Sermon on Deuteronomy 30:9-14
Text: Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, 10 if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
Life is full of choices. Some of them have greater consequences than others. Let’s go through some of the choices that you have made so far today. You made a decision on what time you got up. You decided what, if anything, you were going to have for breakfast. You made a choice as to what you would be wearing. You chose what route to take to church. Granted, none of those decisions were major ones. Yet, they were still choices that you made. As we study God’s Word this morning, we will take an opportunity to discuss a choice that we have to make every day. It is the choice between following what our sinful nature desires and our new man desires. We will see that there are many reasons to TURN TO THE LORD YOUR GOD. 1. He Delights In You And Desires To Bless You. 2. He Put His Word In Your Heart. 3. He Desires Your Faithfulness.
Our text for this morning comes from the closing chapters of Deuteronomy, which contain the final words of Moses to the people of Israel. A new generation had arisen from the one that left Egypt. They were not there at Mt. Sinai, when God gave his Law. Moses knew that he would soon turn over the leadership of Israel to Joshua. Before he did so, he recalled what God had said on Mt. Sinai. He encouraged the people to carefully follow the terms of the covenant that God had made with them. Moses told them that the blessings of God would follow those who were faithful to the spiritual relationship of grace that God had created.
We see this thought in verse 9, “Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors.” God wanted to bless the people. He wanted to bless them in all that they experienced. It is worth noting that we read, “The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous.” In other words, there was a time when God did not delight in them. Now, he would delight in them. What had caused the Lord to speak in this way?
It is the same reason that God could speak to us. The reason that God did not delight in us is our sins. Our sins bring about God’s anger. By nature, there is nothing delightful in any of us. We see evidence of this every single day of our lives. Earlier, we spoke about choices. How many times have we made a sinful choice. Someone does something mean to us. What do we do? We could forgive them, but do we, at times, choose to become angry with them and try to get back at them? We know that what we are viewing isn’t something that is God-pleasing. Do we turn it off, or do we watch just a little bit more? The fact of the matter is this: All too often we have made sinful choices, which rightly bring about God’s anger. This affects our relationship with him now and would have eternally separated us from his love.
However, God had it in his mind that he wanted to bless us. As a result, he had to make it so that we were delightful to him rather than disgusting. The way that he did so was through his Son, in whom he was delighted. Jesus came to the earth and lived the perfect life that we could never live. When faced with the same sinful choices that plague us every day, Jesus always made the right choice. He lived this life in our place. Because we have made so many sinful choices, Jesus went to the cross to pay the penalty for those choices. He suffered and died for all of our sins. By his resurrection from the dead, we know that the Father was delighted with the work that Jesus had come to do. Through the working of the Holy Spirit, we have been brought to faith. When God sees us, he does not see any of the sins that we have committed, for they were all taken away. Rather, he sees us as holy and takes absolute delight in us and want to bless us with blessings here on this earth until we receive eternal blessings in heaven. We turn to the Lord our God for he delights in us and wishes to bless us.
Moses reminds us of another reason to turn to the Lord our God. He said, “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, ‘Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?’ No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.” (Verses 11-14) God didn’t make the way to get right with him some great secret that no one could ever find it. Moses talks about going into up into the highest heavens to find the answer or crossing the oceans to try and find out how to get right with God. However, it does not come about by some monumental effort of our own. It happened through the work of Christ. What comfort we find in the clear words of the Scriptures that Christ has done it all for us. Otherwise, we would always be wondering if we did the right things or if we did enough.
In addition, God is very clear in his Word about salvation. He doesn’t couch the way of our salvation in words and concepts that are beyond our understanding. He speaks in terms that a child can understand. God points out what his will is for all people. He says that there is punishment for those who disobey. God points to Jesus who came to save the world. God promises that those who believe in him will have eternal life. Yes, there are concepts about God that are above our understanding, but the basic message of how I get right with God is so very clear. God shows his love for us as he puts his Word in our hearts and makes it a part of our lives. As we are reminded in verse 14, “The word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.” We turn to the Lord our God who so lovingly has put his Word into our hearts
In speaking of that word, we note the outcome of having put the word in our hearts. It is “so you may obey it.” (Verse 14) This goes to the concept that we have touched on several times this morning. We are faced with choices every day as to how we will live our lives. Will we follow the desires of our sinful nature or of the new self? What does it mean to follow the new self? We read in verse 10, “If you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” Following the Lord calls for complete and total devotion. We don’t waver back and forth between obeying God and obeying the sinful nature. It doesn’t mean only following God when it’s easy or convenient. It means that we give ourselves, body and soul, to God. God desires that we be faithful in following him.
At first, this commitment may seem overwhelming. However, we read in verse 11, “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.” How can this be? The reason that it is not too difficult for us or beyond our reach is that we are motivated by what God has done for us. When we think about the fact that our sins would have rightly condemned us to an eternity apart from God and that he in love for us sent his Son to be our Savior so that we will be with him forever in heaven, how can our hearts not be filled with thanksgiving. We do those things that are pleasing to God, not because we must, but because we have the opportunity to show our love for God for all that he has done for us. It’s similar to a child making a Mother’s Day card or Father’s Day card. They know that they can never repay their parents for all that they have done for them. This is a way for them to say “Thank you” and “I love you” to their parents. This is why we want to be faithful in following God’s commands. We want to say “Thank you” and “I love you” to God. We show our love to God as we turn to him in faithful living for him.
Dear Christian, be aware that our sinful nature, aided by the devil and the sinful things of this world, is constantly attacking us, hoping to sway us to turn from God. These evil desires promise joy and freedom. In reality, listening to their deceptive voices will only lead to destruction. May God strengthen us so that we continually turn to him. He has richly blessed us as he brought us to faith and made us the objects of his delight. He tells us in no uncertain terms that he loves us in his holy Word. He has planted those truths deep into our hearts. It is our prayer that we, out of thankfulness for all that he has done for us, remain faithful to him. Turn to the Lord every day, for in him you will find blessings without measure. Amen.
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