You’ve Already Been Given the Word You Need: The Land, the Law & the Lord

Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy which was written and recorded by Moses the servant of the Lord. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters four through six of this Old Testament book. INHERITANCE AND OBEDIENCE! INHERITANCE AND THE LAW! INHERITANCE IS INTRINSICALLY LINKED TO OBEDIENCE! THERE CAN BE NO INHERITANCE APART FROM OBEDIENCE! THERE CAN BE NO INHERITANCE ABSENT THE COMMANDS OF THE LIVING GOD! THE MOUNTAIN IS LINKED TO THE LAND! THE REVELATION IS LINKED TO THE LAND! THE LAW IS DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO THE LAND! THE LAND CANNOT TRULY BE ENJOYED WITHOUT AND APART FROM THE LAW! REHEARSING THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD YOUR GOD! LIVING IN THE LAND AND PLEASING YOUR GOD! DWELLING IN THE LAND AND OBEYING YOUR GOD! WALKING IN THE LAND, WALKING IN THE STATUTES! WALKING IN INHERITANCE, WALKING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS! When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find that after Moses rehearsed the battles and victories which the congregation of the children of Israel had won on the eastern side of the Jordan River, he would go on to do something that was perhaps of greater worth and greater significance to the new generation which had risen up in the midst of the wilderness. I am absolutely convinced that when looking ahead to what is before you, and when preparing to enter into that which the Lord your God has for you it is necessary to rehearse where you have been and how far the Lord has brought you, as well as rehearsing the battles you have faced and the victories you have won. I am absolutely and completely convinced that when you are preparing to enter into that which the Lord your God has prepared and promised to you, there is a tremendous importance for you to look back upon where you have been, how far you have come, and how the Lord has led you. WHERE YOU’VE BEEN! HOW FAR YOU’VE COME! HOW THE LORD HAS LED YOU! When thinking and speaking about where you are headed, and the direction the Lord your God has for your life it is absolutely necessary that you think upon and examine these three distinct and these three different realities, for when and as you do you will be able to see the hand of God on your life, and the fingerprints of God all over where you have been and what has led you to the place you presently are. As you prepare to enter into—or at least move toward that which the Lord your God has for you—there is a tremendous importance for you to look back upon that which the Lord your God has done within your life, and that which the Lord your God has done for you. What’s more, is that I am convinced that such a practice is absolutely critical and necessary within your life as you attempt to enter into that which the Lord your God has prepared for you in this generation.

As I sit here this morning I can’t help but think about and consider the absolutely astounding reality that as the congregation of the children of Israel rehearsed the journeys they had taken from the time they departed from the land of Egypt until the time they were in the plains of Moab, they were doing more than simply charting their path through the wilderness. I can’t help but wonder if there weren’t certain monuments and certain altars that were found in those places the congregation of the children of Israel had been and dwelt that would perhaps remain after they had departed, and would even still be present if they returned unto that place. If there is one thing we can clearly see within scripture it’s that the Lord God places a great deal on remembrance and on monuments, and upon looking back over where you have been and what you have done within your life. There is this constant and consistent underlying theme and line of thought found within Scripture concerning remembering the Lord your God, remembering the laws and statutes which He has commanded, and what the people of God have heard and received from Him. The opening chapters of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy opens and begins with Moses rehearsing that which the congregation of the children of Israel had done in the wilderness when they were given the opportunity to enter into the land of promise and take possession of it. In the hearing of the congregation of the children of Israel Moses rehearsed how the generation of their fathers murmured, grumbled and complained in the hearing of both Moses and Aaron, as well as the Lord their God concerning the land which they were to enter, and even taking possession of the land. This new generation which would emerge in the wilderness would now be presented with the same chance and the same opportunity their fathers were given—namely, entering into the land of Canaan, confronting and engaging the inhabitants of the land (including the giants which were in the land), and taking possession of the land. After Moses rehearsed in the hearing of the congregation of the children of Israel that which their fathers had forfeited and rejected in their generation, he proceeded to describe to them their journey through and near the territories of the people of Moab, the people of Ammon, and the people of Edom.

In order for us to truly understand that which we find in chapters four through six of this Old Testament book of Deuteronomy it is absolutely necessary that we think about and consider that which preceded and went before it. It is within the opening three chapters of this Old Testament book that we find and discover that when Moses was rehearsing the journeys of the congregation of the children of Israel he spoke unto them concerning the territories of three distinct peoples—namely, Moab, Ammon and Edom—and how as the congregation of the children of Israel were preparing to enter into their inheritance, they were not to meddle with or in the inheritance that had been given unto others. Concerning the people of Edom and the nation of Edom we must recognize and understand that this land and this territory was given to the descendants of Esau, whom you will recall was the twin brother of Jacob whose name was changed to Israel. The nations of Moab and Ammon were direct descendants of the sons which were born unto those sons which were born unto Lot through both of his daughters. The nations and territory of Moab and Ammon, as well as the corresponding land was given unto them as an inheritance and possession within the earth and could not be touched by the congregation of the children of Israel. It’s worth noting that when Moses spoke unto the congregation of the children of Israel and to the inheritance that was given unto them, he also spoke unto them concerning the inheritance that had been given to the descendants of those who were directly linked and connected to Abraham. It’s absolutely astounding and remarkable to think about and consider the fact that when the congregation of the children of Israel were preparing to enter into the land which was to be their inheritance in the midst of the earth, they were given a very specific warning and word of caution concerning the inheritance that had already been given to others. The descendants of Lot, as well as the descendants of Edom had already been given and obtained their inheritance in the midst of the earth, and their descendants were already living and dwelling in the land that was given to them by the Lord. How absolutely astonishing and remarkable it is to think about and consider the fact that even though the people of Edom, the people of Moab, and the people of Ammon weren’t children of the promise, the Lord still gave unto them an inheritance within the earth, and gave unto them territory among the nations.

The more you think about and the more you consider the words which are found within this passage of Scripture the more you will find that not only did Moses remind the congregation of the children of Israel of the forfeiture and rejection of the land by their fathers, and not only did Moses remind the congregation of the children of Israel concerning the command not to meddle in, nor meddle with the inheritance of others, he would also remind the congregation of two distinct battles which they had secured against two formidable foes in the midst of the earth. As much as Moses rehearsed where the congregation of the children of Israel had been, he also took the time to rehearse to the congregation of the children of Israel what they had done and what they had accomplished in the midst of the earth—namely, how they had defeated two powerful foes and adversaries in the midst of the earth. What you will find Moses describing before and unto the congregation of the children of Israel is how they had engaged in conflict and battle with the kings of the Amorites, and how the Lord had delivered them into their hands with all their corresponding territory, cities and land. It is worth mentioning that before the congregation of the children of Israel ever stepped foot into the land which was given unto them as an inheritance, promise and possession, they had already conquered territory on the eastern edge of the Jordan River. This opportunity to go up into the land and take possession of it was given unto their fathers, and yet their fathers forfeited and rejected the opportunity to go up into the land and take possession of it. When the time came for the congregation of the children of Israel to enter into the land of Canaan they did so from a place of victory and triumph, as the Lord their God had delivered into their hands Sihon king of Heshbon, as well as Og king of Bashan. These victories were of great significance and importance for the congregation of the children of Israel, for these victories would secure a path straight into the land of Canaan and straight over the Jordan River. How absolutely astounding it is to think about and consider the fact that before the congregation of the children of Israel had crossed over the Jordan River they had already taken up the sword, and had already defeated and overtaken enemies and adversaries on the eastern side of the Jordan River. As the congregation of the children of Israel were preparing to cross over and enter into the land of Canaan they knew they could indeed and could in fact secure victory over enemies and adversaries, for not only had they defeated both Sihon king of Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, but they had also defeated the Midianites, as well as Arad the king of the Canaanites.

As the congregation of the children of Israel were preparing to enter into the land of Canaan and begin taking possession of it, they were reminded of how the Lord had delivered into their hands two powerful kings together with their people on this side of the Jordan River in the plains of Moab. The Lord their God had delivered unto them and had delivered into their hands these two kings of the Amorites, as well as the kings of the Midianites, thus securing land and territory for the congregation of the children of Israel in the midst of the land. There was land on the eastern edge of the Jordan River which the congregation of the children of Israel had indeed conquered, and had indeed secured as an inheritance for them, and it would be the tribes of Gad and Reuben which would speak unto Moses concerning taking possession of this land as their inheritance. There is not a doubt in my mind that there are times within our lives when as we are preparing to enter and step into that which the Lord our God has planned and prepared for us, it is necessary to look back over where we have come, and what we have accomplished in the generation in which we a part of. The congregation of the children of Israel were reminded by Moses of the journeys they had taken from the land of Egypt and through the wilderness, and in the process of understanding and recognizing those journeys, they were brought face to face—not only with where they had come from, not only how far they had come, but also how the Lord their God had led them every step of the way. If you read the words which are found within these chapters you will find Moses reminding the congregation of the children of Israel that in their journeys it was the Lord who led them every step of the way, and in their battles and conflicts it was the Lord who delivered their enemies and adversaries into their hands. IT WAS THE LORD! IT WAS THE LORD ALONE! Permit me to pause for a moment and ask you if and as you look back over your life if you can see the hand of God all over your life. If and as you look back over your life can you truly see the fingerprints of God within your life? Can you look back over your life and see those moments when it is and it was absolutely unmistakable that the hand of God was moving and working on your behalf in order to help bring you where you are and make you who you are today? There are those who would say they are grateful and thankful for the experiences they have gone through, for it has been the experiences they have gone through that has helped shape them into the person they are today, however, I would like to suggest that even more than the experiences you have been through—it is the divine fingerprints of God that have been all over and upon your life.

The more you read and the more you consider the words which are found within these chapters, the more you will encounter the truth that what Moses was seeking to do for the congregation of the children of Israel was remind them of how the Lord their God had led them through the wilderness and brought them to the edge of the Promised Land, as well as how the Lord had delivered into their enemies and adversaries which stood before them in their way. It’s quite remarkable to think about and consider that even before the congregation of the children of Israel could pass through the waters of the Jordan River, and even before the congregation could step into the land of Canaan they first needed to defeat those enemies and those adversaries which stood before them in their path to the land of Canaan. The congregation of the children of Israel would need to defeat and dispossess the inhabitants of the land of Canaan once they entered into the land, however, even before they stepped foot in the land promised on oath to them, they would need to engage those enemies which stood before them in their way to the Promised Land. CLEARING A PATH FOR ENTRANCE INTO THE INHERITANCE! When I read the words which are found within the opening chapters of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, as well as the words which are found within the Old Testament book of Numbers, I can’t help but look upon the conflicts and battles the congregation of the children of Israel faced against the Midianites, as well as against Sihon king of Heshbon, and even Og king of Bashan as clearing a path and charting a clear and defined path to the land of Canaan which was to be theirs as an inheritance and possession. I can’t help but think about and consider that it was necessary for the congregation of the children of to engage these enemies and adversaries in battle, for these would be very real enemies that would stand between themselves and the Promised Land. As you consider the land of Canaan and the path which the congregation of the children of Israel were traveling to enter into it, we must recognize and understand that before they could enter into the land itself, they would need to engage certain enemies and certain inhabitants of the land on the eastern edge of the Jordan River. They would be on their way to the land of Canaan, and they would need to cross over the Jordan River to step into the land, but before they would in fact enter into the land there was work that needed to be done this side of the Jordan.

THERE’S WORK TO DO ON THIS SIDE OF JORDAN! WORK BEFORE THE WORK! BATTLES BEFORE CONQUEST! BATTLES BEFORE CONQUERING! The battles which the congregation of the children of Israel faced against the kings of the Amorites, as well as the battles which they fought against the kings of Midain were necessary, for when the children of Israel crossed over the Jordan River they did so from a place of inheritance, they did so from a place of possession, and they did so from a place of victory. I absolutely love reading the narrative and account of the congregation of the children of Israel as they prepared to enter into the land of Canaan which was to be theirs as an inheritance, for if and as you read the words found in these Old Testament books you will find that in order to step into a season of conflict and battle they needed to do so having already been in a place of triumph and victory. It is absolutely remarkable to think about and consider the fact that the congregation of the children of Israel prepared to enter into the land of Canaan—a land that was filled with walled cities, inhabitants that were greater and mightier than they, and even a land of giants—and as they prepared to enter into that place of uncertainty they did so from a place of victory and triumph as the Lord their God had given into their hands two powerful kings of the Amorites. What’s more, is that one of those kings—Og king of Bashan—was in fact a literal giant in the earth, and yet the congregation of the children of Israel not only defeated him, but also the forces and people who were with him. The words which you will find in the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy is quite intriguing when you think about and consider the fact that their entrance into the land of Canaan was not only a direct result of the supernatural hand of God parting the waters of the Jordan River, but was also from a place of inheritance and possession. What’s more, is that there was work that needed to be done, and there were victories that needed to be won on the eastern edge of the Jordan River before the congregation of the children of Israel could indeed and could in fact enter into the land they would conquer land east of the Jordan River. THE TRANSITION FROM CONQUERED LAND TO UNCONQUERED TERRITORY! As the congregation of the children of Israel prepared to enter into the land of Canaan Moses reminded them of land and territory they had already taken possession of, and land which was already being given as an inheritance to the two tribes of Gad and Reuben, as well as the half tribe of Manasseh.

While I sit here and consider the narrative and account of the children of Israel as they prepared to enter into the land that was sworn unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, I can’t help but consider the tremendous reality that before they could even step foot and enter into the land of promise they needed to take up the sword “on this side of the Jordan” in order that they might conquer territory, defeat enemies and adversaries, and learn how to take possession of land. I absolutely love that the Lord their God didn’t allow them to enter into the land of promise and then expect them to learn and discover how to take possession of the land, conquer and subdue it. When the congregation of the children of Israel entered into the land of Canaan they did so—not from a place of wondering if victory was even possible, but knowing that victory was possible. I can’t help but wonder if the LORD didn’t bring this second generation to the place where they would engage enemies and adversaries on the eastern edge of the Jordan River so they would enter into the land knowing what it would take to conquer and subdue it. I can’t help but wonder if the living God didn’t have the congregation of the children of Israel engage in conflict against the kings of Midian, as well as the kings Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of Bashan in order that they might possess the confidence, the strength, the courage, and the boldness to rise up and enter into the land of Canaan. When their fathers and that first generation was given the chance to enter into the land of Canaan and take possession of it they chose to shrink back in fear and to listen to the negative report which was brought unto them by ten of the twelve spies who scouted out the land. I absolutely love that when this second generation was preparing to enter into the land which was not only sworn to their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but also offered to their fathers, they were offered the opportunity to take possession on the eastern side of the Jordan River before ever even crossing over into the land. What’s worth noting is that the land which this generation conquered and took possession of appeared to be similar to that which the generation of their fathers were commanded and instructed to rise up and take possession of. As this new generation was preparing to enter into the land, and to cross over the Jordan River, they were doing so from a tremendous place of power, victory and triumph, as they had secured major victories and seized tremendous territory east of the Jordan River. What’s more, is that the congregation of the children of Israel had secured enough land and territory on the eastern edge of the Jordan River that two and a half tribes of the congregation and assembly of Israel could take as their inheritance and possession. Pause for a moment and think about that reality, and how when the congregation of the children of Israel were preparing to enter into the land of Canaan, they were doing so from a place of inheritance, from a place of possession, from a place of victory and triumph. Not only this, but their entrance into the land of Canaan was from a place of work that had already been done, but a greater work that was still left to be done in the midst of the land.

The more I read and consider the words which are written and found within these three chapters of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy the more I come face to face with the undeniable and indisputable fact that the Law which the living God had given unto Moses was intrinsically linked to the land. In the first three chapters Moses rehearsed the battles the congregation of the children of Israel had won against Sihon king of Heshbon, as well as against Og king of Bashan—words that would have strengthened the hearts and souls of the congregation of the children of Israel as they prepared to cross over the Jordan River and begin conquering, subduing and taking possession of the land. What’s more, is the fact that Moses rehearsed unto the congregation the transgression and rebellion of their fathers and all that previous generation when they forfeited and rejected the land sworn unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob out of fear, doubt and unbelief. Before this new generation would and could enter into the land which the living God had sworn on oath they would conquer, subdue and take possession of, it was necessary that they encounter and come face to face with the chance and opportunity that was given unto their fathers and unto that previous generation, as well as where they moved forward in the place their fathers shrank back and cowered in fear. It was true the congregation of the children of Israel in this generation would enter into the land of Canaan, and it was true that they would conquer and subdue nations and peoples which were stronger and mightier than they, and before they would step and cross over the Jordan River Moses would rehearse the journeys they took from the time they departed the land of Egypt throughout all the vast wilderness and ultimately unto the plains of Moab where they were at this present time. There in the plains of Moab Moses rehearsed the journeys of the congregation of the children of Israel—not only to demonstrate where they had come from, not only to demonstrate how far they had come, but also to demonstrate how far the Lord had brought them and how He led them every step of the way. From slavery and bondage to inheritance and possession the congregation of the children of Israel was led by the Lord their God who would neither abandon, nor forsake them. In addition to rehearsing the journeys the congregation of the children of Israel had taken, Moses also rehearsed the battles and victories they had won “on this side of the Jordan,” and even gave them a strong warning concerning their meddling not, touching not, and interfering not in the inheritance of the descendants of Lot and Edom—the people of Moab, the people of Ammon, and the people of Edom. With all of that being said, there is something I believe is of greater worth and greater significance than the rehearsal of journeys and the rehearsal of battles one—namely, the rehearsal of the revelation at the mountain of God in the midst of the wilderness, and the Law which would be given there at the mountain by the Lord their God.

It would be incredibly easy to think that the only thing that was necessary for the congregation of the children of Israel upon entering into the land which would be their inheritance and possession would be knowing how far they had come from, how the Lord had led them every step of the way, and how the Lord had even delivered enemies and adversaries into their hands. The truth of the matter, however, is that as you read chapters four through six of this Old Testament book you will find something of far greater worth and far greater significance for the congregation of the children of Israel—namely, the Law and the commandments which were given unto them at Horeb in the wilderness of Sinai. As I sit here this morning I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with and by the fact that the Law which was given unto the congregation of the children of Israel at Horeb in the vast wilderness of Sinai was intrinsically linked and connected to the land into which the Lord their God was going to give unto them. In fact, if you begin reading the first verse of the fourth chapter of this Old Testament book you will find Moses instructing the congregation of the children of Israel that they hearten unto the statures and unto the judgments which he taught them, and to do them that they might live—and not only live, but also that they might go in and possess the land which the Lord their God, and the God of their fathers had given unto them. It would be very easy to think about the Law which was given at Sinai to simply be a way the Lord would take this people which were enslaved in the land of Egypt and transform them into a righteous people who walked in His statues and commandments alone, and such a line of thinking is somewhat true. It was true that the living God gave the commandments, the statutes, and the Law unto the congregation of the children of Israel that they might be a peculiar people of righteousness and obedience before and unto Him, however, there was something else that is oftentimes overlooked when thinking about and considering the Law which the Lord the God of the Hebrews had given unto them—namely, that the Law was intrinsically linked to the land, and that there was absolutely no way they could enter into the land, nor was their any way they could conquer, nor even was their any way they could dwell and abide in the land without and apart from the Law which was given unto Moses. THE LAND AND THE LAW! THE LAND AND THE LORD! If you truly take the time to read and study the narrative and account of the congregation of the children of Israel you will quickly encounter and come face to face with the fact that there could be no inheritance, nor could their be any possession of the land without and apart from the Law which the living God had given unto Moses at Horeb in the wilderness of Sinai.

As you continue reading the words which are found within these chapters you will find that the living God had destroyed all those men who aligned themselves to Baal-Peor, and how all those men who aligned themselves to this god were dead and no longer present among this generation. Only those which clave to the living God were alive and remained unto this day when Moses stood before them and rehearsed the commandments of the living God. This is incredibly important, for if you journey back to the Old Testament book of Numbers—specifically, the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of this book—you will find the Law and command of the living God being specifically and intrinsically linked to the land, for when the congregation of the children of Israel rebelled against the Lord in the wilderness by complaining and murmuring against both Moses and Aaron, as well as the Lord Himself, the Lord declared and swore by Himself that that generation would not enter into the land which was sworn unto their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. What’s more, is that at this time the Lord also spoke unto them and declared that they had tempted Him these ten times in the wilderness, and as a result of these temptations there were a number of the congregation of the children of Israel which had perished and died in the wilderness. When we think about and consider the land which the Lord the God of the Hebrews was going to bring them into, it’s absolutely necessary and imperative that we think about and consider the fact that there could be no land without and apart from the Law, for it would be the Law and adherence to the Law that would secure their entrance into the land, and it would be the Law that would keep them in the land. THE LAW GOVERNS THE INHERITANCE! I am completely and absolutely convinced that when we attempt to discuss the inheritance and that which the living God has prepared for us, we cannot and must not attempt to have any discussion without and apart from also discussing the Law and the commands which the living God has spoken unto us. In the fourth chapter of this Old Testament book you will find Moses rehearsing the journey the fathers of this generation took unto the mountain of God in the wilderness, and how they came and stood near under the mountain as it burned with fire unto the midst of heaven with darkness, with clouds, and with thick darkness. Moses rehearsed and reminded them of how the Lord spoke unto them out of the midst of the fire, and how they heard the voice of words, but saw no likeness or similitude—only a voice they did and would hear there at the mountain of God in the wilderness. What’s more, is that Moses reminded this congregation how the Lord their God declared unto them His covenant, which He commanded them to perform—even the Ten Commandments which were part of the Law which He wrote on two tablets of stone.

Upon moving even further into these chapters you will find Moses declaring unto them how the Lord commanded him at the time the congregation of the children of Israel was at the mountain of God in the wilderness to teach them statutes and judgments that they might do them in the land whither they would go over to possess. Oh please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of this absolutely wonderful and astonishing reality, for when you think about the Law and the commands which were given unto the congregation of the children of Israel there at the mountain of God in the wilderness, you must recognize and understand that the Law was given unto them so when they came into the land whither the Lord was bringing them into to take possession of, they would do the statutes, the commandments, the precepts and the law which was given unto them. The law was given in the wilderness at the mountain of God as the Lord spoke unto Moses out of the midst of the thick darkness, out of the midst of the clouds, and out of the midst of the consuming fire, and gave him the Law, and that law was to govern the congregation of the children of Israel as they went into the land to take possession of it, and even as they would begin to settle, abide and dwell within the land. There is this underlying line of thought found within these chapters in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy that the Law which was spoken and given by the Lord God of the Hebrews was directly linked and connected to the land, for it would be the Law that would not only govern the people as they dwelt in the midst of the land, but it would also be the land that would either secure their place within the land, or it would be the violation of the law that would thrust them forth from the land. Lest you begin to think for one moment that I am somehow off the mark when I declare that the law was intrinsically linked to the land, I would like to remind you of how the congregation of the children of Israel—after the nation and kingdom of Israel had been divided during the days of Rehoboam son of Solomon—would ultimately be thrust forth from the land and would be brought into captivity among the nations of the earth. Even Moses in the fourth chapter of this Old Testament book declared unto the congregation of Israel that if they failed to heed, and if they neglected to obey the commands, the statutes, the precepts and the Law of the living God, the Lord would scatter them among the nations of the earth where they would serve others who were never meant to rule over them. This would ultimately come to pass when the northern kingdom of Israel would be the first to be scattered as they would be taken captive by the Assyrian Empire, and would be scattered within and throughout that empire. Later, the southern kingdom of Judah would be taken captive and scattered within and throughout the Babylonian Empire as Babylon would conquer the land and utterly destroy the Temple of the living God while at the same time removing the people from the land.

There are many of us who get excited when it comes to conversations about inheritance and about possession, and there are many of us who like to speak about that which the living God has promised us, however, there are very few among us who actually take the time to think about and consider the commands and statutes the living God has given unto us that we might actually take possession of that which He has promised and prepare for us. The Law which was given unto Moses at the mountain of God in the midst of the wilderness was not meant to be a list of suggestions which the congregation of the children of Israel could choose to obey, but it was to be a way of life—indeed it was to be life unto them—as they not only entered into and began subduing the land, but also as they would begin to dwell and inhabit the land. What’s more, is that perhaps one of the greatest commandments the Lord God of the Hebrews spoke unto them and required them to obey was the command to abstain and refrain from forming and fashioning any graven image, any idol, and god which was made of gold, silver, bronze, stone or wood. Moses declared unto the congregation that when they heard the voice of God speaking unto them from the midst of the fire there at the mountain of God in the wilderness they did not see any likeness, nor did they see the actual form of God. This is absolutely necessary to think about and consider, for because they did not see any likeness of form of the living God, it would have been very easy for them to form and fashion unto themselves graven images according to their own imagination. It’s actually quite unique and astounding to think about and consider the fact that God made man in His image and after His likeness, and yet almost from the beginning of the time we have been making God in our image and have been making Him after our likeness, or after a likeness that is more appealing and satisfying unto us. We must remember and not forget that it was while the congregation of the children of Israel was at the mountain of God in the midst of the wilderness that they formed a golden calf which they would worship—even while the mountain of God was altogether on a smoke because of the consuming fire of the presence of God upon the mountain. Oh I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that while it was true that man was created in the image of God, and was made in the likeness of the living God, man has time and time again made God in their image, and have attempted to make Him after their own likeness, or after the likeness of something that is much more appealing, and much more pleasing unto them. It’s interesting and worth noting that when the congregation of the children of Israel worshipped before the golden calf in the midst of the wilderness—that which they were actually doing was worshipping God in the image they had made. Oh it was true that what they were saying might have sounded like worship, for they declared how God had delivered them out of their bondage and oppression in the land of Egypt. Even more, you will find that when they approached Aaron concerning making for them gods, they did so while asking him to make for them gods which would go before them in the wilderness, and even into the land which was sworn and promised unto them.

I cannot escape this line of thinking that while it is true we have been made in the image and have been made after the likeness of the living God, we have spent a considerable amount of time attempting to make God in our own image, or after and according to an image that is easier to manage and more pleasing unto us. What’s more, is that we have spent a considerable amount of time attempting to make God after the likeness of ourselves, and/or after the likeness of that which is pleasing and appealing unto us. When and as the Lord God of the Hebrews was about to bring this new generation across the Jordan River and into the land which He had sworn unto their fathers, He reminded them through His servant Moses how they had heard His voice speaking unto them from the midst of the fire, and out of the thick clouds and darkness in the wilderness, but how they had never seen His form, nor His shape, nor His likeness. Perhaps one of the most dangerous realities concerning idolatry is that since we have never seen God at any time, and since we have never seen His form, nor His shape, nor His person, it leaves a tremendous amount of room for interpretation on our parts to fashion God however we choose and however we desire. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and pay close attention to this, for when we think about idolatry and idolatrous worship, we must recognize that at the very heart of it is a desire to form and fashion an image of God according to our own image, or an image which we have within our own imaginations and minds. Even more, we must recognize that at the very heart of idolatry there is this underlying attempt to form and fashion God in and after our own likeness, or after a likeness of our own choosing and desire. Idolatry is so incredibly dangerous—particularly and especially because it allows us to interpret the living God how we see fit, and worship Him as we deem appropriate. Idolatry is so incredibly dangerous, for through it we allow ourselves to interpret God according to our own imagination and fashion an image of Him according to how we think He should look like and what we think He should be like. Idolatry is perhaps one of the most dangerous forms of iniquity, for not only does it separate us from the true and living God, but it also allows us to interpret Him as we desire and as we see fit without taking the time to truly consider who He is—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. As the congregation of the children of Israel were preparing to enter into the land sworn unto their fathers they were reminded of the command that they ought not to form any graven image, nor make unto themselves any god made of gold, silver, bronze, wood or stone, lest their hearts be turned away from the living God who had delivered them out of the land of Egypt.

For us to truly understand that which is found within these chapters, and for us to truly understand the reality and concept of inheritance, it is absolutely necessary for us to recognize the tremendous importance of the Law which was given by the living God unto Moses at the mountain of God in the midst of the wilderness, it is absolutely necessary that we consider the words found in the fifth chapter. If you begin reading with and from the sixth verse of the fifth chapter you will encounter Moses rehearsing in the hearing of the congregation of the children of Israel—that new generation which had emerged in the wilderness and was preparing to enter into the land of Canaan—the statutes, commands, precepts and the Law that was given by the Lord their God at the mountain of God in the wilderness. That which you will find beginning with the sixth verse of the fifth chapter is essentially the same message the Lord had given unto their fathers forty years earlier when they had emerged from the land of Egypt and had stood before the mountain of God in the wilderness. Perhaps one of the most remarkable and astounding realities and truths concerning the Law which the Lord had given unto Moses forty years earlier when that first generation stood before the mountain of God in the wilderness is that the Law had not been altered, nor had it been changed. Despite the fact that forty years had passed, and despite the fact that that first generation had passed away and a new generation emerged and stepped forward, the Law which the living God had given unto Moses had not changed, nor had it been altered. Just as true as it is concerning the living God being the same yesterday, today and for ever, so also is it true that although heaven and earth pass away the word of the Lord can and will stand and endure forever. It’s worth noting that the words which we find in the fifth chapter beginning with the sixth verse are the same words which had been previously spoken unto the congregation of the children of Israel during that first generation. The words which Moses was speaking unto the congregation of the children of Israel was not an entirely new word, nor was it a new commandment that was given unto them, but rather it was something which their fathers had heard as they stood before the mountain of the living God in the wilderness. How absolutely wonderful and fascinating it is to think about and consider the fact that the words which Moses rehearsed in the hearing of the congregation of the children of Israel were not new, nor were they words which had not already been spoken, but rather, they were words which had endured for a generation in the midst of the wilderness over a period of forty years. Pause for a moment and consider the words which are found in this chapter beginning with the sixth verse:

“I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Thou shalt have none other gods before me. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, , nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou was a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day. Honour thy father, and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill, Neither shalt thou commit adultery. Neither shalt thou steal. Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour. Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour. Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt tho uncover thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ALX, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s” (Deuteronomy 5:6-21).

These words are absolutely astounding and remarkable, however, what we must realize and recognize is that these words were not new. The words which Moses was speaking in the hearing of the congregation of the children of Israel was not something new which they had not heard, nor which they were not aware of. In fact, if that previous generation had done that which the Lord their God commanded and instructed, they would have rehearsed these words in the hearing of their children, and their children would have rehearsed them in the hearing of their children. The words which we find presented before us within this passage, and the words which were being spoken unto the congregation of the children of Israel were not new, but rather were words which had already been spoken unto a previous generation at the mountain of God in the wilderness. It’s necessary for us to recognize and understand that the words which were being spoken at this time were not some new revelation that was given unto this new generation which emerged in the midst of the wilderness, but was that which their fathers had heard and received of the Lord. We must not miss and lose sight of this absolutely incredible and tremendous reality, for to do so would be to miss out on the incredible importance of the word of God. When we consider the words which are found within these three chapters we must acknowledge the awesome fact that the law which the Lord had commanded unto Moses was intrinsically linked and connected to the land, and that the commands and statutes this generation were receiving of Moses weren’t new statutes, but rather were statutes which had been around for an entire generation by now. It was true that this was a new generation that would enter into the land of Canaan, yet this new generation would enter into the land of Canaan with statutes and precepts which had already been given and which had already been spoken unto their fathers. There is this incredible line of thinking the centers upon the reality the future generations somehow need a new revelation and somehow need some new word from the Lord in order to sustain and uphold it. There have been countless teachings and countless men and women who have preached from behind pulpits, and have even written books unto new and upcoming generations, and have declared that each new and subsequent generation needs a new revelation from the Lord. There are men and women who right now are preaching and proclaiming the reality that there somehow needs to be a new revelation and new word that needs to be given unto this generation, and yet the truth of the matter is that this simply is not true, and is utterly and completely false.

NEW GENERATIONS DON’T NECESSITATE NEW REVELATION! NEW GENERATIONS DON’T NECESSITATE NEW WORDS! I sit here this morning and I can’t help but think about the fact that even though the generation which stood before Moses in the plains of Moab was an entirely new and different generation than that which stood before the mountain of God in the midst of the wilderness, and even though they were going to be the ones which were preparing to enter into the land of Canaan, there was not some need for a new word or a new revelation that would be given by the Lord. This new generation would not need some new revelation that would be spoken by the Lord their God, and that that new word would somehow set them apart from the generation which went before them. Oh I absolutely love the declaration in Scripture that heaven and earth shall pass away, yet the word of the Lord will remain and stand forever. What’s more, is that I absolutely love the fact that the Holy Spirit emphatically declares in Scripture that this Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. When we think about and consider the words which are found within these chapters it is absolutely necessary to understand that this new generation did not and would not need some new revelation from the Lord their God, and that a new generation automatically necessitates and warrants a new word and a new revelation. I find it to be absolutely amazing and incredible that as this new generation was preparing to enter into the land which was sworn unto their fathers they did not receive some new revelation or new word, but were given the same word which their fathers had been given. This new generation was not given some new set to statutes and precepts, but were given the very same statutes and precepts which their fathers had been given—those statutes and precepts which they themselves had disobeyed and rebelled against. I find myself being confronted with the fact that we as the people of God in this generation cannot, must not and should not spend any amount of time seeking after some new revelation, or some new word from the living God, and must realize that everything we need and everything we have ever needed has already been spoken and given. It was this pursuit of some new revelation and some new word from the Lord that caused those during the days of the early church and during the days of the early church fathers to open themselves up to false teaching, false doctrine, and even false gospels. I sit here this morning and I can’t help but be directly confronted with and by the fact that regardless of what we are going through, or regardless of what we are preparing to enter into, and regardless of what we the Lord our God is doing in our lives, there is not, nor has there ever been a need for some new revelation, or some new word form the Lord.

This new generation which would enter into the land of promise and would conquer and subdue it would not be given some new set of command, nor would they be given some new Law, but would be given the very same thing their fathers had been given during their generation. Oh, it would be easy to think about and consider the fact that the words which Moses spoke unto this congregation was somehow something entirely new, and that this new phase and era in the narrative of the congregation of the children of Israel was somehow warranting a new revelation from the Lord, and yet the truth of the matter is that this simply isn’t the case. It is a faulty assumption to think and believe that each new and subsequent generation which emerges in the earth somehow needs a new revelation from the Lord, and somehow needs a new word which somehow applies to them. Now you might argue according to the words which are found in the opening chapter of the epistle written unto the Hebrews and how in times past God spoke unto the fathers through the prophets, but has in these Last Days spoken unto us by His eternal and only begotten Son Jesus the Christ. In all reality, the truth of the matter is that even though God has indeed spoken unto us in these Last Days by and through the eternal Son Jesus the Christ, Jesus Himself declared that he came not to abolish or do away with the Law, but to fulfill it. It is true that Jesus the Christ in the Sermon on the Mount declared how they had heard that it had been said such and such, but He declares thus, however, we must recognize that this in no way did away with the Law which was given through Moses, but was taking that which had been spoken unto Moses in the wilderness and elevating it to a higher standard and higher level. What’s more, is that within the four gospel narratives you will find that the Law wasn’t done away with, for the entire Law was summed up in two distinct commands—namely, to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus came preaching the kingdom of heaven, yet even in the midst of the proclamation of the kingdom of heaven, Jesus came to fulfill the Law which was spoken and given unto Moses in the wilderness. We must recognize and understand the absolutely incredible and tremendous reality that new generations don’t necessitate, nor do they require a new revelation from the living God. What’s more, is that I can’t help but wonder what would happen if instead of trying to seek out some new word and revelation, and instead of trying to reinvent something that is somehow brand new, we simply gave ourselves over to that which has already been spoken. It was Solomon who emphatically declared that there is nothing new under the sun, and that what is has already been, and that there is nothing new which has not already been before.

NEW GENERATION, SAME WORD! NEW GENERATION, SAME LAW! NEW GENERATION, SAME REVELATION! If there is one thing I feel strongly impressed to call and draw your attention to within this writing it’s that we eliminate from our thinking the need to somehow seek after and search for some new revelation and/or word from the living God. We play an incredibly dangerous game when we give ourselves and devote our time and energy into pursuing some new revelation, and some new word, and don’t simply rely on that which the Lord our God had already been spoken. Within these chapters we find Moses continually reminding the congregation of the children of Israel how the Lord their God had already spoken unto them, and how the Lord their God had spoken unto them out of the midst of the fire. What’s more, is that if you read and study the narrative of the people of Israel you will find that there was never another experience and encounter as there was at the mountain of God in the wilderness. You will never find the Lord speaking unto the congregation of the children of Israel the same way He had spoken unto that first generation in the midst of the wilderness. From the time of that first generation unto the time of the final generation that would be present before Jesus came in the flesh, the Lord their God would not speak unto them the same way He did there in the wilderness. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this, for there would not be some new revelation, nor would there be some new word that would be given unto them. Even when the prophets of the living God began to emerge within the kingdom of Israel, as well as the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah, they would not necessarily come with a new revelation and new word, but rather a reminder of what had already been spoken, and a declaration concerning the law and statutes of the living God. The prophets did not come introducing some new revelation, but rather speaking unto and warning their generation concerning their treatment of the command, the statutes and precepts of the living God. Oh that we would stop and consider the fact that the Lord our God has not given us some new word, nor has He given us some new revelation, but has already given us everything we need. In all reality, there is absolutely no need within our hearts and our minds to try and chase after and pursue some new word and some new revelation, but rather cling to what has already been spoken. Oh that we would cease any false and vain pursuit of a new word and new revelation from the Lord and that we would recognize that everything we need has already been spoken and has already been given unto us. There is absolutely no need for anything new, or “fresh,” as we like to put it in our generation, for the Lord has already given us everything we need within and in the midst of the generation we find ourselves living in during these Last Days.

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