I have wanted to share parts of this book with you. It is actually a collection of sermons of Moses prior to the crossing over Jordan. It is believed that someone else wrote the last chapter, some record that person being Joshua. Now time lines can be confusing but the best guess is that the year was 1406 B.C. . Sometimes we have to be reminded of the greatness of God and this book does just that and might even be a refresher course in the convent and Laws God gave to Moses to give to the people. If it were a school course it could be named Behavior 101. We have here a whole new generation of Israelites about to enter the Promised Land. The point here is that these folks were in reality a whole new group of had nots. They had not experienced the miracle of the Red Sea, or heard the law given at Sinai. Where they were going there were many dangers and temptations and the book of Deuteronomy was to first remind them of God’s law and the power of God.
We are so blessed to have those Saints before us that have left us a written account of times past in the beginning of God’s covenant with his chosen people and the eventual establishment of His Church through His Son Jesus Christ.
2 You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children…
46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. 47 For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long
In the opening verses Moses reminds all the people that their tedious wanderings was the result of their own bad behavior. Hopefully they have reached an understanding of the value of obedience. When God brings us into trouble and all kinds of afflictions He knows when we have been tried enough, it was now time to move forward. Canaan lies just before them for their encouragement. How can we be not strengthened by the power and goodness of our God? Why or how could we ever believe that our fate rests only within our own person and goodness? The Israelites received God’s good laws and were given in turn good men to execute them and all were with the obedience and love of those God given instructions to Moses. The people at one time stood on solid ground. Why was there this distrust of God? What about faith…where had it gone and was there any cause to distrust this God, was an unbelieving heart at the bottom of all this?
The most likely culprit of this disobedience of God’s laws, and distrust of his power and goodness was disbelief of his Word and Power. We must remember obedience is faith driven. The people needed to come together, give thanks to God for the mercies we have received and to confess and seek the forgiveness of all the sins we can remember. Exercise of a strong faith will allow the people of God to triumph over all opposition, and to take firm hold upon the promised blessings.
Quick recap of this book. Verses 1-3 are a recap of their journey from Egypt to their current location, Moab. Chapter 4 is a call to obedience. God has been faithful to them…they must be faithful to Him in return. Chapters 5-26 are a repetition of the law, Ten Commandments, sacrifices and special days. Good will come to those who obey, but those who break the law will be judged and punished. That theme is continued in verses 27-30. In the final chapters Moses at 120 years of age is still a strong presence as God’s chosen leader. Chapter 34 relates to the death of Moses. It is a remarkable feat for a man of his age but he is able to climb MT Pisgah and before he climbs Moses encourages the people and commissions his replacement. God shows him the promised land but Moses is not allowed to enter it. He dies there in God’s presence. The book of Deuteronomy ends with a short obituary on this great prophet.
This is a book of great import because it also shows the continually of God’s plans for His people. We today live in a time of distress as the faith is attacked and the greatness of God in the lives of His people is marginalized. Today’s blog cries out to all….have faith, our God has a plan…
God is Good