Sermon – March 12, 2017
The relationship between the NT and the law is often very difficult to comprehend. We see that God has given the law to his people, and specified that the taking of the land, and thus the truthfulness of his promises, was dependent upon them being faithful. Today we look at how God can be true to his promise, even though Israel was doomed to fail in keeping the law.
1. The results of obedience God’s commands
Moses first relates to the Israelites the important results of keeping the law that he is placing before them. God’s promise stands on the ability of his people to keep the law which he has given to them!
2. Know who God is
Instead of telling the people to keep the law, which is what we might suspect in vv. 9-14, Moses instead instructs them to remember the vision that they had of God at Horeb. Prior to the people knowing what they must do, they must never forget the God who commands them. Doctrine always comes before doing.
3. Live like you know
If Moses expected the Israelites to remember their vision of God, it was not just to recall fond memories, but so that they might actually put it to use! Their God demonstrated himself to them in a particular way; to make him something that is common, as something that is given as a picture to all people, is to commit idolatry, to break faith with God, and will cause the downfall of the nation.
4. The results of disobedience to God’s commands
When Israel does fall, through making God common and not keeping him as holy, God will then give them over to those “common” gods they want to serve. He will no longer be there God, they will no longer have the land, and they will be scattered to all the other nations.
5. The promise stands over the law
Yet, even when this happens, Moses reaffirms that God will make the promise come true. For although the promise rests on the obedience of the nation, it is still God’s promise. We find this tension relieved in Jesus Christ, who demonstrates in his life the very rewards of the law that Moses outlines in vv. 1-8. In him we have the promises of God made true!
Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of the promises of God, having done in his life what Israel was unable to do. In his fulfillment of the law, then, we do not have to look to the law for our practice, but we instead look to Christ. The law holds out no hope for us, but our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness!