May 31, 2022

(Deuteronomy 4, Psalm 86-87; Optional 1 Corinthians 7:17-24, Proverbs 25:21-28)

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See May 11 for SPECIAL NOTE on format change… 

Deuteronomy 4 – Sometimes we overcomplicate things. This chapter is a simple and necessary reminder of the importance of the basics – listen to and obey God’s Word. VERY CAREFULLY (v 9, 15) guard your heart / soul (NOT “follow your heart”), and carefully shun idolatry. Still needed for God’s people today (see the last verse of 1 Jn).

Deut 4:2 – Pharisees ADDED to God’s Word, and though you might THINK that adding extra rules might help (Col 2:23 – “APPEARANCE of wisdom”), Deut 4:2, Col 2:19, and Mk 7:8-13 make clear that human additions push God to the side in favor of human tradition. Sadducees SUBTRACTED from God’s Word (didn’t believe in the supernatural, etc). Deut 4:2 warns about BOTH ditches (as did Jesus in Matt 16:12). Gal 5:9 warns of the danger of “a LITTLE leaven” of legalism. What we need is God’s Word in totality, as is. Not dodging or choosing to emphasize what we’re most comfortable with.

Deut 4:6-8 – Though these verses specially apply to Israel, these three ways that obeying God’s laws would lead to a flourishing nation have wonderful implications / applications for ANY country that wants to truly flourish. Compare Proverbs 14:34 – “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”

PSALM 86-87 – Ps 86:11 – Wonderful prayer before reading / studying / hearing God’s Word!

Ps 87:4 – Helpful comment from John MacArthur Study Bible: [“Rahab and Babylon. Rahab was a monster of ancient pagan mythology and symbolized Egypt in the OT (cf. Ps. 89:10; Is. 30:7; 51:9). Two of the superpowers of the ancient world, fierce enemies of Israel, will one day worship the Lord in Zion (cf. Is. 19:19–25). Philistia … Tyre … Ethiopia. Three more Gentile nations, ancient enemies of Israel, whose descendants will worship the Lord in Jerusalem (cf. Is. 14:28–32; 18:1–7). This multinational worship is pictured as a great joy to the Lord Himself.”]

Optional 1 Cor 7:17-24 – 1 Cor 7:21-22 – By FAR the most important thing about your life is if you belong to the Lord. If so, being a slave to another human doesn’t matter so much. It’s clear that if you can be free that IS some better, but you can’t be free from slavery a Christian IS free where it REALLY matters.

Optional Prov 25:21-28  – v 21-22 – I have a cross written in my margin (to remind me this is referred to in the NT) with “Rom 12:20”.

v 27 – Easy to get too much of a good thing (also see v 16, 17).

V 28 – HUGE importance of self-control.