SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
4:9 Again, however, pay very careful attention, lest you forget the things you have seen and disregard them for the rest of your life; instead teach them to your children and grandchildren. 10 You stood before the Lord your God at Horeb and he said to me, “Assemble the people before me so that I can tell them my commands. Then they will learn to revere me all the days they live in the land, and they will instruct their children.” 11 You approached and stood at the foot of the mountain, a mountain ablaze to the sky above it and yet dark with a thick cloud. 12 Then the Lord spoke to you from the middle of the fire; you heard speech but you could not see anything—only a voice was heard. 13 And he revealed to you the covenant he has commanded you to keep, the Ten Commandments, writing them on two stone tablets. 14 Moreover, at that same time the Lord commanded me to teach you statutes and ordinances for you to keep in the land that you are about to enter and possess.
15 Be very careful, then, because you saw no form at the time the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the middle of the fire. 16 I say this so you will not corrupt yourselves by making an image in the form of any kind of figure. This includes the likeness of a human male or female, 17 any kind of land animal, any bird that flies in the sky, 18 anything that crawls on the ground, or any fish in the deep waters under the earth. 19 When you look up to the sky and see the sun, moon, and stars—the whole heavenly creation—you must not be seduced to worship and serve them, for the Lord your God has assigned them to all the people of the world. 20 You, however, the Lord has selected and brought from Egypt, that iron-smelting furnace, to be his special people as you are today. 21 But the Lord became angry with me because of you and vowed that I would never cross the Jordan nor enter the good land that he is about to give you. 22 So I must die here in this land; I will not cross the Jordan. But you are going over and will possess that good land. 23 Be on guard so that you do not forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he has made with you, and that you do not make an image of any kind, just as he has forbidden you. 24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire; he is a jealous God.
25 After you have produced children and grandchildren and have been in the land a long time, if you become corrupt and make an image of any kind and do other evil things before the Lord your God that enrage him, 26 I invoke heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that you will surely and swiftly be removed from the very land you are about to cross the Jordan to possess. You will not last long there because you will surely be annihilated. 27 Then the Lord will scatter you among the peoples and there will be very few of you among the nations where the Lord will drive you. 28 There you will worship gods made by human hands—wood and stone that can neither see, hear, eat, nor smell. 29 But if you seek the Lord your God from there, you will find him, if, indeed, you seek him with all your heart and soul. 30 In your distress when all these things happen to you in future days, if you return to the Lord your God and obey him 31 (for he is a merciful God), he will not let you down or destroy you, for he cannot forget the covenant with your ancestors that he confirmed by oath to them.