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Deuteronomy 23:9 When the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then keep thee from every wicked thing. … 14 … For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.
When we started studying through Deuteronomy we discovered that this second giving of the Law contains three sets of Laws.
- It contains Laws that related only to Israel.
- It contains Laws that are prophetic and are fulfilled in Christ.
- It contains Laws that are on all of God’s creation.
You may rely to me “but I thought we were NOT under Law, but under GRACE. Isn’t this what the Apostle tells us?” That is very true. But the phrase “not under Law but under Grace” is found in THIS context:
Romans 6:2-18 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
The doctrine that says “once I am saved I may freely and guiltlessly break the Law of God” IS A LIE FROM THE PIT OF HELL. The Bible tells us that Christ out Savior went OUTSIDE THE CAMP to save us. We are told in Hebrews:
Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Jesus died outside the gate – outside the camp – to make payment for our sins. He died to save us from that terrible slavemaster. Jesus gave Himself to PAY for our sins, then rose again to establish command over our lives. As Pastor Wes McAdams said:
“You cannot be a child of God, free from the burden of the law, so long as you still live to sin. That kind of a person is unconverted and is still a slave of sin. That kind of a person needs to be under law. But the true convert, has died to sin and has been baptized into the death of Christ. Paul asks again, in verse 15, “Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace?” And again answers, “By no means!” Through the power of the cross, and the work of God’s Holy Spirit, Christians have become slaves of righteousness. We do what is right, not because of a law written on stone tablets, but because we truly want to please our heavenly Father. Our hearts and minds have been converted by God’s grace.”
I could not say it any better. God expects the people whom He has saved to be at one with Him.
Our Power To Win Is Found In Our God
Our power as God’s people does not rely on our strength, but on the strength of Almighty God. God tells His people – the people whom He loves:
Deuteronomy 23:9 When the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then keep thee from every wicked thing.
Israel was a people loved of God. They were a small group of believers compared to those nations that were around them. God didn’t want His people to worry about the odds that were against them. No matter how big the enemy is, God is much bigger. What God commanded of His people was very simple.
Keep thee from EVERY wicked thing!
God does not call His people to worry about the enemy. Christians have always had enemies. Those who love God are in the minority. I was thinking about martyrs this morning. Do you know who the FIRST martyr in the Bible was? It was Abel.
What did Abel do to be martyred for his faith?
What WORDS did Abel speak that led to his death?
If you study your Bible you find out that Abel NEVER SPOKE A WORD with his mouth – at least no word that was recorded. The Bible tells us that:
Genesis 4:8 … Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
What did Abel say to Cain? We don’t know. But we do know this. When God came and asked Cain where Abel was, that unbeliever said …
“I know not. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
God told Cain (Genesis 4:10) “What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground”.
Abel never preached a sermon from a pulpit, but his shed blood preached of the obedience of faith. The Scripture says:
Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
God honored Abel, but marked Cain. God watches what we do. God expects His Children to cast out all that is offensive to Him.
Beloved, we live in a wicked world. The Bible tells us that we are to be light in the midst of this darkness. Lifeway Facts and Trends director Thom S. Rainer stated:
“Between 6,000 and 10,000 churches in the U.S. are dying each year. That means around 100-200 churches will close this week. The pace will accelerate unless our congregations make some dramatic changes. It’s tempting to blame secular culture, national politics, or church leaders for the declining evangelical influence in today’s culture. If outside forces and culture were the reasons behind declining and non-influential churches, we would likely have no churches today. The greatest periods of church growth, particularly in the first century, took place in adversarial cultures. We are not hindered by external forces; we are hindered by our own lack of commitment, selflessness, and evangelistic urgency.”
God told Israel not to worry about what was outside the camp, but to make sure that the camp itself was holy. God said that if we are to be blessed we must remember that it is God Who fights for us. Therefore we MUST NOT OFFEND GOD. God says:
Keep from thee EVERY wicked thing!
This is a far cry from what many Churches are doing today. Too many Churches have compromised with evil. The Church is to be the Light of Christ. We are to live so as to please Him.
God Is Watching Us
Deuteronomy 23:14 For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.
God is watching His people. The Lord thy God walketh in THE MIDST of THY CAMP. God is with us. We have a tendency to compartmentalize God.
What does it mean to “Compartmentalize God”?
It means to use God like we use our tools. In my workshop I have a SawsAll. It sits in a grey case. A SawsAll is invaluable when you need to do tight repair work. With the SawsAll I can cut plumbing lines or remove a stud from a wall. You can use it on trees to cut larger branches safely. The SawsAll stays in it’s grey case until I use it – which is only about ONCE or TWICE a year. When I need it, I have to have it. But when I don’t need it it sits in it’s little compartment, waiting patiently until I call.
This is how some people see God. He is a TOOL to be used, and forgotten until He is needed. But God is no TOOL. He is the CREATOR. He owns EVERYTHING, even the stuff that the unbeliever thinks he owns. God owns our bodies, our souls. Our lungs pump because He gives us energy and lets us have oxygen. God is there, ALWAYS.
The Lord thy God WALKETH In The Midst Of Thy Camp
God takes an active interest in what His people are doing. He knows what you are doing. As Pastor I many times don’t have a clue what you are doing, but God knows. He knows what you’re planning for Vacation Bible School. He knows how often you read your Bibles. He knows what you are watching on television at night. He knows what you do in the privacy of your homes. God walks in the MIDST of you.
One of our founders was Thomas Jefferson, and Jefferson was not a Christian but a Deist. The Deists believe that God created the earth then stepped back and let it go. God is a non-interventialist Creator. But this is not the God Who reveals Himself in the Holy Scripture. God walks in the midst of our Camp. The Scripture declares:
Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
God does not stand outside the camp looking in. As a Good Shepherd He walks in the MIDST of the Camp. God is not a God Who is far away fromn His people. Has He not promised:
Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
God walks in the midst of the Camp. Our Lord is with us. Our Lord is with us though we may be a small people. Did not Jesus promise:
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
If we will succeed, we will only succeed if God causes us to do so. Let us cast out all that is wicked. Let us put away the toys of sin. Let us live to please our Jesus. God will not remain in the midst of a sinful people. We are to put away all that offends our Savior, and let Him shine through us. What is the alternative? God says so plainly:
that He see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee
Do not believe that God will justify sin. God tells us clearly:
Romans 13:8-14 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Be like Christ. Be like Him Who died for you, and rose again so that He could live in you. May God touch your hearts with His Word.