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Scripture reading – Deuteronomy 10
Moses’ second oration to Israel continued in Deuteronomy 10 when he described how the LORD showed the people mercy following their idolatry at Sinai. Again, Moses reminded the people what they already knew; nevertheless, it was essential for them to recollect all that had befallen their forefathers and remember the LORD’s Covenant with them as a nation.
Israel’s Covenant: A Testimony of God’s Favor (Deuteronomy 10:1-5)
Moses recalled how, in anger because of their idolatry, he had broken the first tables of stone upon which were written the Ten Commandments. The LORD then commanded him to hew out two additional tables of stone (10:1), upon which the LORD engraved “the words [the Commandments] that were in the first tables” (10:2). The Commandments were then placed in the Ark, and served as a lasting memorial of God’s covenant with Israel (10:2b-5; Exodus 40:20).
Memorial to Aaron’s Death (Deuteronomy 10:6-7)
Continuing his remembrance of the events that had brought the nation to the edge of the Promised Land, Moses rehearsed how his brother Aaron, the first high priest, had died short of Canaan, and “Eleazar his son ministered in the priest’s office in his stead” (10:6).
The Tribe of Levi (Deuteronomy 10:8-9)
Lest any forget, the people were reminded that the LORD had chosen and “separated the tribe of Levi” to serve Him and “to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD” (10:8). Unlike the other tribes, the Levites would have no inheritance of land assigned to them. Instead, their inheritance was a portion of that which was due the LORD, in the people’s tithes, offerings, and sacrifices (10:8-9).
Five Imperatives (Deuteronomy 10:10-13)
With the urgency of a father who loves his sons and daughters, Moses challenged the people to obey the LORDwith five imperatives (10:12-13).
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 – “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear [revere]the LORD thy God, to walk [behave] in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, 13 To keep [keep watch; guard] the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?”
Who Is God? (Deuteronomy 10:14-22)
Who is this God who revealed Himself as Creator, chose Israel, and covenanted with them by giving them His Law, Commandments, and Statutes?
He is the Creator and Sovereign of “the heaven of heavens…and the earth also, with all that therein is” (10:14). He is the “God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible [i.e., to be feared].” He is justand not a respecter of persons (10:17). He is merciful and the protector “of the fatherless and widow [the defenseless]” (10:18a). He is tender, and “loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment” (10:18b).
Closing thoughts: What effect should the revelation of God’s nature have had on Israel and you?
The answer to that question is found in the closing verses of Deuteronomy 10 (10:19-22). The children of Israel were to love strangers, for they could identify with the hardships of being a stranger in Egypt (10:19). They were to fear, serve, and cleave to the LORD (10:20). They were to be a people whose word, was their bond (“swear by His name,” 10:20). The hearts, thoughts, and affections of Israel were to be solely directed to the LORD (10:21). God had fulfilled His promises. Israel had increased from seventy souls (the number of Jacob’s family in Egypt, Genesis 46:27), and “the LORD [had] made [them] as the stars of heaven for multitude” (10:22).
Believer, my God is great and mighty. He is the LORD of the Scriptures, the Sovereign of Creation, and the King of heaven and earth!
Is He your God?
Questions to consider:
1) What did the LORD write on the stone tablets? (Deuteronomy 10:4)
2) Where did Moses place the stone tablets? (Deuteronomy 10:5)
3) What was the Levitical tribe’s ministry? (Deuteronomy 10:8)
4) What did the LORD require of Israel as the nation settled in the new land? (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)
5) How many souls were in Jacob’s family when they settled in Egypt? (Deuteronomy 10:22)
Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith
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