Deuteronomy 5:1-6 - Hear, O Israel

Deuteronomy  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Deuteronomy 5:6–21 NASB95
6 ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 7 ‘You shall have no other gods before Me. 8 ‘You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 9 ‘You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 10 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. 11 ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. 12 ‘Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 ‘Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 ‘You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day. 16 ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the Lord your God gives you. 17 ‘You shall not murder. 18 ‘You shall not commit adultery. 19 ‘You shall not steal. 20 ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 21 ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field or his male servant or his female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.’
Why should we care about what God says?
We might answer that question in different ways.
Because God is God, we should care what God says.
Because God is truth, we should care what God says.
Because God is love, we should care what God says.
Because God is holy, we should care what God says.
Because God is judge, we should care what God says.
All those are good answers to that question. But in Deuteronomy 5, as Israel prepares to hear the Word of God before taking possession of the Promised Land, Moses does’t call the Israelites to listen, learn, and obey God’s Word—God’s Law—because God is God or because He is truth, love, holy, or judge.
He calls the Israelites to listen, learn, and obey God’s Law because God is their Savior.
We see this in a few different places as we come to Deuteronomy 5.

We God as Israel’s Savior in recent events (Deuteronomy 4:44-46).

Deuteronomy 4:44–46 NASB95
44 Now this is the law which Moses set before the sons of Israel; 45 these are the testimonies and the statutes and the ordinances which Moses spoke to the sons of Israel, when they came out from Egypt, 46 across the Jordan, in the valley opposite Beth-peor, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites who lived at Heshbon, whom Moses and the sons of Israel defeated when they came out from Egypt.
The faithless generation that first followed Moses out of Egypt has perished in the wilderness. Now this new faithful generation approaches the Promised Land as if for the first time. It’s as if they are just now coming out of Egypt and as God brought Israel ever nearer to the Promised Land, He saved them from enemies like the Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan.
God is their Savior.

We see God as Israel’s Savior in the covenant (Deuteronomy 5:2).

Deuteronomy 5:2 NASB95
2 “The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb.
This covenant is a renewing of the covenant that God make with the Israelites in Exodus 19. Listen to Exodus 19:5-6...
Exodus 19:5–6 NASB95
5 ‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”
Of all the peoples on earth, God chose the Israelites as His own possession, as His special treasure. He makes His covenant with them alone.
In choosing them and making His covenant with them, God saves them.

And we see God as Israel’s Savior in Israel’s history (Deuteronomy 5:6).

Deuteronomy 5:6 NASB95
6 ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
Deuteronomy 5:6 is really the beginning of the Ten Commandments. It is not the first commandments but the precursor to the commandments. It is that bit of summary information that tells Israel why it should care about the Law they are about to hear.
God is the one who rescued them from Egypt.
He is the one who saved them from slavery.
He is their Savior.
Therefore, they should could care very deeply about what He has to say.
And as we hear the Word of God tonight, we too should care very deeply about what He has to say.
He has saved us from the enemies of sin and death.
He has made His covenant with us—His New Covenant with us in the blood of Jesus.
He has set us free from slavery to Satan and the world.
He is our Savior.
Therefore, we should care very deeply about what He has to say.
[TS] Let’s notice a few other things in Deuteronomy 5:1-5

Major Ideas

What God says is for all Israel (Deuteronomy 5:1).

Deuteronomy 5:1 NASB95
1 Then Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I am speaking today in your hearing, that you may learn them and observe them carefully.
When the Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon, preached at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, it seated more than 3,500 people and he preached to them all without the aid of microphones or speakers.
When the evangelist, George Whitefield, drew thousands and thousands, he preached to them out in the fields in the open air without any amplification.
This morning, we had 31 in Sunday School, and Scott asked me if I shouldn’t use my microphone for the lesson!
Not every preacher has a booming voice like Spurgeon or Whitefield but perhaps Moses did or perhaps he spoke to ‘all Israel’ by making use of a natural amphitheatre or maybe he just pulled leaders of the tribes together as he spoke to ‘all Israel.’
But Moses summons all Israel together because the Word of God is for all Israel. When Moses says, “Hear, O Israel,” he is speaking to every Israelite man, woman, and child; every married Israelite and every single Israelite; he is speaking to every natural born Israelite and every convert; he is speaking to every priest and every plumber.
This Word from God is for all Israel.
[App] As God’s people through faith in Jesus, we too need to understand that God’s Word is for all of God’s people.
In our day some have asked which parts of God’s Word are most beneficial for God’s people. We have rightly responded that every part of it is beneficial. Second Timothy 3:16 says...
2 Timothy 3:16 NASB95
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
But even more people within the church have decided that even though ‘all Scripture is inspired’, it’s not for all of God’s people.
So while the adults study the Bible, the teenagers will need something less biblical… and the children will need even less Bible.
But I believe that from the cradle to the grave we need the Bible! We can’t start it too early and we never retire from it!
Just as Moses was delivering God’s Word, His Law, to all Israel, so the Word of God in our day is still for all God’s people… for every man, woman, and child… every married person or single… every longtime follower or newborn believer… for every pastor and every plumber.
We all need the Word of God.

What God says is Law (Deuteronomy 5:1).

Deuteronomy 5:1 NASB95
1 Then Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I am speaking today in your hearing, that you may learn them and observe them carefully.
Perhaps you said to your children or your parents said to you, “What I say, goes!” What does that mean? It means that what they say is the way it is. Their command is nonnegotiable.
God’s Word is His Law. What He says goes. His statutes and ordinances, His decrees and laws are nonnegotiable.
I’m not sure if there is a big difference between the words statutes and ordinances in v. 1. The NIV uses the words ‘decrees and laws’ and the KJV uses ‘statutes and judgments’. They are different words but they are pretty similar in definition. It may be that statute is the particular command and an ordinance is the application of that statute
But in any event, they together make up God’s Law—His Word—and the idea is that it is nonnegotiable. We don’t get to change His Word, add to His Word, take away from His Word, or even dismiss any part of His Word because what He says goes.
[APP] Many so-called churches today have outright denied the Word of God or their on the fast-track to doing so.
Some churches have decided that they need to unhitch the OT from the NT because people today might have a problem with some of things in the OT.
Other churches have decided to limit their preaching and teaching to only that which is encouraging. There’s no mention of sin, the need for repentance, or the certainty of divine wrath if one fails to repents and trust Christ. It’s all light and it all feels good all the time.
And yet other churches have abandoned the Bible altogether.
But as bad as things are in the church today, the state of the individual Christian is even worse. Even if we go to a church that believes all Scripture is inspired, a church that teaches and preaches the whole counsel of God’s Word—many Christians still pick and choose which parts of God’s Word they will obey.
Many of us only obey God if its convenient.
And when its more convenient to sin… well, as I’ve heard people say, ‘that’s just something that God is going to have to forgive me for.’
[ILLUS] Many years ago I was in another country talking with a missionary. He said that he was trying to get or had just gotten his driver’s license in that part of the world but in order to expedite the process, he had to give some local official a bribe. But Deuteronomy 16:19 says…
Deuteronomy 16:19 NASB95
19 “You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.
Ecclesiastes 7:7 says, “…a bribe corrupts (or destroys) the heart.”
When the missionary said that he had given a bribe I must’ve had some sort of puzzled expression because he immediately defended the decision by saying something like, “That’s just how things are done here.” In other words, it was more convenient. It was more convenient to break God’s Law in that part of the world so that’s what he did.
This should not be the case among God’s people.
We don’t take God’s Law as negotiable.
We don’t get to pick and choose which parts of it we will obey.
Whether it be His decrees, His statues, His ordinances, or judgments… we do what He commands because what He says goes.


Well, we will come back to this opening passage of Deuteronomy 5 next week.
I want us to see that God’s Word is to heard, learned, and obeyed carefully, that it is for living, and that it is the revelation of God...
…but as we close tonight, think about what you have heard.
We care very deeply about what God says because we know Him as Savior.
We know that what He says is for all His people.
And we know that all He says goes—His Word is Law.
Think about your obedience to God’s Law.
Are you obeying as a grateful response to having been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ?
We should be glad to obey the Savior because He has saved us.
Are you committed to God’s Word for all of God’s people?
Children in the nursery need less finger-paint and more Bible.
Churches in general need fewer fellowships and more sermons.
All of God’s Word is for all of God’s people and all of God’s people need more of God’s Word. That is what leads to revival.
And finally, are you obeying God’s Word in total or are you picking and choosing?
Perhaps you need to recommit yourself as a believer in and student of God’s Word tonight. Maybe you need to ask forgiveness for how you’ve ignored or wrongly approached God’s Word in the past.
Whatever the case, let’s respond to God’s Word now.
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