Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XXVI: Motivating Others To Heed God By Special Emphases In Group Meetings
(Deuteronomy 27:1-28:14)
  1. Introduction
    1. When we are exposed to a regular dose of Bible teaching, unless we are continually walking with the Lord, and especially so if we are weak in the faith, we can become inattentive and dull of hearing.
    2. In grace, God may arrange for special emphases in group gatherings to motivate His people to certain acts. Deuteronomy 27:1-28:14 illustrates such a fact, and gives a great example of how it can be done:
  2. Motivating Others To Heed God By Special Emphases In Group Meetings, Deuteronomy 27:1-28:14.
    1. Just before his death, Moses addressed Israel on her need to heed God's Law for blessing, Deut. 1:1-5.
    2. A part of that address mentioned a grand theatrical performance the entire nation was to perform to impress the people of God to heed the Law for God's blessing:
      1. In the heart of Israel are located two mountains, Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim that are separated by a valley that, along with these mountains, forms an amphitheater, The Macmillan Bible Atlas, p. 42-43.
      2. Using this natural amphitheater, God called for an unusual theatrical event to be performed involving the cast of the entire nation of Israel to impress its people to obey the Mosaic Law for blessing:
        1. The Props - (a) Moses directed the nation to build a large altar of uncut stones on the top of Mount Ebal, and on that altar to form a smooth plastered surface by heating gypsum found in the Dead Sea/ Jordan River area, cf. Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Deut. 27:2; Deuteronomy 27:1-2. (b) Upon the plastered surface of this altar, the Law of Moses was to be clearly written, Deut. 27:3-4. (c) Then, the people were to offer peace offerings there and worship the Lord joyfully, Deut. 27:5-8.
        2. The Cast - (a) Half of the twelve tribes of Israel were to position themselves on the Gerizim half of the amphitheater to say the "Amen" when the blessings of the Law were read for obeying it; (b) the other half were to stand on the Ebal half of the amphitheater to say the "Amen" when the curses of the Law were read for disobeying it; (c) finally, the Levites as the teachers of the Law would read the whole Law to the people in this production, cf. Deuteronomy 27:12-14.
        3. The Lines - The curses to be read are listed in Deuteronomy 27:15-26 while the blessings are listed in Deuteronomy 28:1-14 (as follows): (a) The curses were spoken by the Levites and the "Amen" to these by the tribes of Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali as follows: ((a)) the curse for idolatry, 27:15; ((b)) the curse for dishonoring one's parents, 27:16; ((c)) the curse for stealing land by moving the landmarks, 27:17; ((d)) the curse for taking advantage of handicapped people, 27:18; ((e)) the curse for perverting justice against the weak, 27:19; ((f)) the curse for all sorts of immorality, 27:20-23; ((g)) the curse for secret harms done, 27:24; ((h)) the curse for professional murder, 27:25 and ((i)) the curse for disobeying any part of the Law, 27:26. On the other hand, the (b) blessings were spoken by the Levites and the "Amen" to these by the people of the tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Manasseh and Ephraem (Joseph's sons) and Benjamin: ((a)) the blessing on urban and rural organizations, 28:1-3; ((b)) blessing on all productivity, 28:4; ((c)) blessing on the storage of produce, 28:5; ((d)) blessing on all endeavors, 28:6; ((e)) blessing if confronted by enemies, 28:7-10; ((f)) blessing in abundance, 28:11; ((g)) blessing in finances, 28:12 and ((h)) blessing in leadership, 28:13-14.
    3. From our view of the Cross of Christ that does away with the Law's jurisdiction, Christ was sacrificed on the Mount of Cursing, Mount Ebal, as were the animals sacrificed on the altar covered with the words of the Law on the plaster that we who believe in Him might stand on Gerizim in peace with God's blessing, cf. Gal. 3:13-14; Rom. 5:1. Thus, for us, this theatrical production has become full of edifying meaning!
Lesson: God used an elaborate, full stage production to drive home His message of the REALITY of the consequences of either heeding or not heeding the Mosaic Law. Since such special emphases produce a lot of audience participation, God USES them for MOTIVATING even the WEAK to action!

Application: May we yield to the LORD'S occasional USE of SPECIAL EMPHASES in GROUP gatherings of God's people for MOTIVATING even the WEAK unto godly action in their lives!