Deut 8_1-20 Don't forget to remember - God
Don’t forget to remember
Faithfulness is love
Call to worship
Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. (Psalm 36:7-9)
Doxology Hymn: “We will give Thanks” (Mission Praise 308) with “AMEN”
Grace to you from God our Father, Jesus Christ our Lord and the Holy Spirit
The Law of the Lord
Prayer of Confession of sin
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)
Hymn: “There is a Redeemer”
(Mission Praise 673 – 4 verses)
Prayer of Adoration, Thanksgiving and Lord’s Prayer
Scripture Reading Hebrews 2:1-4
Tithes, offering and dedication
Remaining seated, all sing:
Hymn No 365: “We give Thee but thine own”
Prayer for others
Baptism of Dae-Hun Kang
Hear the words of our Lord Jesus Christ:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
God said: I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. Baptism is the sign and seal of God’s promises to this covenant people.
In baptism God promises by grace alone: to forgive our sins; to adopt us into the Body of Christ, the Church; to send the Holy Spirit daily to renew and cleanse us; and to resurrect us to eternal life.
This promise is made visible in the water of baptism. Water cleanses; purifies; refreshes; sustains: Jesus Christ is living water.
Through baptism Christ calls us to new obedience: to love and trust God completely; to forsake the evil of the world; and to live a new and holy life.
Yet, when we fall into sin, we must not despair of God’s mercy, nor continue in sin, for baptism is the sign and seal of God’s eternal covenant of grace with us.
Dear Dae-Hun, you stand before us to receive the sacrament of baptism. I ask you, therefore, before God and Christ’s church to reject evil, to profess your faith in Christ Jesus, and to confess the faith of the church.
; Do you acknowledge that the Bible, that is the Old and New Testaments, is the inerrant Word of God and the only rule for life and faith?
; Do you believe that the Westminster Confession of Faith is a faithful summary of its doctrines as they are taught in this Christian Church?
; Do you profess that you believe in the Creator of the universe, the Triune God who is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as He reveals Himself through creation in general and the Holy Scriptures specifically?
; Do you believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Do you love Him and trust Him and embrace Him as Lord of your life?
; Do you accept the gracious promises of God which are sealed to you in your baptism as a sign of the Covenant of Grace and promise to live a holy Christian life in obedience to that Covenant?
; Do you promise to do everything to your ability, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to share faithfully in the life of the church and its means of grace, submitting to its supervision and discipline, and do you promise to share with the people of God in doing the work of the Lord wherever you are?
Aaronic Blessing (Hymn 352)
Scripture Reading Deuteronomy 8:1-20
Sermon “Don’t forget to remember”
My dear bothers and sisters and children in our Lord Jesus Christ, in my hand a have a few things I like the children to identify. (Hold out one shoe, next an ice cream cone, empty ostrich egg). I want to ask the children what these things are used for. Next, what’s wrong with what I have in my hands? Of course one shoe for two feet will not be of much help to me. And an empty ostrich egg is only a shell, good for nothing. And look at the ice cream cone – what’s good about an empty cone? We want the ice cream in it!
We see things here which do not mean anything, because we have only half of it, and that is not how they were designed originally; we need the other bits to go with it so it can mean something.
This reminds me of the title of the sermon this morning. “Don’t forget to remember”. These two things, forget and remember, go hand in hand, because if you have forgotten something, you have not remembered it. And once you have remembered it, you have forgotten it.
But to stress the importance of remembering something, the Bible this morning tells us not to forget to remember. And when we really want to get the message, we can say: ; forget to forget, and remember to remember. ; Or of course this can also go like this, “Remember to forget and remember to remember.”
But the funny thing about the words forget and remember is on itself these words are like the empty shell of the ostrich egg, or the one shoe or the empty ice cream cone. ; It needs something else, and that is we need to forget something and we need to remember something. In the case of the Bible this morning we are instructed that ; forgetting the great deeds of God leads to destruction; and remembering the great deeds of God will lead to life. So to forget how God saved you is disastrous; constantly remembering the great deeds of God leads to life.
To help us understand these truths for the Bible this morning we will try to understand what it teaches what forgetting God is, what the effect of forgetting God is; what remembering God is and what the effects of remembering God is.
; Forget and the Bible
First of all an illustration: There was a wise man who brushed his teeth twice a day, wore his rain boots in cold wet weather, did his daily dozen push-up’s, slept with windows open to get fresh air, was careful with his diet, had a medical examination twice a year, never smoked, drank or indulged in any kind of excess. He was set to live to be one hundred years old.
The funeral was held last Wednesday. He is survived by eighteen specialists, four health institutes, six gymnasiums and numerous manufacturers of health food and antiseptics. He forgot to look out for a train at a crossing.
General Metaxas of Greece was once invited to try out a new hydroplane. He decided to pilot it himself and did so masterfully until the commander, his host, noticed that they were about to make a landing at an airport. “Excuse me, Excellency, but it would be more suitable to come down on the sea as this is a hydroplane.” “But of course,” laughed the General, “What am I thinking of!”
The General thereupon made a perfect landing on the water and turning to his host he remarked, “I must compliment you on the task with which you drew my attention to the incredible blunder that I nearly made.” Upon saying which, His Excellency opened the door and stepped out into the sea.
Forgetting can be disastrous – forgetting God, forgetting his decrees and laws leads to destruction.
The instruction from the Word of God is found in Deuteronomy 8:11
Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. (Deuteronomy 8:11)
Forgetting is not simply a psychological act of having a thought pass from one’s consciousness, a temporary or permanent lapse of memory. Right through the Scriptures the verb forget is followed with an action.
;To forget God according to our texts is to ignore his commandments. It is a positive act of choosing the wrong instead of the right. This is what we read about in Hebrews 2:4.
;To forget God according verse 19 is to follow other gods and worship them and bow down to them. ; To forget God is to stand in fear of harm and danger, to live fretfully and timidly:
Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass, that you forget the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction? For where is the wrath of the oppressor? (Isaiah 51:12-13)
; To forget God is to challenge him:
Then (at first) they believed his promises and sang his praise. But they soon forgot what He had done and did not wait for his counsel. In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wasteland they put God to the test. (Psalm 106:12-14)
; The Bible would indicate that overindulgence is the major factor for forgetting God:
Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. (Deuteronomy 8:12-14)
From these verses we understand that to forget the Lord is to actively take steps to not put His will first. It is not a passive doing nothing so that his will slowly fade away. It has disastrous consequences.
This ties in with the words of our Lord in the New Testament:
He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters. (Luke 11:23)
; Effect of forgetting
The first thing that happens is to become arrogant and conceited. We argue then we can do it ourselves. We assume the role of God and become our own gods. ; This is idolatry. The Bible teaches:
You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” (Deuteronomy 8:17)
For a moment things might even work out. We cope and achieve some success. But money, success and achievement become our gods. ; What we forget is that God is a jealous God. He wants all of our hearts, He demands submission to Him. He does not passively wait for us to hit the brick wall of failure and then help us pick the pieces of our foolishness. No, listen to the Word:
If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 8:19-20)
; So there is really no option: it is serving the Lord wholeheartedly or be destroyed. It is living for Him or against Him. It is remembering or forgetting.
; Remember and the Bible
The basic idea of the root is “to exercise great care over.” It expresses the careful attention to be paid to the obligations of a covenant, to laws, statutes, etc. This is one of the most frequent uses of the verb. It means to have “regard”, “give heed to.” ; It is used of a man’s attitude of paying attention to, or reverence for God.
God made a covenant with Israel that they would become his own special people. A major benefit on Israel’s side was the promise of an inheritance, namely a land where they could develop into a holy nation. They left Egypt, agreed to the covenant at Sinai and then proceeded to take Palestine as their possession. However, forty years passed between Sinai and the first successful attempt at conquest.
The program of conquest as described in Deuteronomy emphasizes that the people had ; to live according to the law given at Sinai in order to have God’s help in conquest. Thereby God obligated himself to help them defeat the nations and to possess the land. However, before God would act it was imperative that the people come to the land. I.e. they had ; to respond in faith expecting God to overcome their enemies by placing their lives in jeopardy on the battlefield. In other words, they had to present themselves to receive the promise. As long as they were obedient, God would go before them to dispel the inhabitants even though they were greater and mightier than Israel. There was no doubt that it was God who gave them the land and the victory to possess it; yet they had to respond by actively participating in the taking possession for the plan of God to be realized. This was their act of remembering. Once again it was an active act of response by living a certain way.
Their ownership of the land was eternal, but their right to occupy it depended on their obedience to God. If they turned from God and followed abominable pagan practices, they lost the right to live there. Yet as long as they were obedient to God, He allowed them to continue their occupation of the land by helping them to overcome their enemies.
This is what we need to understand by remember. To remember is to by faith ; act in obedience and to the will of God. To not do it, is to forget.
That’s why we are reminded: Don’t forget to remember. In other words: Remember to remember!
The effects of remembering
Remembering God’s acts of grace and salvation, to constantly remembering the cross and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ will have effects in our life.
;1. We will be able to survive tests as they come our way.
Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. (Deuteronomy 8:2)
;2. We will be able to understand that material goods are not as important as serving God:
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:3)
;3. We will be able to trust God and depend on his faithfulness.
Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. (Deuteronomy 8:4)
;4. We will be able to understand discipline and refinement.
Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you. (Deuteronomy 8:5)
;5. We will understand what it means to live thankful lives towards God.
When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. (Deuteronomy 8:10)
;6. Most of all we will understand what it means to live.
Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the Lord promised on oath to your forefathers. (Deuteronomy 8:1)
To live in the Bible is not only to have breath and have the ability to move. To live according to the Bible is ; to live in a relationship with God and enjoy the fullness of life He gives. Some people are so scared that they might die some day, that they never start living. Life in the Lord is a life of abundance under his grace, even if it seems that you have lost all other ground. Jesus Christ declared:
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)
Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. (John 6:57)
If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (John 7:37-38)
The Battle of Bastogne represents one of the bloodiest actions in World War II. A monument there pays tribute to the heroism of the US 101st Airborne Division: “Seldom has so much American blood been shed in the course of a single action. Oh, Lord, help us to remember!”
But when thinking of the cross of Christ, we can say: “Never in the history of the universe has mankind owed so much to One.”
We need to live in obedience to God. We need to understand we must not forget to remember. Instead, remember to remember.
; Hebrews 2:3.
Hymn No 428: “Blessed is the man”
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’ (Numbers 6:24-26)