Songs and Praise
   

 
 
 

Less 124 A WARNING AGAINST THE SIN OF SELF-EXALTATION

 
Deuteronomy 9:1-29; 10:1-22;

Lesson 124 Senior Lessons

MEMORY VERSE:  "What doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul" (Deuteronomy 10:12).

I Israel to Pass over Jordan

Israel is told that they are soon to pass over Jordan and that the Lord will go before them and that they will be able to drive out quickly the inhabitants, Deuteronomy 9:1-3; Joshua 3:16; 4:19 They are cautioned to remember that not for their own righteousness the Lord hath given them the land, but for the wickedness of those nations the Lord doth drive out the inhabitants, Deuteron¬omy 9:4-6; Exodus 32:9: 34:9; Titus 3:5

II Reminiscences

They are not to forget how they provoked the Lord to wrath in the wilderness and also in Horeb, Deuteronomy 9:7-9, 22-24; Exodus 14:11; 16:2; 17:2; Numbers 11:4; 20:2; 25:2; Psalm 106:19 They are reminded that they quickly turned aside and made a molten calf and that Moses was angry with them and broke the two tables of stone, Deuteronomy 9:10-21. (See Lesson 67, Book 6.) The Lord would have destroyed them had not Moses interceded, Deuteronomy 9:25-29 Moses rehearses that the tribe of Levi was separated unto the Lord for an inheritance, and how long Moses stayed in the mount the second time, Deuteronomy 10:8-10

III The Ten Commandments

At the Lord's command, Moses makes an ark of shittim wood and hews out two tables of stone like the first, Deuteronomy 10:1-3 The Lord writes on the stones the Ten Commandments; the Israel¬ites journey from Beeroth to Jotbath and Aaron dies on the way, Deuteronomy 10:4-7; Exodus 20:4-17; Numbers 20:23-29

IV A Circumcised Heart, the Lord's Requirement

The Lord required of Israel a heart to love, fear, and serve Him, for He had chosen them above all people, Deuteronomy 10:12-16; Matthew 22:37 The Lord is a great God, mighty and terrible; He executes judgment for the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger in giving him food and raiment, Deuteronomy 10:17-20; Leviticus 19:34; Psalm 68:5; 146:9; James 1:27 God is to be praised for the great things He has done, Deuteronomy 10:21, 22; I Samuel 12:24; II Samuel 7:23

NOTES

Inherited Sins

Unbelief, pride, and self-exaltation were the main sins the devil injected into the heart of man when man fell. Those sins are closely related and seem to go hand in hand with one another. 'Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall' (Proverbs 16:18). God is sovereign over all; and when man tries to exalt himself, sooner or later the fall is coming.


At Mount Sinai Israel had failed to press in and let the Lord sanctify them. One cannot refuse to walk in the light and retain the blessing he does have. Israel's sin was continually getting them into trouble. Moses re¬minded them of their past sins and warned them against such sins.

Border of Canaan

Israel is now right on the border of Canaan. This is the second time they have come up to the border of Canaan. Because of unbelief they did not enter in the first time For forty years the Lord let them wander around. They learned many lessons in those forty years of wandering. Now the Lord has brought them up to the border of Canaan again, and this time He is going to take them over into the Promised Land.

Fatherly Advice

As a father would admonish a son, so Moses is admonishing them concerning their shortcomings and failures of the past, and exhorting them to walk humbly with their God.


Canaan was inhabited by nations greater and mightier than the Children of Israel were, but the Lord was going before them as a con¬suming fire to drive out those nations. When Israel was settled in the land, they were not to pride themselves and speak in their hearts and say that for their own righteousness the Lord had driven out these nations. But because of the wickedness of those people the Lord drove them out. He wanted Israel to remember that they were a stiff-necked and rebellious people: they had openly rebelled against the Lord many times. Here we find Moses warning them against thinking that for their own righteous¬ness the Lord had driven out the nations before them. 'For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself' (Galatians 6:3).


This shows us that the unregenerated heart is the source of evil thinking and speaking. Jesus said to Nicodemus, 'Ye must be born again' (John 3:7). The heart must be changed, and it takes the new birth to change it.

Examples

We have examples among the Children of Israel of those who exalted themselves and how quickly they were abased.


When Miriam and Aaron murmured against Moses and said, 'Hath he not spoken also by us?' the Lord called them to task at once, and Miriam became leprous, as white as snow. The desire to be a leader is another way that self has of exalting itself. The Lord had used Miriam and Aaron, but He did not want them to set themselves up as equal to, or above, Moses.


One day Herod, a king in New Testament days, arrayed in his royal robes and sitting on his throne, made an oration to the people. 'The people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately, the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory' (Acts 12:21-23). 'Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom' (Jeremiah 9:23).


It is believed that Satan at one time was one of the archangels, but he wanted to exalt his throne equal with the throne of God. Jesus said, 'I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven' (Luke 10:18).


In the Sermon on the Mount the Lord tells us that when we pray we are not to be as the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets that they may be seen of men.


In the parable of the Pharisee and the publican who went up to the Temple to pray, the Lord gives us a true picture of self-exaltation. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess' (Luke 18:11, 12). Jesus concludes the parable by saying, 'For every one that exalteth himself shall be abased.'

Humble Spirit

'And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul?' (Deuteronomy 10:12).


This is the portion of Scripture that Jesus quoted to the lawyer who came to Jesus and wanted to know which was the great commandment in the Law. Supreme love for God is what God wanted of the Israelites; it is what Jesus called the great commandment; and it is the rule for our lives today. What less could the Lord have asked of a people whom He had redeemed from the hand of the enemy, from the bondage of Egypt, and had led out with a high and mighty hand, and to whom he had given manna to eat in the desert and water to drink out of the flinty rock? What less could the Lord ask of us, who have been redeemed from the bondage of sin and made new creatures in Christ Jesus?


It is the humble, trusting heart that finds a refuge under the wings of the Almighty. We know the trust and confidence a little child puts in its parents. Jesus says, 'Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.' The Lord longed to find that trust and confidence in Israel. Had it been in their hearts they would have entered the Promised Land years before they did.


May the Lord help us to guard the door of our heart, that we may retain that meek and quiet spirit that Jesus gives, which, the Word tells us, is in the sight of God of great price.

The Pride of Life

God hates pride. 'These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a, false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren' (Proverbs 6:16-19).


Pride is here classed with the most subtle and most hateful of sins. Pride proved the downfall of Lucifer, one of the beautiful archangels of Heaven. 'How art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!' (Isaiah 14:12). And it is believed that Lucifer, through his pride, was changed into Satan — changed from an archangel into the archenemy of God and man.


We are repeatedly warned in Scripture, as were the Israelites, against this deceptive sin of pride. In the First Epistle of John are two familiar verses which it will do us well to remember: 'Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world' (I John 2:15, 16). Out of these three evils — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — proceeds the whole category of sin. Yet the men of the world look upon pride as something essential to manhood, a virtue to be cherished in the heart. But 'that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God' (Luke 16:15). And there is probably no sin which is shutting more people out of the Kingdom of Heaven than pride. A proud heart will not repent.


But the sin of pride is not limited to the men of the world. It has also invaded religious circles, and is more glaring in some churches than in the world. Unbelief and pride go hand in hand, and the Pharisees were Jesus' bitterest enemies, not only because they did not believe Him to be the Son of God, but through their pride they despised and rejected Him as their Messiah on account of His lowly associations. He was known as the 'Galilean,' the 'carpenter's son,' the 'friend of sinners.'


Today Jesus' humble environments have lost their humiliating aspect. He is no longer despised as the lowly Galilean or as the humble carpenter's son. Great numbers still profess to be His followers, but the Gospel which Jesus and His Apostles preached can scarcely be recognized any longer in their religions. In an attempt to have an 'up-to-date' religion which will not require the humble walk, the self-denial, and self-sacrifice which His Gospel requires, His teachings have been revised and toned down. The 'strait and narrow way' which He taught has been discarded.


The Modernists too are attempting to meet the demand of the age. They have denied Jesus' Deity, His Atonement, and His Resurrection. The Blood He shed has no place in their theology. Every cardinal doctrine of the Bible, which once constituted the bulwark of the Christian religion, has been cast to the winds. Christ has been dethroned and man exalted. And back of all this movement is the pride of the human heart.

Timely Warnings

These are timely warnings that Moses gave to the Children of Israel. As we study them may they be warnings to us to keep humble and not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. Let us pray that the Lord will help us all to reach the place where Christ is our all in all, and we will obey the exhortation that James gives, 'Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up' (James 4:10). Only the Lord can lift man up, for 'promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another' (Psalm 75:6, 7).

QUESTIONS

1 Against what sin is Israel warned in this lesson?
2 For what reason did the Lord drive out the nations of Canaan?
3 Who were the Anakims?
4 What kind of people did the Lord say Israel was?
5 Can you repeat all the commandments the Lord wrote on the two tables of stone?
6 What priest died on this trip?
7 What does the Lord require of His people?
8 What attitude should we take toward strangers?

 
   
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