March 10, 2019

Rev. Bernt P. Tweit



Epistle Lesson; Romans 10:8b-13

Gospel Lesson; Luke 4:1-13                            

Sermon Text; Deuteronomy 26:5-10


The Word of God we focus on is from taken from Deuteronomy, chapter twenty six, looking at verses five through ten.  This is God's Word, in Jesus' name.


Then you will respond and say in the presence of the LORD your God, “My father was a wandering Aramean.  He went down to Egypt and lived there as an alien with just a few people, but there he became a great, strong, and populous nation.  The Egyptians mistreated and afflicted us.  They imposed hard labor on us.  We cried out to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice, and he saw our affliction, our labor, and oppression.  The LORD brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and an outstretched arm and with great awe-inspiring acts and signs and wonders.  He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.  So now, look as I bring the firstfruits of the soil that you have given me, LORD.”


This is God's Word.


“Remember Goliad.”  Raise your hand if you know what I am talking about.  “Remember Goliad.” 

I did not know about it, until earlier this week, myself.  (Take note, not one person in our congregation raised their hand.) 

On Palm Sunday, 1836 there were four hundred men of the Texan Army who perished at the hands of the Mexican Army. 

Just three weeks before this, an event took place that you know about.  (Now, I am going to say this:)  “Remember the Alamo.” 

Raise your hand, if you know what I am talking about.  (Just about everybody's hand in our congregation went up!) 

They happened three weeks apart from each other, to the day.  At the Alamo there were two hundred Texas men from the Texan Army that perished at the hands of the men from the army from Mexico.  Three weeks later here is what happened at Goliad: four hundred men of the Texan Army perished at the hands of the Mexican Army. 

And yet, we remember the Alamo, but we don't remember Goliad. 

It was just a short time after that, the leader of the army of Texas, Sam Houston, finally gained independence for Texas from Mexico.  It was at the battle of San Jacinto.  Nine years after that, Texas became a state in 1845. 

Remember the Alamo, but we don't remember Goliad. 

Sam Houston, in one of his impassioned pleas concluded, “Remember the Alamo, the Alamo, the Alamo.” 

It was just a few people in the crowd who added the addendum, “Also, remember Goliad.”

Sometimes, as time goes by we forget things.  A little more recent to is what happened in 2001, 9/11, September 11th. 

-Planes flew into the Twin Towers in New York City.

-The plane that flew into the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

-The plane that was grounded in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 

What was the cry that came out of that?  The cry was:  “We will never forget.”

Today, as we look at our text that is what Moses wanted God's people to do.  He wants them to remember. 

Remember the Lord's blessings. 

Never forget the Lord's blessings.

Our text for today is considered kind of the second sermon Moses preached throughout the book of Deuteronomy.  Deuteronomy may seem like a boring book, because there are a lot of rules, and there are a lot of regulations.  And yet, here Moses is sharing with the people who are about ready to enter into the Promised Land that God had given to them, when he said, “Let's just take a step back, and remember what God has done for us in the past.  Let's just reflect on that.”

So, this morning I would like to take a moment to review history that Moses specifically talks about in our text for today, as we also sit here today, and remember the Lord's blessings in our lives.

Moses says, “My father was a wandering Aramean.” 

Who is that referring to?  That is referring to Jacob.  Jacob was the son of Issac.  He was the grandson of Abraham.  It was Jacob who left Canaan, and went up to Haran.  He worked with his uncle Laban for twenty years.  It was while he was in Haran, (another name for Haran is Aram, which is a modern day Syria), that he married his wives Leah and Rachel.  So, they were Arameans, which means his twelve sons that were born to him were Arameans.  Jacob was a wandering Aramean, until he came back down to Canaan. 

Our text for today says, “He went down to Egypt, and lived there as an alien...” 

Well, what was it that would have brought Jacob to Egypt?  You know the story, but I will review this for you. 

-Jacob's older sons had done something they should not have done.  They sold one of their younger brothers (Joseph) into slavery.  It was the Midianites who brought Joseph down in to Egypt. 

-It was while Joseph was in prison, he was able to interpret dreams, because God gave him the ability to interpret dreams.  Well, Pharaoh was having dreams, and had heard there was a man in prison who could interpret dreams.  So he sent for Joseph, and then Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dream. 

-The interpretation was that there would be seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine.

-Joseph was put in charge of storing up grain for seven years, so that during the seven years of famine there would be plenty of food. 

-That famine spread to Canaan, and caused Joseph's family (including his dad, Jacob, and his brothers) to come down to Egypt. 

-It was there in Egypt that Joseph provided for the needs of his family, including Jacob. 

-When Jacob went down to Egypt, he was just a few people.  Here is what scripture says.  Scripture even gives us the number of people from Jacob's family who went to Egypt.  Genesis 46 says, “All those who went to Egypt with Jacob, the members of Jacob's family, were seventy in all.”  Seventy people went to Egypt with Jacob's family, just a few in number. 

-But over time, they became great, strong, and populous.  We need to take into account that four hundred years has gone by, because there were four hundred years of slavery in Egypt.  At the end of those four hundred years those seventy few people (and this is a conservative estimation, as you look at the book of Numbers and count up the number of the households from each of the twelve tribes) conservatively, leaving Egypt was two million people.  Seventy went to Egypt, but two million left Egypt. 

-While they were there, they were mistreated and afflicted with hard labor.

-The Egyptians enslaved them.  The book of Exodus says this about their oppression and their mistreatment. “The Egyptians put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor.  They worked them ruthlessly.  They made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields.  In all of their hard labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly.”  So they were oppressed, mistreated, and abused.

At the end of those four hundred years Moses reminded the people that God led them out of Egypt with a strong hand.  Notice what it says there, too. 

“...with great and awe-inspiring acts and signs and wonders.” 

Think about what they saw.  They got to see the Ten Plagues, (plagues of blood, gnats, flies, and the death of the first born).  They got to see how God had parted the waters of The Red Sea.  They saw God, as He led them by a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire at night.  They saw how God provided manna for them every morning, and how God provided quail for them every evening for the forty years they were in the wilderness.  He now brought them to this place, and to this land.

After four hundred years of being enslaved in Egypt, and then forty years of wandering through the wilderness, (four hundred and forty years), they had made it!  They had made it, and were about ready to enter in to the land God had promised them.  It was a land that was flowing with milk and honey.  This is the first time in scripture that it talks about this land being a land flowing with milk and honey.

Moses is saying, “Guys, before we enter into The Promise Land, let's just remember the Lord's blessings.  Look at how He has provided for us in the past.  We know if God has provided for us in the past, as we now go in to this land He has given to us, we know He is going to provide for us here in this land.”  

Oh, by the way, did you see Jesus in our text for today?  Did you see Him, because He is there? 

-Just as Jacob went down to Egypt with his family few in number, so also Jesus went down to Egypt.  It was because Herod wanted to put the baby boys to death, so Jesus and His family went down to Egypt. 

-Just as the Israelites cried out to God, while they were being oppressed, it was also Jesus who cried out, “Father, may this cup be taken from me.” 

-Just as the Israelites were mistreated, and oppressed, so also it is our Savior, Jesus, who was mistreated, and oppressed. 

Why was it that our Savior, Jesus was mistreated and oppressed?  Jesus was mistreated and oppressed, because of my sin.  Jesus was mistreated and oppressed, because of your sin.  Here is what Scripture says about that. 

“Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins.”

Why did Jesus have to be mistreated?  It was our Eight Graders who were standing up here just a moment before, who told us, “Jesus needed to do that for us as true Man, and as true God.  Jesus needed to fulfill the Law for us, and Jesus needed to suffer, and die in our place.  Jesus needed to fulfill the Law for us, and suffer and die in our place so it would be sufficient.” 

Just as the Children of Israel are getting ready to enter into The Promised Land, and Moses tells them, “Let us remember the Lord's blessings”, we can do the same thing here, today.  We can say, “Guys, look at what the Lord has done for us in the past.  He has been there for us.  He has been faithful for us.” 

As we are getting ready to enter into the land God has promised to us, remember the Lord's blessing.  We know He will be faithful to us.

So what's the final take away from our text for today?  We see how the Lord has been faithful to us.  We sit here today, and remember the Lord's blessing.  Look at the very last verse of our text.  Here was the response of the Children of Israel. 

“So now, (so now...they are getting ready to enter into the land) look as I bring the firstfruits of the soil that you have given me, LORD.” 

“God, look at what you have done for me.  Now, I am going to bring the firstfruits of what you have given to me.”   In saying that, they recognize, and in saying that we also recognize one hundred percent of everything we have comes from God.  100 %.  Everything.  All of it. 

“And God, now knowing what you have done for me, you have saved us from our sin by Jesus' death on the cross, I want to give back to you.  So, I bring you the firstfruits.  I will bring you the firstfruits of my time, my talents, and my treasures.  God, help me to see the time you have given to me, and help me to use my time to give back to you.  God, help me to see the talents you have given to me.  You have given a hundred percent of those talents to me, and now, God, help me to give a portion of those talents back to you, and your Kingdom.  God, you have given me a hundred percent of my treasures, everything I make in this life.  Help me to bring the firstfruits of what you have given to me, as an offering to you.”

As we prepare ourselves, and are standing ready to enter the eternal life in Heaven that God has given to us, we may say with the Psalmist”

“Bless the LORD

O my soul,

and forget not all His blessings.”