reason why it's so important.
That he shares these things is because this is the next generation.
I mean, think about it right?
Like we just came out of numbers and we're like, wow, we made it out of numbers.
And then now we get into Deuteronomy and some of this is a little bit repetitive for us because, well, like, we just went through these things in Exodus and Leviticus and numbers.
Why do we need to read this again in Deuteronomy, but think about the context for some of these people, the events that Moses is talking about in this farewell address happened.
When they were teenagers.
For some of these people, these events happened.
They're they're in their 30s now, but they were like 5 years old.
You know, at Mount Sinai, the 10 Commandments that will read as we head on into Chapter 5 and a couple of these.
You know those things they they received at Mount Sinai, but but they were just kids when they got those commandments, they.
They they have memories of those times 'cause they were around.
They were there.
But they were just children.
And then there's also people in their 20s right now that Moses is addressing.
Who weren't even born yet?
When many of these events transpired, right?
And so Moses here is taking this time in the Book of Deuteronomy to refresh them and remind them of the things that God has said, and the things that God has done passing on to this new generation.
The word of God in preparing them.
For the promised land and the steps ahead.
And so the book of Deuteronomy is a little bit different in that regard as well, because it's written not so much with a technical mindset.
The Book of Leviticus can be very technical right in dealing with the concepts of the levite's and the priests, but but this is addressed to the people to the nation as a whole.
So that they would remember the things that God has done and pass those things along to their children as they head into the promised land.
And so Deuteronomy is the retelling of the law.
But in a simpler way and and even with maybe you could say more application, more ways for the people to understand what the that means for them, and to put it into practice in their lives.
The Book of Deuteronomy is one of the most quoted books in the New Testament.
It's one of the.
Books that Jesus quoted from the most of all of the law, genesis through Deuteronomy.
It is the most quoted book.
And so it's something that we can look to and understand.
This is important as we remember and refresh ourselves and some of the things that we just read.
But in the context, understanding that these are things that would have been perhaps far removed for them, and it would have been really important to remind them of these things.
It's important to remind ourselves as well.
So don't forget to remember so much of what Moses is saying happened to them while they were kids, and so there's four points.
We'll look at 4 things to remember as we work our way through Chapter 4 this evening.
The first point is found here. In the verses we read verses one through 8, remember to obey God's commands.
Let's look at verse one and two again.
It says now, oh Israel, listen to the statutes and judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your father.
It is giving you.
You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you.
The first thing that Moses is going to address as they.
Are gathered there as he is preparing them to cross over into the promised land.
He addresses the nation now Israel.
Listen to the statutes and judgments which I teach you to observe.
Here Moses is going to call them and encourage them.
Instruct them to obey the commands of God.
He's reminding them of how this works, that God gave me the commands he said God gave me these things to teach you and notice the word observe.
The statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, Moses says, look, I'm not just teaching you information to know I'm not just teaching you things to, you, know, keep in your mind, things to understand.
But I'm teaching you things to do, things to practice, things to live out.
In your life.
And as we walk through these verses, Moses explains why it's so important to obey these commands.
First of all, it's important because they are the commands of God.
But here God explains through Moses why it's important to obey God commands.
And so I'm going to teach a message within a message tonight here as we look at verses one through 8 here.
Here's five points about why obey God commands here.
In these verses.
The first point is that.
You may live.
Notice what it says in verse one.
Listen to the statutes and judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live.
Here's God intention.
Here's God purpose in giving you commands, Moses says because God wants you to live.
Now that would have been really meaningful to them.
Because this generation, this group of people has just watched an entire generation around them die throughout the past couple decades in the wilderness.
I was listening to Pastor Skip Skip Heitzig from Calvary Chapel, New Mexico teach about Calvary Chapel, Albuquerque in New Mexico, but he was teaching in this passage and he was saying the total deaths from the previous generation because of the census. We know it was 600,000.
Men not counting women right? So that generation would have been 600,000, maybe 1.2 million. You know, including the their wives and so for that many people to die over a span of 40 years.
Here's you're looking at somewhere between 40 to 80 deaths a day.
In order for that math to work out.
40 to 80 deaths a day.
So here's a people camped out on the you know border of Israel about to crossover.
They've lived their whole life and they've been witnessing.
This kind of death 40 to 80 people dying a day amongst them.
They're about the same number as they were.
You know, at the beginning.
So this new generation has replaced them, but but they've seen everyone around them all the older generation has died and God says look that previous generation did not obey me.
And they did not live.
But I've given you these commandments, and Moses says I'm teaching you these commandments because I want you to live because God wants you to have life.
Well, I'm also teaching you these commandments, why it's important to obey God's commands is so that you receive the promises.
God has given many promises.
The promised Land is one of those promises.
If they don't obey God, they won't possess the land.
Verse one talks about that you would go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your father is giving you.
There is the danger of them not obeying God and not receiving the promises that God has for them, and so why obey God because he wants you to live, and that's why he gives you commands you know.
Sometimes we get the idea in our head that God wants to restrict our life or keep some pieces of life from us.
Keep some good things.
Yes, but God says I want you to live and have life more abundant.
And that's why I give you commands.
And the more we understand that the better off we are, and the way that we receive the promises of God and experience, all that he has for us is by obedience to his commands.
Well, we also need to remember to obey God's commands so that we have wisdom. Notice what it says in verse 5.
Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments just as the Lord, my God, commanded me that you should act according to them in the land which you possess.
Verse six therefore, be careful to observe them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statues and say, surely.
This nation is a wise and understanding people.
God says, look, I've given you these commands because this is wisdom.
These commands are wise again, they're good for you.
They're what's best for you, and if you want to be wise, here's the amazing thing about God.
We don't have to invent wisdom.
We don't have to.
You know, come up with you.
Think about, perhaps, you know, I could never be that wise.
You know, I could never be as smart as Jonathan or Einstein.
You know those kind of in the same ballpark, right?
I I could never be that smart.
I could never be that wise and God says, sure, you can just be obedient.
You want to be wise.
Obey God's commands.
The psalmist in Psalm 119, verse 99, says I have more understanding than all my teachers. For your testimonies are my meditation.
We meditate on the testimony of God, the word of God.
We obey the commands of God and we have more wisdom than we could ever have by sitting there.
Meditating on our own trying to generate our own wise thoughts.
Reading Fortune cookies, you know.
Well, whatever we might try to do to gain wisdom, you know the best way to be wise.
The best way to get wisdom is to not just read God.
Word, but obey what God has said.
Well, another reason to obey God is that we would be a witness there is.
It talks about the wisdom of God.
In verse six, he says in the sight of the peoples, who will hear all these statutes, and we'll say surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
Verse 7 for what Great Nation is there that has God?
So near to it as the Lord God is to us for whatever reason we may call upon him.
What Great Nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments?
As are in all.
This law, which I set before you this day.
God says look, if you obey these commands.
If you obey my word, it is going to be noteworthy.
It's going to stand out and people around you are going to take note and say whoa.
That person is wise that person.
Has an encounter with God.
That person has a relationship with God.
That person there is something unique and powerful.
About this person and their connection to God, God says it's gonna cause you to be a witness if you obey my commands.
You'll be different because you're doing things different, but but it'll stand out because of the benefits of obeying God, that that the people will look and go.
Man, I I want.
That kind of life.
I want that kind of experience with God and obeying God produces that kind of witness for us.
Why should we obey God's commands that we may enjoy close relationship with God again? Verse seven says what Great Nation is there that has God so near to it as the Lord our God is to us for whatever reason we may call upon him.
You want to.
Be close to God.
Obey his commands.
Sometimes we're looking for the emotion we're looking for, the feeling we're looking for the experience, but what we need most is obedience.
You want to be close to God, walk with him in obedience and it produces this closeness.
Where we can call upon God for whatever reason, anything that's going on anything that's happening in our life.
We can call out to God.
We have this connection.
This relationship to God that's produced by obedience.
It's produced by our faithfulness.
To do the things that God has called us to do now, this isn't works based relationship.
That's not what I'm talking about here, but it's our obedience that opens up our opportunity to receive from the Lord.
It's not that we're earning something from God, but it's what produces in us the ability.
To experience this closeness, it's what produces in us.
It's like, you know, training for an event, right?
It's all that training ahead of time that produces in you the ability to do the events to, you know, experience the competition to to whatever you know you might be thinking of in your mind.
So like that.
Right, there's all this training that goes in advance so that you can experience this thing.
Maybe if you want to learn how to go scuba diving right, you go through the training you learn and you get all the tools and and it's through the training that then you get to go and actually scuba dive right in a similar way, it's obedience to God that trains us that shapes us so that we're able to receive from God this closeness this relationship.
And that we can have this opportunity whatever reason we call upon him, we're able to connect with him. We're able to hear from him, and so remember to obey God's commands. Sometimes we need to be reminded of that.
Things can kind of fade away and begin to slip in our day-to-day life as things get busy and our schedules get cluttered that that we can forget to be faithful in obedience to the things that God has said.
But there's so many benefits, there's such great things that God has in store for those.
Who walk with him in obedience.
I like the way that Pastor Warren Wiersbe talks about this.
Obeying the Lord becomes a joyful privilege when you realize that his commandments are expressions of his love, assurances of his strength, invitations to his blessing, opportunities to grow and bring him glory and occasions to enjoy his love and fellowship as we seek to please him.
God's word is the open door.
Into the treasury of his grace.
God's word is the open door to the vast treasury of all the good things that he has for us.
So let's obey him.
Let's take his word, let's receive it.
Let's hear it.
Let's listen to it.
Let's read it.
Let's study it.
But then let's put it into practice again, Moses said there in verse one.
God gave me these things to give to you that you would observe.
That you would do them.
Don't forget to remember to obey God's word.
Well, moving on to verses 9 through 14, we get the second point to consider.
The second thing to remember this evening and that is remember all that God has done.
Remember everything all that God has done.
Verse 9 and 10 says this only take heed to yourself and diligently keep yourself lest you forget the things your eyes have seen unless they depart from your heart all the days of your life and teach them to your children and your grandchildren, especially concerning the day you stood before the Lord your God.
When the Lord said to me, gather the people to me and I will let them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days they live on the earth.
And that they may teach their children.
Next, Moses goes on to say take heed to yourself.
Be diligent in keeping yourself and he's going to repeat that again later on in the chapter as well.
He's saying to us here, there is a need for us.
To keep a close eye on ourselves.
There's a need for us to diligently pay attention to where we're at in our relationship with God and in our walk with him, he says.
Take heed to yourself and diligently keep yourself.
Why is this diligence needed?
Well, because in verse nine, he says lest they depart from your heart.
Less they depart from your heart.
It's important to pay attention.
It's important to be diligent in this area of remembering what God has done because.
Listen, the things that God has done in your life so easily depart from your heart.
It's not a great mystery to us, right?
This isn't something like we're shocked by.
I can't believe that it could be so easy for something to depart from my heart.
But any time we've ever heard from God.
I would suggest we've probably had the experience.
Of having that depart from our heart, you went on a retreat.
And God spoke something.
He ministered to you in a powerful way.
But what was that?
Maybe it's a couple of days.
Maybe it's a couple of weeks, maybe it's.
A couple of years.
That that thing that was so monumental.
I mean, it was like an Angel appeared before you was so powerful at the time.
But now it's so faded in your memory.
Like you can't.
You were convinced.
At the time, I will never forget this.
This, like this, has profoundly changed my life.
But now it's like I remember something happened, but I can't quite remember what it was.
Or maybe you're even like, I don't know if I've ever had that kind of experience with God.
That you have.
But these things so easily depart from our heart.
And so Moses says, take heed to yourself and diligently keep yourself.
I would encourage you.
Again, this is not just for information.
This is not just you know for intellectual understanding, what are you doing?
Two take heed to yourself and diligently keep yourself to make sure that you don't forget what God has done.
He says, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen.
You've watched God work, you've seen God work.
You've experienced God work now work hard to not forget the work.
That God has done.
I would suggest this is one of the reasons why Jesus implemented communion for us.
So that we would have this reminder this opportunity to stop and reflect and consider the work that Jesus did for us upon the cross.
And there is the importance of us remembering.
There is the importance of us, you know, going back and and holding onto making sure that it doesn't depart from our heart, that it doesn't depart from our minds that we hold onto those things that God has done.
But we have those things.
Generally like communion, the those things that we can all participate.
Then, but Moses is also speaking here very personally.
He's speaking to these people on the banks of the Jordan this generation, who, with their eyes watched God do all of these things.
Notice you know he's not necessarily referring back to Egypt and the deliverance there.
He's referring to their time in the wilderness, which all of them got to see.
Like the provision of mana.
That the way that God worked with them throughout the time in the wilderness.
Some of the people weren't alive at the time of coming out of Egypt.
They didn't get to see that with their eyes, but but here this group of people, some of them had seen that deliverance.
But all of them had seen God provisioned for them, and the things that he did for them in the wilderness.
Anything guys make sure take heed to yourself.
Be very diligent.
Those things you have personally experienced so those things that you have personally seen.
And so again, I would ask you what are you doing?
To make sure that you don't forget those things that you have experienced.
Personally with the Lord.
I think this is something that we should spend some time considering, not.
I'm not saying right now.
I'm not saying I'm gonna go on and on and on about this, but I'm saying in general this is perhaps something that we need to build into our calendars.
We need to build into our schedules some way to.
Stomp and reflect to diligently.
Take heed and keep ourselves so that we remember those things that God has done in our lives.
You guys are familiar with every.
Year as we transition from the old year into the New year right, I often encourage you.
It's a good time to take inventory to take stock and think about where you're at and give God opportunity to redirect as you enter into the new year.
And so there is, you know, perhaps that built in calendar that would be helpful.
Maybe we need to build something into our practice of the New year where we not just think about you know what is to come.
But what are the things that God has done?
What are those you know, landmarks that we can look back on and just refresh our mind and refresh our hearts and that it wouldn't depart from our mind that it wouldn't depart from our heart?
Those magnificent things that God is done and spoken to us in the past.
Make sure you don't forget.
To the point that he says, make sure you pass on what God revealed there in verse 9.
Teach them to your children and your grandchildren.
Tell your kids, tell your grandkids the stories.
Boy, that one time I was at Circle K and the Holy Spirit just came upon me and I was talking to this guy.
You know, like the those things that God has done in your life.
We went on this mission trip.
I think you know for some of us here, we could look back like Somala 2000, right? That was one of those landmark events. God did a work and it was like wow, God is good.
Tell your kids about that trip.
Tell your grandkids about that trip.
Those things that God spoke to you in your personal devotions that changed your life.
That forever shaped you.
Tell your kids about that.
Tell your grandkids about that pass on.
Remember those things and pass them along to the next generation.
And maybe there's something that's just specifically a big event.
Notice he says in verse 10, especially concerning the day you stood before the Lord.
All the things that God did, all the things that God said, remember those things, but especially and I would suggest for you.
There's probably some things in your life that God would say, especially this, remember that.
There's there's things that God does in your life.
As a kind of a matter, of course, you know, like there's, there's things that he's working.
He's working miracles and and he's doing that regularly, and.
He accomplishes those things, but then there's also those things that it's more than just God providing in the moment, but it's God providing in the moment in a special way that he wants you to remember for the rest of your life, because it is going to be important for you for the rest of your life.
And so, again, Moses.
He's speaking very personally to the people, and he's saying look you guys, you saw these things.
These aren't just general truths.
They're not just abstract ideas about God.
These are things that you saw God do.
Things that you heard from God.
Be diligent, take heed to make sure that you don't forget those things.
It's been a few years now, but I used to have the practice because every year in June was the big annual Calvary Chapel Pastors Conference.
And so, as I began being a pastor, I started attending those and super blessed by them and.
Not super intentional about it, but it just kind of developed.
I don't know if the Lord told me something or not.
I forget it departed from my heart if he did, but I began to keep a list as I would head into a conference of what I called takeaways.
Where there were things that I knew is the Lord was walking me through the conference.
There was, you know, a passage of a shared.
There was a message that was given.
There was a worship song that was, you know, done and and it was like, oh man, that that is for me in a way that's more than just for this moment.
God wants me to walk with that for this.
And so I would have my takeaways that I would walk away with at the end of the conference and then the next year as I was heading to the conference, I would pull out last year's takeaways and I would be like, OK, Lord, you know, where am I at in these things?
I would refresh myself in in those things and several times throughout the year.
Perhaps I would refresh myself in those things, but but it would be kind of an accountability.
Like oh man, the Lord spoke that to me last year and I didn't take heat.
It departed from my heart.
I kind of let that one fall, by the way, he said, oh Lord, forgive me and and the Lord would use that to refresh my memory and renew me and those things that he said and and then he would speak new things at the conference.
And then I would have a new set of things to walk with for that year.
It's been a few years since that pastors conference has taken place and I've kind of fallen out of that.
I don't have those takeaways right now as I'm sharing this.
Maybe that's something the Lord wants to say to me.
Maybe that's an example that God wants to use to minister to you.
Another thing that I used to do that I'm not currently doing, but.
I want to share it with you just in case.
Maybe the Lord wants to administer to you.
Is I used to have what I called annual listens.
Which is whenever I heard a teaching that that impacted me in a special way, that that I I knew from the Lord, I need to hear this every year.
This isn't just you know that was a good teaching and move on from that, but I need to be reminded of this truth.
I need to be reminded of this teaching every year, and so I had a you know, my own personal podcast of these.
Annual lessons and I would have a schedule so that I would listen to these different teachings all throughout the year and be reminded of these important, you know monumental truths and words from the Lord that ministered to me in a way that I needed to hear from him.
In an ongoing basis, and I share that with you as well, to say, hey, I was meditating on these things.
Maybe the Lord is speaking these things to me.
I need to seek him on refreshing these things, but also as an example to you have.
Maybe you need to build into your life.
Some ways to be diligent to hold on to the things that God said to you.
I mean, you're sitting in a service you're reading through.
You're doing a Bible study.
Perhaps you write down notes and then that notebook gets closed.
It puts, gets put in a shelf, and you never look at it again, ever in your life.
It's good that you took the notes right, but but perhaps there's some of those things that you need to go back and pull out again and refresh yourself in and remember, hey, this is something God spoke to you.
This is something God did in your life, and perhaps we need some.
Well, the Lord gave the nation.
Of Israel feasts celebrations.
And some of them were required.
You have to every year stop and remember and celebrate this work that God has done.
And maybe we need some fees.
Maybe we need some celebrations.
Maybe we need to build into our calendar, build into our schedule, build into our week, or build into our day, or build into our month.
Or build into our year.
However, the Lord wants to lead us individually.
We have that freedom.
But that we would be diligent and to make sure.
That we don't lose what it is that God has spoken to us.
In verse 11, he says then you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain.
And the mountain burned with fire to the midst of heaven, with darkness cloud and thick darkness.
And the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire.
You heard the sound of the words, but saw no form.
You only heard a voice verse 13.
So he declared to you his covenant which he commanded you to perform the 10 Commandments.
And he wrote.
Then I wrote them on two tablets of stone verse 14 and they would commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments that you might observe them in the land which you crossover to possess.
See how personal this is?
This is all stuff that happened to you.
Moses says you experience this.
Hold on to that.
Don't let go of it.
It's easy for that to fade away in the moment.
It feels like I will never forget this ever.
Sometimes, 2 weeks later, you're like what I don't remember what God said I.
I don't remember that event.
God might want to recharge in you and renew in new things that he spoke.
30 years ago to you.
Some of those things got smoked into you, not just 'cause you needed them at that moment, but because you needed them.
For the rest of your life.
Be diligent, take heed.
To those things, remember all that God has done moving on to verses 15 through 20, we get the third thing to consider tonight and that is, remember to watch for known dangers.
Remember to watch out to be on guard.
For things that are not surprising for things that are common, expected, and can be even predicted in our lives, check out verse 15 through 18.
It says take careful heed to yourselves.
For you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure.
The likeness of male or female.
The likeness of any animal that is on the Earth, or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air.
The likeness of anything that creeps on the ground.
Or the likeness of any fish that is in the water beneath the earth.
Here God warns his people through Moses.
That looking at some creature looking at something and forming and fashioning an image, a statue out of it from stone or wood, or some metal, it's a warning against idolatry in the very classic sense of the word, and we see this warning to the nation.
Of Israel all throughout the Old Testament.
A few weeks ago we were working our way through numbers and numbers. Chapter 22.
The Lord was reminding us that he does not warn us needlessly.
And this is an example of that.
God says, watch out, take heed to yourself.
You didn't see a form when God appeared to you, so don't try to make a form to worship him.
God gives them this warning because this was a very real threat to them and they will in fact find themselves.
Making a form and trying to worship God in that way.
This was a real danger to them.
Israel fell into idolatry repeatedly.
I mean, we saw the golden calf back at Sinai, right?
Moses was just a little bit too long on the mountain and they rushed into idolatry in the worship of the golden calf.
Throughout their journey in the wilderness, they.
Fell into times of worship of the false gods of Egypt.
We just saw a couple weeks ago in the Book of Numbers that the Nation of Israel fall into the worship of the false gods of Moab.
And that's the incident at Baal Peor that.
He references there in verse two and three here in Deuteronomy Chapter 4.
We find them worshipping the false gods of Canaan, even the serpent that was used for healing in the wilderness.
Leader became an object of worship, an idol for them to bow down.
Before this was a warning that they needed to hear it was a danger that was there ahead of them that God knew about and warned them, warned them about, and it was common all around them.
It was a predictable danger.
And so God clearly warns them.
Against idolatry, don't make for yourself a carved image in any form.
And it goes on to list all of these examples.
Verse 19 and take heed lest you lift your eyes to heaven, when you see the sun, the moon, the star is all the host of heaven, and you feel driven to worship and to serve them which the Lord your God is given to all the people under the whole heaven as a heritage.
But the Lord is taking you and brought you out of the iron furnace out of Egypt to be his people and inheritance as you are this day.
Another common form of idolatry in Israel Day, not just the bowing down before a statue, but to look up at the host of heaven to look at creation and to worship creation rather than the creator.
So God says, watch out teak.
He'd be very careful you're going to be very tempted to this.
It's a real danger for you.
Now for us today as we read these things, it probably does not seem like a great threat.
You are likely not tempted to bow down before some physical objects in your room right here.
That's probably not happening.
It does still happen all around the world.
For us here in our society it's it's not as real of a danger or as common of a danger as it was for the nation of Israel.
But it doesn't mean that idolatry is not a danger.
Really the same danger still exists.
It's just it takes different forms.
And they would worship all of these false gods for different things to accomplish.
Seeking to accomplish different things in their lives.
Looking for prosperity looking for pleasure wanting.
You know this or that to be accomplished in their life and so they would worship these various gods in order to accomplish these.
And so you and I can fall into this same type of practice.
Although it might look a little bit differently and so we can consider in Rd what are some common practices.
That we get caught up in idolatry can be considered anything that takes the place of God or becomes more important than God too.
Let's and people pursue careers.
People pursue relationships.
People pursue pleasure or parties.
People pursue all kinds of things instead of God, and things can creep into our lives.
If you think about society around us, right?
Society around Israel, everybody worshipped.
These idols and images, or the creation itself?
And so it's not a surprise that they would be tempted that it would kind of creep into their culture.
For us around us, everybody around us is pursuing things apart from God, and besides God and so it's not a surprise that sports take over our lives and and captivate our hearts and keep us away from God.
Or, you know, careers or this or that like.
Things that are not necessarily evil or wicked or sinful on their own can become idols in our hearts when when it creeps in and it takes over and the world around us.
Is immersed in those things because, well, they're not seeking after God anyways, and so it's very easy for us.
We we have these known dangers in society around us.
In our culture now you can think about our culture.
You know, as Americans you can think about our culture as southern Californians like we have our own unique culture that is different.
You can tell that just you know go spend a couple weeks in Idaho and it'll be like, whoa, this is like a whole different world.
The piece is different the the schedule is different.
The mentality is different that attitudes are different.
We have our own.
Society around us.
It's a known danger guys.
It's a real threat.
We allow the world around us to set our priorities.
To fire up our passions, to direct our attentions.
And we're going to be immersed in and involved in idolatry, just like Israel was, but just a different form.
And so here Moses reminds us, hey, don't forget.
To watch out for those known dangers, it's no surprise.
If you get caught up in those things.
Ever since I've started working outside of the church, so my occupation for a while was full time here.
But then few years back the Lord moved and showed and spoke that now I needed to work outside of the church, and ever since then I've talked with the board.
And I've set up in my life these kinds of reminders so at every board meeting, one item on the agenda is.
How is Jerry doing?
And that's not for me to say.
How is Jerry doing?
That's for the board to say how's Jerry doing?
That's for the board to say.
Jerry, how's your?
How's your balance going?
Because I said from the get go, I knew from the get go this is going to be a real threat.
A real danger.
There's a real potential here for me to get caught up in things outside of church that take me away from what God wants here.
And and it's inevitable.
I would suggest it's going to happen.
I'm going to get out of balance if I haven't already.
And that's why I asked the guys you guys, you gotta.
We gotta have this item on the agenda.
We gotta because nobody walks the tightrope perfectly.
100% of the time, right? It's inevitable. I'm going to be out of balance in some points.
I'm going to be off kilter.
I'm going to be too caught up in one side or the other.
It's going to happen.
And so I have to remember.
To watch out for those known dangers.
It's not a surprise if that happens.
It's no shock.
It's not a surprise if you know you're chasing after this or that, like it's not actually that surprising that we behave like the world around us.
That's to be expected.
And so we need to remind ourselves.
And perhaps set up some boundaries to build in, perhaps some accountability to help us watch out for those known dangers.
And so I have my wife at home who helps keep me accountable with the balance in that arena.
I have the board here that helps keep me, you know, in balance in that arena.
And then I have bosses at work.
Help keep me in balance in that arena and so you know, trying to balance these things but to try to stay the course with what God has set before me.
There's not surprises there.
There's known dangers.
Watch out for them, remember.
To be on guard against those things. Well, finally verses 21 through 24 we get point #4 tonight. The fourth thing to Remember Remember to put God before all else. Verse 21.
Furthermore, the Lord was angry with me for your sakes, and swore that I would not cross over the Jordan and that I would not enter the good land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.
But I must die in this land.
I must not cross over the Jordan, but you shall cross over and possess that good land.
Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you.
And make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the Lord your God has forbidden you.
For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
Moses here reminds the people guys.
I don't get to enter into the promised land.
I don't get it goin.
As long as I've walked with the Lord, it's feasible as I've been these 40 years.
There was those points that I was not faithful.
And I would suggest Moses saying this here.
Not 'cause he's trying to put a guilt trip on the people or make them feel bad for him.
But to remind them, listen, there's no favoritism.
You can in your mind think OK, you know.
I've been walking with God for a long time.
I've done a lot of things for God, and so this area of my life that is.
Not really of the Lord, but I hold onto it.
I maintain it and it's going to be OK 'cause all this other stuff I do in my life and I I I maintain.
You know all of this faithfulness here, so I can have this area of unfaithfulness in my life here.
I would suggest Moses is saying look.
Even me Moses.
Is missing out.
On the things that God had in store for him because he did not take heed to himself.
He let his guard down.
He let his temper get the best of him.
He misrepresented God and struck the rock.
Yelled at the people when God was not yelling at the people.
Moses says this is true for me as much as it is for you.
God needs to be first.
He needs to be most important.
He needs to be Lord over our tempers and our emotions.
Lord, over those heated moments.
He needs to be Lord over all of our life. He says again. Verse 23. Take heed to yourselves lest you forget.
The Covenant of the Lord your God.
And the forgetfulness of that covenant.
He goes on to say, takes the shape of making for yourselves a carved image.
Idols can be that card image, but it can also be anything in our life that becomes more important than God.
More pressing, we're more passionate about it.
We're more devoted to it.
It's more important to us.
Idolatry reveals a forgetfulness.
About our covenant with God and his covenant with us.
It reveals the issue.
There of that, disconnect that forgetfulness of our mind about what God has said.
And idolatry throughout the Scriptures is referred to, alluded to under the imagery of adultery.
It's cheating on God to be passionate about something else to a higher degree than you're passionate about him.
It's cheating on God to be more devoted to something else that is not the Lord.
It's cheating on God to worship other things, to be caught up in other things.
And so Moses says, watch out, take heed.
That you don't do that, that you don't cheat on the Lord. Remember to put God before everything else because he says in verse 24 God is a jealous God. He's a consuming fire.
In a good and godly jealousy.
Jealousy is not just the perhaps negative image that we get in our head of the idea of jealousy, but but God is jealous for us because it is for our good for us to be exclusively focused on and devoted to him.
He created us.
He purchased us.
With his own blood, he has the right to be jealous for us.
And so the Lord said, love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength, with everything that you are.
With your emotions with your intellect with your physical body, with your energy with your time with your finances.
Love God completely and thoroughly.
Make sure that he is first in every arena in every aspect.
Of your life.
And to do anything less than that is.
And spiritual adultery.
James tells us in James Chapter 4.
Kind of rebuking the people he's writing to, he says adulterers and adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?
Whoever therefore, wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Or do you think that the scripture says invading the spirit who dwells in us, yearns jealously?
We are adulterers and adulteresses when we are trying to work out a compromise where we can be friends with the world.
And still be OK with God.
Friendship with the world that is the world system.
That's not saying, you know.
Don't talk to anybody who is not a Christian.
That's not what he's saying he's saying.
Look, you're trying to pursue and build into your life things that the world values things that the world pursues, things that the the world says and deems important, no.
Spiritually, that's cheating on God.
You're valuing what the world says more than what God says.
The Holy Spirit yearns jealously.
God is a jealous God.
He says no.
You belong to me exclusively.
Above all else, you must love me.
You must be devoted to me.
You must be obedient to me above all else.
Verse 23 says take heed to yourself lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you. Remember the covenant you committed.
He said I gave my life to the Lord.
Remember the covenant God said I give my life for you.
Remember the covenant?
And be faithful to that.
It's really a lot like.
Adultery in the marital realm.
There's the covenant that's made, and each side makes their vowels and to break those vowels is adultery.
In a similar way.
The Lord committed himself to us.
We committed ourselves to the Lord.
And it is easy to drift if we let ourselves.
If we're not diligent, if we don't take heat, it's easy to drift.
I was thinking about the author of Hebrews and Hebrews Chapter 11 talking about the Hall of Faith and the people who trusted God and how they trusted God to the very end, not seeing the fulfillment of their promise.
But the author of Hebrews goes on to say if they had called to mind the country that they had come out of, they would have had opportunity to return if they would allow their mind to entertain.
Where they were from, what they had come out of.
If they would have let themselves dwell on the things of this life and the things of this world, it would have been very tempting for them to return.
But instead verse 16 they desired a better, that is a heavenly country.
So they kept their eyes fixed on the promises of God.
They kept their eyes fixed, not on the promises of this world, not in the past.
You know things that they'd experienced in this life, but they kept their their eyes and their heart fixed on the things that God had promised to them.
And so he says, God is not ashamed to be called their God, and he's prepared a city for them.
He's going to fulfill his promises because they endeavored, they remembered to put God before all else.
And so this evening.
Don't forget to remember a great exhortation from Moses there on the banks of the Jordan, as are about to cross into the promised land guys, don't forget.
These are things you need to hold fast to remember to obey God commands.
Remember all that God is done and set up some reminders in your schedule in your calendar, in your life that that you'd be able to look back and reflect on the things that God has done.
The miracles that God has worked that you've experienced.
Personally, remember to watch out for known dangers.
There are some things that will take us by.
Surprise in this life.
That we weren't expecting.
But listen, there's a lot of things that we can foresee that are predictable that we're going to be faced with that.
We're going to be challenged with.
Don't let our guard down, like Paul said in First Corinthians, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
There's there's things that we know we need to be on guard against.
And perhaps you've kind of let your guard down.
I don't know proper guard form, but it looks like this in my head, so you've let your guard down know know.
Remember to watch out for those known dangers and remember to put God before everything else.
Let him be your primary passion.
The one who captivates your heart, the one who dictates what you do.
Let God be above all else.
Let's pray, but I pray for us that you would refresh in us and Lord, there's things that I'm sure you've spoken to us in all of these areas.
In our time walking with you.
But perhaps things that you want to.
Remind us about and refresh us in.
And so, God, I pray that you would help us to give you that time to do that.
That we would give you that opportunity to stir up within us.
But there's new things that you want to speak.
But Lord, there's also old things that you have spoken that we've forgotten.
And so Lord, would you bring those things?
Back to our mind.
Help us Lord as we walk with you this week as we seek you and cry out to you and invite you to speak and refresh those things.
Lord, I pray that you administer to each and every one of us by your spirit.
Those things that have fallen by the wayside that have faded away.
That should not have been forgotten.
Would help us.
And it would help us to hold fast.
Would give us a faithfulness or that we could be diligent to take heed.
And to remember you.
And what you have done, what you have said.
In all of these ways, I pray this in Jesus name.