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Intro to Deuteronomy
The Book of Deuteronomy
Moving forward- Looking back

This morning we are going to begin a 7 week survey of the Book of Deuteronomy

-They consist of the words of Moses. Given in the last 30 days of his life (Deut. 1:3) just before the Israelites began their conquest of the Promised Land. In essence: Deuteronomy is the "swan song of Moses"
-Deuteronomy is a very personal book in that Moses sprinkles his thoughts and reflections throughout.
-Deuteronomy means "second law". It comprises a second giving of the law. This was necessary since the entire generation of those 20 years old plus had died over the 40 years they were in the wilderness. They had to know how to live before God in the land that He was about to give them
-So important is the Book of Deuteronomy that every 7 years the Book was read aloud to the gathered nation of Israel (Read Deuteronomy 31:9-13)
-So important is the Book of Deuteronomy- that whenever a new king took the throne- he was to make a handwritten and personal copy of the Book of Deuteronomy-- and he was to read from it daily (Read Deuteronomy 17:18-20)

One of the key teachings of the Book of Deuteronomy is this: BE A PERSON OF THE WORD

Read it. Love it. Do it. Meditate upon it. Memorize it. Study it. Defend it. Don't resist it.

Central to the Book of Deuteronomy is the 10 commandments. It's important for us to know the 10 commandments-- for they teach us God's way, prove us guilty of sin (which we are often in denial over) and lead us to Christ (who came to redeem us from our sins and from death-- which is the penalty of the law)

We are to read and meditate on the Word of God regularly-- that we might get to know Him better. That we might be constantly mindful of how to live before Him.

Not only are we to read God's Word for ourselves-- we are to teach it to our children (Deuteronomy 4:9)

The Bible is the final authority for our faith, our beliefs, our practice. When we wonder what to think about something, we are to turn to our Bible that we might learn how to think God's thoughts on whatever the subject is.

Do not neglect the Word of God. We are to more than readers of it-- we are to be doers of it.

If we attend to God's Word and do it-- His promise is that it will go well with us (Deuteronomy 4:30) Obedience brings the Blessings of God.

A key refrain from our lips is to be "What does the Bible say"****


This morning: As part of our introduction to Deuteronomy, instead of focusing on one passage I want to drop down on several texts that are scattered through chapters 1-5 and beyond.

The first passage I want to draw your attention to is Deuteronomy 1:30-31
.

"The LORD your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place."

What a beautiful word picture that is given regarding God's care of the Israelites and by extension us.

This text speak to us of God's tender care. His lovingkindness. What fathers are to be to their children***

Further: God's the One getting them there. His power. His Strength**

Related verse: Isaiah 46:3-4 "Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob, al the remnant of the people of Israel, you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."


The second passage I want to draw your attention to is Deuteronomy 4:39

"Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other."

POINT: THERE IS ONE TRUE GOD and His name is Yahweh***

This point runs through the entirety of Deuteronomy 4. It's a big point. It's important. It's a point that causes friction between us and those that belong to the religions of this world.

There is one true God. His name is NOT Allah. He did not incarnate as Buddha. He has not appeared as one of the millions of the Hindu god's. His name is Yahweh. He is the Creator of the universe. He is the one who revealed himself to Moses at the burning Bush. He exists as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (a mystery that is part of our faith and His transcendence).

He is a jealous God in that He demands our absolute loyalty to Him. The way we approach and speak to and of Him is important.

See Also: Isaiah 45:5; 44:24 and the showdown between Elijah and the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18 ('The god who answers by fire- he is God v.24 ------ The LORD- He is God! v.39

The most amazing thing of all is that He is one with whom we can enjoy a relationship with through the person of Jesus Christ and by his shed blood on the cross for our sins.

The third passage I want to draw your attention to is Deuteronomy1:37

"Because of you the Lord became angry with me also and said, "You shall not enter it, either."

In this verse, with a great degree of regret, Moses speaks of how he would not be allowed to enter into the Promised Land.

Many times in the Book of Deuteronomy Moses speaks mournfully about not being allowed to enter into the Promised Land

Deuteronomy 3:21-28 At that time I commanded Joshua: "You have seen with your own eyes all that the Lord your God has done to these two kings. The Lord will do the same to all the kingdoms over there where you are going. Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you." At that time I pleaded with the Lord: "Sovereign Lord, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do? Let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan-that fine hill country and Lebanon." But because of you the Lord was angry with me and would not listen to me. "That is enough," the Lord said. "Do not speak to me anymore about this matter. Go up to the top of Pisgah and look west and north and south and east. Look at the land with your own eyes, since you are not going to cross this Jordan. But commission Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see."

Deuteronomy 4:21-24 " The Lord was angry with me because of you, and he solemnly swore that I would not cross the Jordan and enter the good land the Lord your God is giving you as your inheritance. I will die in this land; I will not cross the Jordan; but you are about to cross over and take possession of that good land. Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God."

Deuteronomy 31:1-2 "Then Moses went out and spoke these words to all Israel: "I am now a hundred and twenty years old and I am no longer able to lead you. The Lord has said to me, 'You shall not cross the Jordan.'

Deuteronomy 32:48-52 "On that same day the Lord told Moses, "Go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. This is because both of you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites. Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel."

Deuteronomy 34:1-5 "Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the Lord showed him the whole land-from Gilead to Dan, all of Naphtali, the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Mediterranean Sea, the Negev and the whole region from the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palms, as far as Zoar. Then the Lord said to him, "This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, 'I will give it to your descendants.' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it." And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is."


What great sin did Moses commit?

Numbers 20:1-12 tells us that the Israelites were at a place in the wilderness that had no water. The people started complaining. Moses and Aaron went to the Lord. God told Moses to ""Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink." However, instead of speaking to the rock, Moses in anger raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out and the people had their water, yet the LORD said to Moses and Aaron "Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them."


We must trivialize what Moses did. God took it pretty seriously-- for the rock he struck was a type for Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:1-4 says; "For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ."

Lessons and reflections

While there is forgiveness from God--there are still consequences that come for disobeying Him and doing what we want

We need to understand and accept that there will be and are consequences for our acts of rebellion and disobedience. (There is no point arguing over such things with God-- as Moses found out when the Lord told him not to speak of it any longer)*** Deuteronomy 3:26

Even in judgment, God's mercy and grace shines through-- For God allowed Moses to see the Land. He does not treat us our sins deserve.

Additional: While Moses was not allowed to go into the physical land of Promise-- He is in the Spiritual one. Moses is in Heaven. We know this because he appeared with Christ and Elijah on the Mt. of Transfiguration


The fourth passage I want to draw your attention to is Deuteronomy 4:29

"But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul."

While given in the context of what would happen if the Israelites rejected God and His ways and did their own thing-- the result being exile from the land- Note the GREAT INVITATION and the GREAT PROMISE

God's great invitation: Seek him will all your heart and soul

God's great promise: You will find Him-- such is the depths of Mercy and Grace to sinners like you and me

This text reminds me of Isaiah 55:6-7 which says "Seek the LORD while you can find him.
Call on him now while he is near. Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously" Such is very similar to Isaiah 45:22 which says "Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other"

This text reminds me of Jesus in the the account of John 1:43ff. Jesus finds Philip and tells him to "Follow me.". Philip then goes and finds Nathanael and says "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote- Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph"

Point: Jesus: A seeking Savior who finds sinners seeking a Savior.

Application: Be reconciled to God! Take hold of Jesus in faith and repentance. Turn to him for the forgiveness of your sins and eternal life.