Monday, October 23, 2017
Daily reading assignment – Deuteronomy 4-6
We began reading the Book of Deuteronomy last Monday and continue in the same this day with our study focusing on chapter 4-6. As a reminder, we are in the midst of Moses’ challenge and final words of exhortation to Israel before God takes him home to Himself.
Having rehearsed God’s providences and faithfulness to His chosen people, Moses communicated to Israel he was not allowed to enter Canaan because He had sinned against the LORD (Deut. 3:25-27). The LORD, however, promised to give Moses a vision of the land He promised the nation. One of the final acts of Moses’ leadership was God’s command for him “charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see” (Deut. 3:28).
Moses’ exhortation continues in Deuteronomy 4 when he reminds the people of their special covenant relationship with the LORD.
Deuteronomy 4:1 – “Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.”
Unlike any other, the LORD chose Israel and privileged that nation to know Him personally for He revealed His character and person in His Word and “statutes and judgments”. The people knew the LORD and were custodians of His Laws and Commandments (4:7-14).
Moses exhorted Israel to not take lightly their covenant responsibility to know and obey the LORD’s commandments, warning, “the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God” [He will not accept second place in the lives of His people] (4:24).
Less the people be disheartened, Moses reminded the people the LORD is not only a “consuming fire, even a jealous God”, He is also merciful, longsuffering, and forgiving.
Deuteronomy 4:31 – “(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.”
Who is Israel’s God? He is the Creator and the God of heaven (Deut. 4:21). He is God alone and “there is none else beside Him” (4:35). He is Sovereign of heaven and earth (4:39).
Moses rehearsed God’s covenant, the giving of His Commandments at Mount Horeb, and the commandments themselves in Deuteronomy 5.
Deuteronomy 6 states not only the responsibility of knowing, keeping and obeying the “commandments, the statutes, and the judgments” (6:1) of the LORD, but also the individual responsibility of parents imparting to their sons and daughters the LORD’s commands.
When a Pharisee asked Jesus which of the commandments was the greatest (Matthew 22:36-37), He quoted Deuteronomy 6:5.
Deuteronomy 6:5 – “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
Each generation was to not only obey the commandments out of a heart of love, they were also to communicate the commands, statutes, and laws of the LORD “diligently” to their children (6:7-9). The Word of God was to be the subject of every household in Israel. The commands, statutes, and laws were the standard and spiritual guide for every area of life…sitting down, walking, lying down at night or rising at dawn. No area of a man’s life was to go unchecked.
Deuteronomy 6:17-18 – “Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee. 18 And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers,”
I close with two spiritual lessons in today’s study. The first, remembering the providences of the LORD and how He delivered Israel out of Egypt and slavery is a frequent theme of Moses’ final address to Israel in the Book of Deuteronomy. The same should be true of 21st century believers; we need to remember the LORD’s providences in our lives, how He saved us from the condemnation and bondage of sin through Christ’s sacrificial death, burial and resurrection (Romans 3:23-28).
A second lesson is, Obedience bears the assurance of God’s blessing. Moses challenged Israel to obey the LORD’s instructions, assuring the people their God was intimately invested in the “good [of Israel] always” and their preservation as His chosen people (6:24). The apostle Paul gives that same assurance to believers in Romans 8:28.
Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith