Date: 06 March, 2015
Text: Deuteronomy 11
Title: The Great Command
Theme: God's people are to love Him.
Proposition: We ought to love the Lord our God.
Rhetorical: Do you love God?
My wife and I got engaged at sunset above a beautiful waterfall at a country park in Wisconsin. (story)
We read this passage of Scripture together as we were engaged. We were to be engaged for a year - this passage speaks of the "eyes of the Lord are upon it from the beginning of the year to the end of the year." I don't think I've ever preached on this passage before. But, after studying it in preparation for this message, I don't know that there would be a better passage of Scripture for a young couple to consider as they prepare to start life together.
This passage is all about the great commandment to "love the Lord thy God." Three times in this chapter Moses specifically commands the people to keep this commandment. vv. 1, 13, 22 Several other times he includes this command as he commands them to keep the commandments.
1 ¶ Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God,
I. The Proof of Loving God. (Loving God is an action. Therefor it is observable.) v.1
ill. Jesus didn't want to hear that he was loved. He wanted to see that he was loved.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
A. Obeying His express will.
and keep his charge,
ill. P__________, autogas employee. Inquiring about him and found out he had been let go. The area manager had come in and charged him to do a list of responsabilities before his return at the end of the week. Upon his return, they had not been done and the reason was that he had forgotten.
app. What we have before us is God's charge to us. We love God by keeping His charge.
B. Following His rule book.
and his statutes,
exp. These are the limits and boundaries. To cross over these is to trespass.
ill. In Scotland as I understand we have no laws about trespassing on property. In the States, everywhere you go you will see signs that say, "No Trespassing." You break that law when you enter where you are not supposed to go.
app. We love God by obeying his sign posts. (statutes)
C. Applying his rules.
and his judgments,
exp. For a law to be effective within a society, it has to be applied.
ill. If you don't enforce the speed limit, it doesn't matter that the sign says to go 30 MPH. People do not obey uninforced statutes.
ill. The church has thought that they are more loving by allowing law breakers instead of standing up for the statutes of God's Word and they have shown their lack of love for God.
app. If we love God we enforce his rules.
D. Understanding His law.
and his commandments,
exp. These are not optional these are commandments. This is God saying, "Do this." And us saying with David, "we will run the way of thy commandments."
ill. Immagine a sargeant in the military trying to lead by suggestion. "Men I think it would be beneficial for the health of our unit if we went on a strenuous walk." He must give orders for that which MUST BE DONE. "Get up you lazy soldiers and get out on the parade grounds."
exp. A soldier can stiffen his neck to that or he can realize that it is in his best interest to embrace it.
app. How you respond to God's commands shows your love for him.
E. Without exception.
exp. There is no time off for good behaviour to those who love God. Their life demonstrates a consistent walk in obedience to God.
note: (don't panic, now we are going to fast forward through much of the passage)
II. The Perspective of Loving God. (Loving God is not unreasonable.) vv.2-17
A. Because He is your authority.
2 And know ye this day: for I speak not with your children which have not known, and which have not seen the chastisement of the LORD your God, his greatness, his mighty hand, and his stretched out arm,
historical context: These are the people of the Exodus who had been in bondage in Egypt and had been led out by Moses. They had walked through the wilderness. They had life experiences that were teaching moments about loving God. God's fearful power to chasten had been witnessed by their eyes.
1. They had watched him judge Egypt.
3 And his miracles, and his acts, which he did in the midst of Egypt unto Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and unto all his land;
4 And what he did unto the army of Egypt, unto their horses, and to their chariots; how he made the water of the Red sea to overflow them as they pursued after you, and how the LORD hath destroyed them unto this day;
exp. As Moses speaks they remember what it was like living through the plagues. They remember the awful judgment of God as they watched the army of Pharoah drowned by the thunderous water flooding back in to the Red Sea.
2. They had been been chastened.
5 And what he did unto you in the wilderness, until ye came into this place;
exp. They remembered the molten calf and the wrath of Moses and God. They remembered the plagues of God's judgment when they had complained.
app. God's fearful power was known personally to them. A specific example.....
3. Rebels gainst God had been destroyed.
6 And what he did unto Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben: how the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their households, and their tents, and all the substance that was in their possession, in the midst of all Israel:
ill. I've read about sinkholes recently and just the articles scare me a bit. There is a story of a young man in Florida screaming as he was pulled into the earth. His brother tried to save him and was rescued by a policeman. What an AWFUL WAY TO DIE EXPECIALLY BECAUSE IT WAS GOD'S JUDGMENT.
4. If anyone should be cautious about disobeying God, it should be them.
7 But your eyes have seen all the great acts of the LORD which he did.
app. They ought to have been motivated to love God because of His power to chasten them.
note: Chastening is a last resort, but it is not neglected if we love someone.
Revelation 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
Pr 3:12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
app. Love God, because He IS your authority.
B. Because God is your strength.
8 ¶ Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that ye may be strong, and go in and possess the land, whither ye go to possess it;
question: Have you learned the lesson that God is your strength?
ill. Samson - Judges 16: 20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.
21 But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.
app. Love Him for the strength that He gives to those who love Him.
C. Because of God's goodness.
exp. Moses reminds them of God's good plan for them.
9 And that ye may prolong your days in the land, which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give unto them and to their seed, a land that floweth with milk and honey.
10 For the land, whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs:
11 But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven:
12 A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.
exp. They didn't need irrigation ditches in the Land of Canaan. God had an abundant supply of water flowing freely over that rich farmland.
question: Did God lead them out of Egypt to make their lives miserable? He led them out to deliver them and to bring them into a land of blessing.
note: God does not have a bad plan for your life.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
app. Love Him, because of His goodness to those who love Him.
D. Because of God's blessing.
13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,
14 That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.
15 And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.
exp. The land would be blessed. The cattle would be well nourished. They would have an abundance of salad and meat - if they would only love God.
question: Ok - we aren't OT Israel. We are the NT church. Are we going to see the same blessing if we love God and follow His commands.
ill. Sermon on the mount -
Mt 7: 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
app. How is your house? Love God (obey His commands) and you will have His stength, His goodness, His blessing. You will be spared His chastening.
E. Because God is a jealous God.
16 Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;
17 And then the LORD’S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.
exp. Israel would easily forget God when things were going well. They would start living for their flesh instead of living in obedience to God. They were in grave danger of losing every blessing, goodness, strength, because our God loves us with a JEALOUS LOVE.
Ex 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
app. God is rightly jealous this morning if we have turned our hearts away from Him to an idol. We won't have the blessing. We won't have God's goodness. We won't have His strength. If we are worshipping at another. Love Him. He is jealous for your love.
III. The Purpose of Loving God. (You must love God on purpose.) vv.18-21
A. A responsability to yourself.
18 ¶ Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
exp. The Pharisees would use this Scripture to make Phylacteries. boxes that they would tie to their heads and arms with Scripture in them.
app. Can you love God this morning without an understanding of His Word?
ill. Man in FL. God and I have an understanding. I love God and God knows I love Him. I said to him, "You've already said that you live a wicked lifestyle that shows that you don't love Him.
app. If you are serious about loving God - learn what His Word teaches about your life. Study it on your own. Sit under good Bible preaching as often as possible.
B. A responsability to your children.
19 And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
ill. My grandparents had family altar. They were dairy farmers. There 4 children all went into full time ministry. Why? Because they spoke about God's Word in their home and made teaching His word to their children their responsability.
app. If you want to love God - purpose to teach His Word to your children and have family devotions.
C. A responsability to others.
20 And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:
21 That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.
exp. Let others know about your love for God. Have His Word where it will be a topic of conversation with friends and neighbors.
app. You won't love God on accident. You must love God on purpose.
IV. The Product of Loving God. (You will benefit from loving God.) vv.22-25
22 For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him;
exp. He's going to tell the "If this (love God) then what ______________"
A. Enemies will be defeated and subjected to you.
23 Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.
exp. These were physical enemies that had to be conquered to enter into the land of rest.
app. We have spiritual enemies that need to be conquered to enter into the blessing of rest. A new born babe in Jesus has big struggles. But, as he learns of Jesus and loves Him, he finds that one by one Jesus helps take care of those spiritual enemies. He gives victory.
B. Land shall be conquered.
24 Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.
exp. They were going to take land for God.
app. We need to take land for Jesus. We need Christian soldiers who are mighty for God. Those who love God will be able to go forth in power in Jesus name. They can say as Caleb said about the promised land, "Let us go up at once and possess it for we are well able to overcome it.
C. Your reputation will be established.
25 There shall no man be able to stand before you: for the LORD your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as he hath said unto you.
ill. Joseph was favored by Potipher, the Jailor and Pharoah.
ill. Daniel was brought into tender favor and love with the prince of the Eunuchs.
app. We don't need a big "SC (super Christian)" written on our shirts. But, if we love God, there is a reputation that God gives to those who love Him.
1Co 8:3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.
(We made it - this is the conclusion of the matter.)
V. The Proposition of Loving God. (You must chose to love God.) vv.26-32
26 ¶ Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day:
28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.
29 And it shall come to pass, when the LORD thy God hath brought thee in unto the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt put the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Ebal.
30 Are they not on the other side Jordan, by the way where the sun goeth down, in the land of the Canaanites, which dwell in the champaign over against Gilgal, beside the plains of Moreh?
31 For ye shall pass over Jordan to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God giveth you, and ye shall possess it, and dwell therein.
32 And ye shall observe to do all the statutes and judgments which I set before you this day.
exp. Although Moses anticipated their obedience, it was there choice. Sadly the first group who should have entered the Promised land did not because they did not love and obey God.
app. We have set before us today a blessing and a curse. God wants you to have the blessing of loving Him. Are you loving God today?
· Do you have the proof of loving God? Charge, statutues, judgments, commandments always?
· Do you agree with the reasons for loving God? Authority, strength, blessing, goodness, jealousy.
· Does your life show a purpose to love God? Devotions, instruction, evangelism.
· Have you seen the product of loving God? Defeating spiritual enemies, taking land for Jesus, getting a reputation of loving God?
· Are you receiving the blessing or the curse? God wants you to have His blessing.