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Monday, February 17, 2020

2020.02.17 Hopewell @Home ▫ Deuteronomy 5:8-10

Questions from the Scripture text: What shall we not make (Deuteronomy 5:8)? For whom? What shall we not do toward them? What shall we not do to them? What does the Lord say about Himself (Deuteronomy 5:9)? What will He do to those who worship this way? What does He say that those who worship this way are doing to Him? What does God to thousands? What does He call those who keep His commandments in worship (Deuteronomy 5:10)? 
When Moses is about to re-state the ten commandments in Deuteronomy 5, the Holy Spirit leads up to it in Deuteronomy 4:1–40 with an extended section that explains especially the second commandment.

“Do not add or take away from these words,” he says in Deuteronomy 4:2. In Deuteronomy 4:3-4, he reminds them how dangerous God’s holiness can be, especially since (as he says in Deuteronomy 4:7), God is so very near to them.

We probably still remember the Lord saying, “By those who draw near to me…” when talking about worshiping only as God says in Leviticus 10:3. Then, in Deuteronomy 4:8-11, he reminds them how terrifying Yahweh’s glory was at Sinai, when they only heard His voice (Deuteronomy 4:12-14).

It is at this point that he underlines to them that the foundation of prohibiting them from worshiping by way of a carved image is that Yahweh simply did not make Himself known to them by that means.

By beginning Deuteronomy 4:15-18 with “Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form,” he makes it clear that the second commandment (much of which is here, word for word, and expanded upon) is about wrong ways of worshiping the true God, that result in worshiping according to that which fascinates all people (Deuteronomy 4:19) rather than in the special way that the Lord has commanded for His special people (Deuteronomy 4:20).

How serious an offense would this be? Moses reminds them that even he doesn’t get a pass with God in Deuteronomy 4:21-22. Then, he immediately ties the prohibition of making carved images to their covenant relationship with God in Deuteronomy 4:23. This is why worshiping God’s way only is tied to the statement in Deuteronomy 4:24, “For Yahweh your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” We are familiar with the consuming fire language from Hebrews 12:29; and, of course, the “jealous God” language takes us directly to the second commandment.

God. Considers. It. Unfaithfulness. To. Our. Covenant. With. Him. To. Worship. Our. Way. Instead. Of. His.

Like adultery, but instead of against our wife or husband—against the Living God! That’s the point that is made in the wonderful section in Deuteronomy 4:25-40 about how even after judging them for whoredom against Himself, He would grant them repentance out of the same Husband-love in which He had chosen them in the first place!!
How has God betrothed you to Himself?
How does He expect You to respond to that in Lord’s Day worship?
Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH130A “LORD, from the Depths”

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