Thursday, September 20, 2012

Scratching the Surface of Deuteronomy

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Scratching the Surface of Deuteronomy



    Music moves the soul.

    I guess I should have been more specific.

    Music moves the soul one way or the other.

    Sacred music dedicated to honoring God moves souls toward Him and aligns hearts with His.

    While everybody has preferred styles, some think their preferences are more sacred than others; which, of course, is true to them but not true to divine revelation.

    God created the rainbow.


    God created different ways to get to know Him; or as Paul wrote, "There are varieties of ways to..."

    Unity amid diversity.

    For example, there are so-called secular songs that can be understood in sacred ways; moving souls to Him and aligning hearts with His.

    Love songs come to mind.

    While some people hear love songs and think only in terms of loving human relationships, other people hear love songs and think about how they remind them of their relationship with God.

    The Song of Songs that we'll get to later on comes to mind.

    A contemporary example is Adele's Don't You Remember:

        When will I see you again?
        You left with no good-bye, not a single word was said.
        No final kiss to seal anything.
        I had no idea of the state we were in...

        But don't you remember?  Don't you remember?
        The reason you loved me before.
        Baby, please remember me once more.

        When was the last time you thought of me?
        Or have you completely erased me from your memory?...
        Why don't you remember?  Don't you remember?
        The reason you loved me before.
        Baby, please remember me once more.

        When will I see you again?

    That's what Deuteronomy is all about; remembering who God is, what God has done, and what God expects from those who know Him as God.

    It's about being loved by God and loving Him back.

    Moses is about to die.

    Deuteronomy, more than less, contains his last words about honoring God and aligning hearts with His.

    Specifically, it's for His people who are about to move into the next chapter of their relationship with Him.

    As they are about to cross over into the Promised Land, God speaks through Moses and, essentially, says/sings rhetorically, "Don't you remember?..."

    The big message of Deuteronomy and the whole Bible is clear and conclusive.

    People who really, really, really trust God - not just pose - are blessed and overcome the negatives of everything and everyone in a Psalm 37:25-28 and Matthew 7:24ff. kinda way.

    It's a simple equation.

    More God = more wholeness, happiness, joy, and eternal security.

    While we'll never be pure and perfect in every way, never outgrowing our need for Jesus to save us or fill in the gap between our depraved humanity and His incredibly and inclusively loving divinity, we can be "more better than worse" and, therefore, experience more of His favor/graces right now before then.

    Isaiah said it so well: "If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured."

    As the old priest said to the young priest in Monsignor, "God provides our choices; but we ourselves must choose."

    C.S. Lewis said it's like standing at a bus stop.  The bus comes.  We decide to ride.

    This book is a final urging from God through Moses: "I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life!...Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him!"

    I have a friend who often summarizes Biblical faith this way:

        We sin!
        God saves!
        What a great deal!
    Deuteronomy is like a post-it on our souls.

    Remember God!

    It's like sermons.

    If it's worth preaching once, it's worth preaching twice.

    If it's not worth preaching twice, it's not worthy preaching once.

    "Sing them over again to me..."

    An old song that's always new.

    That's what this book is all about; remembering and responding to that remembrance.

@#$% be continued...


Blessings and Love!


Jim said...

I might say that Numbers and Deuteronomy, taken together, are rather like War & Remembrance. Throughout Numbers God's people conducts themselves as if at war with the God who had delivered them from bondage in Egypt. God is faithful, but Israel in the wilderness puts itself through 40 years of needless desert warfare. They complain about God. They murmur against Moses. They snipe at Moses and God. Only when the last of the warring generation drops in the wilderness is a truce called.

Then, in Deuteronomy, Moses, as you so aptly point out, brings to Remembrance for the benefit of the generation that will enter the Land, the essentials of God's faithfulness and love, as demonstrated over and over again, during the Exodus and the sojourn through the wilderness. Going forward with God is only possible when we remember who God is and what God has done, because only in that remembrance can we walk in the faith and confidence that He remains who He has always been and will always be, and will forever continue to do what He has always done.

On another subject ("The Ride's the thing"), I have been pondering organizing a one-man charity ride from NJ to NC (725 miles) this Fall to jump start the Two for the Ride ministry, and try and get some operating capital in hand to start 2013. My object would be to try and attract sufficient sponsorship of the ride to the tune of something in the neighborhood of $50/mile. If we could get that kind of support, I could devote myself full time next year to making the 10 charity rides happen, and raise the $100,000+ to help the disabled get rolling. But, again, I could just be concocting another work of the flesh. Even so, I'm riding about 150 miles each week to get ready.

Robert said...

Dr. Bob,
YES, I have my favorite secular songs that could certainly be sung a sacred way:
"I Will Follow Him" by Little Peggy March [done in Sister Act]
"Your Love Has Lifted Me Higher" by Jackie Wilson and also Rita Coolidge
"The Wonder of You" by Elvis Presley
and then there's my version of "Delta Dawn" by Helen Reddy...
"Hey, Jesus Christ, why's your hand outstretched to me; could it be my days on earth have all gone by?
And did I hear you say, You were a meetin' me here today, to take me to Your mansion in the sky?"
PS I used to have kids write Christian words to simple tunes for our Sunday A.M. worship on retreat.
We even used the "Bud" song one year: "Here comes the King, here comes the BIG #1!"