Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 28, 2014

A Faithful Father Who preserves us, Who assures us of eternal life, and Who makes us willing to live unto Him

Today’s devotion comes from Deuteronomy 32:5-18.

“5 “They have acted corruptly toward Him,
They are not His children, because of their defect;
But are a perverse and crooked generation.
6 “Do you thus repay the Lord,
O foolish and unwise people?
Is not He your Father who has bought you?
He has made you and established you.
7 “Remember the days of old,
Consider the years of all generations.
Ask your father, and he will inform you,
Your elders, and they will tell you.
8 “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
When He separated the sons of man,
He set the boundaries of the peoples
According to the number of the sons of Israel.
9 “For the Lord’s portion is His people;
Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance.
10 “He found him in a desert land,
And in the howling waste of a wilderness;
He encircled him, He cared for him,
He guarded him as the pupil of His eye.
11 “Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
That hovers over its young,
He spread His wings and caught them,
He carried them on His pinions.
12 “The Lord alone guided him,
And there was no foreign god with him.
13 “He made him ride on the high places of the earth,
And he ate the produce of the field;
And He made him suck honey from the rock,
And oil from the flinty rock,
14 Curds of cows, and milk of the flock,
With fat of lambs,
And rams, the breed of Bashan, and goats,
With the finest of the wheat—
And of the blood of grapes you drank wine.

15 “But Jeshurun (Israel) grew fat and kicked—
You are grown fat, thick, and sleek—
Then he forsook God who made him,
And scorned the Rock of his salvation.
16 “They made Him jealous with strange gods;
With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
17 “They sacrificed to demons who were not God,
To gods whom they have not known,
New gods who came lately,
Whom your fathers did not dread.
18 “You neglected the Rock who begot you,
And forgot the God who gave you birth.”   Deuteronomy 32:5-18.

———————-

Despite all that God did for Israel, Israel acted corruptly toward God.

When we consider that God acted like a father to Israel, this Scripture proves Israel acted foolishly and unwisely.

As intended by the words of the last chapter, this song was a witness for the LORD against the sons of Israel.  Deuteronomy 31:19.

Some doctrine would be content to only comment that we should not neglect God as Israel did.  That doctrine would focus only on the wisdom of being faithful to God.  That doctrine would only focus on the alleged free-will of man and exhort man to try harder to obey God.

But, Reformed Doctrine knows that his Scripture reminds us of the “Total Depravity” of man.  Man has every motivation to be faithful to God and obey God.  It is clearly and simply wisdom to be faithful to God and obey God;  any child would understand it.  It is absolute foolishness to forget, neglect, or reject God.  But, the fact that man does it continually reminds us of the “Total Depravity”, the “T” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

Our hope is not that we should try again, this time try harder to be faithful and obey God. 

Our hope is that God is a Faithful Father.  

Q. 1.  What is thy only comfort in life and death?

A.  That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ;  who, with His precious blood, hath fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil;  and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head;  yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto HimHeidelberg Catechism.

Q. 26.  What believest thou when thou sayest, “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”?

A.  That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (who of nothing made heaven and earth, with all that is in them; who likewise upholds and governs the same by His eternal counsel and providence) is, for the sake of Christ His Son, my God and my Father;  on whom I rely so entirely, that I have no doubt but He will provide me with all things necessary for soul and body;  and further, that He will make whatever evils He sends upon me, in this valley of tears, turn out to my advantage;  for He is able to do it, being Almighty God, and willing, being a faithful FatherHeidelberg Catechism.

But, as the following two Articles of Canons of Dordt in the section “Of the Perseverance of the Saints” teaches, this hope and confidence in our Faithful Father does not make us careless. 

Article 13.   Neither does renewed confidence or persevering produce licentiousness, or a disregard to piety in those who are recovering from backsliding;  but it renders them much more careful and solicitous to continue in the ways of the Lord, which he hath ordained, that they who walk therein may maintain an assurance of persevering, lest by abusing his fatherly kindness, God should turn away his gracious countenance from them, to behold which is to the godly dearer than life: the withdrawing thereof is more bitter than death, and they in consequence hereof should fall into more grievous torments of conscience.

Article 14.  And as it hath pleased God, by the preaching of the gospel, to begin this work of grace in us, so he preserves, continues, and perfects it by the hearing and reading of his Word, by meditation thereon, and by the exhortations, threatenings, and promises thereof, as well as by the use of the sacraments.   FIFTH HEAD OF DOCTRINE  Of the Perseverance of the Saints.  The Canons of Dordt.

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