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Deuteronomy 4:9-14

Deuteronomy  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  19:22
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Deuteronomy 4:9–14 NKJV
Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren, especially concerning the day you stood before the Lord your God in Horeb, when the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’ “Then you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the midst of heaven, with darkness, cloud, and thick darkness. And the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of the words, but saw no form; you only heard a voice. So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone. And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might observe them in the land which you cross over to possess.
We’re going to try and get through the middle part of chapter 4 today. Last week I said that this chapter is divided into three:
The grace of the Torah (1-8)
The grace of the Covenant (9-31)
and The grace of Salvation (32-40)
We are the biggest part today: The grace of the Covenant. And then even this part is divided into three parts too.
Covenant past (9-14),
Covenant present (15-24) and
let’s guess…yep, Covenant future (25-31).

Covenant Past (9-14)

And throughout the Israelis are told do not forget the moment, don’t forget what you have seen, don’t let it pass from you mind. Forget can mean it is not a memory any more but most of the time when we are told about forgetting it is about not taking something into account or remembering to take something into account.
Often we have the ‘day of assembly’ mentioned and that is what happened 3 months after they left Egypt and arrived at Mount Sinai which Moses mainly calls Horeb. Horeb and Sinai are the same. It was the meeting with God and they had been invited into His palace.
You see how important it is for us to have read Scripture and to be doing the readings for it gives us understanding to the rest of what we read. We will remember reading in Exodus that the mountain was on fire, a place where they said let us not see God and not even hear Him for it is terrifying. No when else had there been such an encounter between God and people. And it was extremely loud. The point was to instil fear into their hearts which they would then pass onto their offspring.
OT312 Book Study: Deuteronomy The Goal of the Occasion

In the case of Israel, who has been called to covenant relationship with God, there is no longer any need for fright. “Fear not,” the Lord will say; ah, but “fear him.” The Lord came to them that they might fear, which is to trust Him with reverent awe. The Lord had indeed appeared. Now He calls on Israel to believe in Him and to respond to Him with due respect.

If we remember there were restrictions put around the mountain to prevent the people touching the mountain and getting exposure to the full glory of God but then the Lord then protects them further with in verse
Deuteronomy 4:11 NKJV
11 “Then you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the midst of heaven, with darkness, cloud, and thick darkness.
No one can see God and live.
We have been using a word that we have not yet explained: Covenant.
It is used 27 times in this book. It is extremely important
OT312 Book Study: Deuteronomy The Use of the Word “Covenant”

a covenant establishes or renews a relationship that does not exist naturally. A covenant is a formally confirmed agreement between two or more parties that creates that relationship. Normally, parents need not formalize their relationship with biological children. The relationship is established by birth; therefore, no covenant is needed between parents and children or even between siblings.

But if you adopt you go through a formal ceremony of adoption. A covenant is formed. The new parent claims the child as their own and commit to caring for them.
OT312 Book Study: Deuteronomy The Term “Covenant”

word (covenancier, “to settle or contract”). The Oxford English Dictionary defines covenant as “a mutual agreement between two or more persons to do or refrain from doing certain acts; a compact, contract, bargain; sometimes, the undertaking, pledge, or promise of one of the parties.” Actually, that’s not quite the way the biblical covenant works. That places the emphasis on the duties between the two persons. Actually, the emphasis in Scripture is always on the relationship.

OT312 Book Study: Deuteronomy The Term “Covenant”

When my wife and I got married many decades ago now, we didn’t commit ourselves to certain job descriptions. We committed ourselves to each other; the relationship was established more than the duties spelled out.

This kind of covenant are called parity covenants because they are between equals. But then there are
OT312 Book Study: Deuteronomy Disparity Covenants

disparity covenants; these are between unequals. These include political treaties, like that which existed between King Ahaz of Judah and Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria. In 2 Kings 16:7–8 this relationship is described. Ahaz describes it. He sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria saying, “ ‘I am your servant [vassal] and your son. Come up and rescue me from the hand of the king of [Aram] and from the hand of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.’ Ahaz also took the silver and gold found in the house of the LORD and in the treasures of the king’s house and sent a present to the king of Assyria.” This is obviously not a treaty between equals. Tiglath-pileser is the father; Ahaz is the son. These are unequals. And of course this reminds us of Israel’s relationship with the Lord.

OT312 Book Study: Deuteronomy The Covenant between the Lord and the Israelites

Lord is presented as Israel’s father, and in 14:1 Moses will begin with “sons you are to the LORD your God.” This is a covenant relationship of parent and child. The covenant that the Lord made with Israel at Horeb was obviously not a parity agreement;

OT312 Book Study: Deuteronomy The Covenant between the Lord and the Israelites

“the Lord’s covenant with Israel.” We may characterize this covenant as monergistic—that is, it is put into force by one party. The Lord picks the covenant partner; the Lord establishes the terms; the Lord defines the consequences for the vassals depending on how loyal they have been or will be; the Lord establishes the procedure by which it’s ratified; the Lord guarantees its fulfillment. Israel has no say in the terms of this covenant.

Israel has but one of two responses: “Yes, I accept,” or “No, I reject this offer of covenant relationship.”

(13-14)The result was the ten commandments which Israel agreed to. And Moses became the mediator of His commands.
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