A personal word: We have just returned yesterday from a trip to Texas where I preached the funeral service for Marcia's uncle, Jim, who slipped quietly into the Lord's presence after a month's illness. While gathering with family and friends gives a great source of comfort, it is greater still to have hope (confident assurance) in the death of a loved one who has a clear testimony of salvation and faith. Thanks to our PPC family for understanding and encouraging us to go, even though it was Easter weekend. Thanks also to my student at CBI, Nathan Lundgren, who preached in my absence. Now, to our text:
Deuteronomy 5 gives us a second recording of the 10 Commandments, given in the nature of a covenant between God and Israel (1-5), with the Commandments being repeated by word and writing in vs. 6-22.
The correspondence between God and Israel is clarified as to be by the mediation and ministry of Moses and Israel's agreement is confirmed in vs, 23-27.
Israel's Petition and God's Plea follow in vs. 27-33.
Our focus is verse 29, where we read, as it were, a Lamentation beginning with "Oh, that they had such a heart...!" It seems that God, knowing the frailty of man's heart, wishes that what Israel has declared would be followed up on by behavior. This lament is followed by the Limitations which Israel (and we, ourselves by application) put on themselves by failing to follow through with obedience the promises made.
God commends what Israel had said (vs 28), and now wishes they were sincere in what they had said (vs 29).
The Word of God becomes ineffective when it is revered in word, but not feared (reverenced in practice)...when honored with the lips, but not followed by life service; when the Truth is not applied, it is as if we have lied! (James 1:22ff). How much more so when a society seeks, not only to ignore God's Word, but tries to eradicate it from public view. What we do with the Bible determines what God does in our lives!
When we limit our obedience to the Word, we effectively limit what God would do in our lives if only our hearts were fully turned toward Him.
John Burton and William B. Bradbury teamed up and wrote the words and music to "Holy Bible, Book Divine", take a moment to look it up and meditate on its words.