August 15, 2019

His Faithfulness; Our Obedience.

Deuteronomy 4:32–49

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The Lord Alone Is God

32 “For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of. 33 Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? 34 Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides him. 36 Out of heaven he let you hear his voice, that he might discipline you. And on earth he let you see his great fire, and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire. 37 And because he loved your fathers and chose their offspring after them1 and brought you out of Egypt with his own presence, by his great power, 38 driving out before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is this day, 39 know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. 40 Therefore you shall keep his statutes and his commandments, which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for all time.”

Cities of Refuge

41 Then Moses set apart three cities in the east beyond the Jordan, 42 that the manslayer might flee there, anyone who kills his neighbor unintentionally, without being at enmity with him in time past; he may flee to one of these cities and save his life: 43 Bezer in the wilderness on the tableland for the Reubenites, Ramoth in Gilead for the Gadites, and Golan in Bashan for the Manassites.

Introduction to the Law

44 This is the law that Moses set before the people of Israel. 45 These are the testimonies, the statutes, and the rules, which Moses spoke to the people of Israel when they came out of Egypt, 46 beyond the Jordan in the valley opposite Beth-peor, in the land of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon, whom Moses and the people of Israel defeated when they came out of Egypt. 47 And they took possession of his land and the land of Og, the king of Bashan, the two kings of the Amorites, who lived to the east beyond the Jordan; 48 from Aroer, which is on the edge of the Valley of the Arnon, as far as Mount Sirion2 (that is, Hermon), 49 together with all the Arabah on the east side of the Jordan as far as the Sea of the Arabah, under the slopes of Pisgah.

Footnotes

[1] 4:37 Hebrew his offspring after him
[2] 4:48 Syriac; Hebrew Sion

His Faithfulness; Our Obedience.



Key Verse | Deuteronomy 4:35, 39-40a

"To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides him. . . .  [K]now therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. Therefore you shall keep His statutes and His commandments . . . ."

Bio | Cheyanne Patterson

Hi, friends! A small-town native turned big-city girl, I love all things "old soul"—the sound of crickets, star-gazing on cloudless nights, country dancing with friends, and light traffic patterns (still trying to adjust to that last one here in Dallas). Coffee, a good book, and my sweet Colbi Cat are all also dear to my heart.

I joined Watermark in July 2017 and am humbly privileged to lead my community group. I also love words (literally keep reaching the word limit on this thing) and getting to serve with our Notes Ministry, writing letters of love and encouragement to others.

Central Truth

It is because of who God is and because of His faithfulness that we can, and should, choose to respond in obedience to His Law.

Devotional | Deuteronomy 4:32–49

For a long time, I had it backward.

Even though I realized my need for Christ and accepted Him at an early age, I worked relentlessly to "achieve" in church. The Law was my best friend, and I did everything...

For a long time, I had it backward.

Even though I realized my need for Christ and accepted Him at an early age, I worked relentlessly to "achieve" in church. The Law was my best friend, and I did everything I could to make sure I checked the boxes and didn't break the "rules." I believed the lie that this surely would make me "good enough" for God's stamp of approval.

Through a persevering, gracious pursuit of my heart, God eventually broke my stubborn will. He opened my eyes to see His grace is the only check-box that matters in my life, and it was one He had already checked for me (Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 2:20; Romans 11:6). He reminded me of all the ways He's fought for me, provided for me, and proven in my life that He is indeed Lord, and I could rest in that knowledge (Psalm 46:10).

In this passage, Moses did the same for the Israelites—God's chosen people. Moses reminded them that the Lord alone is God and recalled for them just a few of the ways God had proven Himself to them: Speaking out in the midst of a fire, taking nations on their behalf, orchestrating signs and wonders, delivering them from slavery, and giving them a home in the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 4:33-38).

Moses was setting the stage for what was to come next. *Spoiler Alert* His next task from the Lord was to deliver the Ten Commandments to the Israelites. Because we humans are quick to forget, Moses reminded them of who God is, of what He had done, and of His constant faithfulness to set the tone before presenting this vital part of the Law.

It is because of His faithfulness that our hearts can choose to respond in obedience to His guidelines. Not the other way around where we force imperfect obedience to hopefully somehow earn His goodness. When we obey Him in light of who He is and what He has done, we bring glory to His name. And that, my friends, is what this is all about.

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Discussion Questions

1. What has God done in your life to prove His faithfulness to you?

Don't limit this to just the "big things." Think hard to remember small ways God has fought for you and chased after your heart—maybe even sometimes in spite of yourself. I challenge you to write them out in a column.

2. What did you do in response to those acts of faithfulness?

Did you respond in obedience? Did you look back and give Him glory and praise? Or did you overlook them and continue down your own path? Write those out in another column alongside the first.

3. What was the outcome of His faithfulness and your response?

Did it affect your relationship(s) with loved ones? Were you spared a potential heart-hurt? Did it cost you something? Was it worth it? Is your heart different now than it was then? Make a third column in your notes and list these outcomes.

4. Pray over the things you wrote, look for patterns, and talk them out with a close, trusted friend (preferably over a yum cup of coffee). Don't just absorb, sweet friend; respond.

4 Comments available

Jay Caruso 2 months ago

Thank you Cheyanne “It is because of who God is and because of His faithfulness that we can, and should, choose to respond in obedience to His Law.” I believe this and try to do daily with forgiveness and not repeat

Hope Harris 2 months ago

The statement here in Deuteronomy “So that all may go well for you.” Has changed how I view God and the Law we have been reading about over the last eight months.

It shows me God is intentional does nothing randomly and desires what’s best for my life; so that all may go well for me.

In response to Q 1: Lately I see how God’s protection over my life by delaying a project I am working on.

Sue Bohlin 2 months ago

Terrific devo, Cheyanne! Your statement “His grace is the only check-box that matters in my life, and it was one He had already checked for me” gave me goosebumps. Bless you!

As I’m preparing to teach Psalm 90 for Women’s Bible Study in Plano, I’m marinating in the concept of cultivating an eternal perspective. Today’s reading underscored the importance of doing that–if there is only one God (and all the rest are fake gods and idols), then we need to connect the dots between Him and EVERYTHING in our lives. He is God over ALL!

And, as Todd pointed out several years ago, we see in Deuteronomy the wonderful phrase “that it may go well with you” several times. This sweet phrase reveals God’s heart toward us–He wants life to go well with us more than we do! Here is “Wellness Check” #1.

Hugh Stephenson 2 months ago

Hey God, thanks for all the things you have done for me - but I haven’t seen a lot come my way lately. I need some help. Here is a list:

Q1 I need some help hiring two people.

Q2 I’m really overwhelmed at work.

Q3 BTW, I am towards the end of my career. Can you tell me what to do next?

Q4 Amy and I are having some ups and downs.

Q5 My two adult prodigal children are really a hassle. Ideas?

A1 I have provided you a good team already.

A2 I have provided enough time for the work I have given you.

A3 When its time, I’ll show you the path.

A4 Love her as Christ loved the church.

A5 They are mine on loan to you. You have clear direction. Follow it.

Wow. Short memory. My bad.

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