*Sermon for 08.29.21*
*Text: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9*
*Theme: A wise and understanding people*
1. *In the Name of the Father…Amen.*
2. *The Old Testament lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.*
3. *Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:*
Ø Lord God, heavenly Father, by Your blessed Word and Your holy Baptism
You have mercifully cleansed all who believe from the fearful leprosy of
sin, and You daily grant us Your gracious help in all our need.
Ø Enlighten our hearts by Your Holy Spirit, that we may never forget these
Your blessings, but ever live in Your fear, and trusting fully in Your
grace, with thankful hearts continually praise and glorify You;
Ø through Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit, one true God, now and forever. Amen .
1. *Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God the Father, through our
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.*
2. *The setting for the Book of Deuteronomy is Moses with the Israelites
in the Land of Moab, east of the Jordan River. *
Ø He knows that he will not lead Israel across the Jordan *(Numbers 20)*.
Ø Deuteronomy basically consists of Moses’ final speeches or sermons with
Ø In Deuteronomy 1–3, Moses recounts the history of the people, from the
time they were at Mount Sinai after the exodus from Egypt to the present.
Ø This was a period of about thirty-eight years.
Ø There at Sinai, God had made a covenant with the nation Israel.
Ø They were his chosen people.
Ø God had decided that from these descendants of Abraham would come the
Savior of the world, the Messiah.
1. *Now, in Deuteronomy 4, Moses, after recalling all that God had done
for the Israelites these past thirty-eight years, looks into the future.*
Ø In our text for this morning, Moses uses the phrase “a wise and
Ø That phrase, which Moses connected with the Israelites, also applies to
us. May the Lord bless our meditation as We Consider Three Realities
concerning a Wise and Understanding People—the Israelites, and you and me.
*The Israelites were, and we have been, brought to faith in the one true
God through the Word of God. This is one reality concerning a wise and
1. *The Word the Israelites had was that passed down from previous
generations, and that which came to them through the ministry of Moses. We
have more of the Word of God—the writings of Moses (Genesis through
Deuteronomy), the rest of the Old Testament, and all of the New Testament.*
2. *This Word reveals who this one true God is—the triune God. This Word
reveals the Savior, the Son of God, who became man, born of the nation
1. He, Jesus Christ, sacrificed himself in payment for the sins of
the world and arose triumphant from the dead.
2. He is the Savior, for all who believe in him have forgiveness of
their sins and everlasting life.
*Knowing and having faith in the true God and the Savior is the highest
1. This is far greater than any earthly wisdom.
2. Understanding the way of salvation:
A. by God’s grace through faith in Christ
3. This is the greatest understanding.
*D. We thank God that he made not only the Israelites addressed in our text
but also us a wise and understanding people (v 6). Through faith in Christ,
we have salvation. Rejoice!*
*2. Having the Word of God, the Israelites lived—and we live—according to
it. This is another reality concerning a wise and understanding people.*
1. *In our text for this morning, statutes, rules, and commandments
refer specifically to the covenant God made with Israel at Mount Sinai. *
1. These were guidelines as to how the Israelites were to live as
God’s covenant people.
2. Today, our guidelines are the Ten Commandments, which were a part
of God’s covenant with Israel.
2. *God’s Word, since it is his Word, contains the greatest wisdom.
Also, because of his love, God gave the guidelines to the Israelites and
1. He knows what is best for his people and wants their highest good.
2. The ways of the Lord are ways of righteousness and blessedness.
*C. God, who through his Word brought the Israelites and us to saving
faith, enables his people through the same Word to keep his commandments
and live according to his word.*
1. The lives of a wise and understanding people demonstrate that they
have been enlightened by God through his Word.
2. These lives will be noticed by unbelievers and can be a witness to
them, drawing them to find out more about the beliefs of such a wise and
*D. We pray that God would help us to keep on living as his people and to
grow in Christian living.*
1. This means taking care of ourselves spiritually by continuing in the
Word of God and holding to all the counsel of God without adding to or
subtracting from Scripture.
2. This also means seeing to it that our children, grandchildren, are
taught and that they learn God’s Word.
*III. God is near to his wise and understanding people. This is the third
reality concerning such people.*
1. *This is a blessing of being in a faith relationship with the Lord
and is possible because of the saving work of the Messiah.*
1. God is near to his people, whom he has made wise and understanding
because he loves them.
2. This fellowship with God, which we will enjoy throughout our
earthly life, will continue first in heaven and then forever in the new
*B. Because God was so near to the believing Israelites, whenever they
prayed to the Lord, he would always hear and answer their petitions as was
best for them according to his good and gracious will. *
1. This was a belief and reality unique to the Israelites, for the other
peoples of the ancient Near East did not believe the same thing with regard
to their gods (who actually did not exist).
*C. Because God is so near to us, he always hears and answers our petitions
in the best way.*
1. *He does so, again, because of Christ, by whom we can come before the
Lord in prayer.*
1. *Also, God is near us in the Lord’s Supper: *
*A. Christ comes to us and gives us his body and blood.*
*D. May we continually take comfort in the Gospel truth that God is always
near to us, his people, and that he will provide physical and spiritual
care for us. Nothing can separate us from his love. Rejoice!*
1. *There are a number of passages from Proverbs and elsewhere that
serve as useful tools for describing wisdom:*
1. *Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be
still wiser.” *
1. *The instruction Moses gave the Israelites, many of whom
already had the wisdom of faith, increased their wisdom.*
2. *Proverbs 9:12: “If you are wise, you are wise for yourself.” *
1. *Having God-given wisdom through his Word benefits the wise
person. He can then be a blessing to others.*
3. *Proverbs 11:30: “Whoever captures souls is wise.” *
1. *The believer, who exhibits spiritual wisdom with his words and
life, can catch the attention of others. *
2. *God can use this to open up opportunities for witnessing.*
4. *Proverbs 13:14: “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
that one may turn away from the snares of death.” *
1. *This is a companion passage to Deuteronomy 4:1, where Moses
says, “And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the
rules that I am
teaching you, and do them, that you may live.”*
5. *Daniel 12:3: “And those who are wise shall shine like the
brightness of the sky above.”*
*With regard to God being near to his people:*
1. *Matthew 18:20: “For where two or three are gathered in my name,
there am I among them.”*
2. *John 14:23: “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my
Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home
3. *The roots of the famous sequoia trees of California are
4. *Thus each tree is held firmly in place by its own roots and by
the roots of other sequoias. *
5. *When the spiritual truth is handed down in a family from one
generation to the next, this forms, so to speak, an interlocking system
that holds the family members in place in the Christian Church.*
1. *How blessed we are that God has made us a wise and understanding
1. *Because of his great love for us, we have the wisdom of saving
faith, we display the wisdom of God’s Word in our lives, and we have
blessed fellowship with the Lord, who is always near us. *
2. *All of this is possible because of Jesus, our Savior. *
3. *Therefore, Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, Rejoice!
1. *Let us pray:*
Ø *Praise and honor belong to You, our God, because You have given us Your
Word, by which You clothe our poor and naked souls in the garments of
salvation, and bring to us heavenly and abiding treasures.*
Ø *Fashion our hearts by Your Holy Spirit, that we crave not the things of
this earth, but 2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and
the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.*
Ø *The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and
minds in Christ Jesus. Amen. *
Ø *In the Name of the Father…Amen.*
Ø *desire the things above. Amen.*