Exploring the Bible : Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy is the final book in the Pentateuch and the last of Moses’ writings. It was written at the plains of Moab just before Israel entered the Promised Land. The book is essentially a series of speeches Moses gave to the people right before his death. It largely covers much of what was covered in Leviticus except with an emphasis on the people, not the priests. It’s a call to the new generation—the second generation we talked about in Numbers—to follow God and walk in obedience. As they take the Promised Land, to remember God.
Something unique about Deuteronomy is its influence in the New Testament. It’s quoted more than 40 times because it reveals much about the character of God, which we will explore below. Instead of going through the chapters we’ll explore some key subjects and highlights in Deuteronomy.
THE THREE SPEECHES
Throughout the book Moses gives three speeches:
A historical preview (ch. 1-4)—Moses recounts God’s gracious acts in their exodus from Egypt, as well as gives the people a charge to obey God’s law moving forward.
Commandments and a covenant (ch. 4-28)—A reminder of the ten commandments, stipulations for living in the new land, and devotion to God.
Another covenant with the people (ch. 29-30)—The people are reminded that if they will obey God and follow His ways that He will bless them. (Deut. 30:15-19)
ATTRIBUTES OF GOD
As I mentioned above, the New Testament quotes Deuteronomy quite a bit often because the book regularly talks about the character and attributes of God. Let’s take a look at some of these references:
He is a jealous God (4:24)
He alone is God (4:39, 6:4)
Angered by sin (6:15)
In addition to these attributes there are calls to the people that can be found in the New Testament as well. Calls to obey, love, and serve. To be obedient and keeps His ways. This book is full of wonderful truths about our God and how we can best serve Him.
A ROADMAP FOR PARENTING
In chapter 6 Moses gives the greatest commandment but it’s a great framework for parenting (verses 1-9).
The highlight of the passage is verse 5: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
But before and after that verse God talked about its application as a parent. Parents are encouraged to teach these words and a wholehearted commitment to God to their children.
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
TREATING THE POOR
In chapter 15 verse 11 we are reminded to care for the poor:
“For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’”
FINAL WORDS FROM MOSES
“But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.” Deut. 30:14
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess.” Deut. 30:15-18
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deut. 31:6
“For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.” Deut. 32:3-4
WHAT WE CAN LEARN
God cares very much how you live your life. Surrender it all to Him and love Him with everything you have. Tuck His word into your heart and follow God in obedience.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deuteronomy 6:5