Never Forget What God has Done
October 3-4, 2020
Here we are, Deuteronomy, really it is Moses giving his last speech to Israel before they crossed the Jordan. Right now at this point, they're at the end of their 40 years. They’re on the other side of the Jordan over by the Dead Sea area, and they're just about to cross that Jordan to enter in. Moses is not going with them. God has already said to Moses, “You're not going over with the people of Israel.” He gives this last epic speech and you can sense right away that Moses is called for revival. That's really what the message is about.
That’s why to me, it's such a relevant book today because there's a need for revival right now. What we are experiencing, what we are seeing happening in the world right now, these are crazy days. This is a year we will remember, but I'm telling you that in very many ways, it is the beginning of birth pangs. There are more troubles that are coming upon the earth, the Lord told us. We’ve been looking at that prophetic word in that way. The need of the hour is very much the same, revival. You can sense the urgency in Moses, and I think that's right. We need a sense of urgency. This is not the time to lay back and be casual. This is the time to press in spiritually to be strong because this world is messed up.
This world is broken, but just because the world is broken, doesn't mean you need to be broken. You can be strong. You can have a foundation, and that's the whole point. Now, you know that it's a call for revival when Moses gives the greatest words that God has ever spoken. Did you know that in Deuteronomy, in this book are found the greatest words that God has ever said? The reason that you say, “Well, pastor, how do you know that?” Because Jesus told us that.
When expert in the law came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, what is the foremost, and greatest of all the things that God has ever said?” He quoted from Deuteronomy when he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God.” This is the greatest word that God has ever said. “You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart.” That's the greatest word. You shall love the Lord your God with all your soul. You shall love the Lord your God with all of your strength and all of your mind, is quoting from Deuteronomy. Then he said in the the second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” That's from Deuteronomy 2. On these two commandments, hang the entirety of the law and prophets of the Old Testament. It's a call for revival because he's given the most epic words that God ever spoke.
What is he doing? He's setting before them a choice. He says, “Now, you must choose. I'm sitting before you and now life and death, prosperity or adversity.” In other words, the blessing of God or difficulty, troubles, adversity. See, there comes a time of choosing. I tell you, I'm convinced that we are now at a crossroads. We are at a time of choosing. Choose the path in which you will walk. He's strongly, and you can just imagine, he's strongly encouraging them to choose life. How, how do you choose life? You choose life by loving the Lord your God with all your heart. That is what revival is, and that is the path that he wants you to walk.
Here's what's interesting. He gives this epic message and we come to this section here now, where God, after this epic message, God brings Moses aside. He says to Moses, “These people, when they cross that Jordan--" Of course he foreknows. “These people when they cross that Jordan, they will, in fact, go after strange gods, the gods of the land in which they're going. They will, in fact, forsake me and they will break my covenant, which I made with them. In that day, when they turn away from me and adversity and trouble come into their lives, they will blame me,” God says. They will blame me in that day, and they will say, “This is happening because God is no longer with us.”
I. The Lord Has Done Great Things for Us
That's where we come, where He says to Moses, “Therefore, I want you to teach the people a song to sing. I want that the words of that song to contain these very thoughts that they can sing these words, that they would sing them over and over.” Learn a song and have the words of that song contain the very heart of God that they would sing it with their children and be reminded again and again. That when adversity comes, when they turn away from me, that this song would be a testimony to them and that they would come home, that they would come back.
This is, I think, a beautiful thing. God says, “I know that they will go wayward, but I'm telling you now I want them to come back. I want them to come home.” He wrote down the words of the song, and that's really where we are here. He then assembled all of Israel and taught them the song until they knew the words because a song is powerful. At that time, there was literally only one copy of the words of Moses. He wrote them down himself. That was the one copy. Then he gave that one copy to the priest who began to write it, but they didn't have all.
We had everybody in this room and the fellowship all and at home, you all got your own copy, so you can read these words and be reminded again and again of God's heart, but they didn't have that. He says, “Let them learn the song, and the song will be a testimony to them, so then they'll never forget what God told them." These songs have a very powerful way of embedding themselves in our memory ,you might say. That’s why today so many companies, they'll hire people to write songs, so they can sell their products with songs. I'm sure that's still going on. I don't watch TV today.
Back when I was a kid, I remember some of the songs that companies would write. Again, I don't know the new ones. I just know the old ones. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a really fizz-- Eli, you remember that one? See, you had to be older member of some of these songs. Hot dog, I'm a hot dog. I shouldn't even be singing these. Remember these old didis. They get stuck in your mind. Songs have a powerful way of doing that. More than that, a song can stir the soul. There's something about a song, when it comes from the very depths of your soul, that's very much powerful because it resonates your soul, resonates with the words of that message, and it becomes written on your heart.
Deuteronomy 32, let's read some of it. It's a bit of a long song. We will read all of the verses at one of the Wednesday services coming up. The Wednesday messages are a little behind. That guy on Wednesday is a little slow, but we're going to get caught up. When we get to this point, we'll read all of the verses of that song. Right now we're going to just read some of them that I want to highlight God's heart that comes through the song. Deuteronomy 32, let's begin reading in verse 7. This is part of the words of the song. Of course, I don't know the melody line, nor do I know it in Hebrew.
Verse 7, “Remember the days of old.” Do you don't remember? Okay, that's terrible, but, "Remember the days of old." In other words, remember what God has done. Never forget, never forget. That's part of the song. Remember the days of old, consider the years of all generations, ask your father, ask your father, and he will tell you. Ask your elders, they will inform you. When the most high gave the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of man, he said, “The boundaries of peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel.” In other words, he would look out for Israel first when setting the boundaries of the nations.
A. You are God’s portion
Verse 9, “For the Lord's portion is His people.” Jacob is the allotment of his God's inheritance. He found them in a desert land. Let’s recap this, shall we? Let's sing this song. Let's recap this. "He found them in a desert land. He found them in a howling waste of a wilderness. He encircled them, he cared for them, he guarded them as the apple of His eye" Don't you love that expression? As the apple of His eye. Like an Eagle, you can just imagine the powerful words during--
Now, like an Eagle that stirs up its nest. He spread his wings and cut them. He carried them on his pinions, than aspect of range. The Lord alone guided Israel, guided him. There is no foreign god with him. He made him right on high places. This is what God did. See, He wants them to recount what God did. He made them to ride on high places of the earth and to eat the produce of the field. He made him to drink honey from the rock and oil from the flinty rock. There's a real depth to this. Curds of cows, milk of the flock, fat of lambs, rams the breed of the Bashan, some of the best, in other words. Goats with the finest of the weed, with the a blood of grapes, you drink wine.
These are the words I wanted us to look at. There's obviously much more, but these are the words the I want us to highlight because it captures God's heart for Israel and now for us, starting with this, the Lord has done great things for us. That is the theme, the Lord has done. In fact, there was a song the we used to sing some years ago in the church. Maybe some of you remember it. See, it's stuck in my mind all these years. "The Lord has done great thing for us, the Lord has done great things for us and we are glad, so very glad." Maybe some of you remember, some of these songs. That's the point of singing such a thing, to be reminded. Do you remember? He said.
Verse 7, "Sing this, remember the days of old. Ask your fathers they will tell you." In other words never, never, never take God for granted. When you look back over your life, how many people would do this? I know I can't. I can look back over my life and I can recount the amazing ways that God has blessed my life, that he has poured his favor, that he has watched over my life. I can't recount them. Oh, I've said many times I want to write a book. God has done so much to reveal his hand in my life.
How many people whether you're here or the fellowship hall or the home, how many people say, "Oh yes, I can recount, I can look back and I can tell you that God has done great things for me."? How many people would say that very thing? I know this, God has done great thing. See, that's the idea. You want to strengthen faith? One of the ways that you strengthen faith is when you remember what God has done. Never, ever never forget, don't take it for granted, be reminded. Sing it, sing it as a song, that's what he's saying. Sing it, sing it, sing it again. Then he adds this to the song, "And you are Gods portion." God loves you so much he said you are my inheritance, you're my portion.
Verse 8. It says an interesting thing. It says, "When the most high gave the nations their inheritance or their portion. He set the boundaries of the nations according to the number of the sons of Israel." In other words, he looked after Israel first when setting the boundaries of the nation. He considers Israel special. No, I don't object to that. I think that's a wonderful thing, because he's giving an example to the world of his heart and because he has a very similar heart for you, by the way. Then it tell us that when he set the boundaries of the tribes, he was watching over the tribes of Israel, when he set their boundaries.
Even Levi the tribe that got no land inheritance, He says, "Oh, I have an inheritance for you. I will be your portion." Then God, his inheritance, his portion is his people. Deuteronomy 26:18, just a few chapters back, "The Lord has today declared to you, He's declared you to be His people. A treasured possession." God says a powerful thing. He says you are a treasured possession. As He promised in a similar way the scripture say to the church, in regard to the church similar things, similar promises.
Notice Ephesians chapter 1:18, "I pray that the eyes of you heart may be opened or enlightened." Open you heart, open your eyes. I want you to see this, so that you will know the hope of his calling, and the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. That's his portions, you are a treasured possession. One of the ways to understand the value of something is by the price that was paid for it. "You are a treasured possession and I will redeem you. I will redeem you," he says, "By the greatest price that is possible to be paid. I'll redeem you with the blood of my own son. That's how treasured you are to me. That's how much I love you." He says, "Sing that. Sing it in a song that you'll never forget it."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, I've combined this idea out of these verses to see the point, "Do you not know that your not your own? For you have been bought with a price, a great price, the highest of all prices was paid for you." Revelation 5:9, "And they sing a new songs saying," Speaking of singing a song, Revelation 5:9 they wrote this song, "Worthy are you to take the book and to break its seals, for you are slain and purchased for God with your blood." Men from every tribe, and tongue, and people and nation, such was the price that was paid.
B. He found you in a dry place
Then notice what he says, "Recount this to them in this song, recount it, you were found in the dry place." Never forget the condition of your life before God found you. Some people came to Christ when they were young, when they were children, and so they don't have a before Christ or B.C. much. Praise God for that, I'll tell you praise God for that. There are many who came to faith in Christ after experiencing much trouble and adversity in the world. He says He found you in a dry place, never forget that condition of your life before you came. That will make you appreciate what God did. That will make you appreciate it.
He says He found him in the dessert land. That condition, you see it's the same as you for you and me. He found you in a dry and weary land where there was no water. What a picture. It's picturing the world in which we're living right now. We are living in a dry and weary land where there is no water. God is right now redeeming people. God is redeeming people out of that dry and weary land where there is water. I'll say to you, especially those are watching from home, if you're experiencing that right now, that you're living in a time or a land of dry and weariness, God will redeem you. Never forget, never forget. It picture the soul that's thirsty.
I'm living in a dry and weary land where there is no water. The soul is thirsty, there's something deep in the soul that longs to be satisfied. Longs to drink deeply of that which is good, and right, and godly, and righteous, and have the soul satisfied. He speaks of a dry and weary land where there is no water, he's talking about the stuff of the world. Because nothing in the world satisfies the thirst of the soul like Psalm 63:1, "Oh God, oh God, you are my God. I seek, I will seek you earnestly. My soul thirsts for you. My flesh yearns for you God in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Oh, what a great song that is.
I was thinking of an illustration. One of the most famous rock songs of all time came out of the '60s. I know a lot about the '60s. I read all about it in the books. One of the most epic rock songs of all time came out of the '60s, 1965, it was a song by the Rolling Stones. It became an icon of the day, icon of the era because people could relate to it. Some of you people who are a little older might remember, "I can't get no, I can't get no, satisfaction." Ignore the poor grammar there. They had more important things to do that learn grammar in the '60s, like start a revolution. The Rolling Stones, "I can't get no, satisfaction, but I try and I try and I try." That's the word of the song. That's pretty much the whole song right there.
People love that song, like the number one song. It was like an icon of the era. Do you know why people love that song? Because they can relate to it. "I can't get no satisfaction, but I try, and I try, and I try." Maybe the problem was they didn't understand the difference between a rolling stone and a solid rock. See what I did there? That was fun. When is Christ is your foundation, that's the point, when you have a foundation. When you have a rock and you know from whom blessing comes. You know in whom you have believe, you know him whom you trust, then your soul can be satisfied to the full.
This is also Psalm 63:3-5, "Because your loving kindness is better than life, my lips will praise you. I will bless you as long as I live." You know that that's an expression of a soul that's satisfied. That's the expression of a soul that is filled and overflowing. Your loving kindness is better than life. That's why my lips will praise you. I will bless you as long as I live, God. I will lift up my hands to your name, my soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
Then next verse in Deuteronomy 32, the next verse, verse 10, speaks of the world from which he saved you and he says, "In the howling waste in the wilderness. I took you from the howling waste in the wilderness." That's an apt description. What a picture of the world, waste. There are so many lives that are wasted today. God gave you a gift when he gave you a life, he gave you a soul, he gave you a gift. Don't waste it, don't waste it. Another expression that came out of the '60s, "I was wasted man, I was wasted." If they had a trip on drugs and they were, "I was wasted." That's an apt description. Don't waste your life. Here's what I'll say though, I don't care how old you are. I don't care how old you are, if you look back on your life and you say, "Well I've wasted. You don't understand, pastor, I've wasted a lot of my life." I will say to you this, it's not too late to change your life. It's not too late to come to a place where your life is no longer wasted. You come and honor God with your heart and your life will not be wasted. He will redeem whatever you've got left, he will redeem it for his glory. Don't waste your life.
C. God watches over the apple of His eye
Notice, because of what he says next. I want you to have them sing this, God watches over the apple of His eyes. He says, "You're the apple of my eye." You see what's he's trying to say. Never forget my heart, my heart is after you. My heart is after you. He encircled and he cared for him, he guarded him as the apple of his eye. It's a pupil. In other words, I'm looking right at you, I'm looking right at you. My eyes' on you. You are the delight of my eyes. You're the apple of the eye, you're the delight of my eye. I love to put my eye on you. When the eyes of the Lord range to and fro throughout the earth. In other words, the apple of his eye is Israel. The same way, God says he keeps you as the apple of his eye.
There's a song that was very popular some years ago. Speaking of a song, very popular song in the church, His eyes on the sparrow. Some of you might remember this song, beautiful, beautiful song, his eyes on the sparrow. I want to just quote some of the words because it captures this very thought.
Why should I feel discouraged, it's a very beautiful song. "Why should I feel discourage? Why should the shadows come? Why should my heart be lonely and long for heaven, heaven and home. When Jesus is my portion. My constant friend is he, his eyes on the sparrow and I know he watches over me. I sing because I'm happy. I sing because I'm free. For his eyes is on the sparrow and I know he watches over me." See, when you put it in a song, it's so powerful.
Psalm 17:7-8, "Wondrously show your loving kindness. Wondrously show your loving kindness, oh savior, oh savior of those who take refuge at your right hand. Keep me as the apple of your eye." Isn't that beautiful? Psalm 17, "Wondrously show your loving kindness, oh savior of those who take refuge at your right hand. Keep me as the apple of the eye." Zachariah 2:8, "For thus says the Lord of host, he who touches you, touches the apple of my eye." In other words don't touch Israel. It's the apple of God's eye. Somebody might say, "Well, I don't feel like it. I don't feel like he's guarding me as the apple of his eye. I'm going through difficulties. I've got adversity." Then keep reading, "It's the song of Moses includes so much hope. One of the things that it reveals is that I want you to sing of this, God's favor covers you, sing of it, God's favor covers you."
II. God’s Favor Covers You
Verse 11, "He compares the relationship God has with you like an eagle over her young." It's really very powerful. God uses many expressions and analogies, and pictures that they can relate too because the eagle is supreme. He covers them. That analogy is this, like an eagle with their young, He covers them when they need protection but He'll stir the nest when they need to fly. God will do both. It really is a beautiful thing when you sit back to recognize what he's trying to say, he'll cover them.
Literally, an eagle, of course, their nest are perched very high and oftentimes in the direct sun, but an eagle will literally cast his wings over the nest and take the heat in behalf of the eaglet to give it that protection. Literally, cover them with their wings. When it's time to fly, she'll stir that nest, it's time to fly.
Psalm 91:1-4, it sets a beautiful picture, "He who dwells in the shelter of the most high will abide in the shadow of the Almighty." Don't you love that verse right there? To me, it's one of the most powerful verses in the scriptures because it's picture for us his great promise. He who dwells in the shelter of the most high will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. You see the call, they come, draw near, draw, stay, abide in the shadow of the Almighty. You're wandering too far. You're away from the lord, you're wandering. Don't wander, don't go far. It says, "Dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. He will cover you with his pinions." That's an aspect of wings. "He will cover you with his pinions and under his wings, you may seek refuge for his faithfulness is a shield and a bull work."
A. The Lord may stir up the nest
That being said, the other aspect is also true, the Lord my stir up the nest. Because the Lord knows when it's time to urge on, to move you on, to that which is greater and higher. The eagle will build his nest high in the cliffs. It keeps them safe, it keeps them safe while they're young, but they must learn to fly.
Some years ago for our 25th anniversary, we took a trip to Alaska. While we were there we got a tremendous view of eagles and nature, of course, is spectacular, but we learned, we had this person giving lessons and teaching, so we were, "Yes, we want to learn." An eagle or a pair of eagles will mate for life, start with that. That's right there a great lesson. They mate for life and then every year they just keep adding to their nest. This is what we learned, while we on this trip, some nest can be more than 15 feet deep and 20 feet wide. They just keep building onto it. He makes a comparison with the way of an eagle and God relationship to you.
Eagles teach their young to fly by stirring up the nest. Allowing them to stretch their wings and touch the air. It stirred into, we're going to keep stirring this things until you learn to move as God wants you to move. God wants greater things, greater victories.
Notice verse 13, he says, "He made him ride on high places." Set your life on the higher places. God wants you to live this life in a higher place, in a greater way. It's a picture of God allowing the troubles in the trials and your life, he will use them to strengthen and increase your life for the purpose that He has for you. See, if you know that's true, here's the thing, if you know that's true, that God can use the troubles and the difficulties, he can use them to strengthen and to increase. If you know that's true, then you look for it, and the troubles in the trials, they come into a perspective.
I know that he orders my way, and that he'll watch over my life, and that God will show me the way through this. God will show me the way through the wilderness, and he'll use all of these troubles in my life. I know he will. That's faith. Imagine the fear of the young eagle trying to learn to fly, but the fear turns to joy when he learns to soar in higher places. Those things that cause sorrow or pain are the very things that God can use to bring greater depth of faith, and greater depth of faith brings a deep-seated joy.
Psalm 30: 11-12, "You have turned for me," he says, "You have turned for me my mourning in the dancing." There is a lot of grief in this life. There's a lot of difficulty, there's some mourning that you experience, "But you have turned for me my mourning into dancing. You have loosed my sackcloth." Sackcloth is what one would put on if they were grieving the loss of a loved one or something terrible. "You have loose my sackcloth, and you've girded me with gladness that my soul may sing praise to you and not be silent. Oh Lord, my God, I will give thanks to you forever."
B. Wait on the Lord and gain new strength
Then lastly, this, wait on the Lord. Wait on the Lord and gain new strength. Be patient. Be patient. Wait. God will deliver, God will help in time of need. Wait. Too many people, they become impatient and they make a mistake. Don't make a mistake. Your impatience will drive you into a mistake. Don't be impatient. Wait. God will do it. He says, "Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength." Faith increases when you wait with hope. He will do it. Be patient. Don't make a mistake.
Isaiah 40: 29-31. I'm giving you some of my favorite scriptures here. Isaiah 40, "It is He who gives strength to the weary and to him who lacks might, He increases power. Though youth grow tired and weary and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord, will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not faint." What a powerful understanding, what a powerful promise. Wait on the Lord, trust that God is able to work in your life, that He is for you, that He's with you.
Psalm 127, epic, Psalm 127:1-2, "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who built it?" God is with you. Walk with Him through this. Be patient. Let God show you His strength. "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain." It's vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors, for it is He who gives to His beloved even while he sleeps. These are great promises. Wait, wait on the Lord. Let your heart take courage.
Psalm 27:14, "Wait for the Lord. Be strong and let your heart take courage." Yes, yes. Wait, wait for the Lord. He'll do it. You'll mount up with wings like eagles, His favor over you. He clears banner over you His love. Never forget, never forget what God has done. He says it's a time of choosing. It's time to choose how you're going to walk, how you're going to walk in this life. Don't waste your life. Don't waste any part. Give God your heart, your love, and he will pour out to you the favor of God.
Let's pray. Father, thank you so much for showing us your heart, your desire, your spirit poured out, your promises revealed, and Lord in this song, we see so many promises, but we also see a call. It's time to choose. It's time to choose how you're going to walk, how you live your life.
Church, how many would you say tonight, whether you're here at the sanctuary, or in the fellowship hall or watching from home, but how many tonight was say, I choose you. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. As for me and my, we've made our choice, we've made our mind, we've set our heart. As for me and my house, we will serve.
Will you just raise your hand? Those at home just raise your hand. God bless. Everyone who said yes to the Lord, God will do it. God will walk with you through the course of this life. Honor him, draw near to him, dwell in the shadow of the Almighty.
Father, thank you for everyone whose heart says yes, draw them into a place of trust and nearness, relationship. God, we thank you so much for pouring your life and your spirit, revealing your heart to us now. In Jesus's powerful name, and everyone said, Amen.