The Middleman Deut. 5:1-5 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In Deut 5:1-5 Moses stood between the Lord and the people at Sinai. He was the middleman. In Deut 5:6-21 God spoke the ten commandments directly to all the people out of the cloud on the mountain. In Deut 5:22-26 the people heard the voice of God and were afraid. So they said to Moses in Deut 5:27-28, “Go thou near, and hear all that the Lord our God shall say.” He was literally their middleman. Here’s what middleman does:
He hears from the Lord on behalf of the people – Deut 5:27 – because people aren’t listening to God’s voice. It is important for us to be listening to the words of God, not only for our sake but for the sake of others to whom we may be given the opportunity to speak. See Is 50:4.
He talks to the people on behalf of the Lord – Deut 5:27 – the middleman tells them what God said [Deut 5:5]. In 1 Pet 4:11 we are to speak as the oracles of God. In Prov 25:11, a word fitly spoken is like apples of silver in pictures of gold. They need to know what God said.
He hears from the people on behalf of the Lord – Deut 5:27 – you have to hear what people are really saying. The heart speaks through the mouth. Listen. You are giving them an audience as if they were speaking directly to the Lord [Job 33:5-8].
He talks to the Lord on behalf of the people – Deut 5:28 says, “and the Lord heard.” Though he can hear all things, when we pray we can make their petitions known. We speak to the Lord about them. That’s called intercession. In Jer 15:1 and 1 Sam 12:20-25, we see two of the greatest intercessors ever. What a privilege. E.M. Bounds said, “Talking to men for God is a great thing; but talking to God for men is greater still.”
Conclusion: two things we can get from this. First, we have the opportunity to be middlemen beginning in November when we sow the seed of the word of God in our nearest neighborhood. Second, remember that the response is up to them [Deut 5:29]. It is not the job of the middleman to elicit a favorable response for them. We just have to do our part.
Our thanks to Pastor Nathan Gipp, Lewis-Clarke Valley Baptist Church in Lewiston, Idaho, who preached a sermon by this title on this text from which we got the idea for this sermon.