St Alf’s Camp

Paul Barker

Church Camp 6-8 Oct 2017

Talk 1 – Sat 10am
Deuteronomy 4:32-40

 • Deuteronomy is full of “seeing”

 • Our needs for the visual representation of the divine

 • God asks, directs, us to listen – to heed.

 • Hearing the voice of God appears to trump seeing him. 

 • God’s presence is to be engaged by listening to his word being read out to his people, not by experiences such as a pilgrimage. 

 • Israel’s listening, heeding, and obeying the law – God’s word – informs the rest of the world how to engage with God.

 • Christian living needs to also inform the world how to engage with God   

 • His people keeping his laws should be an attraction to the world. 

 • “Take care and watch yourselves” (see 4:9) – obedience of his laws is hard. Disobedience comes much more easily. 

 • v32. God is incomparable – and he has spoken to his people. 


Paul Barker

Church Camp 6-8 Oct 2017

Talk 2 – Sat 11.45am
“What will the neighbours think?”
Deuteronomy 9:7-29
 • We dislike injustice. But beware self righteousness in dealing with injustice

 • Dilemma of justice and mercy

 • God gave Israel the land not on merit. God kept his promise – the Abrahamic covenant – and executed his plans to bless the world through Israel. 

 • Even at Horeb (Mt Sinai) the awful sin – of idolatry- corrupted Israel. 

 • Where the covenant was to be consummated. 

 • God disowned Israel as a result of idolatry 

 • v26 – Moses’ prayer = model prayer. Seeking God’s promise to be kept. Pray according to God’s promises – know the promises (Scriptures) well. 

 • Success for Israel is hope for the world – driver for Moses’ prayer

 • Let the neighbors see – through his people – that You are God, so prayed Moses. 


Paul Barker

Church Camp 6-8 Oct 2017

Talk 3 – Sun 10.30am
Deuteronomy 28:1-14
Blessed to be a blessing
 • Danger of passage being used for prosperity gospel

 • Works theology – deeds to earn God’s favour 

 • Hearing and heeding God’s word in response to his grace

 • Context – ancient Israel. “You Israelite” as a nation. Blessing to the nation of Israel 

 • Related to promises to Abraham. Through Israel being blessed by being under God’s law, others will see who God is, and fear him. 

 • Fertility- attack on fertility gods of Canaan

 • Verses 15-68 however, talk about curses if Israel disobeys God

 • Amos 4, famine yet Israel did not turn to God

 • Famine = curses of the covenant set out in Deut 28:15ff

 • Ignorance of God’s word leads to failure to repent

 • How intersect with us here today

 • We are children of Abraham, we are Israelites. 

 • But we don’t live in Canaan – what is our land? Heavenly inheritance. Hence blessings are heavenly. 

 • Language of blessing changes in the NT – about seeing God, about belonging to the kingdom of heaven. (E.g. Beatitudes in Matt 5ff)

 • Curses – taken by Jesus on the cross

 • Not works righteousness but God’s grace in Jesus