Summary: Discusses the importance of learning from the past before moving into the future.
Thou Shalt Remember
REFLECTION: Deuteronomy is a record of Moses’ final instructions to the Nation of Israel before they were to enter into the “Promised Land”. It was given to them as they sat on the East Side of the Jordan river and was a peculiar balance between looking back and looking forward.
DIRECTION: As we stand on the “brink” of yet another New Year, I think it’s appropriate to “look back” before we “Look ahead.” If we fail to learn the lessons of the past, we are bound to repeat them in the future. In this passage Moses reminded God’s people to Remember:
1. GOD’S PRINCIPLES Vs 1 (Deut. 6:4-7)
> (Heb 2:1) "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip."
A. GOD’S PRINCIPLES GUIDE US:
1) TO GOD’S PATHS.
> (Prov 4:26) "Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established."
> (Psa 16:11) "Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."
2) THROUGH SATAN’S SNARES. (Psalm 91)
> (Psa 119:105) "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
> (Pro 14:12) "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
B. GOD’S PRINCIPLES GROW US. (2 Peter 3:15)
> (1 Pet 2:2) "desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:"
> (2 Pet 3:18) "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
> (Deu 1:25,26) "And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us. otwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God:"
2. GOD’S PATHS Vs 2 (Song: If Jesus goes with me I’ll go…)
A. GOD SELECTS THE PATHS. (Job 23:10)
1) God is as interested in the journey as in the destination.
a) He takes us along apparent side roads to teach us valuable lessons.
It took Israel 40 years and 11 months to make an 11 day journey. (Deu. 1:2,3)
b) God wants us to learn to follow our Guide, and not the path.
2) He knows what we can handle and when.
a) The most direct path to the promised land would have:
(1) Bi-passed Mount Sinai.
(2) Led them into immediate battle that they weren’t prepared for. (Ex. 13:17)
B. GOD EQUIPS US FOR THE PATHS HE CHOOSES FOR US.
Deut. 33:24,25 “Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil. Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.”
C. GOD JOUNEYS WITH US ON THE PATHS HE CHOOSES.
> (Isa 41:10) "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God:." Also (Isa 43:2)
> (Deut. 1: 29,30) “Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them. The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you”
God is not bound to protect us on the paths we choose. (Deut. 1:41-46)
3. GOD’S PURGING. Vs 3-5 Challenges along the paths tend to purge our:
A. PRIDE “to humble thee”
1) PRIDE HATES DESERT EXPERIENCES.
a) It doesn’t want to admit that there are still lessons to learn. “I don’t deserve this!”
2) Pride is often disguised, but usually reveals itself through anger and bitterness. (Prov 13:10) "Only by pride cometh contention:”
4) GOD HATES PRIDE: (Prov 8:13) "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate." (Prov. 6: 16 –19)
B. PURPOSE “to know what was in thine heart.”
1) God purges our Purpose to determine why we follow him.
a) Some follow for personal popularity. (It can get lonely in the desert!)
b) Some follow for personal gain. (We are to set up treasures in
c) Some use God to serve themselves.
2) If we can’t follow God in the dessert, we’ll forsake him in the promise land.
a) Deut. 1:22,23 reminds us that it was Israel’s idea to “check out” the promised land in advance.
C. PURITY “whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no”
(Isa 48:10) "Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction."