Oct. 31, 2017

God's Plan For Your Life Extends Beyond You

Deuteronomy 5:29 - 33

29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!

30 Go say to them, Get you into your tents again.

31 But as for thee, stand thou here by me, and I will speak unto thee all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it.

32 Ye shall observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

Verse 29 - focusing on the word "always" - God knew how Israel would volley back and forth between obedience and disobedience, between serving Him and serving themselves. He wants faithful, committed people.

Verse 29 - focusing on the word "fear" - God knew that it would go so much better for them if they would consistently hold Him in high regard as they should. It is vital to maintain the correct mental and spiritual posture before the Lord. They were to reverence Him totally and have the highest respect for Him always, as are we. The Israelites had every reason to highly regard Him because they had experienced His power directly. They had seen how He brought the 10 plagues on the Egyptians. Plus the whole nation had seen directly 7 Expressions of His Presence when He spoke to them on Mount Sinai.

Exodus 19:16, 18 records these 7 Expressions of His Presence before the Israeli people.
1. Thunders  2. Lightnings  3. Thick cloud  4. Voice of a trumpet, exceeding loud  5. Smoke

6. Fire  7. The great quaking of the mountain

I would think that witnessing such a powerful display of His Presence would cause them to be loyal and obedient always. It would seem that such an experience would cause them not only to manage their own lives according to His majesty but to also be diligent about teaching future generations to do the same. But we know that is not what happened.

People today have the same opportunity to love and serve Him...unfortunately, many today follow the same pattern that Israel followed.

At this point in the scripture, God has miraculously delivered them from centuries of bondage to the Egyptians. He kept Israel alive and healthy while 10 plagues were levied against Egypt. God allowed Israel to cross the Red Sea on dry land. Now He has spoken to them personally, face-to-face from Mt. Sinai. But God laments to Moses in Deuteronomy 5:29 that they still don't have a committed heart and mind to obey Him.

In verse 29 God gives the reason He wants them to obey Him. It is so He can prosper their living. He wants it to go well with them and with their children. For how long? Forever! He has a plan to prosper and bless those who take heed to His Word. But it is His plan and in order for people to reap the benefits, His plan must be followed.

It is sad and almost unbelievable that they have experienced such phenomenal encounters with God, they have seen and heard powerful demonstrations of His Presence and yet waver in their devotion to Him. They repeat the cycle of faithful obedience followed by blatant disregard.

His plan for us is far better and much richer than anything we can manufacture on our own. So why not go all in with the Lord and stay there? Stay in His Presence. Stay in His will.

So here is God's plan: Deuteronomy 5:30-31
1. Verse 31 - Learn what He wants. Based on what He says here, evidently knowing what He requires doesn't just happen. There has to be an intentional investment in His Word. It is essential to spend time with Him in prayer and meditation.

2. Verse 31 - Then do it. Live according to God's principles and precepts. He has rules and He wants them followed consistently.

3. Verse 31 - Blessings follow consistent obedience. He promised they would possess the land. He didn't just loan them the land. He didn't give them a month-to-month lease or just let them move in on a trial basis to see how they would do. No - He gave them the land to POSSESS it! God's plans for His people are extreme not mediocre. Through disobedience people settle for one hot dog cart when He actually wants to give them an entire chain of restaurants.

4. Verse 32 - Stick with the plan. Don't deviate from God's plan. Don't add to it and don't delete anything from it. Do what He said, the way He said it.

5. Verse 33 - This is an extension of #4. Walk in all His ways. This is not a "pie in the sky" plan. We are responsible for doing our part. He reiterates that "all His ways" is important. Don't veer from what He has said, what He has demonstrated and what He has taught.

In verse 33 Moses says that "the Lord commanded you". He is pressing the point that this is not his own idea but it has come directly from God. Moses wants them to know he is merely the spokesperson. These directives are not optional. They are commands

Finally, doing things His way is for our own good. His intent is to bless His people. Obedience and agreement set God's principles in motion on our behalf.

Verse 33 - That you may live: premature death can't get you, sickness and disease can't take you out

Verse 33 - That it may go well with you: His favor is on your life, mercy and grace follow you

Verse 33 - This way of living (God's way): produces benefits that endure way beyond just your lifetime

Why wouldn't we want to establish a spiritual and a natural legacy for future generations? Your obedience blesses you first but it also blesses those who come after you.

Exodus 20:6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me and keep My commandments.