Preparing for Worship // July 08, 2018

Preparing for Worship // July 08, 2018

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It is easy to get lost in the book of Deuteronomy. There has been a lot of talking and no stories. Moses is approaching 120 years of age and has been shepherding the Israelites through the desert for 40 years. This is not a group that pastors are begging to lead. They are stubborn, continue to turn to idols, grumble, and don’t trust him to lead them to the Promised Land. Moses knows this is going to be the last time he gathers them together and preaches to them, so he takes full advantage of the situation. He tells them the most important things that he wants them to remember. Similar to a commencement address at a graduation, Moses reflects on where they have been and encourages his people of where they are going. Deuteronomy 29 was Moses’ nation-wide altar call. In chapter 30, Moses encouraged God’s people in how they should keep the covenant. Here in Deuteronomy 31, Moses encourages the people “be strong and courageous” and he encourages his protégé Joshua to also “be strong and courageous.” Why do they need to be told this? They are going forward to do an impossible task without their beloved leader. The Canaanites have not gotten any smaller since 40 years ago when the spies reported of their might and the people doubted God. They are told that they can be strong and courageous because God is with them. Moses knows their hearts and knows that they will once again forget, so he writes everything down so they can look back on it later and repent. It’s like listening to the most important lecture or sermon in your life, then getting the orator’s notes of the exact things he knows to be important! He gives them, as the Westminster Confession calls it, the “rule of faith and life” or the holy standard by which they should measure everything else. Moses, as a loving shepherd, gives his people everything they need to be set up for success. He reminds them of all that God has done and equips them with the very words of God and sets up a new leader to direct them to the Lord. God has preserved these words for thousands of years for us to consider together this Lord’s Day. We have the privilege of reading the very words Moses spoke to the Israelites because they are the same words that God continues to speak to His people today.

THE WORD

Scripture: Deuteronomy 31:1-29
Sermon: The Centrality of the Word of God

SONGS

Word of God  (Brenton Brown)
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How Firm a Foundation
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O Word of God Incarnate (Bobby Guy)
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Speak O Lord (Getty Music)
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Song of Preparation: Thou Lovely Source of True Delight (arr. Indelible Grace)
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Song of Response:Father of Mercies, In Thy Word (Traditional)
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