August 14, 2019

Hot Blooded? Check It to See! Gotta Pass on What's Been Made Known to Me

Deuteronomy 4:1–31

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Moses Commands Obedience

“And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules1 that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you. Your eyes have seen what the LORD did at Baal-peor, for the LORD your God destroyed from among you all the men who followed the Baal of Peor. But you who held fast to the LORD your God are all alive today. See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?

“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children—10 how on the day that you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, the LORD said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’ 11 And you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, while the mountain burned with fire to the heart of heaven, wrapped in darkness, cloud, and gloom. 12 Then the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice. 13 And he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments,2 and he wrote them on two tablets of stone. 14 And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and rules, that you might do them in the land that you are going over to possess.

Idolatry Forbidden

15 “Therefore watch yourselves very carefully. Since you saw no form on the day that the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, 16 beware lest you act corruptly by making a carved image for yourselves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth. 19 And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. 20 But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are this day. 21 Furthermore, the LORD was angry with me because of you, and he swore that I should not cross the Jordan, and that I should not enter the good land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance. 22 For I must die in this land; I must not go over the Jordan. But you shall go over and take possession of that good land. 23 Take care, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make a carved image, the form of anything that the LORD your God has forbidden you. 24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

25 “When you father children and children's children, and have grown old in the land, if you act corruptly by making a carved image in the form of anything, and by doing what 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 soon utterly perish from the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess. You will not live long in it, but will be utterly destroyed. 27 And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD will drive you. 28 And there you will serve gods of wood and stone, the work of human hands, that 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 after him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the LORD your God and obey his voice. 31 For the LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them.

Footnotes

[1] 4:1 Or just decrees; also verses 5, 8, 14, 45
[2] 4:13 Hebrew the ten words

Hot Blooded? Check It to See! Gotta Pass on What's Been Made Known to Me



Key Verse | Deuteronomy 4:9

"Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children."

Bio | Mark Hapka

Greetings, Journeyers! Tomorrow, my Proverbs 18:22 gift of a wife Amber and I will be celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary. Together, we enjoy playing with our son Titus, hanging out with friends, memorizing God's Word, and traveling God's creation (hi, Albania!). In 2014, we navigated Watermark's training series Equipped Disciple 1-3 together, and God used that to immeasurably strengthen our marriage. Since then we've been serving together at Equipped Disciple on Thursday nights. Are you looking to grow spiritually, be encouraged, build relationships with believers in God's Word, and be reminded of God's promises? If so, see you in a few weeks for ED1!

Central Truth

As believers in Jesus, we must keep the flames in our hearts for Christ kindled; or they will die out, rendering us useless. Stoke that fire by regularly reminding and informing your heart with truth from God's Word and His faithfulness in your life. Then ignite the next generation with your passion!

Devotional | Deuteronomy 4:1–31

The key verse exhorts us to tend to our soul diligently and pass on what we've seen and heard to future generations. It warns that not doing so leads to a cold heart and forgetting God's work. Yikes!...

The key verse exhorts us to tend to our soul diligently and pass on what we've seen and heard to future generations. It warns that not doing so leads to a cold heart and forgetting God's work. Yikes!

Tending to one's soul involves regularly examining our hearts' and minds' affections and desires and the actions they produce. What captures your greatest affections? God? Money? Possessions? Status? Sports/Entertainment? Leisure? Throughout Deuteronomy 4, Moses shows how to meaningfully tend to our souls. 

1. Remind yourself of God's saving work. (Deuteronomy 4:20)

If you've put your faith in Jesus, you are a new creation. You've been freed from slavery to sin and have a new heart, a new spirit, and eternal life! God rescued you from the blazing furnace, not because you are a good person (Titus 3:5) but because of His great love. You're God's inheritance! Rejoice and remind yourself regularly! 

2. Be a student of God's Word and character. (Deuteronomy 4:2)

Moses reveals some traits of God: merciful, near to and jealous for His people, and a consuming fire hating sin. As he did in the Garden, Satan will question us, "Did God really say that?" To know God's words and character and to encourage our hearts (Romans 15:4), we must be attentive to His Word through studying (Ezra 7:9-10) and memorizing (Psalm 119:11). If not, we'll be unsure of what He says and may (even unintentionally) add to it, take away from it, or be deceived by bad teaching (2 Timothy 2:15).

3. Walking in obedience is living. (Deuteronomy 4:1)

Despite God's saving love, character, and everlasting covenant, Israel struggled to trust, obey, and live. Jesus taught that following Him leads to life (John 10:10), and truly loving Him is to obey Him (John 14:21). Trusting God is faith-driven obedience that yields true living!

Frequently tending to our souls these ways provides a personal testimony, a firm grip on God's Word, and a life of obedience causing others to take notice. These lead to fulfilling a God-given purpose: teaching your children—spiritual children and/or other people. Without regular reminders, our hearts wander, and our legacies fade.

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Discussion Questions

1. Have you ever confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believed in your heart that God raised Him from the dead? If so, would you take some time to thank God for His work in your life and the free gift of eternal life? If not, your iniquities are separating you from a perfect God (Isaiah 59:2) and will lead to your eternal death (Romans 6:23), but Jesus has made a way for you to get back into relationship with God and offers the gift of eternal life not based on your deeds. If you'd like to know more about this gift, reach out below in the comments.

2. What are some things that capture your greatest affections? Does how you steward your time, talents, and treasure support that? Are those things of any eternal significance?

3. Ask your spouse, child, friend, co-worker, and/or a community group what they think captures your greatest affections?

4. What have you been reading or memorizing from God's Word this week? Reach out to some friends and encourage them with that today!

5. Read the warnings of Hebrews 5:11-14. Whose life are you speaking into by teaching them what you've seen and heard? A child? A spouse? A new believer? What and how are you teaching the person?

Bonus: Treat yourself by listening to the series Head, Heart, Hands and be encouraged to tend to your soul.

11 Comments available

Jay Caruso 2 months ago

Thanks Mark. The commandments of the Lord “Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people” this hit but I tend to wonder as a nation where are we going and what understanding is out there

Yolanda Escobar 2 months ago

Hoo​:disappointed:! How easy is to get out of the cover love and kindness of our GOD! every day reminding myself the love that I need, and to share around me family and friends ! Thanks God for his mercy and thank you For a great reflexion.

Michael Scaman 2 months ago

This call to heaven and earth will be repeated “… I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that you will soon utterly perish from the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess. …”

Psalm 50 calls heaven and earth to witness to God’s judgement as does the start of both the song of Moses in the end of Deuteronomy and the book of Isaiah.

Heaven tells of God’s righteousness in Ps 50 and God’s glory in Ps 19

Moses does not expect the success story to rest on man. None does good, no not one in Ps 14 and repeated almost exactly in Ps 53.

Michael Scaman 2 months ago

“Our God is a consuming fire” remains true and is quoted as a reminder in Hebrews 9:29.

And a dramatic reminder: " Then the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice. " Don’t make idol caricatures of God!

Michael Scaman 2 months ago

Q4 for memory I am learning the 1st line of each of the 150 Psalms but will take maybe 3 to 6 months and only a third of the way done.

Melissa Benge McBride 2 months ago

My heart is full of gratitude for all that He has done for me!

Happy anniversary, Amber & Mark!

Christopher Hyland 2 months ago

Good morning Mark. Great to see you on JTJ. Great central truth. All too often money and comfort try to crowd out Jesus from the throne, It is a constant struggle but God is faithful. Serving in ReGen Poland has definitely been a tool to stoke the fires keep me focused on the eternal

Sue Bohlin 2 months ago

Thank you, Mark.

I LOVED v. 6, “Keep them [the Lord’s statutes and rules] and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’”

I never before thought about how a society’s laws and rules could be seen as wisdom and understanding by other people. Or how they would think of the citizens as “a wise and understanding people.” But that makes so much sense! God’s laws–all of them!–hang on the two greatest commandments: Love God, and love people. When we order our lives according to God’s ways, we can be “wise and understanding people.”

Hope Harris 2 months ago

My exposure to the Judaism has taught me the power of hearing. I understand the connection of Jewish history to His-story of salvation and redemption. Wiersbe states the following: “Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote, “To believe, we need God, a soul, and the Word.” Paul, reached the same conclusion and wrote, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). The God who brought creation into existence by speaking the Word has ordained that His people should live by hearing and obeying His Word.”

For those who believe hearing God’s word is strongly connected to obeying it. People who heard Jesus heard Him mandate a call to absolute surrender of our will to His. Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23

I can not know the will of God apart from reading, hearing and applying the Word of God to my life.

Lindsey Driscoll 2 months ago

Great devo Mark reminding us that God desires relationship with us as he is a consuming fire and is jealous for our hearts (4:24). Moses reminds Israel that they have heard from God and are to teach the next generation what he has done for them. Verse 4:9 says to be careful to not forget the things Israel’s eyes have seen. Remember God, Meditate on God’s word, and teach it to others.

Hugh Stephenson 2 months ago

GM Mark and happy anniversary. I love your Central Truth as it captures the key action that keeps me on track. I link to Proverbs 4:3.

Q2 - What worldly things capture my affections? Striving for work achievements, issues with my adult children, endless emails and tasks.

2 Timothy 3:16 – God did not appear as an image so don’t make one and worship it. My “image” might be a church building, a particular preacher, a liturgy or even a particular ministry. Sometimes the image I can worship is the image I project to others. I want them to like me and see me how I want to be seen.

God calls me to separate and do not conform. It seems almost all churches are conforming rather than separating.

His Word is primary. All else is secondary or lower. Church traditions should NEVER supersede what He has taught me.

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