June 15, 2010

Examining The Scripture XXVIII: My Generation

The word Deuteronomy means “second law” or more specifically it is a second reiteration of the law or a second reconsideration of the covenant with God albeit for a second generation. It records the Moses instructions (God's) to the Israelites concerning the ways of God from generation to generation. In the case of Deuteronomy 1-3 we see Moses giving the Law to the next generation. The new generation that never saw Egypt or experienced the Exodus. It is important that they know where they came from so that they can better appreciate where they are going and what they are gaining. They are to consider and/or remember God and what He has done for them, love God, to fear God and to hold fast to God and not turn to other false God’s (Williams, Westbrook 336-338). Good advise for any believer, to be reminded of their spiritual roots, their beginnings in the faith. It allows a better perspective of what they are now. Paul also alludes to this is 1 Corinthians:

“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Moses exhorts the new generation entering the land of Canaan to:

To Remember God: To remember what God did for them, as we are reminded what Jesus did for us. To remember indicates that He is the God that led the Israelites out of their bondage in Egypt in miraculous ways. They were to remember the past so they would not be condemned to repeat it as we have learned painfully in this day and age (nothing new under the sun). The Israelites were to remember His faithfulness and steadfastness (unchanging immutability) (Williams, Westbrook 336)

To Love God: They are exhorted to love God, as we are reminded to love Christ with all our hearts, souls and minds. It indicates a relationship both personable and close. The obvious visible sign of this love was to be an obedience to God’s commands in a deep compassionate understanding not cold clinical adherence. On God’s side he would continue uphold His promises (Williams, Westbrook 337)

To Fear God: They are exhorted to fear the Lord their God, just as we are to maintain a fear of God now. It also indicates a reverential fear of God as one reveres a higher authority or gives credence to one higher in stature. In other words they were to have an extremely healthy respect for God and to not take Him for granted or take Him lightly as is often the case with man. God is great. Greater than man’s feeble attempts to understand Him and because of this they needed to tread lightly in His presence and obey Him.

To Hold Fast to God: Finally Moses exhorts them to hold fast and not waver, just as a modern believer is encouraged by Paul to: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13. A reminder to hold fast indicates man’s proclivity to drift away and wander after things of the flesh, things of this material world. Man has a sinful inclination that lets them choose to wander away from things of God in the spiritual world. We are of this world and because of this we are often times subject to the sins of this world that draw us in through our flesh or the failure within or flesh. That failure is that exact reason we are to cling so tightly to Him. When he takes up our entire lives there is no other room for things of this world.

In the end we must realize that when Moses wrote this book he wrote it as a book of laws, a book of sermons and a book of history. It is historical narrative but is mostly speech from Moses but no recording of events per se and the laws are piggybacked into those speeches. Moses describes the nature of the law (as Jesus does for an even later generation) so that the new generation will understand the “undergirding” principles and not get entirely wrapped around the explicit details or each event that led to the deliverance from Egyptian bondage. This will eventually happen with the Pharisees adding to the Law and getting away from the Laws true intent as we see by the time of Jesus.(Payne 3-5).

"O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old-what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. They would not be like their forefathers—a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him. ~Psalms 78:1-8

My generation and generations in general that have been born, lived and died since the time of Moses would've be well advised to do these things that Moses exhorted the new generation to do. Remember, love, fear and hold fast to the Lord. If we do not we have later books and chapters within the Bible that we can read to see what happens to people that forget and turn away from the Lord. That hate Him. That mock and scoff at the thought of Him. People that decided it wasn't worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved and warped mind. People that released their grip on God and his Word and God in turn released them unto their own sin. If I am not mistaken, many of them died painful or unpleasant deaths. Some repented and were salvaged. The Lord spared them to use as poster children for grace and mercy. I was one of them. All of them ended up being punished for being sinful. It isn't just those in the past, it is my generation, myself included. The Bible applies to all generations just as Christ's atoning sacrifice is available to all people in all generations that accept it by faith.

Payne, David F.. "Introduction." Deuteronomy (Daily Study Bible-Old Testament). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1985. 3-5. Print.

Williams, William C, Westbrook, April. "Chapter 8: Through The Vast And Dreadful Desert." They Spoke from God: A Survey of the Old Testament. Springfield: Logion Press/Gospel Pub. House, 2003. 336-338. Print.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...