SanLo Community, an update for the week of October 13, 2019…
Pastor Brian - Deuteronomy 9:1-8 - “The Promise Keeper”
Does it bother you when someone does not keep their word? This morning we are going to learn about someone who always keeps His word, the ultimate Promise Keeper, the LORD our God. But, how do we know His Word never fails? How do we know He keeps His promises? How can we be sure God keeps His promises?
1) We can be sure God keeps His promises despite our FEARS. God’s Word will come true even when we are afraid it won’t. There is nothing that God cannot overcome to keep Him from doing what He says He will do. His promise to prepare the way for us regardless of our fears is always true. (vv.1-3)
Israel was preparing to enter the land God promised them. In this place were many powerful, wicked, and mighty nations that needed to be conquered before Israel could live in it. The Anakim were one such group of people that represented these fierce nations. The people of Israel had the same fears as the other surrounding kingdoms had whenever they faced the Anakim. Nevertheless, Israel is instructed to possess the land. Deuteronomy 9:1, “Hear, O Israel; you are to cross over the Jordan today, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you.” How would they rid the land of enemy nations greater and mightier than them? Moses reminded them in Deuteronomy 9:3, “Know therefore today that He who goes over before you as a consuming fire is the LORD your God. He will destroy them and subdue them before you. So you shall drive them out and make them perish quickly, as the LORD has promised you.” Israel had to trust God and overcome their fears about the Anakim to enter the Promised Land.
Just like Israel, Christ followers will need to face our fears by trusting in God while pursuing His plans for us. At the end of Matthew 28:19-20 God promises His people that He is with us always, to the end of the age. It’s encouraging to know we can be confident that He keeps His promise to prepare the way even in the midst of our FEAR.
2) We can be sure God keeps His promises despite our FOOLISHNESS. It’s foolish to think God’s promises come true because of our own efforts. We deceive ourselves if we believe that God needs our help to accomplish His will. Despite our foolish, misguided, and prideful ways God’s promise to provide for us will come true. (vv.4-6)
Moses warns Israel not to take credit for their victory in defeating the opposition and told them in Deuteronomy 9:4, “Do not say in your heart, after the LORD your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the LORD has brought me in to possess this land.” It wasn’t because Israel was good that they could be triumphant. From verse 5 we see that God provided a new home for Israel, “That He may confirm the word that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob,” Israel’s pride revealed how foolish they were to believe it was because of their righteousness they were victorious and not recognize it was because God kept His promise to provide to their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Looking at Israel over 3,000 years later we have the advantage of observing how silly and foolish it was for Israel to think that it was because of their righteousness that they deserved to prosper, but do we also pat ourselves on the back for our successes and neglect to recognize that it is God who provides us the ability and opportunity? Are you enjoying advancements in your career path? Excelling in school? Enjoying great friendships? Blessed by wonderful family connections? Have you taken the time to recognize and thank God for these victories or do you think it’s because of your own efforts that these wonderful blessings happen? If not, what makes us think that we are different than Israel who thought it was because of their righteousness that they were successful and prospered?
3) We can be sure God keeps His promises despite our FAILURES. Have you ever doubted God’s promise to love and forgive you because of something shameful you did? You know what you did was wrong. In fact, you promised God you would never do it again, but you did it anyway. As we conclude with our final point of the day, you will see that God will never fails us. (vv.7-8)
From Deuteronomy 5:27, we read that the leaders of Israel tell Moses at Mt Horeb (Sinai) to, “Go near and hear all that the LORD our God will say, and speak to us all that the LORD our God will speak to you, and we will hear and do it.” At Mt. Horeb God displayed Himself as powerful and mighty, as a voice coming from fire in the midst of dark clouds. This is where Moses received the Ten Commandments on two tablets of stone. It was also where Israel committed to listen and do all the LORD commanded, yet today we read Israel provoked the LORD with such rebellious hearts that God became so furious He was about to wipe them out. Deuteronomy 9:8, “Even at Horeb (Sinai) you provoked the LORD to wrath, and the LORD was so angry with you that He was ready to destroy you.” Israel’s words of commitment and promise to do all that the LORD commanded fell miserably short. Yet because we have the advantage of hindsight, we know God kept His promise to love them no matter how often they failed in keeping their word.
Despite our FEARS, FOOLISHNESS or FAILURES God’s words remain true. That gives us hope when we fall short in our relationship with Him and others. There is hope when we don’t follow through on a promise. God’s promises remind us of His love, strength and purpose for us when we feel terrible about ourselves in order to draw us nearer to Him. Listen closely as you read these verses and let the Holy Spirit use God’s words to minister to your spirit and souls.
1 John 4:18, ”There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear."
1 Corinthians 13:7-8a, "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends!”
Proverbs 24:16 (NIV), “For even though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again.”
Proverbs 28:13, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”
Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you! Be not dismayed, for I am your God! I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand!”
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
Praise Songs: Love the Lord; Your Beloved; Great is Thy Faithfulness; Grace, Greater Than Our Sin; Doxology.