Love of God In The Law and Psalms
Fred Coulter – October 21, 1995

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We're going to learn in this that the love of God in the Old Testament is not as powerful—though the foundation is there—and as direct as with the New Covenant.

Let's begin by going to Matthew 22; the reason I'm starting here is because this is quoted from the book of Deuteronomy, but it also tells us something very important concerning the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 22:37: "And Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment" (vs 37-38). This is what we see that God desires from every one of us. But in the covenant with Israel, they did not have the heart spiritually, not having the Holy Spirit, to follow through as they should. Nor had Christ come in the flesh that they could relate to God Who had become a human being.

There's a vast difference in that kind of relationship when you understand what Christ has done. We can relate to Jesus Christ as God Who became a human being and suffered everything that we did. In the covenant with Israel we are on the earth as people and God is in heaven up here and He's unreachable. That was the attitude that they had toward God. But nevertheless, God desired their wholeheartedness in it.

Verse 39: "And the second one is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets'" (vs 39-40). Everything that God did was based upon His love.

Now let's go back to the book of Deuteronomy, and I think it's very interesting that there is more about the love of God in the book of Deuteronomy than any other book in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy means the second giving of the Law—'deutero' is two; 'nomos' or 'nomi' is law—second giving of the Law. This was a reiteration of the Law by Moses to all the children of Israel before they went into the ''promised land.'

 We're also going to see a pattern that is through the entire Bible. Here God gave them the warning and then He said—if you're out there in captivity:

Deuteronomy 4:29: "But if you shall seek the LORD your God from there… [you have to seek God. That's the important thing!] …you shall find Him... [Can anybody think of a New Testament Scripture, which ties into that? 'Knock and it shall be opened, seek and you shall find, ask and it shall be given!' All of it's right here, the same thing.] …if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul."

This is another history of what the children of Israel did in the wilderness. After God had to correct them very severely, Psalm 78:32: "For all this they still sinned and did not believe in His wonderful works. Therefore, He ended their days in vanity and their years in terror" (vs 32-33). Thirty-eight and a half years wandering in the desert. I can't think of anything more vain and anything more troublesome—can you?

Verse 34: "When He slew them, then they sought Him… [it's a whole different kind of situation here] …and they turned back and sought after God earnestly. And they remembered that God was their Rock, and the Most High God was their Redeemer. Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouths, and they lied to Him with their tongues, for their heart was not steadfast with Him; neither were they faithful in His covenant" (vs 34-37). So, they dealt in an insincere human way.

Verse 38: "But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them; yea, many times He turned His anger away and did not stir up all His wrath, for He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes away and does not come again. How often did they provoke Him in the wilderness and grieve Him in the desert? And still again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel" (vs 38-41).

That's what happens when people really do not take God to their heart.

  • if they take Him because He's going fight for them
  • if they take Him because they're going to be blessed from Him
  • if they take Him because we're the descendents and He's got to give it to us

—well then there's no heart involved in it, and that was the difficulty with the children of Israel.

Deuteronomy 4:30: "When you are in trouble and when all these things have come upon you in the latter days…" This is also a prophecy for our time today. You can apply this to modern Israel just as well. You can apply that to our nation here in the past year with all of the tragedies, the different bombings, the different storms, the different floods and everything that has gone on. And they returned to God with flatteries! They lied to God with their lips! And they said, 'Oh God, save us, spare us.' So, God removed it, saved them, spared them, but they didn't learn.
I think this is the first time in the history that two hurricanes have hit one right after another in the same place down there in the Gulf. And the rain afterwards was just almost unmerciful. One place in southern Florida had 20-inches of rain in one day, and alligators floating around and water moccasins and other snakes. You wake up in the morning on your air mattress and here's a alligator looking at you—'hello, there's breakfast.' The way you get out of that is stuff a pillow quickly down his throat and then you can escape. So, we're having our trouble and difficulties here now.

"…then you shall return to the LORD your God and shall be obedient to His voice" (v 30). {Rev. 7, the 144,000 from Israel fits in there} "…be obedient to His voice" is the first and the primary requirement from God: Obey My voice, indeed!]. That's what has gotten everyone in trouble through the history of the Bible. They didn't believe God, they didn't obey His voice. What we have here is the written Word of God, which was once spoken so these are the Words of God. If He were here He would tell us the same thing.

Verse 31: for the LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not forsake you, nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them; for ask now of the days past which were before you, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and from the one end of the heavens to the other end of the heavens, where there has been any thing as great as this, or has been heard any thing like it. Did any people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire as you have heard and live?" (vs 31-33).

As we're going through here I want you to contrast that with: Has there ever been such a thing heard that God became flesh and dwelt among His own and wasn't received of them? Just kind of draw these parallels in your mind as we're reading along here. I think you'll find it very important.

Verse 34: "Or has any god attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation by trials, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by an outstretched arm, and by great awe-inspiring terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?.… [never such a thing in all history] …It was shown to you so that you might know that the LORD is God, and there is none other beside Him. He made you hear His voice out of heaven so that He might teach you… [Read in the New Testament how Jesus came and was in the flesh and sat down and taught them.] …And He showed you His great fire upon the earth. And you heard His words out of the midst of the fire. And because He loved your fathers, therefore, He chose their seed after them, and brought you out in His sight with His great power out of Egypt… (vs 34-37)—all because of the love of God! It's interesting to note that in the Old Testament there is not the phrase: God is love; only in the New Testament. That's to show us that the relationship that we have with God in the New Testament is far more profound than we could have under the covenant with Israel.

After the giving of the Ten Commandments, concerning the first and second commandment, I want you to make special note of this: There are people who say that God did not have love in the Old Testament, and God does not extend His love. Yes, He does!

Deuteronomy 5:7: "You shall have no other gods before Me." Brethren, that is the very first commandment that everyone breaks. Everyone breaks that because that's tied back to the 10th commandment: you shall not covet. When you get coveting and you get doing right in your own eyes then you're going to break the first commandment because you're going to see that the way that these other religions are, are just really very lovely; pleasant to the sight; desirous; tastes good.

Verse 8: "You shall not make a graven image for yourself of any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or on the earth beneath, or in the waters beneath the earth. You shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me" (vs 8-9). What does it mean to hate God?

Verse 10: "But showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love Me and keep My commandments." Intrinsically, in keeping the commandments there is a love toward God. But if you would calculate how long is a thousand generations: if it's 25 years—that's 2500 years. If it's 42 years—that's 4200 years. If it's 65 years—that's 6500 years. Either way we pretty well cover our time—don't we? Why are we here? Because of Abraham—is that not true? Yes! Is God's love still extending to all of us, those who are in the Church, those who are in the world around us because of one man who kept God's commandments, obeyed His voice, kept His charge, His statutes and judgments? Yes! It's true! God's Word is true!

After they got all afraid and heard the noise and everything they told Moses, v 27: "You go near and hear all that the LORD our God shall say. And you speak to us all that the LORD our God shall speak to you, and we will hear it, and do it. 'And the LORD heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me. And the LORD said to me, "I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken to you. They have well said all that they have spoken"'" (vs 27-28).

They are well intentioned, but the carnal mind must have a little space. This is what we are dealing with. They had to have a space, and they also had to have someone else they could accuse so they said, 'Moses, you go do it.'

Verse 29: "Oh, that there were such a heart in them… [The carnal mind is enmity against God and not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be, even standing in His very presence hearing, His very voice. In the New Testament our hearts are to be different.] …that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, so that it might be well with them and with their children forever! Go say to them, 'Go into your tents again'" (vs 29-30).

Verse 32: "And you shall be careful to do as the LORD your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left." That's both Old Testament and New Testament doctrine.

What did Jesus say when He came? 'Think not that I've come to destroy the Law or the prophets. I came not to destroy, but to fulfill. Verily I say to you, not one jot or tittle shall pass from the Law until all be fulfilled.' We have the same thing today. We're not to turn to the right hand or to the left hand. Anything that Christ has made so that we can do it in a spiritual way has not obliterated the principle for which He made the original commandment to Israel in the first place. It has only enhanced it.

Verse 33: You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you so that you may live…" God wants us to live. You know this is the same thing with our own children—isn't it? We try and tell them, 'Look, you do this or you do that, you do the other thing. We want you to live.' Well, most kids think, 'Why are you telling me to do this?' Then we have a school which says, that your parents have no rights over you. You exercise your own and do just as you ought.

Of course, the month of October is the NEA—National Education Association; teachers, teachers union--have declared this Gay and Lesbian Month. They are having special lectures given by the unsavory of the community in the classrooms about their filthy lifestyles. When you have that, that's why this is here. How many times did God say, 'Don't go to the right, don't go to the left, don't go after other gods?'

Verse 33: You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you so that you may live and that it may be well with you, and you may prolong your days…" Yet, in all of this they want to live—don't they? But God is greater than they are, and He's going to cut them off in the midst of their days. Has that been done? Yes, it has!

Deuteronomy 6:3: "Hear therefore, O Israel… [That would be quite a study. I know Jesus said in one place, 'Let these words sink deep into your ears.' That's all the way down into your brain cells.] …and be diligent to observe it, so that it may be well with you and that you may greatly multiply, as the LORD God of our fathers has promised you, in the land that flows with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel. Our one God is the LORD, the LORD" (vs 3-4). That means one in essence not one singularly in number.

Verse 5: "And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might…. [Even though they didn't have the heart to do it, he still says you should.] …And these words which I command you this day shall be in your heart" (vs 5-6).

When we come to the New Testament we find in Heb. 10 that God says that He's going to 'write them on the tablets of our heart and inscribe them upon our minds,' that not only are we aware of them when we go to bed, when we get up and so forth, that we think on them, we live by them. This is how we make our judgments. This is how our lives are operated. We don't say, 'God is over here on the seventh day, but boy all the six are mine.' If we belong to God we are wholly His. That doesn't make every day Holy.

Verse 7: "And you shall diligently teach them to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes" (vs 7-8).

The Jews have one way of doing this. They have actually a little leather thing that they put on their right hand and they strap it up their arm. If you see any documentaries of the Wailing Wall with the Jews praying there, you will see this. They roll up whatever it is in a little scroll and put it here. And then they have a little hat that they wear and they put it right up on their forehead. They are literally fulfilling this.

Now then, what is far more important is that the true worshippers of God will worship God in Spirit and in Truth; and the words which Jesus spoke, they are Spirit and they are Life. So, with the Spirit of God, if you have them here in your mind and here in your heart then you are going to be more right with God than if you have them on your right hand here on the outside and in a little leather scroll on the outside of your forehead; but God is not in your mind and your heart.

Nevertheless, He was telling them what they should do. I remember when I was visiting in west Los Angeles, I'd go into the Jewish section and there was a section that was half Jewish/half Catholic. Well at the Jewish households they had the little thing with the Ten Commandments written on it right on the side of their house. On the Catholic households they had a cross and a statue of Mary. I guess they were trying to let everyone know who they were.

Verse 10: "And it shall be when the LORD your God has brought you into the land which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, to give you great and goodly cities which you did not build, and houses full of every good thing which you did not fill, and wells which are dug, which you did not dig; vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you shall eat and be full; then beware lest you forget the LORD Who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage" (vs 10-12).

Of course, we're going to see several parallels of that in the New Testament about being where that is when we get full—what happened to one church we remember: 'You are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing and know not that you are naked and miserable and poor and blind.' So, it happens spiritually, too.

As we go through here I want you to see the parallels in relationship to the Church, because some of these are also not only instructions to them but they are also prophetic types of the Church. Especially right in this section, we will see that the Apostle Peter drew quite heavily on this (1-Pet. 2).

Deuteronomy 7:6 "For you are a Holy people to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a special people to Himself above all people that are upon the face of the earth." What would the world have been like if Israel had not sinned? Can you imagine that? It would be a far, far different place—wouldn't it?

Verse 7: "The LORD did not set His love upon you nor choose you because you were more in number than any people, for you were the fewest of all people." Same way with our calling. 1-Cor. 1:26 [transcriber's correction], 'You see your calling, brethren, not many wise, not many noble,' etc., etc.—fewest in number.

Verse 8: "But because the LORD loved you… [Again, God's love must be activated first in our lives to deal with us—same way that He did with Israel.] …and because He would keep the oath, which He had sworn to your fathers…" I want you to notice how much this is based upon the fathers. All the way through: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the fathers. Everything here is a fulfillment of the promise given to Abraham. That's what it is.

"…the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you out of the house of bondage from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Therefore, know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God Who keeps covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations.… [and God will, and God does] …And he repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them… [That's still active today. Yes, He does.] …He will not be slow to repay him who hates Him. He will repay him to his face. You shall therefore keep the commandments and the statutes and the judgments which I command you today to do them. And it shall come to pass, if…" (vs 8-12).

There's this conditional word again. The if is always contingent upon us. Why is that? Because God never varies! There is no shadow, no variableness, nor turning. We are the if.

"…if you hearken to these judgments to keep and practice them, then the LORD your God shall keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers. And He will love you and bless you and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb, and the fruit of your land, your grain, and your wine, and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the flocks of your sheep, in the land which He swore to your fathers to give you. You shall be blessed above all people. There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock. And the LORD will take away from you all sickness and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you know, upon you. But He will lay them upon all who hate you" (vs 12-15).

What is one of the biggest all-consuming costs that they have today? Health costs! Just think, how much money we waste on crime, on sin, keeping the prisons going, on medicine, on medical care, on taxes to support all this. If any of you are economists, see if you can do this: What is the real expendable amount of money that people have today after you deduct everything for the military, for crime, for corrupt government and so forth, for medical costs; just deduct out of all of that, I think we would be down to maybe 15%, closer to 10%? Just think of that, only 10%! That would be something! Just think how it's going to be in the Kingdom of God when everything is multiplied with blessings and it goes the other way. That's going to be something!

Here's an important lesson for us. This is something that we need to learn, Deuteronomy 8:1 "All the commandments which I command you this day shall you be diligent to observe and to do that you may live and multiply… [This is almost like a broken record—isn't it? My, that's something!] …and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to your fathers. And you shall remember all the way which the LORD your God led you these forty years in the wilderness… [What follows next is what's going to happen to everyone of us]: ...in order to humble you, to prove you, to know what is in your heart… [That's what God wants: to know what's really in your heart down deep inside.] …whether you would keep His commandments or not. And He humbled you and allowed you to hunger, and then He fed you with manna which you did not know, neither did your fathers know it…" (vs 1-3).

Even though they ate it everyday they didn't understand it. Think how merciful God was: six days of the week He would send manna. They would go out and get it day-by-day. Doesn't that sound like something we are to pray about? 'Give us this day our daily bread'? Yes! They'd go out on the sixth day; they would gather twice as much. But even through all their rebellion and everything that they went through there was manna every single day.

They didn't know what it was like even though later they were told it was like angel's food cake with coriander seed oil in it. I don't know what that tastes like. But they ate it plain, they boiled it, they kneaded it. One place says they deep-fried it, so come and have a manna donut and all that sort of thing. After a while the people weren't thankful. They didn't understand. If they would have gotten on their knees and said, 'Oh God, we're here in the middle of this desert and we know you can provide anything. We love this manna, we thank You for it, but it would be really nice if we could just have just a little bit of meat with it.'

God would say, 'Oh that's wonderful, I'm going to send you some quail.' No! They had to rebel. So God sent the quail, and they ran out there in their lust to get it, and while it was yet in their mouths raw they came down with a plague. He says, 'You want flesh to eat, I'll give you flesh to eat.' Drops a whole great host of quail upon them and they run out there in their lust. Bad news!

Here's the reason He did it: "…so that He might make you know… [quoted in Matt. 4:4 and Luke 4:4] …that man does not live by bread alone; but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live" (v 3). Tie that together with what Jesus said. 'If you love Me keep My commandments. If you love Me keep My words.'

They had an extra special blessing that would be something, v 4: "Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years…. [Can you imagine that? Forty years in the wilderness: the clothes didn't get old, the shoes didn't get old. You know, pass on a new pair of shoes for forty years. That's something!] …And you shall consider in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the LORD your God chastens you. And you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God to walk in His ways and to fear Him" (vs 4-6). Over and over again.

Deuteronomy 9 talks about how rebellious they were. Over and over again He says, 'You're a rebellious and stiff-necked people.'

Deuteronomy 10 is really a command, but it is also a prophecy. It's a command that they should do, if they could, but is also a prophecy of the New Covenant because it gives a requirement that only God can do.

Deuteronomy 10:12: "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, to keep the commandments of the LORD, and His statutes which I command you today for your good?.… [that's why God gave them] …Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the LORD your God, the earth also, with all that is in it. Only the LORD had a delight in your fathers to love them, and He chose their seed after them, you above all people, as it is today. Therefore, circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stiff-necked" (vs 12-16).

Colossians 2 is talking about something that can only occur when you are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit of God. This is why God looks upon someone who is tenderhearted to Him with very special favor and grace. That's the whole point of what we're doing brethren. I hope you understand that. The whole point of why God has called us is so that we can be loving to Him and tenderhearted to Him. That's what God wants.

In order to do that then, we have to have also the right kind of relationship with God, the right kind of relationship with elders and teachers and brethren and so forth, because in the past if you've had a tender heart toward God and you run smack into the authority, it's leveraged to their own benefit and that should not be. I want you to notice the parallels: God's Spirit for inspiring is 'the same yesterday, today, and forever.'

Paul says that those who hadn't seen him, Colossians 2:2: "That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love… [We don't find any kind of language like that in the covenant with Israel. This is in the New Covenant.] …unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, unto the knowledge of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (vs 2-3). Here's a tremendous blessing that is given out by the Apostle Paul, giving us hope and pointing us toward Christ.

Verse 4: "Now this I say so that no one may deceive you by persuasive speech…. [to get you to go to the right hand or to the left hand. We have the same principle here—don't we?] …For though I am indeed absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, be walking in Him" (vs 4-6)—which also implies neither to the right hand or to the left hand—doesn't it? If you're going to walk the straight and narrow way.

Verse 7: "Being rooted and built up in Him, and being confirmed in the faith, exactly as you were taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Be on guard so that no one takes you captive through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ" (vs 7-8). There again is the warning—terrific warning for us today.

Verse 9: "For in Him [Christ] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead… [the full understanding of the deity of God—that's what it really means] …bodily; and you are complete in Him, Who is the Head of all principality and power In Whom you have also been circumcised with the circumcision not made by hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism…" (vs 9-12). That's how you are circumcised spiritually in the mind: by baptism, receiving of the Holy Spirit of God, and that's to take away the hardness of the heart.

I want us also to understand something that is very important: Anyone who is a physical Israelite or Jew has no special standing with God in the Church until they're baptized; because

  • all have to repent
  • all have to be baptized
  • all have to receive the Holy Spirit

and become part of spiritual Israel. While it's important for understanding certain prophecies of physical Israel, that does not give anyone an inside track to God; because look what God did to Israel when they sinned. That's not the inside track. Well it is going to the outside. When Paul is talking to the Jews here he's hitting them pretty hard.

Romans 2:17: "Behold, you are called a Jew, and you yourself rest in the law, and boast in God, and know His will, and approve of the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the Law; and are persuaded that you yourself are a guide of the blind, a light for those in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of the knowledge and of the Truth contained in the Law" (vs 17-20). What we are given back here in the Law is just the form, just the basis, just the beginning on which the Gospel is built and amplified.

Verse 21: "You, then, who are teaching another, do you not teach yourself also?…." Understand something that's very important: As I've mentioned before, Christ says 'it's sufficient that the disciple become as a teacher,' which is absolutely true. But as we teach we should also teach ourselves. As we teach others—hopefully with the right kind of attitude and spirit—and lift them up to know more of God's way, then God will teach us more that we in turn can teach more. It is kind of a real, ever fulfilling, uplifting thing that God wants us to have. The Jews weren't doing that. They weren't teaching themselves. Paul says:

"…You who preach, 'Do not steal,' are you stealing? You who say, 'Do not commit adultery,' are you committing adultery? You who abhor idols, are you committing sacrilege? You who boast in law… [through breaking the Law] …are you dishonoring God through your transgression of the Law? For through you the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles, exactly as it is written. For on the one hand, circumcision [of the flesh] profits if you are observing the Law; on the other hand, if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision" (vs 21–25).

I don't think we really grasp the fighting words that those really are when Paul, a Jew talking to other Jews, that they are uncircumcised if they break the Law. That's what God is saying back here in Deut. 10.

Verse 26: "Therefore, if the uncircumcised is keeping the requirements of the Law, shall not his uncircumcision be reckoned for circumcision? And shall not the uncircumcised, who by nature is fulfilling the Law, judge you…" (vs 26-27). Think on that! That is a powerful statement. If you would go up to a Jew and say, 'The Gentile is going to judge you,' you've got a fight on your hands! Paul really was making a point.

"…who, with the letter and circumcision, are a transgressor of the Law? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is external in the flesh; rather, he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God" (vs 27-29). This is what God is actually prophesying, yet, pleading about here in Deut. 10.

Let's go back there and read that again—Deuteronomy 10:17: "the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords… [that's a prophecy of Rev. 19:20—is it not? Yes!] …a great God, the mighty and awesome God Who does not respect persons nor take a bribe…. [You're not going to bribe God. He is no respecter of persons.] …He executes justice for the fatherless and widow, and loves the stranger in giving him food and clothing. Therefore, love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt" (vs 17-19).

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We started out with 'You love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and being. The second is like unto it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Lev. 19, I think is really quite interesting. If you go back and study the whole chapter you're going to see a lot of New Testament doctrine in there

Leviticus 19:18: "You shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD." Based upon God's existence. That's something!

You can see this is a foundation of love. When we get to the New Testament we will see that it is based upon a personal relationship with God, and God loving you and you loving God on an ongoing basis, because God, in the form of Jesus Christ, came to the earth.

Deuteronomy 11:1: "Therefore, you shall love the LORD your God, and keep His charge… [Gen. 26:5 talks about Abraham 'who obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My laws, statutes and judgments.'] …and His statutes and His judgments and His commandments always.."

Verse 8: "Therefore, you shall keep all the commandments which I command you this day, so that you may be strong and go in and possess the land where you go to possess it." Remember what happened? They went in and the whole city of Jericho fell flat just at the shout! I mean, they didn't even have to raise a bow or arrow or spear. They said, 'Hurray! the Lord is with us. Hurray! the Lord is with us.' Then they went to the city of Ai and one man there—Achan—said, 'Well now, look at all of this little gold that I can get just for the picking up.'

So, they went in there and lost the battle and came back crying, 'Boo-hoo, boo-hoo. Why did we lose the battle?' Then they had to go through the high priest and the Urim and Thummim and it finally came out that it was Achan who took the things that he shouldn't have taken. That's why He's saying here "…that you may be strong..." If you don't keep the commandments of God with all your heart then you become weak.

Verse 13: "And it will be, if you will hearken diligently to My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give the rain of your land in its due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil. And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock so that you may eat and be full" (vs 13-15).

Again, here comes a warning. Notice He goes along and says all these good positive things and then He says, 'Warning'! Verse 16: "Take heed to yourselves that your heart may not be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods, and worship them." How do you prevent that?

Verse 18: "Therefore, you shall lay up these My words in your hearts and in your souls, and bind them for a sign upon your hands so that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up" (vs 18-19). There he goes.

Verse 22: "For if you shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you to do—to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him." Over and over again!

The rest of chapter 11 sets the tone for all of the rest of the chapters beginning with chapter 12 on up through to chapter 30. All of those chapters fit in under the subtitle of what we're going to read here:

Verse 26: "Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: A blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you this day; and a curse, if… [so it's our choice to make] …if you will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but will turn aside out of the way which I command you this day to go after other gods which you have not known" (vs 26-28).

Let's make our way over to chapter 30. This is the same thing that we find in the way that God inspired all Scripture to be written. He's going to tell you in summary what He's going to tell you. Then He will tell you what He's going to tell you, and then He will tell you what He's told you in summary of what He did tell you. We find that here:

Deuteronomy 30:11: "For this commandment which I command you today is not hidden from you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven that you should say, 'Who shall go up to heaven for us, and bring it to us, so that we may hear it and do it?'" (vs 11-12). It's not in Tibet either; no, it isn't. What is happening here is, God is giving a promise to His descendents of Israel that they would always have the Word of God available in a language that they understood. Has God fulfilled that promise? Yes, He has!

Verse 13: "Neither is it beyond the sea that you should say, 'Who shall go over the sea for us to bring it to us, so that we may hear it and do it?' But the Word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, so that you may do it" (vs 13-14). In other words, in a language you can understand. I don't think there's anything I've read today that any of us misunderstand—is there? No!

 "Verse 15: "Behold, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil… [That goes right back to the thing that was given to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden—correct? Yes!] …in that I command you this day to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments so that you may live and multiply. And the LORD your God shall bless you in the land where you go to possess it. But if your heart turn away so that you will not hear…" (vs 15-17).

It's interesting—isn't it? The heart turns away and then you refuse to hear. Why? Because 'every way of a man is right in his own eyes,' and the only way he can tolerate rejecting the commandments of God—if his heart turn away—is to not listen. Then he refuses to hear, closes the ear and shuts the heart and goes on his way. If your heart turn away and you will not hear that's a decision you make and it's a long term protracted decision.

"…but shall be drawn away and worship other gods and serve them… [I mean we have a living example today.] …I denounce to you this day that you shall surely perish… [Have we not had a recent example of that? Yes!] …you shall not prolong your days on the land where you pass over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you… [Same thing that Jesus said—right? Yes!] …that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore, choose life, so that both you and your seed may live, that you may love the LORD your God, and may obey His voice, and may cleave to Him; for He is your life and the length of your days, so that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers—to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob—to give it to them" (vs 17-20).

Now then, Moses had one parting thing to say, and it's the Song of Moses. The Song of Moses is all of Deut. 32. He knew this. I tell you, if there's anyone who is going to rejoice when the Kingdom of God comes it's got to be Moses. Can you imagine leading this people around the desert for 40 years? He only did one little thing not right, and he did that out of frustration. All the people came and said, 'Give us to drink.' Moses got mad and talked back to the people and came to God and said, 'What am I going to give them?'

God says, 'Go over and speak to the rock and it will bring forth water.' The people came chiding him, 'Give us drink, give us drink,' almost like a riot—pressing. So, he went over and he hit the rock, which he did before. Before God told him to strike the rock. He went and did the same thing and then God said, 'Now, because you did that you're not going into the 'promised land.' When the Kingdom of God comes and Moses is going to be there, I imagine he's going to be so happy. I imagine he's going to be so thrilled having all this burden lifted from him and now able to be in the true Kingdom of God. My, my, just think on that! Though, sometime if you think 'maybe I can get away with something.'

Deuteronomy 31:24: "And it came to pass when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this Law in a book until they were finished, then Moses commanded the Levites who carried the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD, saying, 'Take this book of the Law, and put it in the side of the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD your God, so that it may be there for a witness against you, for I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. Behold, while I am still alive with you today, you have been rebellious against the LORD. And how much more after my death?'" (vs 24-27).

Think of it. If they did all of these things seeing the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night and the manna everyday and they still did all of these things, my, my, my, what's it going to take to get through to them?

Verse 28: "Gather to me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, so that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them, for I know that after my death you will become utterly corrupt… [after all the repeating of it they still will] …and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands" (vs 28-29).
Now, you take that as a prophecy for the latter days and just look at what we are doing. That's something. If you ask: How far is God going to go in fulfilling prophecies? I don't think we really fully understand or comprehend how far God is going to allow it to go!
Verse 30: "And Moses spoke in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song until they were finished." That's actually the introductory verse for Deut. 32.

Moses starts out the same way that God does, Deuteronomy 32:1: "Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth." All of the witnessing that God does is by Himself: 'I am the LORD' or 'by heaven and earth.' Those are something to base the veracity of your word on.

The book of Psalms is very important, very intriguing, and actually in studying through it has a whole lot less about the love of God than you would suspect at first hand. It has a lot about the mercy of God, the compassion of God, the loving kindness of God, but directly the love of God with the exception of David who had a special and particular relationship with God, it doesn't teach us all that much about it.

Psalm 91:14: "Because he hath set his love upon Me… [this was perhaps a psalm of David] …therefore, I will deliver him; I will set him on high because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation" (vs 14-16). All based upon the love of God because "…he set his love upon Me..."

When you understand that, that is sill New Testament—isn't it? What is it about God that we are told in the New Testament that's the very basis and foundation for the covenant? For God so loved the world—again, setting His love upon us—that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. We don't find anything like that in the Old Testament.

The love that is exemplified in the Old Testament is a love because of what has been done to the individual, namely David, in this particular case. Even in spite of that did he not, in a way, sin and turn his back on God temporarily with the affair with Bathsheba? Yes, he did!

Psalm 18:1: "I love You, O LORD, my strength…. [This is after God had done a miraculous and fantastic intervention on behalf of David.] …The LORD is my Rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my Rock in Whom I take refuge; He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower. I will call on the LORD, Who is worthy to be praised, so shall I be saved from my enemies" (vs 1-3). You can take this and put a spiritual application on it today, asking Christ to intervene for you. Many of the Psalms are good examples for us in prayer, but when we pray let's go ahead and put it in today's terminology so we can understand it a little bit more.

Psalm 116:1: "I love the LORD because He hears my voice and my prayers. Because He has bowed down His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live…. [This he said after he was healed from being sick.] (He said): …The sorrows of death hemmed me in, and the pains of the grave took hold upon me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the LORD: 'O LORD, I beseech You, deliver my soul.' Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me" (vs 1-6). That's a tremendous Psalm for us to go by.

Here's another example for us. This is a little bit different than when you are reading the Epistles of John, especially 1-John 4 where it talks so much about God and the love of God and so forth.

Psalm 17:1: "Hear the right, O LORD; attend unto my cry; give ear unto my prayer, for it is not from lips of deceit. Let my judgment come forth from Your presence; let Your eyes behold things that are upright. You have tried my heart…" (vs 1-3). If you want to know one thing that God is doing with everyone—right there that's it. God is going to test and prove our hearts.

"…You have visited me in the night; You have tested me, and You shall find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. Concerning the works of men, by the words of Your lips, I have kept myself from the paths of the violent. My steps have held fast to your paths, my feet have not slipped. I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God; incline Your ear to me; hear my speech. Show Your marvelous loving kindness…" (vs 3-7). Through the Old Testament and the Psalms in particular, 'loving kindness' is more of an expression of God's love.

"…O Savior of those seeking refuge in You; by Your right hand save them from those who rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings" (vs 7-8). That ties in with Psa. 91 about the protection of power and hiding under the wings of God.

Psalm 119 gives what I say is a converted attitude to all the commandments of God. The carnal mind is hostile and enmity against the laws of God, not subject to them. But here in Psa. 119 is just the opposite.

Psalm 119:47—notice the attitude here: "And I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I have loved." You will see in all of this there's not quite that personal relationship that we have in the New Testament. Unfortunately, if you try and run a church on the basis of Old Testament love it will never be satisfied or fulfilling. And I think that's one of the mistakes that we've made.

Verse 48: "And I will lift up my hands unto Your commandments, which I have loved, and I will meditate on Your statutes."

Verse 97—we even have a song in the hymnal listed after this, How Love I Thy Law: "Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me." Quite something!

Verse 113: "I hate those who are double-minded, but Your law do I love." Continuous!

Verse 119: "You destroy all the wicked of the earth like dross; therefore I love Your testimonies." Testimonies are important things. You have a testimony, you have one kind which you relate what God has done for you,

Psalm 18:2 [transcriber correction]: "The LORD is my Rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my Rock in Him I take refuge; He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower"—because You have fought the battle for me.' Another testimony is a testimony from God or from someone else that says, 'If you do this which is wrong you shall surely die,' or whatever it is. So, there are two kinds: One of adulation and one of warning.

Psalm 119:127: "Therefore, I love Your commandments above gold—yea, above fine gold." This would be an interesting test—wouldn't it? If you had enough gold to do this: Put a big stack of gold, and then another stack of fine gold, really fine, purified gold, put it on the table and right along side it place a Bible. Make sure it said Holy Bible—Word of God and then bring people in and say, 'Which would you rather have?'

You know the gold is going to be gone nine times out of ten. I would dare say any of us who have lots of bills and debts, if we looked at it we might be tempted—wouldn't we? You would have to preface it this way: The gold will not bring you eternal life. The Bible can! But I think there's a lot of people that I know of who would choose the gold today; I'm sure of that. Hopefully we've progressed beyond that that we would choose the way of God and the Word of God. This is a deeply converted attitude here to understand this.

Notice what else it says here. He gives a concluding statement, v 128: "Therefore, I esteem all Your precepts concerning all things to be right… [everything that God has said, thought of, done, created, made: 'all Your precepts'] …and I hate every false way." That's something—isn't it?

Verse 132: "Look upon me, and be gracious unto me, as You are known to do for those who love Your name."

Verse 159: "Consider how I love Your precepts… [We're talking about loving the commandments, loving the Laws, loving the precepts, loving the testimonies, loving His Word.] …O LORD, according to Your loving kindness give me life. Your Word is true from the beginning, and every one of Your righteous ordinances endures forever" (vs 159-160). Pretty profound statement!

Verse 163: "I hate and despise lying, but I love Your law."

Verse 165: "Great peace have those who love Your law, and there is no stumbling block for them."

Verse 167: "My soul has kept Your testimonies, and I love them exceedingly."

Verse 174: "I have longed for Your salvation, O LORD, and Your law is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise You; and let Your ordinances help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I do not forget Your commandments" (vs 174-176). There it shows graciousness and hope and everything like that all the way through.

Psalm 62-63 shows what God really desires out of it, and shows more of the type of love, which now is reaching up into more of a New Testament fulfillment of the love of God.

Psalm 62:1: "Only for God does my soul wait in silence; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my Rock and my salvation; He is my fortress; I shall not be greatly moved" (vs 1-2)

Verse 5: "My soul, wait in silence for God alone; for from Him comes my hope. He only is my Rock and my salvation; He is my strong tower; I shall not be moved" (vs 5-6). What you might want to do there is put Mat. 7:23: building upon a rock and the winds come, the rains come, beat upon it, didn't fall because it's on a rock.

Verse 7: "In God is my salvation and my glory, the Rock of my strength; my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah…. [That's what we need to have as something that we do. Pour out your heart to God.] …Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie… [Oh, have we seen that—haven't we? Yes!.] …when weighed in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity. Trust not in oppression, and do not take pride in stolen goods; if riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.... [I think we've seen lessons upon that too—haven't we?] …God has spoken once; twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God… [that is the power to receive riches.] …Also to You, O LORD, belongs mercy; for You give to every man according to his work" (vs 7-12). That sounds a little bit New Testament—doesn't it? Rev. 2 and 3: 'He that has an ear, let him hear.'

Now, Psalm 63 is quite a unique Psalm, especially when you understand that when David brought the Ark of the Covenant back from Kirjath-Jearim after it was sent back to Israel from the Philistines, he put it in a tent right where his house was. When he played the psaltery, and when he wrote a lot of the Psalms he was right there in front of the tent where the Ark was, because the Ark did not go back into the tabernacle until the setting up of the temple by Solomon and then they brought the tabernacle from Gibeon and they brought the Ark from the house of David and it was united back together again. So, David could sit in front of his tent, and I imagine he could pull back the drapes and look into the Holy of Holies there, as it were, and this Psalm is based on it. It couldn't be based on anything else, especially when we come to verse two.

Here's the whole purpose and whole attitude of what we need to have, Psalm 63:1: "O God, You are my God, earnestly I will seek You! My soul thirsts for You. My flesh longs for You, as in a dry and thirsty land where no water is, to see Your power and Your glory—as I have seen You in the sanctuary" (vs 1-2). David was able to see God. That's why he had such tremendous Psalms and was a man after God's heart. That's why his sin with Bathsheba was so dastardly and why God said that's the only thing that he held against him.

Verse 3: "Because Your loving kindness is better than life… [greater than just living in the flesh] …my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips when I remember You upon my bed and meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows hard after You…" (vs 3-8).

That's what God wants all of us to do. We're going to have plenty of troubles right and left on every side of us as we go down in this society toward the end of the age but if we're following hard after Christ, He'll bless us.

"…Your right hand upholds me. But those who seek my life to destroy it shall go into the depths of the earth. They shall fall by the sword; they shall be a serving for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; everyone who swears by Him shall glory, but the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped" (vs 8-11).

And so this is the love of God in the Law and in the Psalms. And I think when we get into the New Testament as you go through the studies that we do, in particular in John 14, 15, 16, and 17 where the Apostle John brings us the very words of Christ to magnify the love of God for us, we're going to see it's really fantastic and wonderful indeed, brethren.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred. R. Coulter (except where noted)

Scripture References:

  • Matthew 22:37-40
  • Deuteronomy 4:29-37
  • Psalm 78:32-41
  • Deuteronomy 4:30-37
  • Deuteronomy 5:7-10, 27-30, 32-33
  • Deuteronomy 6:3-8, 10-12
  • Deuteronomy 7:6-15
  • Deuteronomy 8:1-6
  • Deuteronomy 10:12-16
  • Colossians 2:2-12
  • Romans 2:17-29
  • Deuteronomy 10:17-19
  • Leviticus 19:18
  • Deuteronomy 11:1, 8, 13-16, 18-19, 22, 26-28
  • Deuteronomy 30:11-20
  • Deuteronomy 31:24-30
  • Deuteronomy 32:1
  • Psalm 91:14-16
  • Psalm 18:1-3
  • Psalm 116:1-6
  • Psalm 17:1-8
  • Psalm 119:47-48, 97-98, 113,119
  • Psalm 18:2
  • Psalm 110:127-128, 132, 159-160, 163, 165, 167, 174-176           
  • Psalm 62:1-2, 5-12
  • Psalm 63:1-11

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 7
  • Hebrews 10
  • 1-Peter 2
  • 1-Corinthians 1:26
  • Matthew 4:4
  • Luke 4:4
  • Deuteronomy 9
  • Revelation 19:20
  • Genesis 26:5
  • 1-John 4
  • Matthew 7:23
  • Revelation 2 & 3

FRC:cis
Transcribed: 12/17/2005
Formatted/Corrected: bo: June/2012

 

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