Sunday School - July 5, 2009

Sunday School - July 5, 2009

On September 17, 1787 the United States Constitution was adopted and later ratified by all states. The original constitution was not deemed perfect but was accepted as a suitable foundation to build upon by way of amendments. It is believed by most, that the founding fathers would be astound by the lack of amendments to their original proposal; to date, the U.S. Constitution has been amended only twenty-seven times. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, the bedrock foundation and source of all legal authority underlying the existence of our governing bodies. Such defines how we are governed and such provides order and rules by which we are to abide. Although, fallible men authored the U.S. Constitution, their authority was ordained of God (Romans 13:1-2).

1 Peter 2:13-14. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

Unlike the U.S. Constitution or other governmental laws, God’s law requires no human amendments and usurps all secular laws. As Christians, our obedience must be first to God’s law, than to man’s law only as such supports and/or compliments, but not conflict or compromise the written laws of God. For if we obey man and man’s law that are inconsistent with God’s law, we please man and not live as servants of Christ (Galatians 1:10). Thus, we are to obey and follow man and man’s law as such follows Christ:

1 Corinthians 11:1. Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Acts 5:29. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Those who walk in darkness may see a contradiction in Romans 13:1-2 and Acts 5:29, yet clarity is seen by those who walk in the light. For God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27); thus, as children of the light, let us be prudent and obey God’s law.

This week's lesson is from the book of Deuteronomy. For those who follow the International Sunday School Lesson Plan (aka: The Standard Sunday School Lesson), this Sunday's lesson (July 5, 2009) comes from Deuteronomy 5:1-9a, 11-13, 16-21.

The setting of this lesson is on the east side of the Jordan River at a time just prior to entering the promise land. The Israelites have journeyed forty-years in the desert, thus they are again reminded of their covenant relationship with God.

Moses called all Israel to hear, learn, keep and do that which God had commanded. For in hearing we receive, in learning we discern, in keeping we retain and in doing we apply and make complete our faith toward our Holy God. For it is only in doing are blessings and benefits reaped from a conditional promise.

Isaiah 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

Luke 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

John 13:17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

The statutes and judgments spoken by Moses to the Israelite is the covenant God made with them at Mt. Horeb. This covenant was unique, in that, it was not given to Abraham, Isaac or Jacob, but given to Israel as their supreme law. The Lord spoke to them face to face, in the mount out of the midst of the fire, as Moses stood as mediator between them, because they feared God’s glory and did not go up to the mountain. Reverent fear in the presence of God reflects the acknowledgment of man’s sin in view of a sinless, righteous and most holy God.

Moses reminded the Israelites that God brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; for God was their savior in all that pertains to their temporal and eternal needs. Moses continued to state the commandments:

*Thou shalt have none other gods before me (Deuteronomy 5:7). God was not to be seen as a god among many gods, for there is no other god than god. The one and only God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has no equal and tolerates no rivals; and He will share His glory with no other.

*Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them (Deuteronomy 5:8-9). These items and likenesses represent tangible idols kept and worship by heathens as their gods. Such was the practice of Egyptians and the people currently in the promise land. God would not tolerate this, certainly not from the Israelites, who knew Him.

*Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain (Deuteronomy 5:11). To do such would devalue the holiness of a righteous God; for we are to show reverence for His name and place the utmost regard before we swear by in oath or use in a profane manner. To do so without prudence could bind us to an undesirable fate (Joshua 9:3-27, Judges 11:30-40) or cause us to err in contempt, either would render an unfavorable judgment.

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*Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work (Deuteronomy 5:12-13). The Sabbath as explained in Exodus 20:11 was a day of rest in honor and practice of God’s resting after His labor of creation. This passage compliments the Exodus passage by given honor to God’s work of delivering Israel from bondage (rest from slavery) as another honor acknowledged by the Sabbath day rest. As Christian, the Sabbath day worship and rest has been replaced by the first day of the week, a day that represents the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. In addition, instructions to the Church judge no Christian in regard to Sabbath days.

Colossians 2:16-17. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

*Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee (Deuteronomy 5:16). This command also lists a principal, for in keeping this command there may come the reward of a long life. This too, is the first commandment with promise (Ephesians 6:2) and all are served well to keep it.

*Thou shalt not kill (Deuteronomy 5:17). Such is to murder by an evil deed, not in defense of one’s safety or in war. However, if one kills by accident that person is given a place of refuge (Deuteronomy 19:4-6, Numbers 35:6-8). Murder is a terrible crime, for such is to destroy that which God has created and such would demand judgment from God.

*Neither shalt thou commit adultery (Deuteronomy 5:18). Such is a sexual relationship between two adults, which includes at least one married participant. Marriage resembles Jesus relationship with His Church; however, adultery resembles any evil that serves to destroy such a relationship. Adultery undermines the basic foundation a family and in past time was considered worthy death. Today, it continues to destroy the sanctity of marriage and family, but has long been considered not worthy of punishment by man’s law. However, such will never elude judgment from God.

*Neither shalt thou steal (Deuteronomy 5:19). Stealing violates both man and God, to man this sin brings an injustice, and to God one has expropriated that which God has given. Thus one can never steal without offending God. To steal one must first covet, prior to the act of stealing; thus it is wise to rid ourselves of our desire to covet.

*Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour (Deuteronomy 5:20). Truth is the needed foundation for the establishment of any credible civil, social or economic relationship. Truth renders trust, yet all is lost through lies and false accusations. Although punishment today differ from time past, false accusations continue to pervert justice and corrupt our society.

*Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's (Deuteronomy 5:21). He who can overcome this sin, can overcome many. Covetousness is often the catalyst that sparks many other sins, for one may first covet before there is the desire to steal, lie, kill or commit adultery. Covet is the prelude to breaking the first commandment; for that which we covet the most, becomes the god we serve.

Ephesians 5:5. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

As Christian, we must seek to find contentment, for such can never be gain through covetousness. Contentment makes available more opportunity to adhere to God’s laws and commandments.

1 Timothy 6:6-7. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

If you are not a typical Sunday School attendee, Go and surprise the teacher. If your Church does not follow the Standard Sunday School Lesson and you are not aware of the topic of discussion, take on the attitude of "positive anticipation". I am sure you will like it; there is nothing like reading and discussing God's Word.

FYI: Sunday School is not just for Kids, it is also for the Humble (those who desire to keep God’s commandments) at heart.

Good Day and God Bless

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