Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Deuteronomy 8: Exhortation to Remember by Dr. Tiong Tung Hui dated 28.6.15

Dr.Tiong advised that he usually think of 2 Timothy 33:16-17 which says  that (paraphrase) the Word of God is God-breathed and is good for teaching, rebuking etc.  Psalm 119:105-His Word is lamp unto our feet and lamp unto our path.  He said as we look around what is going on in this world, we really need to be reminded of Psalm 119:105.

Exhortation to Remember
The Book of Deuteronomy has a lot of repetitions because God wanted to remind the Israelites.  Moreover, those who came out of Egypt have died.  Moses are facing the new generation who had no experience of the slavery in Egypt.
       1.    Provisions of God
       2.       Dependence on God
The Israelites who left Egypt were taken care by God, manna rained down from the sky, their sandals did not wear out, it was amazing that their legs were not swollen (perhaps evidence of healthy nutrition) from the constant walking.  At night they were led by pillars of fire and during the day led by pillar of smoke.  God led the Israelites for 40 years in the desert.  Preparing them to enter the Promised Land.

Purpose of Wilderness
God wanted to teach the people to be humble by putting them through the wilderness.  While in the wilderness, they were totally dependent on God for all their needs.  Like their foods, God provide manna.  God also wanted to prepare them for things that were to come.  It is important for them to follow God commands.  God’s commands were the standards they have to follow.  Similarly for us today.  

Be Careful to Follow
God reminded the Israelites to be careful to follow God’s commands.  He repeated what He said to them.
Deut 8:7-20

Exhortation not to forget God
God warned the Israelites not to forget Him, otherwise they will be destroyed like the surrounding nations that did not believe in God.  This was a stern and serious warning which we today is also to follow.

Danger of Prosperity
Prosperity is dangerous.  People usually do not come to God until when they are sick.  It is also more difficult for prosperous people to come to God.  Jesus Himself said it was easier for a camel to enter through the eye of the needle than for rich people to enter heaven.  He also said “What is the point to gain the whole world when we lose our souls?” No doubt there is nothing wrong with prosperity, but do not allowed prosperity to control us.  We must have God’s perspective.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Deuteronomy 7 The Secrets of Victory and Success by Gan Tuan Boon dated 7.6.15

In the story of Abraham, God led him from the land of Ur to Haran and subsequently to Canaan. Abraham just obeyed God and followed His instructions.  God gave three promises : 1.  I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you 2.  Your descendants will occupy Israel.  3.  You will have a son.  At that time, Abraham and his wife Sarah were very old, and he wondered how he was going to have a child.  Later Abraham and Sarah bore Isaac, Isaac had Jacob and Jacob had 12 sons.  One of his sons, Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt.  He served in the royal household and became powerful.  There was a great famine in Canaan, and Joseph invited his family to move to Egypt. This was where the story of the Israelites being enslaved in Egypt for 400 years.  Later they were led by Moses out of Egypt to wonder in the desert for 40 years where God taught the Israelites. 

The secrets of victory and success
There are three principles.

Principle 1 – Destroy the enemies totally and remove all idols.
The Israelites are to destroy all inhabitants of Canaan and break down all their altars and idols.
Deut. 7:1-2, 5-10, 16-26
(73% of Chapter 7 is devoted to Principle 1)
There are two reasons for the total destruction of the Canaan inhabitants:
a)      God’s righteous judgment against the wickedness of Canaan inhabitants.
b)      Preparation of the spiritual setting for the coming of the Messiah.
Applications for Christians
(a)    Destroy the enemy-- sins in our life.
(b)   Remove all the idols– things in our life that take the place of God.

Principle 2 – Do not be mismatched with unbelievers.
“Do not intermarry with them (Canaan people). Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons” Deu 7:3
Reason: “for they (Canaan people) will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.” (Deut. 7:4)

Principle 3 – Diligently obey the word of God.
Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today.
If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors.
(Deut. 7:11-12)

3-Fold Blessing from the Lord
1.       Materials blessing
God will bless the crops of your land—your grain, new wine and olive oil—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land he swore to your ancestors .
(Deut. 7:13b)
2.       Physical Blessing
The Lord will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all who hate you.
(Deut. 7:15)
3.       Familial Blessing
He will … increase your number. He will bless the fruit of your womb…  You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless… 
(Deut. 7:13 & 14)

Principle 1 — Destroy the enemy totally and remove all the idols
Principle 2 — Do not be mismated with unbelievers
Principle 3 — Diligently obey the Word of God
                                                (a) Material Blessing
                                                (b) Physical Blessing

                                                (c) Familial Blessing