- Sermon Notes
Moses is giving his final speech to Israel; he is preparing them to cross the Jordan and enter that fair land they had waited 40 years to enter. Moses cannot enter the promised land with them, so he wants them to have these final words. It’s an epic speech.
He wants it to go well for Israel in that land and so he gives them this admonition, “O Israel, you should listen and be careful to take these words into your heart and do them; live by them, that it may be well with you and that you multiply greatly as the Lord promised.”
Then Moses gave Israel the greatest words God has ever spoken, “Hear O Israel, the Lord Jehovah is our God, the Lord is one! And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I giving you today, shall be on your heart and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and talk of them when you sit in your house and walk by the way.”
Then, when we come to chapter 8, Moses tells them again and again, “Never forget all that God is done.”
When you remember all that God has done for you, you are reminded that it was God who did it. It keeps you humble, it makes you thankful, it makes you appreciate God’s heart and God’s grace and God kindness. It brings you back to the love you had at the first.
But what if you do forget? If you forget all that God is done, you are no longer reminded that it was God who did it. You’re no longer humble, you’re no longer thankful, you no longer appreciate God’s heart and God’s grace and God’s kindness; because it wasn’t just the love that you had at the first that was so important, it was also the obedience you had at the first.
When you began this journey with God and you walked close to Him and your heart was thankful; you also clung to the principles of wisdom and understanding, the statutes and directives of God’s word for your life and you were blessed. His ways, his principles, his wisdom, his understanding, and his statutes guided you into the way of greatest blessing.
If you forget that it was God who gave you all those blessings, then you will also forget the love you had at the first and you will forget the principles and the Spirit that guided you. As a result, your heart will be lifted up and your proud heart will lead you to destruction. That’s why God says, “Never forget!” It’s the way of greatest blessing!
I. Remember All the Ways God has Led You
- Verse 2 – Moses instructed them that they should remember all the way, “Which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these 40 years.”
- Remembering all the ways which God led them in the wilderness those 40 years would also strengthen their faith.
- God has proven Himself to you; He has won you to Himself. He personally brought you out of Egypt with a mighty hand and made His power known to you. Never forget.
Illus – When I think back on all that God has done for me personally, I’m very thankful. But not only am I thankful, I am reminded again of God’s great power and how He has loved me. And I know that God is not finished with me yet. “God, you have done great things in my life; do it again!”
A. God will let you be hungry
- Verse 2 — “Remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these 40 years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.”
- Verse 3 — “He humbled you and let you be hungry… and then fed you with manna.” Which was a miracle, by the way; a miraculous provision every single day for 40 years.
- The wilderness was a time of testing for Israel; it was an opportunity to trust God, to look to Him to be their provision and help in time of need.
- It was a test. God doesn’t just pour an overflowing abundance into your life. He let them be hungry. It was an opportunity for faith to be put into action.
- It’s one thing to believe that there is a God in heaven; it’s another thing to believe that He walks with you in the course of this life.
- They didn’t do so well in this test. They grumbled and complained and even accused God, saying, “Why did You even bring us into this desert? Were there not enough graves in Egypt? Did You bring us out here to die?”
B. That God would give manna
- Verse 3 — “He humbled you and let you be hungry… and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know.”
- In other words, God let them be hungry in order to give them a miraculous provision.
- But notice something with me. Yes, it was miraculous, and let’s not forget that manna was delicious and tasty, and very healthy. It was like Krispy Kreme doughnuts infused with everything good from the health food store.
- But it was not milk and honey, it was not pot roast, or roasted chicken. It was not roasted lamb with mint jelly gravy. They would wait 40 years before they would taste such things.
- Manna was enough; it was God’s provision; it was a miracle and it was enough to teach them a great lesson. “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
- It was about faith; about learning to trust God. Don’t complain, don’t whine, don’t become bitter when you’re in the desert, or in the wilderness. God may let you be hungry, but God will give you manna.
Matthew 6:9-11, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come; Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread…”
Illus – When I first left the restaurant business and became a youth leader, we were living on $1250 a month. I had to give piano lessons to make ends meet. For a treat, we went to Arctic Circle for an ice cream cone for $.25. But we felt God calling us into the ministry and knew I needed a good Bible education at Multnomah University. But how to pay for it? … Many know the story; God did a miracle. But it wasn’t the last miracle; there was much more God wanted to do – and He’s not done yet.
- You see, manna wasn’t the last miracle, it was one of the first miracles, along with defeating the gods of Egypt, parting the Red Sea, destroying the armies of Egypt, and bringing water out of a rock. In other words, these were the first miracles. God was proving Himself to them. If they would trust Him; there were many more to come.
- How about you? Have you stopped looking to God to do something with your life? God hasn’t changed; He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God is still on the move. How about you? Are you still looking and watching for God to move?
Zechariah 4:10, “Do not despise the day of small beginnings. These will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel – these are the eyes of the Lord which range to and fro throughout the earth.”
- That story comes from a time in Israel’s history after they had been exiled in Babylon for 70 years and then God restored them to return to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. But when they came back to the city of Jerusalem, they found the city in ruins; a mountain of rubble. They became discouraged at the size of their problems; so God sent a word through the prophet to strengthen them…
Zechariah 4:6-7, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”
II. When God has Done Great Things; Bless Him
- Verse 7 – “The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land where you shall eat without scarcity, in which you shall not lack anything.”
- Verse 10 – “And when you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.”
- This is a life lesson. When God has done great things for you – bless Him. This is a key to spiritual maturity and spiritual victory and for taking hold of greater things to come.
Psalm 126:1-6, When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us; and we are glad… Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his harvest with him.
A. God’s discipline is spiritual training
- God led you by humbling you, by testing you, by letting you be hungry and then giving you just enough manna, a miraculous provision, enough for each day…
- Verse 5 — “Thus you are to know in your heart that the Lord your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.”
- I can almost guarantee that this is widely misunderstood. When many think of the discipline of the Lord, they think of it wrongly. They think of it as negative, something to be avoided. They think God disciplines because He is angry. The truth is that God disciplines because He loves.
- The word ‘discipline’ means to train; to teach. To make a disciple is to make a man with godly character and spiritual power to accomplish great spiritual things.
Hebrews 12:5-6, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines…”
Illus – If you were an NFL football player, who would you want to play for? Not just the team, which coach? Vince Lombardi? Bill Belichick? Tom Landry? Why would you want to play for these? Because they will make you the best player you could possibly be. What if they discipline you? You welcome it.
- Here’s my point, I would rather be disciplined by the Lord than spoiled by anyone else; because God is bringing me to a good land; a place of spiritual victory and spiritual power. He will give life meaning and purpose.
- Verse 17 — Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’
- Success can be a dangerous thing. You get to the point where you can pay your bills, you got a promotion and a raise and it’s starting to feel good. That’s when you’ve got to be very careful.
- Otherwise, you don’t think you need God anymore. “I’m good. I don’t need God. I did this. How do you think I got that promotion? I worked hard, that’s how. I use my smarts. I worked my way up this ladder. I did this thing.” God says, “You be careful right there. You are treading on dangerous ground.”
- God is saying, “I built that, and I can destroy it; because I’ll humble you if I’ve got to.”
- When the Lord has done great things for you – – bless Him. Always remember; never forget.
- Verse 18 — “But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth that He may confirm His covenant with you.”
B. Man lives by every word God speaks
- Verse 3 — God humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.
- This is a difficult lesson for many to learn. Life is not found in the things of this earth; life is found in the one who gave life to it.
Luke 12:15, “then He said to them, “… For not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.
- The most important part of our being is our soul, and life is only found there.
- These words should be familiar because Jesus quoted them just before He began his ministry,
Matthew 4:2-4, After He had fasted forty days and nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “Since You’re the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
- Jesus later said to His disciples….
John 4:31-32, 34, The disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” … Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”
Deuteronomy 8:1-18 NASB
“All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to give to your forefathers. 2 You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you [a]understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. 5 Thus you are to know in your heart that the Lord your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son. 6 Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to [b]fear Him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; 9 a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.
11 “[c]Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; 12 otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, 14 then your heart will become [d]proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of [e]slavery. 15 He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint. 16 In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you [f]in the end. 17 Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ 18 But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.