STAY TRUE TO GOD
Remember and Don’t Forget
Jerry A Collins
Ø What does it mean to add to or subtract from God’s Word?
Ø What kind of idol-making can we do today?
Ø What should we remember today and not forget later?
I am going to contend that one of the basic motivations for sinning is that we forget about God. Once we do that and God is out of the equation then it is really very simple to cross the line and execute our sinful strategy. When you forget God—either His commands or His character or expectations you really answer the wrong question. It is not ‘what can I get away with’ but ‘what is closest to the heart of God’ that should determine which direction you will go. The less you know God—from an anemic knowledge of the Word of God—the more susceptible you are to ask the first question when tempted to follow thru on your sinful strategy. If you believe God does not care or will give you a break or will forgive you anyway then it is logical to conclude that this sin is no big deal. So Moses decides to clarify things right away with the Israelites who are on the verge of entering the land they were promised. That is, remember and never forget, who your God is, what He expects, what He has done for you or you will have to live with the consequences.
1. DON’T ADD ANYTHING OR TAKE AWAY FROM GOD’S WORD
Obey it all
1-2 We learn here that
3-8 Keep and do First,
they were eyewitnesses to the God behind the Law 3-4 the specific incident
recorded in Num 25:1-9 where 24000 died for disobeying. So let this motivate
you to stay true to God vs 4. Second, they have been taught this law so keep it. This is
what makes you wise and understanding people like the parable of soils Mt 13
where Jesus said the difference between good soil and others is understanding. Exposure
to Bible will not change your life. It is application of it. Step between hearing
and doing is understanding. That takes time and
seeking and studying and desire for it. Not just hanging around that gong to do
that. People hung around Jesus and not changed but some made it to
understanding and that was the difference. Third, this law keeping was not to be a burden for them 7-8. But it was to
2. PASS ON YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD THRU HIS WORD
Don’t pass on your opinions about God or your
traditions. Don’t pass on the prejudices of your culture’s view of God. (1)
Make sure you know God’s Word yourself. Make sure you are understanding
and applying it to your life all of your days vs 9
because you may forget what you know about God when you pursue strategies for
living. (2) Teach understanding of God’s Word to your children and then
grandchildren—extended family. You teach your children understanding of God’s
Word as you set priorities, make decision, resolve conflict, manage
difficulties in a godly and righteous manner. You can commit family adultery by
not living out the reality of Jesus Christ in your home, your marriage, your
life. You do that by ignoring understanding of God’s Word and replace it with
your ways—sinful strategies. Kids pick up on this and so the Word’s influence
negated. Notice, twice says all the days
of your life vs 9-10. Every day is crucial to
godly living. You get one life to live. Dont blow it
because you forgot to remember the Word. You will live to regret it and leave a
trail of relational and personal baggage that will make it more difficult to
pursue a godly life. You can never get those days back again nor can you ever
remove the consequences of what you did or did not do. For
3 IF YOU FORGET GOD YOU MAY CHANGE YOUR VIEW OF GOD
No matter how much you have seen
god work in your life by answered prayer, ministry fruitfulness, faithful watchcare—you are prone to forget all of that and take on a
different view of God. For Israel, since they had not literally seen God but
had seen what he had done vs 11-14, the abstract
nature of God and the absence of any form or literal image vs
12 and 15, imposed great difficulty on them. So Moses warns them to exert great
care on their view of God vs 15. Otherwise they would
corrupt themselves vs 16 by limiting God’s
transcendence calling into question His uniqueness practicing idolatry 16-24.
They should change understanding of their God by any image on earth or in the
stars vs 19. Moses reminds them that he will not be
there vs 21 to enforce this prohibition against
idolatry. But the Lord would as a consuming fire to purify what is precious and
destroy the worthless. He is also a jealous God—he will not allow honor be
diverted from Him to idols who are nothing vs 28.
They are still nothing today. Idolatry is deciding who you want God to be and
then creating loyalty to that. It is what all world religions and cults do. It
is fake and false and unreal to do. God has made a covenant with them and that
is what is real. So Moses gives the first prophecy of the nation and this
warning proved prophetic: (1) They will remain long in
the land 25 (1400-600BC). (2) They will act corruptly and do evil in god’s
site—forget God 25 (during time of Judges and Kings). (3) They will perish
quickly from land 26 (both Assyrian 722 and Babylonian exiles 604). (4) Lord
will scatter them 27. Most never returned and while
there they will serve nations gods—will have what they want as form of judgment
28 (from 604-1947?). (5) They will finally seek the Lord 29-31 (1000 kingdom).
Jews return from
1. In order to possess your position don’t add to or take away from Word and that includes anything it teaches.
2. Remember God’s work and teach it to your children. You have responsibility.
3. Maturity realizes you are set apart as possession of God not for God to be a possession of yours (idolatry). Maturity is to understand that God is not doing this for you but for Himself like why doesn’t God give me what I want when I pray—because it is not about you and what you want. It is about what God wants.
4. When you sin and live a worldly
life, if you repent and return, you can find God if you seek after Him with all
your heart like
5. Don’t forget who God is as He has revealed not as you want Him to be vs 7 near 24 consuming fire, jealous 31 compassionate 35 unique one of a kind 39 only one there is.