March 14, 2022 Jason Hovde

God is Faithful

God is Faithful

Greetings Church!


God is faithful. He is sovereign. This was the major thrust of the message this week from Deuteronomy 2:1-25. This was a very complicated text. Moses is recounting some history, there are some switches of perspective, there are several people groups mentioned whose history most of us know little about. I mentioned in the sermon that most who hear it will not remember for long some details about the Moabites, the Ammonites, and the Edomites. We could not find on a map some of those places mentioned.


We can know God as faithful. He was faithful to the descendants of Esau, preserving their land for them. The same for the descendants of Lot. God is faithful to people who are not always faithful in return. The lesson of God’s faithfulness stands in stark contrast to the many failures of humankind. Even devout believers fall short of living the faith perfectly. Some finish better than others. Some do not finish well at all. John Wesley was one who was concerned with finishing well. Read this excerpt from the Preacher’s Commentary:


I enjoy collecting books written by or about John Wesley. He and his followers were particularly concerned about “dying well.” Dr. John Whitehead’s account of John Wesley’s last days points out the importance of finishing life victoriously. In the message recorded at Wesley’s funeral, Dr. Whitehead notes that as Wesley lay dying, his friends entered his room and inquired about his spiritual health. Then they spent time praising God for victory at the close of his life.

It was Wesley himself who warned: “Let, therefore, none presume on past mercies, as if they were out of danger.” In other words, never take God for granted.

The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews says, “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it” (Heb. 4:1–2).

An entire generation lost everything at the door of the Promised Land because of their disobedience. What a waste. “You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?” (Gal. 5:7). -Maxwell, John C., and Lloyd J. Ogilvie. Deuteronomy. Vol. 5. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1987. Print. The Preacher’s Commentary Series.


Moses spent a lot of time reminding the people of two things: Their failures, and God’s faithfulness. Many popular preachers today avoid talking about sin and our failure to live a perfect life. They will tell you, “That really isn’t my bag. I just want to encourage people.” Or they may say, “people already know they are sinful, so I don’t talk about that, I just want to lift them up”. The preachers who do not preach about sin or judgment are very attractive to people whose hearts are still hardened against the truth of scripture. People love to talk about Jesus as a teacher, or a healer, or an encourager, but they do not want to talk about him as Lord and King, at least not if that means the Lord and King actually expects to rule over His people, and wants them to obey Him.


The problem of not preaching or teaching people about sin, or reminding them of their need for repentance, is that such preaching is unbiblical. How do I know this? I have read the Bible. Throughout scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, God’s people need to constantly be reminded of their sinfulness and potential to not finish well. This may seem heavy, or even depressing to some, until we realize that for the believer, a reminder of sin is not condemnation, it is life. It is life because being reminded of our sin is the starting point of repentance that leads to life.


Paul reminded the Ephesian Church of who they were:


Ephesians 2:1–3 (ESV)

2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.


However, the good news is that Paul does not just leave the believers there, worrying about their sin. Now, he immediately follows with a reminder of who they are now.


Ephesians 2:4–10 (ESV)

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.


Why did Paul remind believers of their sin? So that it would remind them of the immeasurable riches of God’s grace. Why did Moses remind the people of their sin? So that they would see God’s faithfulness and his grace. Despite their failures, God was faithful.


Next Sunday, we will continue to look at Deuteronomy, so please read up, we will finish chapter 2 and may even get a glimpse into chapter 3. If you missed the sermon from Deueronomy 2:1-25, you can listen to it here: https://oasisfl.org/sermons/900265--the-god-of-the-wilderness. If your study of Deuteronomy has left you with an interesting perspective or a question that you would like me to answer for you, email me at oasisflpastor@gmail.com. Your question may end up being in the next blog!


Thank you for your participation in the ministry of Oasis Church. I am excited to see where God will take us together. I am honored to be your pastor. Please plan to attend this Sunday. The Deaconesses will host a Spring into Life luncheon after the church service. We hope to see you all here to celebrate the first day of spring with us, and we are going to help each other get excited about the future of our ministry together!