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Introduce the storyline of Scripture up to this point…
Now the 40 year journey through the wilderness is complete.
Even in the wilderness journey, God has been with His people.
Deuteronomy is a series of speeches from Moses to the people, as they stand at the cusp of entering the land once again.
Deuteronomy in a Sentence:
The purpose of Deuteronomy is to summarize and renew the covenant in preparation for entering into the land.

Moses’s First Speech

Moses reminds the people of what has taken place up to this point.
God had miraculously delivered them from slavery in Egypt, and promised to give them the land He had promised to their forefathers.
He brought them safely across the Red Sea, and gave them His law on Mt. Sinai.
God provided water, and Manna for them on the journey, until they finally came to the Jordan River, the border of the Promised Land.
After sending spies out though, the people were too afraid of the natives, and refused to go in, and complained about God’s plan.
God then promised they would wander in the wilderness for 40 years, and none of that generation would enter the Promised Land.
Now, 40 years has passed, and they are about cross over to the Promised Land again.
Moses is now reminding the people of the previous generation’s unfaithfulness to God.
He is now reminding them of God’s laws, and commanding them to be obedient to them so that they will experience His blessing.
The majority of this book is restating and elaborating on the Law, but before Moses does that, He gives the purpose of the law in Deut. 4:1-8.
As we read this section of Scripture, I want you to think about this question:
What is the purpose of God’s laws for His people?
Deuteronomy 4:1–8 ESV
“And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you. Your eyes have seen what the Lord did at Baal-peor, for the Lord your God destroyed from among you all the men who followed the Baal of Peor. But you who held fast to the Lord your God are all alive today. See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?
It is a witness to the nations around them.
They would see the wisdom/love/grace/mercy/care of the Israelites God, and be drawn to Him rather than their false gods.
Why do you think Moses recounts Israel’s history before giving the law and coming to the Promised Land?
It is a reminder of where the previous generation failed.
Obey God’s law so that you don’t suffer God’s discipline as they did.
This is one of the reasons we need to be students of God’s Word.
We need to see how God dealt with previous generations, so that we will learn from their failures and follow God and His Word faithfully.
Then we will experience His blessing, and be a light to the world around us.
Can you think of a practical way that your obedience to God would be a light to those around you on a daily basis?
The fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Forgiving people when they do something wrong.
Confessing sin when you do something wrong, and seeking forgiveness.
Thinking the best of others, or situations.
Moses’ first speech included him recounting the Israelite’s history, and stating the purpose of God’s law.
Now we move to...

Moses’s Second Speech

Now Moses transitions to the law itself.
He reminds them of when they first received the law in Deuteronomy 5:1-5
Deuteronomy 5:1–5 ESV
And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the rules that I speak in your hearing today, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them. The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. Not with our fathers did the Lord make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today. The Lord spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire, while I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord. For you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up into the mountain. He said:
This was to remind them that God saved them, and that He personally met with them to give them His law.
God saved His people so that they could show the world the wisdom and goodness of God.
Then Moses reminds the people of the 10 Commandments.
What are the 10 Commandments?
The bulk of Deuteronomy is the giving of more laws.
I found something helpful in a book I was reading called, “A Survey of the Old Testament” by Andrew Hill and John Walton.
Rather than seeing all of these laws as random additions to God’s law, we should actually see them as elaborating on the 10 Commandments.
Here is an outline that you can study for yourself:
The Decalogue (5:6—21)
Response of the people (5:22—33)
Elaboration of the Decalogue (6:1—26:15)
Commandment 1 (6—11)
Commandment 2 (12)
Commandment 3 (13:1—14:21)
Commandment 4 (14:22—16:17)
Commandment 5 ( 16:18—18:22)
Commandment 6 (19—21)
Commandment 7 (22:1—23:14)
Commandment 8 (23:15—24:7)
Commandment 9 (24:8—16)
Commandment 10 (24:17—26:15)
Concluding Exhortation (26:16—19)
Document Clause (27:1—10)
Curses and Blessings (27:11—28:68)
The concluding exhortation says in Deut 26:16-19:
Deuteronomy 26:16–19 ESV
“This day the Lord your God commands you to do these statutes and rules. You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul. You have declared today that the Lord is your God, and that you will walk in his ways, and keep his statutes and his commandments and his rules, and will obey his voice. And the Lord has declared today that you are a people for his treasured possession, as he has promised you, and that you are to keep all his commandments, and that he will set you in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that he has made, and that you shall be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised.”
God saved the Israelites so they could experience His goodness, and be a light to the nations around Him.
The Israelites agreed to the covenant. They owed Him their lives, and were grateful for His salvation.
This is the basis for the curses and blessings.
If they would not obey, God would discipline them, because they were not living up to their end of the covenant.
If they would obey, God would bless them.
We tend to view the OT and the law negatively. It’s restrictive. It’s legalistic.
Andrew Hill and John Walton talk about this in their book “A Survey of the Old Testament.”
We are used to drawing a sharp contrast between law and grace. This would have puzzled the ancient Israelite for whom there was hardly any greater display of God's grace than that demonstrated in his giving of the law. In the ancient near East, gods were not known for their consistency. Worshippers were left to guess what might please their god or displease him, and this could change from day to day.
That doubt and uncertainty lead to constant confusion, and one could only guess whether he or she was in favour or out of favour by evaluating one’s daily fortune. The law changed all that for the Israelites. Their God had chosen to reveal himself into tell them plainly what he expected of them. One result of this perspective is that in the Old Testament the Israelites are not heard complaining about the burdensomeness of the law.
It was a great example of God's love for them that he would communicate to them in this way. They considered themselves fortunate to be able to know what God requires of them. The law was viewed as a delight rather than drudgery, as freedom of revelation rather than fetters of restriction. There is no place where this positive perspective on the spirit of the law is as evident as in the book of Deuteronomy.
Think of Psalm 119.
There are 176 verses, and the Psalmist mentions the law 173 times!
Let’s read Psalm 119:1—8
Psalm 119:1–8 (ESV)
Blessed are those whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,
who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong,
but walk in his ways!
You have commanded your precepts
to be kept diligently.
Oh that my ways may be steadfast
in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame,
having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart,
when I learn your righteous rules.
I will keep your statutes;
do not utterly forsake me!
The Israelites loved the law, and knew the benefit it brought.
They did lose their way though, and were not faithful to it, but we should see them as generally appreciating God’s law.
Can you think of times where you found God’s Word burdensome, or saw it as legalistic?
When I read the OT, and the laws they had to follow I sometimes feel that way. They don’t seem to really make sense, and just seem unneccessarily restrictive.
We must learn to love God’s law with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength!
We can do that when we understand it’s purpose.
It helps us know God.
We experience the blessing of this life when we follow His design for us. (He is the One who designed it!)
Our personal lives…
As well as our interactions with others.
We then shine as lights pointing to His glory.
Jesus summarized the law into two statements:
Luke 10:27 ESV
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
So in Moses’ first speech, he reminds the people of their history, as well as the purpose of God’s law.
In Moses’ second speech, he gives them the law, and elaborates on it.
Now we move on to…

Moses’s Third Speech: Final Charge

Now the Israelites must choose what they will do.
Moses sets the decision before them in Deut 30:11-20
Deuteronomy 30:11–20 ESV
“For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
The Israelites could clearly see God’s hand of salvation, protection, and blessing.
They had His law, and knew how to please Him by walking according to His Word.
Now they had to choose to believe it by faith, and prove it with their works.
As we fast forward to the coming of the new covenant through Jesus Christ, we read in…
Galatians 4:4–5 (ESV)
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
Jesus was fully human, and born under the law.
He had to obey the law just like everyone else, the only difference was that He did it perfectly.
By doing this, He redeemed those under the law.
Does this mean the law is bad/oppresive? No!
We are under the law in two basic ways:
1. We think strict obedience to the law saves us.
2. We are cursed because we are guilty sinners.
Galatians 3:13–14 (ESV)
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
Through His sacrifice for us, we are His children through faith in Him.
We are adopted into God’s family as His children.
Now, because He has saved us, we should see His Word as a blessing to us, to show us how to live a life that’s pleasing to Him.
As we follow it we learn to love God.
We have peace and blessing through His Spirit.
We learn to love others around us. AND…
We shine as lights to those around us.
Let’s pray!
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