Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | September 21, 2014

“Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.”

Today’s devotion comes from Deuteronomy Chapter 4.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+4&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

1 “Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you.  2 You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.  3 Your eyes have seen what the Lord has done in the case of Baal-peor, for all the men who followed Baal-peor, the Lord your God has destroyed them from among you.  4 But you who held fast to the Lord your God are alive today, every one of you.

5 “See, I have taught you statutes and judgments just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do thus in the land where you are entering to possess it.  6 So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’  7 For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the Lord our God whenever we call on Him?  8 Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today?

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.”  …

25 “When you become the father of children and children’s children and have remained long in the land, and act corruptly, and make an idol in the form of anything, and do that which is evil in the sight of the Lord your God so as to provoke Him to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that you will surely perish quickly from the land where you are going over the Jordan to possess it. You shall not live long on it, but will be utterly destroyed.  27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord drives you.  28 There you will serve gods, the work of man’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell.  29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.  30 When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice.  31 For the Lord your God is a compassionate God;  He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.  …

37 Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them.  And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power, 38 driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in and to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is today.  39 Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below;  there is no other.  40 So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am giving you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may live long on the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”  Deuteronomy Chapter 4:  Verses 1-9 and 25-31 and 37-40.

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The volume of this Scripture is a lot to handle for one devotion, but I do not think we should deal with portions of this Scripture separately.  Certainly, the broad theme of this chapter is that Israel should diligently obey God’s law.  But, we see even in this chapter (verses 25-28), and elsewhere in Scripture that Israel did not diligently obey God’s law.

Reformed Doctrine teaches us that man’s natural condition is “Total Depravity”, the “T” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  In other words, man is dead in sin, hostile to God, enslaved to sin and Satan.  Man will certainly not obey God no matter how many rewards for obedience there are, no matter how many punishments there are for sin, and no matter how much logical sense exists to obey God.

“But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind;  for apart from the Law sin is dead.  I was once alive apart from the Law;  but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died;  and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me;  for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.  So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me?  May it never be!  Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful.”  Romans 7:8-13.

So, what hope is there in this Scripture for us today?

There are three leads in today’s Scripture that I want to discuss and bring in other Scripture in today’s devotion.

First, “For the Lord your God is a compassionate God;  He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.”  Verse 31.  We may fail God, but God will not fail us.  We may not keep the commandments, but God will keep His covenant of grace.

Second, “Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them.  …”  Verse 37.  “Unconditional Election”, the  “U” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation, provides the hope that God elects us for salvation not based on any condition that we can perform.  “For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.”  Romans 9:15-16.

Third, “Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below;  there is no other.”  Verse 39.

God is so Almighty, that He can make us alive who are dead in sin.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith;  and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Ephesians 2:4-8.

God is concerned about His name and His sake that even though we do not deserve salvation, God will save us to show forth His lovingkindness.  And, God is so great, like no other, that He can give us a new heart, a new spirit, and cause us to walk in His statutes, so that we will be careful to observe His ordinances.

“22 Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. 23 I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” declares the Lord God, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. 24 For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28 You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.”  Ezekiel 36:22-28.

 

 


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