Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20030409.htm
DEUTERONOMY: GETTING OTHERS TO BE VICTORS, NOT CASUALTIES
Part XXXI: Discipling Others On God's USE Of Enemies To Cause Us To Return To Him
Lesson: (1) Painful opposition from enemies was God's PERMISSIVE TOOL to get Israel to shift her trust from her own power or other idols to Himself. (2) God's LIMITING the painful DAMAGE such enemies could do was to cause Israel to TRUST GOD for needs that were BEYOND her power to meet.
- As human beings, we need to have good relationships with others -- it is necessary for our survival.
- However, even if we are believers in Christ, God can allow opponents to afflict us in very painful ways.
- God allows this to occur to shift a misplaced trust we may put in ourselves or other false idols back to the Lord Himself, and this truth is taught in the Song of Moses in Deuteronomy 31:30-32:44:
- Discipling Others On God's USE Of Enemies To Cause Us To Return To Him, Deut. 31:30-32:43.
- Just before his death, Moses addressed Israel on her need to heed God for blessing, Deuteronomy 1:1-5.
- Part of that address involved a Song God had Moses teach Israel (Deut. 31:19, 30) to remind her that her sin to come would be the cause of His future judgment of the nation, and that Israel's repentance would be the key to her restoration of God's blessing.
- As we view the song itself, we note most of its words address the theme that divine judgment is the result of sin, and restored divine blessing comes as a result of repentance, Deuteronomy 31:30-32:25:
- Initially, the song shows God is the Source of Israel's practical blessings, Deuteronomy 31:30-32:4.
- However, Israel is predicted in the song to become sinful and fall into apostasy, Deut. 32:5-6.
- Then, because of this sin, God would punish Israel as itemized in Deuteronomy 32:7-25:
- God expressed His concerned that Israel would forget her need for Him, Deuteronomy 32:7-14.
- Apparently, Israel's shift from God to revel in her blessings would result in her rejecting Her Provider in God as she turned falsely self-sufficient, Deut. 32:15. Hence, such self-sufficiency would lead to a lack of a sense of accountability to the Lord, and that would lead to sin, 32:16-18.
- In turn, Israel's sin would arouse God's anger (32:19), a break in communion with God (32:20), rejection by God (32:21-22) and national destruction in God's punishment (32:23-24) topped off with Israel's fall to her Gentile enemies, Deuteronomy 32:25.
- However, in directing Israel's enemies to destroy her, God would seek through His limitation of their destructiveness to teach Israel that God was her Provider after all, Deuteronomy 32:26-43:
- Out of concern that the Gentiles God allowed to afflict Israel as God's disciplinary tool might proudly think their own power gave them victory over Israel, He would LIMIT their rule over Israel, 32:26-27.
- Indeed, God implied it was His intent through such a limitation of Israel's Gentile enemies to teach onlookers to be wise, to realize only God was responsible for Israel's past blessings, 32:28-29:
- Specifically, God wanted His limitation of the Gentile enemies' oppression of Israel to make her think of why her experiences were not as they used to be when Israel defeated her Gentile enemies, 32:30-31.
- God also wanted Israel to see He was limiting her Gentile oppressors' capacity to harm her because they were evil themselves, Deuteronomy 32:32-33.
- Then, God wanted Israel to note He was delivering her from her Gentile oppressors so she would look to HIM for her sustenance and protection, not to herself or to false gods for help, Deut. 32:34-36.
- In fact, God would let Israel cry out to her false gods and see the impotency of them in the process toward teaching the nation to come back to Himself, Deuteronomy 32:37-42.
- Thus, God desired the nation of Israel would look to Him and not false idols (like material wealth) so she could once again become a rejoicing, victorious people, restored people, Deuteronomy 32:43.
Application: (1) If we find ourselves opposed by overbearing and oppressive enemies, we should view it as God's permissive way of teaching us to trust in HIM as opposed to false crutches like trusting in our own powers or abilities. (2) The limitations that are forced upon our overpowering enemies in such trials are God's ASSURANCES of His will and plan to help us if we but put our FAITH in HIM as opposed to a trust in OURSELVES or other false "gods"!