Donnels Creek Church of the Brethren
Hobert's Homily: Sermon Supplement
God's revelation through Moses in the book of Deuteronomy continues to be an eye-opening for me. All of God's dealings with Israel in the past which are recorded in Scripture have a definite message for us as believers today. I hope you are reading this fabulous book demonstrating God's care for the children of Israel. "These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come," 1 Corinthians 10:11.
God's means of redemption could never be through the law. The law never could give righteousness, but it did witness and testify to the righteousness which God provided through the offering of His Unique Son. The law was actually Israel's schoolmaster to bring them to Christ, Galatians 3:24. The late Donald Grey Barnhouse has a meaningful illustration concerning the purpose of the law as he comments on Romans 3:21. “But now the righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known, to which the law and the prophets testify." Barnhouse has the law saying: “I never pretended to bring righteousness. I am like the engineer who is helping to plan the route on a highway. I can take a pencil and draw the line on the map and show the way which the road should take. But when I draw the line up on the map, my pencil does not plow away the side of the hill and bring the road into existence. All my pencil can do is to show the way. If I press on the pencil to firmly, the point will break. And if I ever take my pencil out into the field where the road is to pass through and start pushing against a granite boulder, I shall merely reveal the weakness of my own folly."
The book of Deuteronomy reveals God as the One and only God (6:4 – 5), as the God of love (7:7 – 8), the faithful God (7:9), the jealous God (4:23 – 24), the merciful God (4:31), the great God (10:16 – 17), the God of truth (32:4), the living God (5:26), the mighty God (7:21), and the eternal God (33:27). It speaks loudly of God's holiness, love, compassion and enduring patience with His people. God calls us to love Him from our hearts and live for Him in holiness and obedience. God is interested in the inward realities of our relationship to Him. He is concerned about our attitude, not merely about our performance of certain ceremonies. This has always been God's longing cry for us.
This book also presents my neighbor as my brother. I am to have compassion. Above all, we should learn from this book today that our mere human efforts will end in failure unless we know and experience God and His spiritual strength. (Adapted from Deuteronomy, Bernard Schneider)