REDUNDANT REBUKE 

Moses has presented the law and the history of Israel long and often.  Is anyone getting weary of rules yet?  Israel is ready to move on into the new homeland now. 

Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven, A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak!  Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee.  Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee.  Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Deuteronomy 9:1-5 

This Israel is not being rewarded for their goodness.  Moses reminds them of their past sins.  I know that I did not come to Jesus because I am a good person.  I came to Jesus because He is good. 

Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the LORD thy God to wrath in the  wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the LORD.  Also in Horeb ye provoked the LORD to wrath, so that the LORD was angry with you to have destroyed you.  When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water: And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.  And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the LORD gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant.  And the LORD said unto me, Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image.  Deuteronomy 9:6-12 

Moses reminds them of the idolatry of their golden idol and their rebellion.  We need to remember where we were when he found us. 

Furthermore the LORD spake unto me, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven: and I will make of thee a nation mightier and greater than they.  So I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount burned with fire: and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands.  And I looked, and, behold, ye had sinned against the LORD your God, and had made you a molten calf: ye had turned aside quickly out of the way which the LORD had commanded you.  And I took the two tables, and cast them out of my two hands, and brake them before your eyes.  Deuteronomy 9:13-17 

He reminds them how he interceded for them and destroyed their idol.  My pastors and fellow Christians prayed for me when I was still an enemy of God. 

And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.  For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, wherewith the LORD was wroth against you to destroy you. But the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also.  And the LORD was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him: and I prayed for Aaron also the same time.  And I took your sin, the calf which ye had made, and burnt it with fire, and stamped it, and ground it very small, even until it was as small as dust: and I cast the dust thereof into the brook that descended out of the mount.  Deuteronomy 9:18-21 

Yet they continued to sin after this great error.  Moses reminds them of their debt, and of his investment in intercession.  God is glorified for his mercy in their many deliverances. 

And at Taberah, and at Massah, and at Kibrothhattaavah, ye provoked the LORD to wrath.  Likewise when the LORD sent you from Kadeshbarnea, saying, Go up and possess the land which I have given you; then ye rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God, and ye believed him not, nor hearkened to his voice.  Ye have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you.  Thus I fell down before the LORD forty days and forty nights, as I fell down at the first; because the LORD had said he would destroy you.  I prayed therefore unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, destroy not thy people and thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed through thy greatness, which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand.  Deuteronomy 9:22-26 

Moses asked God to remember his righteous servants, not the hardness of the majority of the people.  Before I came, many good saints prepared a place for sinners like myself.  Their faith opened the doors of the church to me. 

Remember thy servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; look not unto the stubbornness of this people, nor to their wickedness, nor to their sin: Lest the land whence thou broughtest us out say, Because the LORD was not able to bring them into the land which he promised them, and because he hated them, he hath brought them out to slay them in the wilderness.  Yet they are thy people and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest out by thy mighty power and by thy stretched out arm.  Deuteronomy 9:27-29 

These people were not unlike this nation, with its heritage of Christian faith.  The church found refuge from persecution here, and now our people may generate a new persecution here.  Our nation has largely turned from righteousness in this millennium. 

At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood.  And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark.  And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand.  And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.  And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the LORD commanded me.  Deuteronomy 10:1-5 

Moses left the artifacts in the ark as God commanded.  The commandment tablets, and other relics were provided to affirm their faith.  But even these tangible proofs would not deliver man from the judgment of the law.  Human nature would take them away from obedience, proving our inability to earn our salvation.  Relics would not be the deliverance of the modern church either.   Crusader armies would take many fake “relics” home, taking their focus from the good work of faith.  We too may make relics of human traditions, music, or rituals. 

And the children of Israel took their journey from Beeroth of the children of Jaakan to Mosera: there Aaron died, and there he was buried; and Eleazar his son ministered in the priest’s office in his stead.  From thence they journeyed unto Gudgodah; and from Gudgodah to Jotbath, a land of rivers of waters.  At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day.  Wherefore Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the LORD is his inheritance, according as the LORD thy God promised him.  Deuteronomy 10:6-9 

Aaron and the Jewish priesthood are all dead now, as the fulfillment of the law has changed the priesthood.  We are all a royal priesthood in Christ.  Gentiles now serve as leaders of faith in Jesus Christ, as do many Jews.  These modern men of God are also separated from the usual assurance of pay for hours of work.  We need to remember our pastors in our giving, even as Israel made provision for the Levites. 

And I stayed in the mount, according to the first time, forty days and forty nights; and the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also, and the LORD would not destroy thee.  And the LORD said unto me, Arise, take thy journey before the people, that they may go in and possess the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give unto them.  And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? Deuteronomy 10:10-13 

God sent them out, and Moses reinforces the basic requirements.  Fear, love, serve, and obey God; there is no other path.  That will be challenge enough for man in the natural. 

Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.  Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.  Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.  For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:  He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.  Deuteronomy 10:14-18 

You were chosen by God.  Moses challenges us to observe more than the surface appearances of ceremonies and rituals.  He calls us to make the changes in our innermost heart and mind.  God observes our behavior towards the people around us.  He knows how we treat those who are needy around us.  Do we even know who they are?  Do we understand the needs of the people in our own church?  Do we really know each other’s daily warfare? 

Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.  Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.  He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.  Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the LORD thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude.  Deuteronomy 10:19-22 

We should remember our own former lost condition when we see new Christians.  The unsaved people too need our support.  We were released form the bondage of sin, even as Israel was released from the Egyptians. 

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