MONDAY, OCTOBER 15
SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 1
BY: Josh Boles
Today marks the start of our journey through the book of Deuteronomy. It will be a challenging journey at times, but it will be rewarding. Most of the book of Deuteronomy is preparation to enter into the promise land. Moses and the leaders of Israel want to do everything they can to ensure that the Israelites obey the Lord and finally enter the long awaited promise land.
One thing that is very important for us to know about the book of Deuteronomy, is that it is in expositional form. Basically this means it is a sermon spoken by Moses directly to the people of Israel. This distinguishes Deuteronomy from the rest of the Law. Much of the law is repeated in Deuteronomy but it is not new information, it is an exposition of the law. In a lot of ways this is similar to what any pastor would do today, which is to preach the principles that the Law gives us.
Verses 1-5 are the prologue to the whole book of Deuteronomy. It offers a chronological and geographical setting of Deuteronomy, as well as identifying who the speaker is. The word “Deuteronomy” is taken directly from the opening phrase. The Hebrew word is Debarim, which literally translates to “The Words.” The book of Deuteronomy is broken into 4 sections. Sections one through three are Moseses speeches, or sermons, and the final chapters is the succession of leadership. All of the words in Deuteronomy except for the last 4 chapters are Moses’s words. Because this book is in sermon form, it gives us some very practical wisdom on how to obey God.
Moving on to verse 9, we get into Moses’s first speech. A lot of Moses’s first speech is encouragement to follow through with obedience to God. In this section, (9-18) we see encouragement to trust in the land of promise. The argument is that God has been faithful in His promises, so we should should be faithful in obedience. This section shows us primarily that God has been faithful in the regards of the Abrahamic Covenant. God promised that Abrahams descendants would be many and that they would be a great nation. Verse ten is an affirmation of this fact.
The next section, 19-33 rehearses Israels refusal to enter into the promise land. Some 38 years ago the Israelites were instructed to enter the land of Kadesh but they did not obey. You can find this story in Numbers 13-14. This point of this section is to warn the current generation about the failures of the past generation. Something that is interesting to observe is that the nation of Israel is in the same theological state as they were close to 40 years prior. They are on the edge of the promise land but have not yet entered. The question is whether or not they will repeat their same mistakes.
Before we move on to the next section we should pause and think about this for a second. Do you ever feel like you are on the edge of something huge but cannot seem to make it happen. Look back at you life over the last few years. Are you in the same theological state as you once were, or are you just hanging on to the edge of God’s promises for your life? That really is a hard question to think about, and trust me I have been there, I think we all have. Let me assure you though, When you finally dive full on into God’s promise for your life there is nothing greater that you could ever accomplish. I ask you to learn from this chapter, and how it could effect your daily life.
The last section focuses on Israels penalty for not Obeying God. This is a very common theme of the Old Testament. God gives a command, Israel rebels, and God continues to show abundant grace. In verse 37 Moses confesses that the Lord was even angry at him, but yet blessings continue to flow. This is only by the grace of God. Take a look at 42-44. If the Lord does not fight for us, defeat is a sure thing. Let us learn from the Israelites. They did a lot of things without the Lord, and were stuck with grave consequences. Wherever you go, and whatever you do, do it for the Lord, and He will fight for you. Dive head first into God’s promise for your life, and never look back!