Remembering Israel’s Past
Book of Deuteronomy Chapter 4
As we look back in the history of Israel and their escape from Egypt, we should understand that even on foot the journey from Egypt to Kadesh on the outskirts of the River Jordan, was only an eleven day journey and it took Israel forty years to make this journey.
Deu 1:2 (There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)
Deu 1:3 And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them;
This is the difference between obedience and disobedience even among God’s people!
As Christians remembering our past can be painful but also joyful at the same time.
It is sad to recognize how sinful we were, but joyful to know that God has enough “Grace” to forgive us of our sin.
Rom_5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
When we look at our past with clear eyes, we can utterly understand that the news of what Jesus Christ has done for us, is certainly Good News.
We serve a merciful God who is also full of “Grace”!
There is one God who is also our Creator and to Israel, He is Jehovah and to the Church He is the Lord Jesus Christ the true Messiah who came down from Heaven to die that we might have eternal life.
As Christians the one most important thing we must do after we are saved, is to snuggle up to Jesus and stay as close to Him as the hem of His garment.
We need the Lord in our lives much more than we can know!
We must never forsake our Savior as Israel forsook Jehovah, and traveled in the wilderness for forty years.
The journey of the new nation of Israel to their Promised Land in type means, “it will not be easy to be a Christian”, but the rewards of obedience to Him are out of this world.
So, we must not just read the Word of God we must study the Word of God.
2Ti 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
2Ti 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
2Ti 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: “he cannot deny himself”.
2Ti 2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
I know when we pray being filled with the Holy Spirit, God does speak to us in our heart and relays that into our mind and we know we have heard from the Lord.
It is a true saying that “I know that Jesus lives because I just spoke to Him, and I know He heard me”.
But these Israelites heard the actual voice of God.
Even though we rarely take notice that God is still doing miracles today, these twelve tribes of Israel were eyewitnesses to many miracles, yet they denied the truth of Jehovah God.
When the Lord commands us, He is actually telling us His commandments are better for us and this is why we should obey.
In other words it is good for our health here on earth and later in Heaven if we will just be obedient to all the Word of God!
When we have that understanding, then it is rather easy to tell others what the Lord has done for us and this is what we are to do!
When we study the Old Testament, we realize that God never broke one promise nor any covenant with Israel, and since He never changes, it is the same for the Church if we continue to be obedient to Him.
We know for sure that when we make requests that are known to God, He will respond to that request!
He may say “yes”, He may say “no”, or He might say “now is not the time”, He may even say “I have something better for you”, but He will respond to every prayer that reaches Him in Heaven.
Our job is to live our lives so that our prayers can be heard in Heaven!
Isa 58:9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
Isa 58:10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
Isa 58:11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
It is a great privilege to take our burdens to the Lord, but when we do, we must certainly leave them there!
Moses declared unto this nation of Israel the truth of God, and they should have listened just as the Church needs to listen to what God has to say today, no matter what part of the Bible He is speaking to us from!
*Deu 4:31 (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.
Deu 4:32 For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?
Deu 4:33 Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?
The Creator of all we see here on earth and what we can see in the heavens declare the glory of God!
As stronger telescopes are made and sent into the heavens, we see a never-ending array of God’s creation and we need to stand in awe of His mighty power.
We should also understand that according as the speed of light, there are still great lights in the heavens that have not been seen and when they are seen it does not mean they are something new.
This information is ignored because it makes the earth to be young earth and not billions of years old.
Why would such a powerful God pay close attention to the people He created, we might not ever understand that, but He does!
I am sure that He does not call us “birth persons” and “non-birth persons” as we see our government is pushing for us to use instead of boy or girl or male or female. Such foolish people insist that God makes mistakes and I know He cannot make mistakes!
God works for those who love Him!
It is not just anybody who can brag and say, “my God works for me” and He does!
This same powerful God will still humble Himself and stop what He is doing long enough to listen to me when I speak to Him.
The greatest enemy of our prayer life is our lack of faith!
Luk 18:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
Luk 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
The Lord is the only true multitasker!
He can listen to me and many others and still keep His creation moving along according to His plan.
God never has to alter His plan!
My God is not afraid to reveal Himself to me!
My God will also act on my behalf in a world that rejects Him!
Heb 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
What was the reality of God in removing the children of Israel from Egypt?
*Deu 4:34 Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?
Deu 4:35 Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.
We must understand that God alone has the power to conquer the enemies of life and there are many enemies ready to take control of our lives.
Temptation may be our greatest enemy as it was to Israel!
These children of Israel had witnessed with their own eyes the formidable power of God.
All the way back to the time of Adam there was no evidence that God would deal with a nation as He had dealt with this band of slaves.
We could say that only Adam and Eve had ever heard the voice of God until He spoke to Israel.
Gen_3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
God spoke out of the midst of a fire to Moses, yet Moses still lived.
Exo 3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
Exo 3:2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
Exo 3:3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
Exo 3:4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
God spoke from the midst of a fire to this entire nation of Israel to give them the moral laws.
Exo 20:1 And God spake all these words, saying,
Exo 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
No other nation could brag of such a thing as Israel could!
God had shown great signs in the plagues upon Egypt.
Jehovah God is certainly a merciful God.
Yet this same merciful God is a consuming fire to His enemies.
And in the future, not too far off, the enemies of God will be destroyed by this consuming fire.
And yet, this consuming fire can be a refining fire in our hearts to remove the dross and impurities of our sinful lives causing us to be “Born Again” into a new life.
Why had God done all these things in eyesight of Israel? So Israel would know there is a true Living God!
Why does God do what He does? He wants everyone in this world to be saved!
2Th_2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Pe_3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
You see the Lord God is the only Living and True God, the Sovereign Majesty of the Universe, (Jehovah Yahweh), which also makes Him a God of discipline, correction, and holiness!
*Deu 4:36 Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire.
God gives His commandments in order for us to know right from wrong!
These are commandments and not suggestions and they are all for our benefit in order for us to live a joyous and productive life upon this earth and a glorious life when He calls us home to Heaven.
These things are not that hard to understand when you come to know Him as your personal Savior!
We would be wrong to think that He will not correct us when we are disobedient!
There is no one more faithful to the things He says than the Lord God Almighty!
There is no one who keeps all His promises as does the Loving God!
It is the faithfulness of God that gives us hope for eternal life!
Death has no real meaning to the child of God, and He wants us to be as His dear children!
Apostasy is the abandonment of our Christian Faith!
The title Christian comes from being like the Lord Jesus Christ!
All those who have abandoned the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ are living in “Apostasy”!
Just as these Israelites began to fall away from Jehovah God, we see today the Church is “falling away” as the Apostle Paul taught and this is a sign of the soon coming of the Lord.
2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2Th 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Everything we see going on in our world today is building to this climatic event just as it was for Israel for their own apostasy.
We can believe that the “Man of Sin” is about ready to stick his ugly head onto the world scene if he has not already.
God and God alone have the power to conquer all His enemies who can empower His people to victory.
Victory over our own sin, victory in our lives and that victory will lead us to eternal life in the “Glory World”.
It was the nation of Israel who was chosen to bring forth our Savior just as He chose the land now called Palestine for them to live!
*Deu 4:37 And because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power out of Egypt;
Deu 4:38 To drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art, to bring thee in, to give thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day.
Notice also that this same powerful Holy God, is the God of Love!
1Jn_4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
1Jn_4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
When you know Him in a personal relationship you can feel this love!
God proved His love to Israel by leading them out of slavery and bondage.
Egypt can be understood as a symbol of what the world is today.
We should be able to see easily that nations even in the USA are all trying to make slaves of their people and succeeding.
God hates slavery and He removed the tiny nation of Israel out of slavery and the survival of Israel over all these years is enough proof the God is still on their side!
God does not save from a distance. God remains close to His people even when He does not have to!
God alone has the power to conquer all our enemies and He does not need some mighty army to do so.
We know that God had chosen Abraham, then Isaac, and Jacob and He never took His eyes away for their children.
It’s like this today! God chose His only begotten Son the Lord Jesus Christ and all those who accept Him become the children of God and He will never take His eyes off His children.
All He ever ask of us is obedience!
Most all the mighty nations of Canaan Land fell before that ragtag bunch of Israelites when they were obedient to God.
In fact, the problems they have today with those called Palestinians are the result of disobedience all the way back to the time of Moses and Joshua when they rebelled against the commands of God.
It is the same for us today. Our lives are joyful and peaceful when we come to know our Savior, but when we decide to do some things our own way, we will see failures and some of these things we will carry with us the rest of our days.
It is best just to have faith in the Word of God and be obedient.
*Deu 4:39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.
Deu 4:40 Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, for ever.
The entire Bible is the revelation of God. God revealing Himself to the world!
He could have chosen many ways, but this the way He chose.
After we recognize this then it behooves us to be obedient. Even through the many translations, the Word of God still has a simple message.
Just be obedient to God because He is all knowing! He knows the ending at the same time as He knows the beginning.
There is only One Living And True God and it does not matter what unbelievers think or say. They are wrong!
We must always understand, God does not intend for us to argue with the Word of God, the truth is the truth, and we have the truth.
Why are we to keep His commandments, it is quite simple? That it will go well with us!
This means in this life but also in that everlasting life to come if you accept the work of the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation.
The Bible is the wisdom for every nation and should be accepted as such.
When we obey the Word of God, we get the blessings of God and just like last week when we studied Balaam.
There is no one that can take away the blessings of God except God Himself!
The Bible will elevate the national character of any nation, and this was once true in the USA, but now our government has kicked God out of government, schools, the laws and about everything else and when God is asked to leave, He will leave.
God will not stay where He is not wanted!
It is the duty of each and every Christian to have a close personal relationship with God!
We are then under obligation to teach those things to our young!
Israel had to relationship with Jehovah.
In contrast those Gentile nations each had their own different god and most all of them had many gods and much of these things were debased forms of human passion and immorality.
God wanted Israel to be a nation of Priests and a Holy nation the same as the Church today.
Exo 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
And the Church:
1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
1Pe 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
We are royal because of King Jesus.
We are peculiar because we are obedient to God and not to this world.
We love Him so we praise Him.
He gives to us “Mercy” and “Grace”.
A perfect relationship.
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
It only gets better!