Picture this. You are among the 40 years old and younger in Israel. You have watched your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles all die in the wilderness because of their unbelief. You don’t wish to repeat their lack of faith or take numerous laps around Mt. Sinai until you learn your lesson. So, while encamped on the plains of Moab, you listen intently to Moses’ last three sermons. This is the book of Deuteronomy.
The name Deuteronomy means “Second Law.” It’s best understood as “Repetition of Law” not “Second Law.” It was not a second law, but rather Moses’ three sermons explaining the Law written down in a book and given to the priests (31:9). Words you would hear over and over include “hear” (50x), “do, keep, observe” (177x), and “remember” (14x). So, in a nutshell, Moses’ sermons are calls to hear the Word of the Lord, obey it, and always remember from where God has brought them.
In my reading through Deuteronomy last week, I noticed many admonitions which are reinforced by New Testament teaching and, therefore, need to be applied by us today. I will only mention six of them.
Here’s a Bible study idea for you to do this week. You may also listen to the sermon online and follow along with this outline.
1. Always remember the basis of God’s electing grace is His love for you, not your love for Him (7:6-9).
Reinforced in the New Testament by Jesus: Read John 15:16
Reinforced and applied to believers by the apostle Peter: Read 1 Peter 2:9
2. Always remember the blessing of God is connected to the obedience of your faith (7:9-13; 8:1).
Reinforced in the New Testament by Jesus: Read John 14:21
3. Always remember your spiritual life cannot thrive without regular feeding on the written Word of God (8:2-3).
Reinforced in the New Testament by Jesus: Read Matthew 4:4, John 17:17. Take note that Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy when doing battle against Satan. When the devil tempted Jesus to defy the Word of God, Jesus fought it off with Scripture.
4. Never forget everything you possess and achieve is from the Lord (8:7-18).
Reinforced in the NT by Jesus: John 15:5
Reinforced by Paul, too: 1 Corinthians 15:10
5. Never forget apostasy and idolatry provoke God’s anger, and the price of sin is always high (8:19-20; 9:7-8).
Reinforced in the NT by Jesus: Matthew 5:30
Reinforced by Paul and Peter, too: Galatians 6:7; 2 Peter 2:21
6. Always remember Jesus is the greater prophet of whom Moses spoke and, therefore, must be your highest priority and final authority (18:15-18).
Reinforced in the NT by Jesus: Matthew 7:15; John 5:46
Reminders, reminders, reminders. We all need them. So, let me leave with another reminder—with the promise of blessing to those who obey, and the warning of discipline to those who do not. In Matthew 7, Jesus said this:
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
It is the man, woman, or child who not only hears the words of Jesus, but also obeys them, who will build their life on the stability of the Lord.
[Adapted from yesterday’s sermon, Always Remember and Never Forget.]
On a personal note: I’m heading out on a family vacation so things will be quiet on the blog this week.