Let’s turn to the book of Deuteronomy. Before we get to our lesson, in chapter nine, this past week I was listening to Raul Rees on the radio, and he was reading Judges, chapter three, the first five verses. And in as much as we had just covered the seventh chapter of Deuteronomy. I thought how significant it is! Now, you read the seventh chapter of Deuteronomy, you stay there.
Verse one, “When the Lord your God brings you into the land, which you go to possess, has cast our many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you; And when the Lord your God delivers them over to you; you shall conquer them, and utterly destroy them; you shall make no covenant with them, nor show mercy to them: (Verse three) Nor shall you make marriages with them; you shall not give them your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following me, (The warning, and the consequence if you don’t follow it. If your sons marry them, then what will happen is that they will turn your sons away from following me.)”
Judges chapter three, “Now these are the nations that were conquered, (verse three) namely, the five lords of the Philistines, the Canaanites, Sidonians, Hivites, Baalhermon and the entrance to Hamath. And they were left that he might test Israel by them, to know whether they would obey the commandments of the Lord, which he had commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.”
“So the children of Israel dwelt among, (They dwelt among) they did not drive them out, they did not destroy them, they dwelt among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and they served their gods.”
Doesn’t that just frost you?! I mean, God says, “Don’t do this, because if you do this, this is what’s gonna happen”, and they get into the land, and what do they do, but just exactly what God said not to do. Boy, if I were God, that would just. It did. They got it. I mean, it.
Okay, chapter nine, where we begin tonight. Now Moses calls attention to the people, because, “You’re going to move on in, and you’re going to take the land. And God is going to go before you, and you’re going to conquer over the land.”
So hear, O Israel: You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go in to dispossess the nations that are greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven, A people great and tall, the descendants of the giants, whom you know, and of whom you have heard is said, Who can stand before the descendants of Anak (9:1)!
Who was a giant. Now this is the second time they’ve come to this place of the border of the promised land. The first time, when they came to Kadeshbarnea, fear gripped their hearts. They looked at the size of the enemy, and they forgot God. They got their eyes on their enemy, and their eyes off the Lord, and as a result of the fear in their hearts, they were discouraged. They said, “We can’t go in, we can’t take the land”, and they turned away. Thus, the forty years of wandering in the wilderness, until that generation died.
Now they’ve made the circle. They’ve come full circle, they’re back again at the border of the land. Back to where they once were, forty years earlier, to the place of entering in, and starting to take the land that God had promised to give to their fathers, and God had promised to give to them.
Moses, you can feel it, in his heart, he knows that they’ve gotta keep their eyes on the Lord, because if they get their eyes upon the enemy again, fear. With the fear, the lack of faith, and he knows that they would never survive another forty years outside the land. This would be it! So, he is really seeking to bolster them. He’s seeking to build up their faith. He’s seeking to put their eyes upon the Lord, and fix themselves upon the Lord, who is going to help them and deliver the land to them. So, “Yes there are going to be giants, there are going to be fortified cities, it’s going to look tough.
But understand today, that the Lord your God is he who goes before you; as a consuming fire [“Now, don’t get your eyes on the enemy, on the big cities, on the tall people, and all. Get your eyes on God, because He’s going go before you. Oh what a secret this is for life. How often we get so absorbed with our problems! We’re so overwhelmed by the immensity of the problem that we’re facing. It seems that there is no solution and there’s no way out. We are prone to despair, because we’ve got our eyes on the problem, and Moses is seeking to fix their eyes on the Lord. Now remember, they’re ready to go in, and it’s “God who’s gonna go before you, as a consuming fire”] and he will destroy them, and bring them down before you: so you shall drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the Lord has said to you (9:3).
So that encouragement, “Now get your eyes on the Lord. He’s going to go before you, He’s going to destroy them, He’s gonna drive them out, He’s gonna give you the victory”! But, knowing these people, knowing these people, when God has brought you in, and given you the victory, destroy the enemies, you’re dwelling in the land,
Do not think in your heart, after the Lord has cast out the enemy before you, It’s because of our righteousness the Lord has brought us in to possess this land: [“You know, it’s because we’re so good, that God did this.” And He’s gonna show them now, that they’re not so good. That they have failed practically every step of the way. It’s not your righteousness! You see, God, as He works in our lives, does not work in our lives because we are righteous, because we deserve the blessings of God. But He works in our life through His grace, and those things that God does for us, He does by virtue of His grace. “So when you’ve come in and God has destroyed the enemy, and you’re dwelling there, don’t say, ‘Well it is because we’re so righteous God did this for us’.”] it is because of the wickedness of those people that God drove them out. It is not [verse five] because of your righteousness, or the uprightness of your heart, that you go in to possess the land: but because of the wickedness of the people, that God drives them out from before you, that he might fulfill his word that he gave to Abraham. Therefore understand, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness; because you are a stiffnecked people. So remember, do not forget, how that you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness: [So, he says, “You’re a stiff necked people”, now he’s gonna prove it. He’s gonna go back through their history for the past forty years, and show them all of their failures. Show them how if it was not for the mercy and grace of God, they would’ve been wiped out! “You’re not a good, you’re not a righteous people! God isn’t blessing you because you’re righteous. He’s blessing you because He is graceful and He loves you. “So remember and do not forget how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness,”] from the day that you departed from the land of Egypt, until you’ve come to this place (9:4-7).
“For forty years, you’ve been a mess!”
Remember at Horeb that you provoked the Lord to wrath, so that the Lord was angry enough to have destroyed you. When I went up to the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant which the Lord made with you, I stayed on the mount for forty days and forty nights, I neither ate bread nor drank water (9:8-9):
Now this is physically impossible. It is impossible to live more than nine days without bread and water, without any food, or without any water. Now you can live without food for forty days, but your body will dehydrate without the moisture, without the water. You say, “Is Moses lying?” No! God sustained him. I have no problem with that. I believe that he did go forty days and forty nights without food or water, but it was a miracle. It was by the sustenance of God that he did so. The fact that God does something that’s impossible, doesn’t bother me at all! I would be rather disappointed if he didn’t. You see, the God that we serve, is able to do anything, and thus he actually went forty days and forty nights, then he turned right around and did another forty days and forty nights! But it was being sustained by God.
You remember when Jesus was going through Samaria, and they stopped at the well of Jacob, near Shechem, and the disciples went in to the village of Shechem to buy meat, and the lady came and drew water. And He said, “Hey give me a drink”, and that whole exchange that they had there. When the disciples came back from town, they were surprised that Jesus was talking with her, because she was a Samaritan, and then when the lady went in to town, they said, “Here Lord, we brought you some lunch”. And He said, “No, that’s alright. I have meat that you don’t know about. I’ve been nourished”. They said, “Well, did she feed you?” He said, “No. My meat is to do the will of the Father”. So, when walking with God, in that close fellowship with God, really it’s interesting how that the material things are not as important or necessary. So Moses went forty days, and forty nights where he neither ate nor drank.
Then the Lord delivered to me [he declares] the two tablets of stone: written with the finger of God; and on them were all the words, which the Lord had spoken to you in the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly. And it came to pass at the end of the forty days and forty nights, when he’d given me the two tables of stone. Then the Lord said to me, Arise, go down quickly from here; for your people [God won’t even own them at this point!] your people Moses, whom you’ve brought out of Egypt have acted corruptly; they have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them; and they have made themselves a molten image (9:8-12).
Now on this table of law, what was the second command? “Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven image or likeness, to bow down to it and worship it.” They’d already broken, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”. They were worshiping this golden calf that Aaron had made. Before he could even come down from the mountain with the tablets, the law of God, they’ve already violated and broken the law. So, “You’re not such a righteous people. It isn’t because of your righteousness that God has brought you into this place”.
Furthermore the Lord said to me, I have seen the people, indeed, they are a stiffnecked people: [They are tough cookies, hard to deal with!] Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under the heaven: and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they. So I turned and came down from the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire: the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands. And I looked, and, there, you had sinned against the Lord your God, you had made for yourself a molded calf: and you had turned aside quickly from the way which the Lord commanded you. Then I took the two tables of stone, and threw them out of my two hands, and broke them before your eyes. And I fell down before the Lord, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all your sin which you committed, in doing wickedly in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger. For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, with which the Lord was angry with you, to destroy you. But the Lord listened to me at that time also. And the Lord was very angry with Aaron [Because Aaron was the one who did this! He was the one that said, “Bring me all your gold”, and he’s the one that made the golden calf. And God was very angry with Aaron.] and God would’ve destroyed him: so I prayed for Aaron also at the same time. And I took your sin the calf which you had made, I burned it with fire, I crushed it and ground it very small, until it was fine as dust: and I threw the dust in the brook that descended from the mountain (9:13-21).
So, “You started out wrong. You started out on the wrong foot! Then, if that were not all remember there”…
At Taberah [Now Taberah, means burnings. And that’s where the people began to complain against the Lord and God sent the burning in the camp, and many of them were destroyed. Remember Massah. Massah means tempted. That’s where they came to the place, and there was no water, and they were striving with Moses. They called it Massah-tempted God, and also Mirabah, the waters of strife, where God brought them the water out of the rock. Remember Kibrothhattaavah, is where the people began to lust greatly after the flesh. Say, “Oh if we only had meat to eat. We’re sick of this manna.” How God gave them meat to their fill, but also brought leanness to their soul, and the plague of God struck the camp, and they buried the people there and called it Kibrothhattaavah, which is the graves of lust or cravings.] likewise when the Lord sent you from Kadeshbarnea, saying, God up and possess the land which I have given you; you rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God, you did not believe him, or obey his voice. You’ve been rebellious against the Lord from the day I knew you (9:22-24).
“You’re stiff necked, you’re rebellious. It’s not because of your goodness that God is doing it. When you get in the land, don’t get prideful and say, ‘Well, it’s because we’re so righteous’, just remember the truth about yourself.” And Oh God help us to remember the truth about ourselves. You know, it’s so easy when God begins to work in our lives, to get puffed up. God begins to use us, you get puffed up and say, “Well, you know, pretty good. God knew He could trust me. I’m this or that”.
Remember when Peter said to the lame man, “Hey look at us!”, and the guy reached out for alms, said, “Hey, I’m sorry, don’t have any silver or gold. What I do have I’ll be glad to give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk”. And he took the man by the right hand, lifted him to his feet, and immediately his ankles were healed. He began to run and leap, and praise God, and he went through the temple, walking, leaping, praising God. When he came back out, people in the temple said, “Isn’t that the guy that’s been lying at the gate all these years, that was lame”? “Sure looked like him.” “Well, what is he doin walking?” “I don’t know. Let’s find out!” And they followed him out, and he came back out to the porch where Peter was standing, and he grabbed hold of Peter, and began to hug him, and people began to gather. Thousands of them! They began to stare at Peter, like he was some kind of a holy man or something. Peter said, “Hey, wait a minute, wait a minute. You men of Israel, Why marvel at this? Why are you looking at us as though we, through our own righteousness have done this good deed, to this lame man?”
When God begins to use us, many times there’s that, “Well, it’s because I’m so righteous that God is doing this through my life. God is using me because I’m a special instrument, special vessel”. And that’s baloney! It’s not because of your righteousness! It’s because of God’s grace, that He is worked in our lives. So he goes on…
You’ve been rebellious since the day I knew you. Thus I prostrated myself before the Lord for forty days and forty nights (9:24-25),
“I kept prostrating myself.” Poor Moses! Remember as we were going through and he fell on his face before the Lord, and again, he fell on his face, he’s always falling on his face. Poor guy! As these guys were doin so many evil things. God was ready to strike them, and Moses would fall on his face. “I prostrated myself, and I kept prostrating myself! Because the Lord said He was going to destroy you”.
Therefore I prayed to the Lord, and said, O Lord God, don’t destroy your people [Now notice, God said, “Get down to your people…”, and Moses prayed to the Lord, “Don’t destroy your people. Your inheritance”. Nobody wants them, at this point! Nobody wants to claim them, you know.] whom you have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and don’t look on the stubbornness of the people [So they’re stiff necked, they’re rebellious, they’re stubborn.] or on the wickedness, or their sin: Lest the land from which you brought us should say, Because God couldn’t bring them into the land, he destroyed them in the wilderness. They are your people, your inheritance, that you bought, brought out by your mighty power and by your outstretched arm (9:26-29).
So, he passes it right back.
Now at that time the Lord said to me, Hew out two tablets of stone like the first, and come up to me on the mountain, and make yourself an ark of wood. And I will write on the tablets, the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke, and you shall put them in the ark. So I made an ark of acacia wood, I hewed out two tablets of stone like the first, I went up to the mountain, having the two tablets in my hand. And he wrote on the tablets, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the Lord had spoken to you in the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of assembly: and the Lord gave them to me. Then I turned and came down from the mountain, and put the tablets in the ark which I had made; and there they are, just as the Lord commanded me (10:1-5).
Somewhere the ark of the covenant is probably hidden. Probably hidden by Jeremiah, at the time that it was obvious that he was going to capture Jerusalem. To save it from being destroyed, or save it from being carried as part of the loot to Babylon, Jeremiah hid the ark of the covenant. He did a great job hiding it. In twenty five hundred years of search, they haven’t been able to find it yet. However, to me, that would probably be one of the greatest archeological discoveries that man could make, to find the ark of the covenant. Because in that ark of the covenant, are the two tables of stone, upon which God Himself inscribed the ten commandments. Now what would you give to see that! Man! That would be absolutely awesome, to look on those two tables of stone. On the first table, the first four commandments, that have to do with your relationship with God, and on the second table, the second six commandments, upon which your relationship to your fellow man. Oh, how I would love to see that! To just see what God, I’d like to see what kind of penmanship He has! Writing on the stone, inscribing in the stone.
But Jeremiah said, the day was going to come when God would not write His law upon tables of stone, but upon the fleshly tablets of our hearts. So that finger of God, that wrote His law on those tables of stone, has now written His law, or inscribed His law, in our hearts. Man couldn’t keep the law, written on the tables of stone. So, God has written the law in our hearts today. That is, He has given me that desire, and that yearning to do His will. It comes now from within. He plants His desires from within my heart, so that doing the will of God becomes the delight of our lives. Jesus said, “I delight always to do thy will, O Lord”. That is true, when God writes His law upon your heart. Doing the law of God, becomes the delight of your life.
In that ark of the covenant, there’s also a jar of manna. I don’t know if it’s still preserved, perhaps so. I wouldn’t be surprised! When they opened King Tut’s tomb, they found a jar of wheat that was buried with him, and that wheat that they found, they planted some of it and it grew. It was still alive, it was able to be planted. So the jar of manna, and then Aaron’s rod, that had budded. So that would be some archeological find, if they could find the ark of the covenant! Tremendous!
Now the children of Israel [Verse six. He sort of gives a little portion here, of their journeys that brought them to the place where they now stand. Ready to cross into the promised land. Verse twelve.] And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, [What a vital question. It is the question that comes to every man who has become conscious of the existence of God. David said, “What shall I render to the Lord, for all of His benefits to me? God has been so good to me. What can I give to God in return, for all of the benefits and all of the goodness that God has bestowed upon me?” Now here, Moses is saying, “What does God require of you? What is God’s purpose, what is God’s plan?”] first of all he requires that you fear the Lord your God, [That is to have a reverential awe of God. “They that fear the Lord, depart from evil.” A person who continues in sin, cannot have the fear of God in his heart. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. You might take your concordance and run down the references on the fear of the Lord. Find out all that the bible has to say on the subject. It’s a good sight study. God requires that you fear Him.] secondly, that you walk in all his ways, [The ways of God are right. We must walk in righteousness. The way of God is truth, you must walk in truth. The way of God is love, you must walk in love. It is peace, you must walk in peace. “That you walk in all of His ways.”] and that you love him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart with all thy soul, [“With all thy strength, with all thy mind.” That is the greatest commandment, Jesus said. And the second is like the first, “Love your neighbor as yourself. And upon these two, all of the law of the prophets”.
Now, you find fault with that, you, can you say, “Well, no I don’t think that’s right. I don’t think so”. Do you find fault with that or do you agree with it, you say, “Yeah, that’s reasonable”. You know God isn’t making unreasonable demands upon us. It’s only right that we reverence Him, stand in awe of Him. After all, He created the universe. It’s only right that I walk in His ways, because His ways are right. To love Him, I have no problem with the command to love the Lord my God. Surely I should love my neighbor as myself. Then,] you’re to serve the Lord your God with all of your heart and all of your soul (9:12),
Paul, in talking about, in writing to the Romans said, “I beseech you, I beg you brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”. It makes sense. I have no problem with serving God.
And you’re to keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command you today for your good (9:14)?
Now, see my problem isn’t that I disagree with the law of God. The problem is I just don’t have the power or the capacity to keep it. Though I try. I consent to the law, that’s good. I don’t argue with the law, I don’t argue with commandments. They’re good. They are righteous. They’re, you know, they’re alright. The problem isn’t the law of God, the problem is my flesh. My flesh that rebels against the Spirit, my flesh that rebels against God. There’s where the rough is. There’s where the problem exists. Not the law of God, it’s holy, it’s just, it’s good. The problem is the weakness of my flesh. As the children of Israel, I’m stubborn, I’m stiff necked, I’m rebellious. Thus I have failed. I have not served the Lord always, with all my heart. I have not always walked in the ways of the Lord. I’ve not always loved God preeminently. Does that mean that I’m wiped out? That I have no hope?
No, for when I go to the New Testament, and they came to Jesus and said, “What must we do to do the works of God?”, He said, “This is the work of God. Believe on Him whom He has sent”. So the actual requirement of God is right here. This is what God actually requires of you, but you weren’t able to keep it. So that’s the ideal requirement of God. You’re weren’t able to keep it, God’s ideal. None of have kept God’s ideal. “All of us have sinned”, the bible said, “and come short of the glory of God”. None of us obtained God’s ideal. Not one of you can stand up and say, “Well I’m perfect! I have kept every commandment of God. I’ve loved Him completely, and I’ve served Him with all my heart and soul, and I’ve always walked in His ways.” None of us can say that. None of us have attained to the ideal. Thus, God’s actual requirement now, is that I believe in Jesus Christ. By my believing, I am forgiven my failures. My rebellion, my stubbornness, that’s all forgiven. My walking in my own self-willed way. My walking after the flesh, that’s all forgiven, that’s all covered by my believing in Jesus Christ.
Now that doesn’t mean that God has now changed the whole thing, and said, “Now you believe in Jesus, go out and do what you want”. Not at all. Now that you believe in Jesus, He imparts to you the power of His Spirit, in order that you might walk in His ways, in order that you might fear the Lord, in order that you might serve Him with all your heart and soul, and mind. In order that you might walk according to His commandments and His will. Now, by the power of the Spirit, I’m able to do what I could not do before.
Now, the children of Israel, in coming in to the promised land. We dealt with the typical history as they came out of Egypt. We are now coming to their entering in to the promised land. That also, is typical history, in that it was a foreshadowing of the Christian entering into the life of the Spirit. There was that time after you receive Jesus Christ, that you looked at the law of God and said, “Yes, I am going to do that. I’m gonna change my life. I’m gonna live a new life”.
But you still stumbled, you still had problems with the flesh. You still had your wilderness experience, up and down. Some days you seemed very close to God, and other days you seemed far away. Some days you were drawn by the Spirit, and other days, you were moved by the flesh. You’re Christian experience was just, Paul describes it in Romans seven. When he said, “I consent to the law of God that it is good. But I find that there’s another law working in me, in my flesh, that keeps me from doing that which I want to do. So that whenever I would do good, evil is present with me. So that the good, that I would, I don’t do, and that which I do not allow, I do. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of flesh?” And we come to that place in our walk, and we say, “Wretched man that I am! Who’s gonna help me? I’ve tried to help myself, and it’s not there. I’ve done my best and I’ve failed”.
Well even in looking beyond myself now for help, is really where the secret of success begins to germinate. As long as I think I can handle it, as long as I think I can do it. As long as I say, “Give me one more chance God. Try me once more, I’ll really come through this time”. As long as I think I can do it, I’m gonna keep failing. As long as I have confidence in my flesh. As long as I say, “Well, my head is bloody, but I’m vowed, and once more! I can do it, I can do it, I can do it”. You know. “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can”. And I go chugging up the mountain, I’m not gonna make it. It takes more than just my thinking myself into a relationship or experience. I takes more than my willing myself, because I wanted to do it. But my flesh is weak. But when I begin to cry, “Who shall deliver me?” You see, I’m not looking for myself anymore, I’m not looking within myself. I’m looking for help outside of myself, and that’s where I begin to succeed.
Now, the Jordan river, represents the death of our old nature. The nature of the flesh. So that in this typical history, coming out of the bondage of Egypt, represents my coming out of the bondage of sin. My struggles in my flesh, as I tried to please God, realizing that I can’t do it in myself, I come to the Jordan river, here’s the land that God has promised. A land of victory! A land that overflows. A life that is overflowing and rich! I come to the Jordan river, and I look at that river, and I say, “Wait a minute, there’s giants in that land. The cities are big and their walls are up to heaven! I’ve tried before to battle those giants of my flesh, and they’ve whipped me every time. I can’t do it.” But it is God who goes before you. It is God who will drive out the enemy and destroy the enemy before you. It is yours to go in and lay claim to those promises of God.
In this next chapter, we find that God gives them one of the principles of going in. He says, “Every place you put your foot, I have given that to you”. You go in and you possess that which God has given. You begin to possess those victories as God goes before you step by step, in this life, and walk in the Spirit, as one by one He destroys those giants of the flesh, and frees you from the bondage and the corruption of the life after the flesh. But you come to the Jordan river, where the old man, the old nature dies. That is, you reckon him at that point, to be dead. And you begin to enter in to now the new life of the Spirit. Born again by the Spirit of God, this new life in the Spirit.
I reckon that old man to be dead. I begin to claim those territories, those areas that God has promised to give me. Victory in my life, and I begin to conquer, through His strength. Then when I come to this place, of having possessed and come in to the full rich life, and that walk in the Spirit, I’m not to say, “Well, it’s because I’m so righteous that God did this for me”. “No, I was not so righteous, I was miserable! I couldn’t do it for myself, and God just had mercy on me, and pitied me because I was such a wretch! He led me into His place of victory and power”. So God requires, I can’t fulfill it, so God has now required that I believe in His Son, and as I do, the power is given to me to be what God wants me to be.
Now indeed, [he declares] heaven and the highest heavens belong to the Lord your God, also the earth with all that is in it (10:14).
God has everything. He owns the universe, this whole universe belongs to Him.
And the Lord delighted only in your fathers to love them, and he chose their descendants after them, you above all the peoples, as it is this day (10:15).
Now, they were chosen by God to bring the Messiah into the world. God wanted to send His Son into the earth. He chose Abraham. “That through his seed, all of the nations of the earth should be blessed.” Later on he reiterated the promise to David, “That from His seed, there would never cease to be one sitting upon the throne”. And David interpreted that as the Messiah would come through him, correctly interpreted that way.
There are those who misinterpret it today, and say that the queen of England is a direct descendant of David. It’s ridiculous. But, uh, they say, “Well, the word “ish”, in Hebrew is man”. So you have the Dan-ish people you see. Ish. And you have the Brit-ish people, and so it all goes back to Israel you see. So the tribe of Dan, because the Dan-ish people. Dan’s man. And the Swed-ish, and so your Anglo Saxon nations are all related to Israel because of the Ish on the end. You also have fool-ish!
Now, “God chose you, because of your father Abraham, to be the nation, however since the Messiah has come, Paul, as he thanks God for all of the glorious blessings that he has in Christ in heavenly places, places at the top of the list, that we were chosen in Him, before the foundation of the earth. So, God has chosen you. Jesus said, “You didn’t choose me. I chose you, and ordained that you should be my disciples. That you should bring forth fruit, your fruit should remain.” So, you are the chosen generation, the royal priesthood, that we should bring forth praise unto God, so we have now, the privileges of being God’s chosen people. They fulfilled the purpose of God. They brought the Messiah into the world, and through Him, the door was opened that we, because through thy seed, all of the nations of the earth shall be blessed”.
So through Abraham’s seed, Jesus Christ, the blessings has come also now, upon we Gentiles. We have been chosen now, in Christ, before the foundations of the world. So Moses is addressing them. Yes they were God’s chosen, God’s elect, and they fulfilled their purpose, bringing the Messiah into the world.
Therefore [he said] circumcise the foreskin of your heat, and don’t be stiff necked anymore (10:16).
Circumcision was the badge of the nation. It was given to Abraham, by God to be the special mark of these people, which was the symbol that they were to be people who had cut off the flesh. The life of the flesh, to live and to walk after the Spirit. But the ordinance did not do it. This true circumcision is not of the flesh, it’s of the heart. So Moses is saying, “Let your heart be circumcised. Cut off the fleshly desires in your heart. Don’t desire in your heart, the things of the flesh. That’s where the true circumcision is”.
Paul picks this up in Romans, chapter two and uses this figure in chapter two, showing and proving from their own scriptures that it wasn’t the physical circumcision that made one righteous before God. But it was the heart being circumcised. That’s what God looked upon and that’s what God desired. Don’t be stiff necked any longer.
For the Lord your God is a God of gods, and he is the Lord of lords, he is the great God, mighty, and awesome, who shows no partiality, nor will he take a bribe (10:17):
What do you have that He needs? You know, nothing! You can’t bribe Him. He is the God of gods. The Lord of lords. Now, the bible does acknowledge that there are many gods. There’s only one true and living God. But the heathen all worship gods. Men are trying to make gods of themselves these days. There are many gods, but there is only one true and living God. He is the God of gods, He is the Lord of lords, He is the great God, mighty and awesome!
He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and he loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing (10:18).
God takes care of those who are outcasts, or those who are down and out, are a concern to Him. He administers the justice for the fatherless and the widow.
Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. And you shall fear the Lord you God; you shall serve him, and to him you shall hold fast, [So this is what God requires, fear Him, serve Him, hold fast.] and take oaths in his name (10:19-20).
When you take an oath, you’re to take the oath by His name. Now Jesus, in the new testament said, “You’ve heard that you should swear by the Lord. You should take your vows, but really don’t swear at all, neither by heaven, God’s throne, nor the earth, His footstool. Let your yes be a yes, and your no be a no.” In other words, be a man of your word. The only reason a person has to take an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth, is because, he’s usually a liar. You know, and so, “I swear I’m telling the truth”. Well, if you always tell the truth, you, people, won’t say, “Well swear to me! Is that true? Swear to me that’s true!” “I swear to you man, on my mother’s honor”, and it’s something that a person would only have to do because they weren’t really a person of their word. “Be a person of your word”, Jesus said, “If you say yes, mean yes. If you say no, mean no”. Let your yes be yes, let your no be know, and anymore than this is really not necessary.
He is your praise, he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things, which your eyes have seen. And your fathers went down to Egypt with seventy persons; and now you can’t even number you because there are so many (10:21-22).
From seventy, to some three million, or so, in four hundred years. Pretty good multiplication.
Therefore you shall love the Lord your God, and keep his charge, his statutes, his judgements, and his commandments, always. And know today: that I do not speak with your children who have not known, and who have not seen the chastening of your Lord your God, his greatness, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm, His signs and his acts, which he did in the midst of Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt, to all of the land; What he did to the army of Egypt, their horses, and chariots; [“Your kids didn’t see it. You saw it, the older ones that were, the elders at this point, were under twenty at this point, when they came out of Egypt. But some of them in their teens, they can still remember the Egyptian army being drowned in the Red Sea. And he said, “I’m talking to you older fellows that still remember this. I’m not talking to your kids, they didn’t see them. But what God did to the army of Egypt, to their horses and chariots.”] how he made the waters of the Red sea to overflow them as they pursued you, and how the Lord destroyed them even to this present day. What he did for you in the wilderness, until you came to this place; What he did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, [“You saw these guys wiped out in their sin!”] and the sons of Reuben: [When they had rebelled against Aaron being the high priest.] how the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed them up, and their households, [“You remember that awesome day, when the earth just opened up, and these guys with their tents just went right in, the earth closed up behind them!”] your eyes have seen every great act of the Lord which he did. Therefore you shall keep every commandment which I command you today, that you may be strong and go in and possess the land, which you cross over to possess; That you may prolong your days in the land, which the Lord swore to give to your fathers to them and their descendants, a land that is flowing with milk and honey. For the land, which you go in to possess, is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sowed your seed, and then you watered it by foot (11:1-10),
They had the foot pumps. So they had irrigation canals, and the guy would sit there pumping with his feet, these paddles that would take the water out of the river, and put it in these little sleuces. “So the land that you’re going in, isn’t like Egypt, where you’ve got to stand there and pump all day long, to get the water for your garden. But it’s a land that’s watered. It’s got plenty of rain, and it’s got valleys and streams and water all over the place. So it is…
The land that you cross over to possess, is a land of hills and valleys, [“Not the flat deserty land of Egypt”] which drinks water from the rain of heaven: A land which the Lord your God cares for: and the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, [That’s why I like to go to Israel, God’s eyes are always on that land, and so it’s sort of nice to be there. Realizing that God’s eyes are always upon it.] from the beginning of the year to the very end of it (11:11-12).
That’s like when Began was talking to Reagan about a problem, so they agreed to pray about it. Began said, “I’ll make the call. It’s a local call from Jerusalem”.
And it shall be, that if you diligently obey my commandments which I command you today, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, [“If you will do this.” Now this is what God requires.] And if today you will do this, then I will give you [God is promising them, “I will give you,”] the rain for your land in its season, the early rain, and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, and your new wine, and your oil (11:13-14).
So the two seasons of rain over there. The early rain that brings out the crop, and then the latter rain that really brings it up to complete, full fruition. They still do what they call, dry farming over there. They have sufficient rain to do the dry farming. It’s interesting to see, the former and the latter rains. Now for years, these former and latter rains ceased, they didn’t get the latter rain. They got former rains, but not the latter rain, and they ceased. The land became extremely barren, unfruitful.
But in the last fifty years or so, the latter rains have begun again. Israel now gets the former and the latter rains again, and thus it has again become extremely productive. It is the third largest exporter of fruit of any nation in the world, of all the nations of the world. The third largest exporter of fruit, as they now have it restored to them. Even according to the promise. God promised, in the scriptures, “And it shall come to pass when I bring you back into the land, that I will give you the former and the latter rains, as in the beginning”. It’s a fulfillment of God’s promise. It didn’t happen for years! For centuries, the land was barren, they didn’t get the latter rain, but now again, has begun the former and the latter rains, there in Israel. “I will give you the rain for your land, in its season, the early rain, the latter rain, and you may gather in your grain, your new wine, your oil.”
And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled. Now take heed to yourselves, [Whenever God says that, listen.] lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside to other gods and worship them (11:15-16);
Now, “Take heed”. Now the very thing that God said, “Take heed”, is the thing that they did. When they came into the land, they began to turn to the other gods and worship them. As we get into the book of Judges, you’ll see the tragic monotony of their failure, as they turned and worshiped other gods.
Lest the Lord’s anger be aroused against you, he shut up the heavens, so that there’d be no rain, and the land yield no produce; and you will perish quickly from the good land which the Lord has given you. Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, that they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on your door posts of your house, and on your gates: That your days, and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days from the heavens above (11:17-21).
So, bind them on your wrist. Now today you go over to Israel, the western wall, you see the guys coming up the wall, and you’ll see the ritual of binding these leather little pouches on their wrists. They’ll wrap the thing in a ritual way up their arm. You’ll see them as they tie the little box on their forehead, and you’ll see them bobbing before the wall with the little box on their hand, and the little box on their forehead. These are the laws. The requirements of God that they’ve put in these boxes. On their door posts they have these little metal Mezuzahs, and inside of the Mezuzah is the little scroll, with the requirements of God, or the law of the Lord. So they’re doing that even to the present day, as they bind them.
But, again that’s to be a reminder to you, but just binding them on my head or on my wrist, is no value if I’m not keeping them. I mean you can write them all over the place. You can put bumper stickers all over your car. “Thou shalt not steal!” Yet, you can go out with all these bumper stickers, and all these reminders, and if you steal something, you say, “Well, look at my bumper sticker man!” What difference does that make if you’ve got it on your bumper sticker if you’ve stolen something?
You see, knowing it isn’t enough, doing it is what is necessary. The Bible tells us not to be hearers of the word only, but to be doers of the word. Because if you’re a hearer and not a doer, then you’re deceiving yourself. You’re deluded, you’re like a man who looks in a mirror, and then you walk away and forget what you saw. You see your image and your picture of yourself, is really better than you really are. You think you look better than you really do. You look in the mirror and you see the truth, but how quickly we forget, as soon as we leave the mirror. It’s sort of a self-deception. “Well, I’m not too heavy. You know, don’t look too bad.” You forget the truth. The mirror tells you the truth. That’s like a man who hears the law but he doesn’t do it. He just, he’s deceiving himself.
But if you carefully keep all of these commandments [verse twenty two] which I command you to do, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to hold fast to him; Then the Lord will drive out all of these nations from before you, and you will dispossess greater and mightier nations than yourself. Every place where the sole of your foot treads shall be yours (11:22-24):
The territory, is there, all you have to do is go in and possess it, and every place you put the sole of your foot, that’s yours. So, again the likeness of our going in and possessing this life in the Spirit that God has promised. As we conquer over the areas of the flesh. As we bring them to the cross. Every place we put our foot, God has given to us. The sole of the foot tread, I claim that in the name of Jesus. Lord, I don’t have to be ruled by that area of my flesh any longer. I take now, and claim that area in Jesus’ name. And every place I go in and take, God destroys the enemy, and He gives me the victory.
No man shall be able to stand against you: the Lord your God will put the dread of you and the fear upon all of the land where ever you tread, just as he has said to you. Behold, I set before today a blessing and a curse; The blessing, is if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today: The curse, is if you do not obey the commandments (11:25-28).
That’s always true! God sets before you today, blessing or a curse. Your life can be blessed by God, or cursed by God. God gives you the option. The blessing for obedience, the curse for disobedience.
When you come into the land you’re to put the blessings on mount Gerizim, and the curses on mount Ebal (11:29).
Now mount Gerizim and mount Ebal are the two mountains above the little city of Shechem, there in the Samaritan valley. Valley of Samaria, and when they came into the land, Joshua put the guys up on top of the mountains to call down the blessings of God, from mount Gerizim. As he called down the blessings, the people said, “Amen, amen!”, and they would call out another law, and they’d say, “Amen, amen!”. We’ll get to that, as we go through. The many blessings that God said, “Blessed is he…”, and the people say, “Yes, amen, amen!”. So they followed this commandment of Moses, but again, you can say, “Amen, amen! That’s right, yeah! Yea, yea for God!” But if you don’t do it, it doesn’t count.
John said, “Don’t love in word only, but in deed and in truth”. James said, “If a man comes to you hungry, and he’s naked, and you say, ‘O brother, bless you, be clothed and be fed’, he said, what have you advantaged him if you don’t give him clothes and food? Your words don’t make him any warmer, nor do your words fill his stomach”. So, you have to put works with the faith. Say, “Bless you brother, be clothed”, and give him a jacket. “Be fed!”, and give him a sandwich. Just saying it doesn’t do it! Just writing it on the walls doesn’t do it! God desires the obedience from our heart, the actual doing. “Be ye doers of the word, not hearers only.”
So, Moses is preparing them to come into the land. Giving them this advice the counsel, the warnings as they’re about to come into the land. Important advice, and yet unfortunately, they did not keep it. Just the things that he said, “Don’t do”, are the things that they did. Tragically, we’ll find that in the next chapter, which we’ll take the next time as we get into chapter twelve, and move along in Deuteronomy. Plod along in Deuteronomy, crawl along, and I feel like a slug you know. Just, we’ll make it, we’ll make it. The tortoise and the hare, and the tortoise came through.
Father we thank You for Your word, and Lord, indeed it is a guide to life. Thank You Lord, that You did not leave us to stumble and wander in the darkness. But You have given to us the light, and the knowledge and the understanding of Your ways. Now Lord, help us, that we might walk in Your ways, that we might do Your will. That we might fear thee, that we might serve you with all of our heart, and all of our soul. And that we might keep Your commandments, and Your statutes. As we believe in Jesus Christ, Your only begotten Son, as our Lord and Savior, through Him, may we receive the imparting of Your Spirit, that enabling power, to help us to be all that you want us to be. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7054