Each week we LIVESTREAM the Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, Lord's Day morning public worship at 11a, and Lord's Day p.m. singing (3p) and sermon (3:45), and the Midweek Sermon and Prayer Meeting at 6:30p on Wednesday

Saturday, February 15, 2020

2020.02.15 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 do to thousands? What does He call those who keep His commandments in worship (Deuteronomy 5:10)?
God calls worshiping Him our way “hating” Him and worshiping Him His way “loving” Him.
When the Lord is about to repeat the Ten Commandments for the Israelites in Deuteronomy 5, He prepares them in Deuteronomy 4:1-5:5, urging them that God who has prepared the land for them has made a covenant with them.  And He spends the bulk of that portion teaching them about the second commandment.

He reminds them of His personal interest in them and nearness to them (Deuteronomy 4:7-10Deuteronomy 4:19-20Deuteronomy 4:33-36)—how He has chosen them in love. And He reminds them that He has shown them no form of Himself, but only given them His words (Deuteronomy 4:12-15). He uses the language of the second commandment in Deuteronomy 4:16Deuteronomy 4:23, and Deuteronomy 4:25—all three places forbidding the making of a “carved image.”

In this way, we know that the second commandment is not so much about the worship of other gods—except insofar as worshiping Him our way is to reject Him altogether. This God, who has loved them, has given them His own way of loving Him back in worship.

Aaron had said in Exodus 32:5 about the celebration of the golden calf, “Tomorrow is a feast to Yahweh!” And the Lord had responded by saying, “let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them, and I may consume them.” Now, in warning them not to commit the same sin, Deuteronomy 4:24 says, “For Yahweh your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”

So, when we hear Him say in Deuteronomy 5:9-10, “For I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God […] those who hate Me […] those who love Me,” we are to realize something huge. In the second commandment, God presents the right way of worshiping Him as a question of hating Him or loving Him.

He attaches the threat that worshiping Him our way will lead to following generations to reject Him and endure the consequences of that.

And, He attaches the promise that when we love Him by keeping His commandments—by being glad that He is our God, and He makes the rules (especially THIS rule!)—He will continue in that covenant love (hesed, translated “mercy” in Deuteronomy 4:10) in which He makes Himself and His love known, and stirs up our love toward Him… in a way that never runs out—to thousands of generations.

This is what He means by His jealousy. That He insists upon being known truly. That He insists upon His love being known truly. That He insists upon being worshiped truly. That He insists on being loved truly. And that this means not our way of doing it, but His way of doing it.

That jealousy from Deuteronomy 5:9 and Deuteronomy 4:24, tied as it is to the “consuming fire” language pulls us forward to the ultimate way in which He is known, the ultimate way in which His love is known, the ultimate way in which we love Him and worship Him: Jesus Christ Himself (cf. Hebrews 12:29 in light of the entire book of Hebrews to that point). This is what God says is at stake in worshiping the right way.

Now, most of us think that we are doing a pretty good job by not bringing in our eagle statue, setting it up front in the worship room, and bowing down. But we know that our hearts are factories of wrong-headed worship continually running afoul of Deuteronomy 4:2 by adding to the word that the Lord has commanded for His worship. Whatever we introduce from our thoughts and imaginations (Romans 1:21b) inevitably pushes out of view the true glory of God (Romans 1:21a, Romans 1:23a) and pushes down on the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). May God spare us from worship that is shaped by our own wills!!
Who decides what it is to love God? From this passage, what is a big part of truly loving Him?
Suggested songs: ARP22C “I’ll Praise You in the Gathering” or TPH174 “The Ten Commandments”

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