Beware

This morning with Emmaus Road Church along the river in Idaho Falls . . .

Pastor Beau Floyd taught Deuteronomy 29:16-29.  He began the message by stating that it is confession time.  The church family called out some of our idols.

Beau’s exposition of the text followed this outline.

Revelation: A Warning Against Idolatry

  1. A Warning Against Individual and Corporate Idolatry
    1. A Description of the “Poisonous Root”
    2. God’s Judgment on the “Poisonous Root”
  2. Revelation for the Next Generation and the Nations
  3. God Conceals, and God Reveals

In the first point, Beau emphasized that either in judgment or warning, God’s intention is to get His people to direct their eyes to Him.  Now our tendency is to easily point out the idols in other people.  But do we know what are our idols?  And is there anyone in our lives who knows our weaknesses and would tempt us to draw away from God?  The “Poisonous Root” boasts, “I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart.”  In modern lingo, this is basically saying, “Jesus and I are good, but I can reject truths and do things that are unbiblical.”  Beware the messenger of a false gospel.  Paul echoes this in Galatians 1:6-9 (I think also of the “uprooting” of false teachers in Jude 12).  There are “spiritual” leaders out there who claim to be nourishing but they are actually sending poison.  God will judge these people because He is a jealous God (I think of Exodus 34:14).  God is passionate that your heart be not given over to a false god.

In the second point, Beau pointed out how the rulers and leaders are deported in judgment.  But there is a faithful remnant (poor as they might be) who will continue to proclaim the gospel to the next generation and the nations.

And third, Beau concluded the message with Deuteronomy 29:29.  There is much that we don’t know about God.  For example, Beau illustrated this with the life of Job.  Job didn’t understand what was going on during all the heartbreaking mess in his life.  So how did God answer him?  He gave questions to Job (I went to the concluding chapters of Job and circled 41 questions marks).  Frankly, God is the One who asks the questions.  And we don’t know the answers to any of them.  Are there difficult circumstances in your life that you don’t understand?  Remember.  When God doesn’t answer our questions, it is not because He doesn’t love us.  He is simply so much bigger than us.  And He does have a plan.  And He is altogether good.  Also, in regards to the things that you do know by His grace, hold fast to that.

Here are some interesting quotes that I came across associated with today’s text:

  • “No man is an island”
  • “As a community, Israel would stand or fall; as a community, it would experience blessing or cursing. . . . The health and vitality of the whole community depended on the health and vitality of the religious commitment of each individual within it.” – P.C.Craigie
  • “There is scarcely a threatening in all the book of God that sounds more dreadful than this.  O that presumptuous sinners would read it and tremble!” – Matthew Henry
  • “Let us seriously ponder these things in the divine presence. Let us honestly search out the root of all this lamentable failure, and have it judged and put away, that so we may more faithfully and unmistakably declare whose we are and whom we serve. May it be more thoroughly manifest that Christ is our absorbing object.” – C.H.M
  • Timothy Keller authored a provocative book entitled, Counterfeit Gods:  The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope That Matters (2009). He delves into theological idols, sexual idols, magic/ritual idols, political/economic idols, racial/national idols, relational idols, religious idols, philosophical idols, cultural idols, and deep idols of power, approval, comfort, or control.

My questions related to today’s text in Deuteronomy 29:16-29:

Observation

  1. What two things are you called upon to beware in verse 18?
  2. To say, “I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart”, leads to what?
  3. The curses of the covenant are written in what?
  4. What cities are listed in verse 23?
  5. How does the text describe LORD’s first action in verse 28?
  6. What are the things which belong to the LORD?  And what belongs to us?

Interpretation

  1. What were the idols in Egypt?  The idols of the Canaanites?  What do idols look like in modern-day Israel?  What about in American culture?
  2. Can one bad “root” (v. 8) lead to a whole community “uprooted” (v. 28)?
  3. Where does the New Testament talk about a “root of bitterness”?
  4. Can your name be blotted out from heaven?
  5. What and where are Admah and Zeboiim?
  6. How do you interpret verse 29?

Application

  1. How is the Church tempted to turn away from God and serve the gods of the nations?
  2. What idols personally tempt you?
  3. Is a Christian free to sin presumptuously?
  4. How might your sins affect others?
  5. What has God revealed to you?  And what do you still not know about God?
  6. Are there some things that you will never comprehend about God?
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About Todd Wood

I am a servant of Jesus in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Join me in seeking Jesus in this city.
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