Monday, August 24, 2015

Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9 God’s Presence and Law Made Israel Special

KEY TEXT: Deut 4:6-8 “Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?

KEY THOT: What sets Israel apart from other nations and makes them a “wise and understanding people” is God’s presence and God’s law among them. No other nation has God’s holy laws as the moral and spiritual foundation of their society nor God's holy Presence dwelling in their midst in the Temple. Now, Gentile believers have become part of this amazing moral and spiritual commonwealth, inheriting not only the OT Law but also the NT Gospel. Furthermore, instead of the Presence of God dwelling in a temple made of bricks and mortar, the Presence of God now dwells in the flesh of all believers through the Holy Spirit. That makes the Church of Jesus Christ doubly special and privileged. And like Israel, this is entirely the work of God’s grace. We are chosen not because we are special. We are special because we are chosen.

The Church of Jesus Christ is a special people—a “wise and understanding people”. We should not be cowed nor intimidated by the world’s ridicule of our moral and spiritual standards and standing. God has set His laws and His Holy Spirit among us. We should rejoice and hold fast to God's Word and His Spirit dwelling among us. We don't just have "another" religion-we have the only one that grants us a special relationship with our Creator-God through His Law and His Spirit. Our attitude towards God's Law and Spirit is to “do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you.” We should live like special people and take possession of all the spiritual blessings that are ours in Christ. We should not be content with spiritual crumbs that fall from the Lord's table but to go for the meat of God's Word so that we can be filled with the fullness of God through the indwelling Spirit.

In response to this great twin blessings of God, we need to constantly give thanks to God for making us a special people. We ought to love the Bible more and study it more, for all the promises of the OT are "yes" and "amen" in the Christ (2 Cor.1:20). We should also not be ashamed the Bible nor should we ignore the ministry of the Holy Spirit among us. For it is through the Spirit that we can experience God's holy presence among us which alone can make us a “wise and understanding” community of faith. God is not just “up there” but through the Spirit given to us, God is now also “down here”--right among us. 

Thank You Father that You have made us a special people of wisdom and understanding because You have given us Your Law and Spirit. Amen.

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