Jan 2013


Act 3 | The King Chooses His People

This sermon on “Remember…” from The Drama of Redemption was preached by Robert Greene at Redemption Hill Church on Sunday, January 6, 2013.

Sermon audio:

Sermon Text:
Deuteronomy 1:1-34:12.

Sermon Notes:

Click here for PDF version of the notes.

Deuteronomy 1:1-34; 12

Remember What You Have Done

Deuteronomy 1:6-8 “The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Turn and take your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the lowland and in the Negeb and by the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. See, I have set the land before you. Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their offspring after them.”

Read Deuteronomy 26-34


We need to face the fear and unbelief that has led us straight into sin so that we don’t walk that way again.

Application Questions

What patterns of sin can you identify?

Can you see these tendencies in yourself?

How self-aware are you of your sinful tendencies?

Why do we need to remember our sin this way? (

Remember What God Has Done on Your Behalf

Deuteronomy 2:24-25 “Rise up, set out on your journey and go over the Valley of the Arnon. Behold, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land. Begin to take possession, and contend with him in battle. This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you on the peoples who are under the whole heaven, who shall hear the report of you and shall tremble and be in anguish because of you.”


We need to remember the Grace of God and victories over sins that God has given us. What will change our perspective more than anything else is looking at the grace of God in our lives. Don’t go to sleep this year without recognizing the grace of God at work in you and in those you love. Remembering the past prepares us for the future that God intends to work out for us.

Application Questions

Do you search for the grace of God in your life?

Remember What You Have Heard And From Whom You Have Heard it

Deuteronomy 5:26-29 “For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of fire as we have, and has still lived? Go near and hear all that the Lord our God will say, and speak to us all that the Lord our God will speak to you, and we will hear and do it. “And the Lord heard your words, when you spoke to me. And the Lord said to me, ‘I have heard the words of this people, which they have spoken to you. They are right in all that they have spoken. Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their descendants forever!”

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Read Deuteronomy 4:5-39


We cannot take God’s word lightly. His word, working through His Spirit is His chief means for cultivating His people. • God wants an obedience that comes from affection for Him; He wants your heart.

Application Questions

Who is speaking here?

What is God like (Savior, revealed name, character, etc)?

How did the first generation respond to God’s word?

How should they have responded and how do we respond?

Are you surrendered to His Word?

Remember Who You are and Whose You are

Deuteronomy 7:6-8 “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”

Deuteronomy 9:4-6 “Do not say in your heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land,’ whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is driving them out before you. Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. “Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.”


God does not choose these people because they are righteous or powerful. He chooses them because He loves them. If you are a Christian, it’s not because you’re a good person, it’s because God chose you out of grace for a purpose. We are, to be a part of a holy nation and ambassadors.  This is who they were to be in the land and who we are to be in the place God has put us. It should shape how we are

to see each day. From the beginning God’s purpose was to be glorified through His people; God intends to work in and through His people to glorify himself and bring salvation to the nations.

Application Questions

We’ve been given a great sense of belonging. Is this how you define yourself?

How has this become a source of pride and self-righteousness, if it has?

What does God remind His people?

Remember What You Have Learned

Deuteronomy 8:2-5 “And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you.”

Read Deuteronomy 10-17

What Did Israel Learn Wandering for Forty Years?

Israel’s wanderings were not haphazard. God was working into them a real humility by setting them in front of the truth of their hearts and their spiritual and physical need. What they saw as lack was actually a gift that would help them come to terms with their need for God and His provisions. Every day that they had to wait for God’s provision was intended to make their dependence upon God more palpable. By depending upon God’s promise to provide manna daily, the Israelites were to learn that people do not live by bread alone but rather by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord The same mouth that had promised to miraculously send manna every morning and had delivered on that promise also made other promises. Every day that they consumed the manna should have instilled confidence that all of

God’s promises will be fulfilled. The question, as they stood on the boundary of Canaan, was would Israel believe and act on everything God had said? Would they trust Him, obey Him, and treasure His promise?

The reason He tells them to remember all of these things is that he knows they are inclined to forget.

Application Questions

Have we in our plenty forgotten how we got to where we are today?

Have you forgotten how you got to where you are today?

Where do you see this in your life? Fear, anger, lust for more?

Remember What is Required of You

Deuteronomy 10:12-16 “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, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn.”

God requires of us that we not be stubborn and that we fear Him, walk in all His ways, serve Him and keep His commandments.  Israel did not do this when they entered the land. They did not fear the Lord, walk in His ways, love Him, serve Him or keep His commandments. As a result, they experienced many of the curses Moses warned them about should they disobey God.  Ultimately, they were enslaved, scattered, and exiled from the Land of Promise. Yet God had no intention of cutting His people off from Himself for good.

Remember What God Has Promised 

Deuteronomy 30:1-6 “And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, and return to the Lord your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there he will take you. And the Lord your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed, that you may possess it. And he will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers. And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.”

What hope does Israel have in light of their continued failure?

God promised His people that one day He would do for them what they could not do for themselves. As we’ve seen repeatedly, God always provides what He requires. The basis of their hope is not on something as flaccid as their ability to obey. It is established on the rock solid promises of God to not only bring them back to the land, but to do to their hearts what He requires. He promised to do something in their hearts by his Spirit that would enable his people to keep His law not because they had to, but because they would want to. Keeping His law would become a delight to them!


Jesus said in Matthew 15:8 “this people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me”. He knew that something had to happen in our hearts. As well, He knew what it would cost for God’s people to love Him with all of their hearts; that price being His very life. In light of this, we are to remember the benefits of the New Covenant and not the demands of the Old Covenant. We should call to mind the darkness that came down and the wrath of God that is warned of in Deuteronomy. The curses spoken of in Deuteronomy, for disobedience, are what were poured out that day on the innocent Son of God, in your place, for your sins.

Remember and rely upon Jesus. Colossians 2:11-14 “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the un-circumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

We do not recollect all that we are to remember, love with all that we are and often reject the riches of His grace towards us and live as though we are defined and driven by something other than His grace. The good news is that despite all that, there is One in whom we trust that has done it all in our place. Abiding in Jesus relieves us of the fear that the curses of the covenant will fall on us for our disobedience. The full weight of the curse has fallen on Jesus in our place so that we can enjoy the blessing that only He deserves. Jesus has loved God and obeyed God perfectly in your place. So God gladly, with joy, transfers Jesus’ merit to you as a gift when you believe. Finally, God’s Spirit takes up residence in you and cultivates your soul to make the love of Jesus and obedience of Jesus a growing reality and desire in your life.

Jeremiah 31:31-33 ““Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

Ezekiel 36:24-27 “I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”

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