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Cow who thinks only of eating, unaware of the bigger picture of the farm around him and the people raising him for food.
Keynesian economics that promote deficit spending for goods in the short term but is harmful in the long term.
Personal Evangelism that focuses only on the hearer. God doesn’t want to save your evangelistic contact. God’s interest is in saving that person plus all their descendents! When God saves someone, He is not intending to pour His grace just into that person – pouring water into a stagnant lagoon, but rather to open up the headwaters of a new river for His love to be poured out on many generations to come.
God’s promise to Abraham has been fulfilled in the development of many descendents – millions of people now in the nation of Israel.
The generation that Moses had led out of Egypt and to whom Moses first delivered the Ten Commandments has died off (except for Joshua and Caleb)
Now the second generation of Israelites after the Exodus are about to enter into Canaan under Joshua’s leadership
Deuteronomy means “Second-Law” is So Moses is preaching his last sermon to the children of the people who had received the Ten Commandments at Mount Siaini, giving them the law again.
Read Deut 4
I want to prove from Deuteronomy my thesis that God has an interest not only in you but also in your children, then I want to show from Deuteronomy how to go about protecting the interest God has in your children.
4:37 because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their seed after them, and brought you out with His presence, with His great power, out of Egypt
5:8-10 You may not make for yourself a graven image, nor any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 9. You may not bow down yourself unto them, nor serve them; for I, Jehovah, your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me; 10. and showing lovingkindness unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments. (antecedent of “them” is “generations” see 7:9)
6:3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with you, and that you may increase greatly, as Jehovah, the God of your fathers, has promised to you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
7:9 Know therefore that Jehovah your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps covenant and lovingkindness with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations
8:18 But remember Jehovah your God, for it is He that gives you power to get wealth; that He may establish His covenant which He swore unto your fathers, as at this day.
9:6 Know therefore, that Jehovah your God is not giving you this good land to possess it for your righteousness; for you are a stiffnecked people… (Moses’ prayer to God follows) 26 Your people and Your inheritance, that You have redeemed through Your greatness, that You have brought forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand. (Note that the children are called God’s inheritance. God is claiming the children as His! Not because they have done anything to deserve it but simply because He wants to redeem them.)
10:15 Jehovah had a delight in your fathers to love them, and He chose their seed after them, even you above all peoples, as at this day.
29:14, 15 Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath, but with him that stands here with us this day before Jehovah our God, and also with him that is not here with us today… 22 And the generation to come, your children that shall rise up after you, and the foreigner that shall come from a far land… (Chapter ends with the following summary statement) 29 The secret things belong unto Jehovah our God; but the things that are revealed belong unto us and to our children. (Do you think I am remiss in connecting verse 15 with verse 22? Hold that thought until we see Peter quote this very passage and make this connection in the book of Acts.)
30:6 And Jehovah your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your children, to love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that your may live. (This is New Testament language!)
Ezekiel 16:20-21 Moreover you have taken your sons and your daughters, whom you have borne unto Me, and these you have sacrificed unto those [idols] to be devoured. Were your whoredoms a small matter, that you have slain My children, and delivered them up, in causing them to pass through to them?
Malachi 2:15 (ESV) Did He not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring! So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.
Acts 2:37b-39 [They] said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said unto them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto Him.
When God saves a person, He is not creating a new dead-end for His blessing but a new headwaters for a new river for His blessing to be poured out into the world!
If God claims your children and grandchildren as His special interest then we must work to promote God’s interest in our children. What does Moses’ sermon teach us about how to set our children up to follow God?
Deut 4:9-10 Only take heed to yourself, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes saw, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life; but make them known unto your children and your children's children; the day that your stood before Jehovah your God in Horeb, when Jehovah said unto me, “Assemble me the people, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.”
Deut 6:4-9, 20 Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah: 5 and you shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6 And these words, which I command you this day, shall be upon your heart; 7 and you shall teach them diligently unto thy children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when thou walk by the way, and when thou lie down, and when thou rise up. 8 And thou shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes. 9 And your shall write them upon the door-posts of your house, and upon your gates… 20 When your son asks you in time to come, saying, “What do the testimonies, and the statutes, and the ordinances mean, which Jehovah our God commanded you?” 21 Then you are to say to your son, “We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt: and Jehovah brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand…”
Deut 11:18-21 Therefore, lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul; and bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes. 19. And you shall teach them to your children, talking of them, when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. 20. And write them upon the door-posts of your house, and upon your gates; 21. that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which Jehovah swore unto your fathers to give them, as the days of the heavens above the earth. (Moses is 120 years old, but He’s not repeating himself because he is senile. He’s repeating himself after five chapters because it is important!)
Deut 31:10-13 And Moses commanded them, saying, “At the end of every seven years, in the set time of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, 11. when all Israel comes to appear before Jehovah your God in the place which He shall choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12. Assemble the people, the men and the women and the little ones, and thy sojourner that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear Jehovah your God, and observe to do all the words of this law; 13. and that their children, who have not known, may hear, and learn to fear Jehovah your God, as long as you live in the land where you are going over the Jordan to possess it.
Proverbs opens with (1:8) “My son, hear the instruction of your father” (God provides an entire book of the Bible as a template for how to teach your children!)
Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but raise them up in the chastening and admonition of the Lord (Note it says “Fathers” – don’t leave this for Mama to do all by herself!)
Hypocrites lose their children
Deut 4:40 Therefore you shall keep His statutes and His commandments, which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land that Jehovah your God is giving you for all time. (There is a connection between you keeping God’s statutes and it going well with your children after you.)
Deut 6:1-2 "Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the rules that Jehovah your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear Jehovah your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.
Your children notice your speedometer; they know what you’re watching on TV even if the door is closed; they hear what you say in your unguarded moments. You can’t fool them if your faith is not real, and you can’t expect a fake faith to rub off on them.
Deut 7:17-19 If you say in your heart, “These nations are greater than I. How can I dispossess them?” 18 you shall not be afraid of them but you shall remember what Jehovah your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, 19 the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, by which Jehovah your God brought you out. So will Jehovah your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.
Deut 8:2-3 And you shall remember the whole way that Jehovah your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 And He humbled you and let you hunger - and fed you with manna (which you did not know, nor did your fathers know) that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of Jehovah.
Keep a history – monument (Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore made a monument of the 10 commandments to remind himself and others that the foundation for his job is God’s law), holiday (Israelites celebrated Passover to remember their deliverance from Egypt, they later created a holiday called Hanukah to celebrate deliverance from the Greeks and the Gospels indicate that Jesus even observed that holiday, you can make up your own holiday!), photo album, diary
Deut 7:1-5 When Jehovah your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than yourselves, 2. and when Jehovah your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. 3. You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, 4. for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of Jehovah would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly. 5. But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and chop down their Asherim and burn their carved images with fire…
Deut 7:25-26 The carved images of their gods you shall burn with fire. You shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them or take it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared by it, for it is an abomination to Jehovah your God. 26. And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house and become devoted to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is devoted to destruction.
Deut. 12:2-3 You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. 3. You shall tear down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and burn their Asherim with fire. You shall chop down the carved images of their gods and destroy their name out of that place.
Deut 13:12-17 If you hear tell concerning one of your cities, which Jehovah thy God gives you to dwell there, saying, 13. “Certain base fellows went out from your midst, and have drawn away the inhabitants of their city, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods, which you have not known;’” 14. then inquire and search and ask diligently, and, see if it be true and the thing certain, that such abomination is done in the midst of you, 15. You shall certainly smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and its cattle, with the edge of the sword. 16. Then gather all its spoil into the midst of its street, and burn the city with fire, and all its spoil - every whit, unto Jehovah your God: and it shall be a heap for ever; it shall not be built again. 17. And do not let any thing devoted to destruction stick to your hand; that Jehovah may turn from the fierceness of His anger, and show you mercy, and have compassion upon you, and multiply you, as He has sworn to your fathers;
This is violent language because it is a spiritual war. Each one of you has to discern what things will lead the next generation astray and get those idols out of your house. Our kids may not be tempted to bow down in front of carved figurines, but there are many other things (and persons) that are worshipped today. We will all probably come up with slightly different lists of what we want to keep out of our house so we need to be gracious with other Christians and not assume that just because you see something as a threat to your children’s faith that your standards must therefore be imposed upon all Christians. Some things I think we can all agree upon are to keep our children from being discipled by non-Christian teachers and to carefully control the entertainment that comes into our home – books, movies, magazines, music. All too often these media carry powerfully convincing appeals to your children to follow the religion of secular humanism or other popular religions. Another thing that can cause our children to stray is busy-ness. If you are too busy at work and at watching the news and they are too busy with school and sports for you to teach them when you sit down to eat and when you sit around in the living room and when you walk by the way (or drive around) and when you go to bed and when you wake up, then you need to go to war against the busyness in order to preserve the lives of your children for God!
Do you want to be a cow or a Moses? Are you a dead-end lagoon or the headwaters of a new river of God’s grace flowing into the world? Are you thinking only for yourself to meet your needs, or are you laying the groundwork for future generations to follow God? I challenge you to be people of vision who will build a legacy that will grow and multiply and fill the earth with the godly generations that God wants!