Weekly Bulletin Articles
Deuteronomy 4:1-9 —It was the 40th year and 11th month of the journeys of the Israelites since their departure from Egypt (Deut. 1:3). On the eastern side of the Jordan River, not long before the Israelites crossed over into the land of promise, Moses spoke to them. He reminded them of: 1) what God had done for His people in the past, 2) how the Israelites had treated God in the wilderness, and 3) what their duties to Him would be once they were living in Canaan.
We recognize that Christians are not the fleshly nation of Israel. We did not live in the days of Moses, and furthermore, we do not live under the Law of Moses. Yet, from Moses’ message to the Israelites of His era, there are a number of helpful lessons that we can glean.
For our purposes, we are focusing our attention on a few concepts that are recorded in Deuteronomy 4:1-9. These principles are a formula for success in any generation. Do you want to enjoy success in the spiritual realm? Do you want your family to experience the same? If so, then the instructions that are recorded in the early verses of Deuteronomy 4 have the potential to help you and your loved ones have such success. Let’s take a look.
Hearken — In this section, Moses’ message for Israel began with these words, “Now therefore hearken [listen, NKJV], O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live...” (4:1). It does not matter who it is or what a person’s circumstances are in life, here is the fundamental key to genuine success: hearken/listen to what the God of heaven has to say! A failure to do so is a 100% guarantee of spiritual disaster.
Leave — Leave God’s Word Alone. Moses further charged God’s people, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you” (4:2). That is clear enough, is it not? Leave God’s word alone —do not tamper with it or alter it in any fashion. The God of all wisdom knows just what man needs and He gives us perfect instructions. For humans to take it upon themselves to “improve” on what God has said by reducing or increasing His message is the height of foolish arrogance!
Cleave —After reminding Israel of the disobedience of some that had led to their destruction from God, Moses told them, “But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day” (4:4). What is the key to life? Cleaving unto the Lord! When Barnabas arrived in Antioch of Syria to work with the brethren there, he “exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord” (Acts 11:23). I know that many of us are striving to learn God’s word better, and I know that we are trying to remain active in His work, but have we developed our heart to the point that we are really cleaving to Him? All the study and activity in the world goes for naught unless we are really cleaving to the One who makes it all possible! Note also that the one who truly cleaves to God is the one that cleaves to and follows the Bible. There is no such thing as cleaving to the Creator while not obeying what He says to do. (Part two coming next week)