February 23

Deuteronomy 4-6, Psalm 54

Some state that they prefer the New Testament to the Old Testament. Others say that they prefer the Psalms the most. But, when Jesus referred to Scripture, the only Scripture available at that time was the Old Testament. Some question the importance of Deuteronomy since in many ways it is a retelling of much of the previous four books. But the book of Deuteronomy is the Book that our Lord Jesus quoted more than any other book. In fact, when Jesus is tempted in the wilderness by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11) His defense is the Word of God alone. And the Scriptures that He chooses to quote against Satan’s temptations are all found in the Book of Deuteronomy: Dt 8:3, “…man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord”; 6:16, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God…”; and 6:13, “You shall fear the Lord your God and serve Him…”.

We are told in Ephesians 6 that like Jesus in the wilderness, our fight is not “..against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Like Jesus, our main defense is the Word of God, which is part of the armor mentioned in Ephesians 6:17. This year we have emphasized Scripture memory verses to help arm us when attacked.

In Deuteronomy 4:2, we read, “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” Religion was introduced by Eve, when she chose to add to God’s Word in the Garden. She was told not to eat of the tree, but she adds that she also can’t touch it (Genesis 3:3). When Jesus was ministering on the Earth, He often chose to heal on the Sabbath. The Jewish leaders were angered for they claimed that He was breaking the Law. In reality, the Jewish people had broken Deuteronomy 4:2 by tremendously adding to the simple commands by God to follow the Sabbath. Their religious Sabbath now consisted of many volumes of man made rules, I believe there were seven volumes of rules at the time of Jesus dedicated solely to the Sabbath. Most Christian denominations now have done the same thing. Their religions emphasize their doctrinal rules which are often not scriptural over God’s Word. May we stay focused on His Word, and our relationship with Him. This will free us from the constraints of man-made religion.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Aaron Salvato