Saturday, July 28, 2018

Life in the Desert - Deut 1-5: Review: God and His People

Deuteronomy, which means “second law,” is a retelling by Moses of the teachings and events of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. It includes an extended review of the Ten Commandments (4:44–5:33) and Moses’ farewell address to a new generation of Israelites as they stand ready to take possession of the Promised Land. Moses reminds them of God’s faithfulness and love, but also of God’s wrath on the previous generation of Israelites because of their rebellion. Repeatedly he charges Israel to keep the Law. Deuteronomy is a solemn call to love and obey the one true God. There are blessings for faithfulness and curses for unfaithfulness. The book closes with the selection of Joshua as Israel’s new leader and the death of Moses.
These are lesson notes, not written in a polished or finished manuscript form.  
To see thumbnails of all posts on this blog:
To receive email notifications of future posts, enter your email address at the lower left corner of the page where it says, “FOLLOW BY EMAIL.” You'll get an email from FeedBurner. Just click the link inside it to confirm that you want to subscribe.
For the other lessons in this series, click on the "Life in the Desert" link in the left column on this page.
Deuteronomy: Value
Systematic: grace, faith, law, loyalty, results.
Recalling the past to chart the future.
Observation, Interpretation, Application.
One choice as comprehending all choices.
Key to the Rest of OT. Kings, idols, exile, return.
Jesus’ most-quoted OT book. Temptations, etc.
The Shema: Hear, O Israel. Greatest command.
Deuteronomy: Facts
Name = “second law,” repeated for 2nd gener’n.
Author: Moses (Josh 1:7; Jud 3:4; Matt 19:7–9; Jn 5:45–47), now 120 years old.
Place: plains of Moab due east of Jericho and the Jordan River. Time frame: about one month.
At the end of the forty-year period of wandering in the wilderness, c. 1405 BC.
Deuteronomy // Ancient Hittite Treaties
Preamble                     Deut 1:1-5
Historical Prologue        Deut 1:6-4:43
General Stipulations       Deut 4:44-11:32
Specific Stipulations       Deut 12:1-26:19
Blessings and Curses     Deut 27:1-28:68
Document Clause Deut 31:9-29
Witnesses                    Deut 32:1-47
God’s Wilderness Survival Guide
Dt 4:9 “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.”
Listen, Remember, Obey, and Teach
Moses’ Three-Part Sermon Series
1:1-4:43              REVIEW
“What God Has Done for Israel”
4:44-26:19          REQUIREMENTS
“What God Expects from Israel”
27:1-34:12          REWARD
“What God Will Do for Israel”
Deuteronomy: Highlights
2-3 Defeat of Sihon and Og; historical solidarity.
5 Ten Commandments (as in Ex 20, 40 yrs ago).
6:4-9 Shema (Hear); Teach your children.
7 A Chosen People
9 Not Because of Your Righteousness
13 False Teachers
Deuteronomy: Highlights
27-28 Curses and Blessings
29-30 Covenant Renewed; Choose Life!
31 Joshua Commissioned
32 Moses’ Song
33 Moses’ Blessing
34 Moses’ Death
Dangers in Deuteronomy
The Danger of Abundance
The Danger of Complacency
The Danger of Paganism
The Danger of Tolerance
The Danger of Contamination
Deut 1 - Sinai, Kadesh-Barnea
1:1-5 Prologue: Speaker - Moses; Hearers - 2nd-gen Israel; Place - Moab desert; Time - 40th year
1:6-8 Command: Leave Horeb (Mt. Sinai)
1:9-18 Organization: Appoint, Structure Leaders
Deut 1 - Sinai, Kadesh-Barnea
1:19 Arrival in Kadesh-Barnea
1:20-25 Commission: Sending the Spies
1:26-33 Rebellion: Refusing to Enter Land
Don’t forget past, question present, fear future.
1:34-40 Consequences: Generation to Perish
1:41-46 Presumption: Failed Attempt, Defeat
Deut 2 - Edom, Moab, Ammon, Sihon
2:1-8 Seir (Edom)
2:9-16 Moab
2:17-30 Ammon
2:26-37 Amorite King Sihon of Heshbon
Deut 3 - Og, Land, Moses’ Penalty
3:1-11 Amorite King Og of Bashan
Transjordanian Land Just Conquered
3:12-17 Allotted to Reuben, Gad, Manasseh
3:18-22 Requiring War Efforts Beyond Jordan
3:23-29 Moses Allowed to See, not Enter, Land
Deut 4a - Obedience Versus Idolatry
4:1-4 Obey b/c: You will live.
4:5-8 Obey b/c: You will be great and wise.
4:9-14 Obey b/c: Horeb (Mt. Sinai) - PAST.
4:15-24 Obey b/c: God’s Ownership - PRESENT.
4:25-31 Obey b/c: Keeping the Land - FUTURE.
4:32-40 Obey b/c: God’s Unique Character.
Deut 4b - Cities of Refuge, Intro to Law
4:41-43 Cities of Refuge
4:44-49 Introduction to the Law
Deut 5 - Cities of Refuge, Intro to Law
5:1-21 The LORD’s Ten Commandments
5:22-27 The People’s Response
5:28-33 The LORD’s Affirmation
Desire that they obey, live well thru generations.
Intention to give the full Law through Moses.
Exhortation: “Turn neither right nor left.”

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

To the Rescue 01 – Make it Personal

If you had the knowledge, ability, tools, and opportunity to save a life, would you? If you could make weak people strong, sad people happy, and dying people healthy, would you? If you could share a map to heaven with misguided people headed for hell, would you? Of course! Once the need is real, and it moves you to action, you will run to the rescue!
These are lesson notes, not written in a polished or finished manuscript form.  To see the video of this and other sermons:
To see thumbnails of all posts on this blog:
To receive email notifications of future posts, enter your email address at the lower left corner of this page where it says, “FOLLOW BY EMAIL.” You'll get an email from FeedBurner. Just click the link inside that email to confirm that you want to subscribe.
On September 11, 2001, millions of Americans watched helplessly while evil forces slaughtered thousands of unsuspecting people in the World Trade Center in New York City. Most of us were unable to help physically because we were so far away. However, hundreds of heroic rescue workers rushed to the scene, entered the burning buildings, and risked everything to try to save the perishing. They had no guarantee that they would save anyone, but they were determined to give all they had in the effort. Many of these valiant men and women died themselves as a result.
What would you have done if you had been there? Would your heart have moved you into action? If you had had ready access to a reliable tool, would you have grabbed hold of it and used it? What if you had known for certain that the tool would work, that you would save dying people, and that you yourself would suffer no ill effects physically?
Would you have allowed selfishness, or apathy, or fear to keep you from responding? Would you have waited for the professionals to do the work, while precious moments and precious lives passed away?
What if you had known and loved these victims personally? What if your boss had sent his only son into the fire to lose his life in exchange for all those who were trapped? What if the boss had ordered you to go in and show those for whom his son died the way out to safety? What if you had known that they would certainly die unless you acted? What if you had loved your boss with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, so that you would do anything for him?
To the Rescue!
Our mission … our business … our purpose.
Committing ourselves to the same thing to which Jesus Christ committed Himself.
Read with me Jude 20-25.
Jude 20-25: Revival, Rescue, and Reliance
Hear these words from Jude in verses 20-21:
Jude 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
That’s revival – strengthening our own faith, petitioning God, abiding in God’s love, and anticipating the return of Christ.
Notice verses 22-23:
22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.
Those who experience revival become intent on rescue – loving sinners, rushing into the flames to deliver them, and hating sin and its effects.
Finally note verses 24-25:
24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Revival and rescue come through (and further increase) reliance on the God who is able. Because of the cross He is able to sustain us, present us as spotless, and fill us with joy. All the honor, all the greatness, and all the might are His alone, today, tomorrow, and forever.
As our motivation in rescuing the perishing is our love for God and the lost, our purpose is to bring Him glory through the lives of others who will sing His praise for all eternity – all because He used us to rescue the perishing.
Part of our great joy that day will come from seeing people entering Heaven who escaped the flames, found the grace of God and the blood of the Savior, and reached safety through us.
Rescue the Perishing
Frances J. Crosby, 1869
1.   Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.
o   Refrain:
Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.
2.   Though they are slighting Him, still He is waiting,
Waiting the penitent child to receive;
Plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently;
He will forgive if they only believe.
3.   Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
Chords that were broken will vibrate once more.
4.   Rescue the perishing, duty demands it;
Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
Back to the narrow way patiently win them;
Tell the poor wand’rer a Savior has died.
Rom 1:14-18 – The Three “I Ams”
1:14 – I am under obligation.
1:15 – I am eager to share the good news.
1:16 – I am not ashamed.
The Obligation of Grace
Imagine for a moment that you have suffered terribly with a life-threatening tumor. A surgeon has skillfully operated on you, removing your suffering and fear, along with the tumor. You are healthy, peaceful, joyful, and grateful.
Then one day you realize that someone else – a relative, a friend, or even a complete stranger – has the very same condition you had. You think to yourself, “I cannot, I must not, I will not keep this good news to myself. I have no choice but to approach this person and offer to introduce him or her to the surgeon who delivered me!”
That is the way that grace obligates us to rescue others by bringing them to Christ. Look at Paul’s words. In one sense, grace paid his debt and removed his obligation. In another sense, grace made him a debtor (for the Lord’s sake) to Greeks and non-Greeks, to the wise and the foolish. Out of gratitude to Christ, love for the lost, and a realization that only the gospel can save by making men right with God, Christians accept a grace-based obligation to share the good news with others.
Rom 1:14-18 – The Three “Fors”
         1:14 – I am under obligation.
         1:15 – I am eager to share the good news.
         1:16 – I am not ashamed. For …
1:16 The gospel is the power of God to save.
1:17 In it God’s righteousness is revealed.
1:18 The wrath of God is revealed from heaven.
Rom 9:1-5; 10:1 – My Brothers
Ro 9:1 I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, 5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.
Ro 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.
Four Voices That Compel Us
Jimmy Allen has described these four voices. Each by itself is powerful; the four together are practically irresistible.
1.   The Cry from Beneath – Those Now in Torment
Hear the words of the rich man in Hell, when he realizes that his family members will be joining him there. “‘Then I beg you, Father, that you send [Lazarus] to my father’s house -- for I have five brothers -- that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’”  Luke 16:27-28
Not a one of us could hear their wailing, see their suffering, and stand by silently while others follow them into eternal death.  Our eagerness to share Christ will grow in direct proportion to our belief in Hell and our sympathy for others.
Is there really a hell?  Yes!  Are people lost there, forever, without Jesus Christ?  Yes!  Mark 9:43-48
What would people now in hell say to us, if they could?
Some may be so evil that they would not care to warn us.
Others may be crying, “If only …”
If each of us spent just 15 seconds in hell and returned …
Jesus allows us to hear a voice from hell.  Luke 16:19-31
“Father Abraham, have mercy and send Lazarus …”
“Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house – for I have five brothers – so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.”
2.   The Call from Without – Honest-Hearted Seekers
Put yourself in Paul’s shoes, when he learns that others are begging for spiritual help. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a certain man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”  Acts 16:9
If your neighbor were starving and begging you for bread, and you had plenty, could you refuse him? As Paul traveled to Greece to answer that request, would you go across the street or down the office hall? Would you pick up the phone?
“Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.”  John 4:35
Let’s think some more about those five brothers.
If your neighbor’s house were on fire, and you heard him scream, and you had a way to rescue him …
Bartimaeus, the blind beggar.  Mark 10:46-52
Zaccheus, the chief tax collector.  Luke 19:1-10
The penitent thief.  Luke 23:39-43
The man from Macedonia.  Acts 16:6-10
“We have heard the Macedonian call today!”
Were you ever lost?  Blind?  Broken?  Desperate?
One who has been in the ditch feels compelled to reach others who are still there.
Joseph’s brothers ignored his pleas.  Gen 42:21
“You Never Mentioned Him to Me”
“But my neighbor is not asking me for help.”  Hmmm …
Try some “pre-evangelism.”  Ask him. Test the soil.  Offer.  Invite.  Model.  Love and influence.  Stop, look, and listen.
Ask, “What do you believe about …”  “Would you like to see what your Bible says about that?”
Marriage problems, job changes, health issues, and other stressors may be an unspoken cry for help.
3.   The Command from Above – Our Lord and Savior
Pretend that you are an apostle, hearing these words directly from Christ for the first time. And Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them …” Matt. 28:18-20
What will you do in response? If the explicit mandate of Jesus Christ will not cause you to teach other people the Word of God, what will?  Is Jesus your Lord?  If so, how can you not do what He says? See Luke 6:46.
Telling others about Jesus is not optional; it is required.
The Macedonian vision was actually from God, not man.
“… concluding that God had called us … immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia.”  Acts 16:10
“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  Mark 1:17
Matt 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16
Ivan Stewart’s book, Go Ye Means Go Me
Seed > soil > life > growth > fruit > seed > > > > > >
Each who receives the seed reproduces the fruit.
“Must I Go, and Empty-Handed?”
4.   The Constraint from Within – Our Own Hearts
Every heart that beats for Jesus Christ beats for the salvation of lost people.
Hear Paul’s explanation of this inner compulsion. “The love of Christ compels us, controls us, ‘leaves us no choice.’”  2 Cor. 5:14
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ … Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men.” 
2 Cor. 5:10-11 “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.  For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.” 
1 Cor. 9:16-17 Is your heart telling you to share Christ? If not, why not? If so, what will you do about it?
“The love of Christ constrains (compels, controls) us (leaves us no choice) …” 2 Cor 5:14
“I am under obligation …”  Rom 1:14
“I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart … I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ …”  Rom 9:1-3
“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved …”  Rom 10:1
When I am enough like Christ that I cannot bear the idea of people being lost, I will get up and go after them!
Questions for Thought and Discussion:
1.   How have the September 11, 2001, attacks affected your view of the world? Of evil? Of lost people? Of God? Of your purpose on the earth? Of the gospel as God’s answer?
2.   How likely is it that those who died were prepared to meet God? Explain your answer.
3.   What would you have done if you had been there as a rescue worker? As a bystander?
4.   If you had personally known one of those who died, and if you could turn back the clock, what would you say to him or her?
5.   Do you really believe that you are saved?
6.   Do you really believe that people you know are lost?
7.   Do you really believe that you are responsible to share your faith?
8.   If you do not find a way to reach the people you know, who will?
9.   If you (we) do the same things we have always done, in the same ways we have always done them, can we expect to reach different results?
10.        Are we winning people through “public evangelism?”
11.        Are we winning people through “private evangelism?”
12.        To what extent do you feel the obligation of God’s grace toward the lost?
13.        Are you developing the compassion for lost people that Jesus feels? How do you know?
14.        Which of the four voices is most compelling to you personally? Why?
15.        Do you have a close, daily walk with the Lord? Or do you still need personal revival before you can rescue others? How are the two related?
16.        What three things have primarily kept you from bringing more people to Christ? Suggestions: “I lack motivation.” “I lack compassion.” “I lack courage.” “I lack knowledge.” “I lack non-Christian friends and contacts.” “I lack time.” “I lack a plan.”
17.        Do you think that any of these three barriers is insurmountable? Why or why not?
18.        What steps will you take to overcome these obstacles?

A Prayer in Song
Lead Me to Some Soul Today
Lead me to some soul today,
O teach me, Lord, just what to say;
Friends of mine are lost in sin,
And cannot find their way.
Few there are who seem to care,
And few there are who pray;
Melt my heart and fill my life,
Give me one soul today.
Lead me to some soul real soon,
It matters not if night or noon;
Any hour of any day,
The time is opportune.
I must go Thy love to show
To sinners lost in night;
Flood my soul with love and light
To warn men of their plight.
Lead me to some soul, I pray,
Thy “Great Commission” I’ll obey;
I must tell men goin’ to Hell
That Jesus is the Way.
Men must know before they die
That Christ alone can save;
Give me pow’r to witness, Lord,
And faith to make me brave.
© First verse written by Will H. Houghton.
The second and third verses were written by WDB.
The first verse was written in memory of D.L. Moody, who said:
“”I must speak to one soul each day about Christ.””
Possible hymns:
Lead Me to Some Soul Today
Rescue the Perishing
He Loves Me
Why Did My Savior Come to Earth?
Here Am I, Send Me