When Privileges Become Peril


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TOPIC:When Privileges Become Peril

                    (New Years Message)

                  by Rev. Dr. Reg Dunlap


TEXT:Deuteronomy 17:16; Joshua 3:4


“The Lord has said unto you, You shall henceforth return no more that way…for you have not passed this way before.”


Before us in the text we have something old and something new. Israel was now about ready to turn its back on its old way of life. The days of bondage, persecution, suffering in Egypt, wanderings in the wilderness, all of this has ended. Now Israel was ready to cross the Jordan and move into Canaan, the land that was capable to meet all their needs. This was the land that had been promised by God to Abraham and all of his descendants. It was a new beginning for them, with new opportunities and new privileges. They now had the Law of God, the presence of God, and the leadership of Joshua. It was the end of the old and the beginning of the new.


Now in somewhat the same manner, we stand as Israel on the threshold of something new. There is the untrodden way before us with new privileges and new opportunities. And just like God went before the Jewish nation of Israel, so will He go before us. Let us make good use of the privileges which will come our way during the coming year.




As we look at the experiences of Israel, we find that privileges become peril when we refuse to RESPOND to them. Listen to the final warning Moses gave to Israel: “In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, that thou mayest live and multiply; and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land to which thou goest to possess it” (Deuteronomy 30:16). From these words we find two privileges given to Israel.


For one thing, they had the privilege of an UNDIVIDED DEVOTION: “to love the Lord thy God” (v. 6). According to verse 6 notice what they were to do: “to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.” No less than ten different occasions in Deuteronomy does God repeat this high and holy privilege.

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