Orwell Bible Church

Lord’s Day Service, August 9, 2020

Today’s message from Hebrews 10:18-25 can be viewed on our YouTube page or listened to and downloaded in mp3 format. Please contact us if you have questions or something we can pray for!

Information about giving offerings is here.

Current bulletin: August 9
This week’s daily devotional: August 10-16

Lord’s Day Service, July 26, 2020

Today’s message from John 4:27-30, 39-41 can be viewed on our YouTube page or listened to and downloaded in mp3 format. Please contact us if you have questions or something we can pray for!

Information about giving offerings is here.

This week’s daily devotional: July 27-August 2

Lord’s Day Service, July 19, 2020

Today’s message from Ephesians 4:12, 16 can be viewed on our YouTube page or listened to and downloaded in mp3 format. Please contact us if you have questions or something we can pray for!

Information about giving offerings is here.

Current bulletin: July 12
This week’s daily devotional: July 13-19

Lord’s Day Service, July 12, 2020

Today’s message from Ephesians 4:11-16 can be viewed on our YouTube page or listened to and downloaded in mp3 format. Please contact us if you have questions or something we can pray for!

Information about giving offerings is here.

Current bulletin: July 12
This week’s daily devotional: July 13-19

Lord’s Day Message, July 5, 2020

Today’s message from Acts 14:21-28 can be viewed on our YouTube page or listened to and downloaded in mp3 format. Please contact us if you have questions or something we can pray for!

Information about giving offerings is here.

Current bulletin: July 5
This week’s daily devotional: July 6-12

Lord’s Day Message, June 28, 2020

Today’s message from Philippians 2:14-16 can be viewed on our YouTube page or listened to and downloaded in mp3 format. Please contact us if you have questions or something we can pray for!

Information about giving offerings is here.

Current bulletin: June 28
This week’s daily devotional: June 29 – July 5

Lord’s Day Service, June 14, 2020

Today’s message from Romans 16:21-23 can be viewed on our YouTube page or listened to and downloaded in mp3 format. Please contact us if you have questions or something we can pray for!

Information about giving offerings is here.

Lord’s Day Service, June 7, 2020

Today’s message from Romans 16:17-20 can be viewed on our YouTube page or listened to and downloaded in mp3 format. Please contact us if you have questions or something we can pray for!

Information about giving offerings is here.

Deuteronomy 8 – Living by God’s Word

Some thoughts for meditation following our daily devotional Scripture reading that is provided each week.

As Moses continued his instruction and exhortation to Israel regarding their covenant with the Lord, he now gives lessons from the past to warn them of rebelling against the he Lord (8:1-10:11).

Israel’s years of wandering in the wilderness had a disciplinary aim (vv. 1-5). They were to learn the necessity of God’s Word for life: believing and obeying him resulted in life, disobedience and unbelief brought death. It wasn’t a matter of physical “necessities;” God miraculously provided those. Thus, when Israel received God’s miraculous provision of the promised land, they were to focus on the Lord and his Word, not the physical bounty they enjoyed (vv. 6-10).

Moses warned Israel of the great danger of physical prosperity: forgetting God by not obeying him (vv. 11-17). Such forgetfulness resulting in apostasy (v. 19a) is gradual, never sudden. In Israel’s case, as they focused on the bounty of the land they would lose the discipline of focusing on the Lord. God’s deliverance from Egypt and provision in the wilderness would be forgotten and they would take the credit for their great prosperity. Forgetting God would be manifested by their throwing his commands aside and focusing on prosperity and abundance.

Moses’ admonition and warning was that Israel must focus on the Lord, not things (vv. 18-20). When they focused on the Lord they would enjoy God’s continued blessings as he promised to the patriarchs. When they focused on things they would turn from the Lord and worship idols, and in doing so they would perish. Believing and obeying the Lord brought life, disobedience in unbelief brought death.

Note:

  1. God’s purpose in trials is to strengthen faith by seeking and trusting him in the difficult circumstances.
  2. Believers must not orient their lives toward or by the necessities of life, but rather on doing God’s will. Cf. Matt 6:31-34; Phil 4:11-13; Col 3:1-4; 1 Tim 4:8; 6:6-10
  3. God’s preventatives for apostasy are his Word; faithful, trusting obedience to it; remembering he is the God from whom all blessings flow; and the discipline and training he provides through trials.
  4. The right response to God’s blessing and bounty is praise, thanksgiving, and obedience, (cf. vv. 6, 10).
  5. Beware the peril of apostasy in times of prosperity and ease. The seeds of apostasy are self-centeredness and forgetting God, and are planted in the heart. Those seeds grow to be life-choking weeds (Mark 4:19).

Deuteronomy 7 – Israel’s Calling, Expectation, and Responsibilities

Some thoughts for meditation following our daily devotional Scripture reading that is provided each week.

When Israel entered the land of their inheritance they were to utterly destroy every one of the Canaanites. They were to show no mercy to them, make no peace treaties, and not intermarry, for doing so would result in their apostasy from God (vv. 1–5).

The reason why Israel was to utterly destroy the Canaanites and their gods and make no peace treaties with them was because God chose Israel from all other peoples to be his holy people. His election of them was based entirely on his sovereign love and according to his purposes. It was not based in any way on them (vv. 6–8). Intermingling Israelite and Canaanite cultures and worship was contrary to their standing as God’s holy people.

Because of who God is and because of his righteous judgment Israel was to obey all of God’s commands (vv. 9–11).

When it came to Israel’s experience in the land, God promised prosperity in every aspect of life, freedom from sickness and disease, and victory over the Canaanites. Such blessings would be Israel’s only as they listen to and obey God’s ever command (vv. 12–16).

Furthermore, Israel’s feelings and desires were to be controlled by God’s past works, his “behind the scenes” providences, his presence, and his plan. Thus, Israel should not have feelings of fear toward the Canaanites, though vastly outnumbered and outmatched by them, because God would give the victory. Also, Israel should not desire what God condemned. Doing so would ensnare them, bringing God’s judgment upon them. Because God hated it, they were to hate it (vv. 17–26).

Note:

  1. These blessings (and curses) from God to Israel were actual and literal. Christians should not expect such in this dispensation for they are not under Mosaic Law.
  2. God commands what his people should do, how they should feel, and what they should desire.
  3. God’s electing grace springs from his discerning, sovereign love and is according to his purposes. God’s election is never based on human beings; there isn’t a single person who merits God’s grace.
  4. God’s people must always remember God’s past works, his providences, his presence, and his promises.
  5. Disobedience brings trouble.
  6. God’s commands are clear and simple and should not be rationalized or ignored.

Deuteronomy 6 – Truly Loving God

Some thoughts for meditation following our daily devotional Scripture reading that is provided each week.

Moses exhorts Israel to love the Lord with their entire being and thereby obey his commandments. This is the essence of God’s covenant with Israel. God delivered Israel from Egypt, brought them to the land, and gave them these commandments because he loved them. Israel should thus love the Lord wholly and entirely.

Such faithful, devoted love for the Lord would be seen in tangible ways: continual reminders on their persons and in their homes (vv. 8-9); faithful teaching of children and grandchildren in every time of life (vv. 2, 6-7, 20-25); resisting temptations to forget God and go after idols, resulting from forgetting God because of the abundant bounty they inherited (vv. 10-15); resisting temptation to complain against God because of difficulty (vv. 16-19).

If Israel demonstrated faithful, devoted love for the Lord, then God would bless them in tangible ways: long life and preservation as a nation (vv. 2, 24); increased population (v. 3); and enjoyment of the promised land (vv. 3, 18-19).

Lastly, if Israel so loved the Lord and demonstrated that love by glad, willing obedience, they would have a right standing before him (v. 20). This is not legalism, for the root is faith in and love for the Lord and the fruit is glad, willing obedience to the Lord. Neither can truly exist apart from the other.

Note:

  1. Truly fearing (believing in) the Lord is evidenced by obeying the Lord.
  2. Israel’s covenant with the Lord given at Mt. Sinai promised blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. It was a “conditional” covenant. It was not a covenant for personal salvation so much as it was a national covenant between a people and their Sovereign.
  3. True love for God is evidenced in every area of life.
  4. God’s Word and ways must be inculcated in children.
  5. Living, devoted obedience of God’s Word protects from dangers from both affluence and affliction.

Deuteronomy 5 – The Law of Israel

Some thoughts for meditation following our daily devotional Scripture reading that is provided each week.

Moses second message begins at 4:44 and extends to 26:19, detailing the obligations of the covenant.

At Horeb (Mt. Sinai) God made a covenant with the nation of Israel that he brought out of Egypt. This covenant consisted of various testimonies, statutes, and judgments which made up the law, the governing code which regulated every aspect of Israelite life in the Old Testament theocratic kingdom. This kingdom with its governing law code began at Mount Sinai (v. 2). The law and the theocratic kingdom were essentially bound together (vv. 2-3, 6, 15-16, 31, 33). Continuance in and enjoyment of the blessings of the kingdom depended on adherence to this law. This laws governance, authority, administration, and enforcement occurred in the realm of this kingdom.

The Lord through Moses gave the Ten Commandments to Israel (note v. 3). The first four commandments addressed Israel’s responsibilities to the Lord, and the last six their responsibilities to one another.

Israel’s response to this event (cf. v. 22) was frightened awe and amazement. Consequently they feared for their lives and begged Moses to mediate between them and God. God agreed with their assessment, sent them back to their tents, and had Moses remain to receive all the rest of the law that would govern Israel in the promised land.

Note:

  1. God gave the law to Israel to govern them in their land. It is distinctly Israelite. It involves details of daily life, as well as morality and worship.
  2. The law is a single code, a unified whole, consisting of individual statutes and judgments. It revealed God’s righteous will for Israel in every aspect of life. Separating it into different laws (such as civil, moral, and ceremonial) invalidates it entirely. Note v. 33, “all…”
  3. Merely hearing God’s Word or being in awe of him are insufficient. These are all external. What is needed is a heart to love, fear, and obey him (vv. 10, 29).
  4. Because the law was from God and obeying it brought blessing, it is good.
  5. The Christian must distinguish between the law as a code and some of its commandments which are also part of the law of Christ. The fact that some individual commandments are part of Christ’s law does not mean Christians are under the Mosaic law. Christians are under the jurisdictional authority of Christ’s law (Rom 8:2-4; Gal 6:2; Jas 2:12) not the Mosaic law (Rom 7:4; 10:4; Gal 5:18) which no longer serves as a governing code (John 1:17; Heb 7:12, 18-19; 8:13).