Deuteronomy 26:16-19 – You Gotta Bring It Home…You Gotta Land The Plane (What’s the Point of Obedience to God’s Word)

Posted: April 17, 2017 in Book of Deuteronomy
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Deuteronomy 26:16-19

Follow the Lord’s Commands

The hardest part of a sermon is what some call, “bringing it home” or “landing the plane”. It is the part of the sermon where you bring it all together and make your point of life application from the scripture passage(s) that were the subject of your sermon. You summarize the points that you have made and congeal the whole sermon into something that the listeners will remember on their way out into the world as they leave the church. The same is true for writing a blog, writing a research paper, or writing a book. If you can’t “land the plane” or “bring it home”, you have failed in all that you written or spoken. It is meaningless without a conclusion and life application.

 

It was like this morning as my wife and I awoke begrudging after a very busy Easter weekend. On Friday, she was busy with preparations for our church’s “humongo” Easter egg hunt while I was busy with doing some hard yard work that I had been meaning to do since we moved in – removing a dead tree all twisted up in hard vines (that had killed the tree) from the backyard. Then, Saturday, we were busy all day with the Easter Egg hunt where we had 10,000 eggs strewn all over the back half of our church property. We had an amazing turnout of about 1,500 parents and their children from our community, plus live music from our worship band, vendors such Chick-Fil-A, a face painter, and an ice cream cone vendor as well as free popcorn, cotton candy and free water. We were on our feet all day managing that. Then yesterday, we had three services at our church for Easter Sunday (we normally have just two services). We went to the 8:00 service and then served for the last two. The last two services were seriously packed out. We had to pull out almost all of our extra chairs. We had to help people find seats. Again on our feet all morning. Then we had lunch with friends and didn’t get home til about 5pm yesterday. It was a long, hard, but a productive and wonderful weekend.

 

However, this morning, I couldn’t believe that it was time to get up when that alarm went off. It seemed as though I had just fallen asleep. It must have been the same with my wife. I usually get up about 30 minutes ahead of my wife so I can start my blog. So, I was up already when I saw her groan as she had to get out of bed and drag herself into the kitchen. There she, as she does every morning without fail, began the process of making coffee. You know, though, there are some mornings where the things that you do robotically without fail do not go as planned. In the morning, she typically does not have to think or even remember the whole coffee-making process. She can do it blindfolded 99 times out of 100. However, this morning in the fog of still being tired from a physically draining but glorious weekend, she almost started the coffee without pouring water into the reservoir on the coffee maker. It was an illustration of just what I was beginning to write about here for this passage.

 

Without water, coffee is just coffee grounds. Without coffee, water is just water. Putting them together makes something useful and wonderful. Coffee, that wonderful morning elixir, that comes from the proper combination of hot water and coffee grounds. Individually, these two ingredients are good and can be useful in other ways, but together…oh my! Did I tell ya that I love my morning coffee! Together, coffee beans grounded up and hot water make this wonderful. The hot water is the “bring it home” and the “land the plane” additive to the coffee grounds. Without pouring the hot water through the grounds, the grounds are not transformed. They are good but they have not served their full purpose. It is like Scripture without proper understanding of their life application is just good knowledge. We must be able to apply Scripture to our lives. We must bring it home. We must land the plane. Just like coffee is OK and good by itself but we must add hot water to make it something truly worthwhile. We must land the plane.

 

In this passage, it was the thought of a sermon without a good closing, a research paper without a final conclusion, a book without a proper ending that came to mind as I read the conclusion of the main part of Deuteronomy (chapters 12-26). Here, in this passage, Moses “brings it home.” Here, Moses “lands the plane.” Let’s read it together now:

 

16 The Lord your God commands you this day to follow these decrees and laws; carefully observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. 17 You have declared this day that the Lord is your God and that you will walk in obedience to him, that you will keep his decrees, commands and laws—that you will listen to him. 18 And the Lord has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession as he promised, and that you are to keep all his commands. 19 He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised.

 

This passage is a solemn conclusion to the last 14 chapters of Moses where he gives so, so many life applications of the Ten Commandments in the life of the nation of Israel. As you know, when we began this journey through Deuteronomy back in late November, I had indicated that all the scholars have said that Deuteronomy is written so much like that of the treaties of that day in which the victor or superior power would spell out the terms of peace to the conquered or inferior nation. In such treaties, the victor would spell out what obedience to the terms of the treaty would bring and what the penalties would be for non-compliance. Here in this passage, Moses reminds the people of what blessings would come from obedience to God’s Commands. This formal treaty, the Ten Commandments and all the associated regulations that hang off them, is a declaration of what Israel must do to receive the blessings of God. Obedience should be a desire and not some ritualistic observance. God will bless if there is obedience. God will exalt and bless Israel above all nations if they simply keep His commands. This conclusion gives full meaning to the litany of regulations that we have just read through over the past several weeks.

 

Without this conclusion, there would be no real purpose to all the laws and regulations that were going to make Israel a different people. Without these laws and regulations, Israel would have been no different from its neighbors. But that was not what God wanted. He wanted the nation of Israel to be a beacon until the world. He wanted them to be different so as to draw all nations unto God through their differences. It was because God was going to bring the Messiah from His people Israel that He wanted Israel to be so different from the sin-filled world in which they lived. They would be blessed as a nation through obedience. They would be blessed such that other nations and other people would be drawn unto them. And, Israel would then show the world, God.

 

It is the same for us as Christ followers. It is through obedience to God’s Word that we are to be so different from the world in which we live that we are made unique. We are to be a beacon until the world to draw people into the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Without this uniqueness, there is nothing that will draw people unto Christ. We are to love God so much that we obey His Word and draw people unto Jesus Christ. If we pick and choose what we want to obey then we are not unique. We are just another option. Without obedience to God’s Word and being different from the world around us, we do not “bring it home” and we do not “land the plane.”

 

The whole purpose of our obedience to God’s Word is that it results in a blessed life that draws people unto Christ not to mention our own blessing of eternal life with God in heaven. Without these things, it is just knowledge. It is self-help. It is not landing the plane. It is not bringing it home. It is coffee grounds in the coffee maker without adding hot water.

 

Let us be obedient. Let us love God and love others in such a way that a desperate and dying world is drawn unto Christ. That’s the point. That’s the landing of the plane. That’s the bringing it home.

 

Amen and Amen.

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