Summary: Let us not be individuals or a nation who has forgotten their creator and sustainer by disregarding God’s commandments, judgments and statutes. This NEON sign in Deuteronomy was not only a warning for the Israelites but is also a warning for us all and a
Opening illustration: Roland Allen tells about a veteran missionary who came up to him one day after he had delivered his sermon. The missionary introduced himself and said, "I was a medical missionary for many years in India. And I served in a region where there was progressive blindness. People were born with healthy vision, but there was something in that area that caused people to lose their sight as they matured."
But this missionary had developed a process which would arrest progressive blindness. So people came to him, and he performed his operation. They would leave realizing that they had been spared a life of blindness because of this missionary.
He said that they never said, "Thank you," because that phrase was not in their dialect. Instead, they spoke a word that meant, "I will tell your name." Wherever they went, they would tell the name of the missionary who had cured their blindness. They had received something so wonderful that they never forgot to eagerly proclaim it wherever they went.
Introduction: Moses directs to the duty of a prosperous condition. Let them always remember their Benefactor. In everything we must give thanks. Moses arms them against the temptations of a prosperous condition. When men possess large estates, or are engaged in profitable business, they find the temptation to pride, forgetfulness of God, and carnal-mindedness, very strong; and they are anxious and troubled about many things. In this the believing poor have the advantage; they more easily perceive their supplies coming from the Lord in answer to the prayer of faith; and, strange as it may seem, they find less difficulty in simply trusting him for daily bread. They taste sweetness therein, which is generally unknown to the rich, while they are also freed from many of their temptations. Forget not God’s former dealings with thee. Here is the great secret of Divine Providence. Infinite wisdom and goodness are the source of all the changes and trials believers’ experience. Israel had many bitter trials, but it was “to do them good.” Pride is natural to the human heart. Would one suppose that such a people, after their slavery at the brick-kilns, should need the thorns of the wilderness to humble them? But such is man! And they were proved that they might be humbled. None of us live a single week without giving proofs of our weakness, folly, and depravity. To broken-hearted souls alone the Savior is precious indeed. Nothing can render the most suitable outward and inward trials effectual, but the power of the Spirit of God. See here how God’s giving and our getting are reconciled, and apply it to spiritual wealth. All God’s gifts are in pursuance of his promises. Moses repeats the warning he had often given of the fatal consequences of forsaking God. Those who follow others in sin will follow them to destruction. If we do as sinners do, we must expect to fare as sinners fare.
What should we NEVER FORGET? (How can we NEVER FORGET GOD?)
Demands, orders and instructions ~ The commandments of God are sometimes called “patterns.” In other words, commandments are more than rules; they are the patterns of living that God follows. By living God’s commandments we can become in His likeness. God has the right to give us commandments because we are his children and subject to him. Because God’s commandments are his patterns of moral conduct, God gives us commandments as an act of love not because He is mad with us but to protect us. God’s commandments are designed to help us to become like him and experience the level of joy that God experiences. Living the commandments of God always leads to happiness, progression and liberty; disobeying commandments always leads to misery, regression and captivity. The challenge in understanding and living God’s commandments is to dig deeply enough to discover the reason for the commandments and to discover our loving relationship with Him.
Jesus summarized God’s Ten Commandments in two principles —
• Love God
• Love our fellow men:
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22: 37-39)
Love, therefore, not rule, is the underlying principle of all commandments including God’s Ten Commandments.
2. God’s Judgments (Deut. 8: 11)
Rulings, verdicts and sentences ~ Is the judgment of God an outdated concept? After all, you don’t hear the vast majority of Christians talking about it anymore. You certainly don’t hear about it from most of today’s television or radio preachers. Mostly they seem to be concerned about "living your best life now" and getting as many "blessings" as possible now without preparing for eternity.