The Book of Deuteronomy, Deuteronomy 1-2. The definition of Deuteronomy is Second Law. It is a retelling of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers by Moses. Included is an extended review of the Ten Commandments, and Moses' farewell address to the people.
1 These are the words that
Moses spoke to all Israel beyond the Jordan in the wilderness, in the
Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and
Dizahab. 2 It is eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of Mount
Seir to Kadesh-barnea. 3 In the fortieth year, on the first day of the
eleventh month, Moses spoke to the people of Israel according to all
that the Lord had given him in commandment to them, 4 after he had
defeated Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og
the king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth and in Edrei. 5 Beyond the
Jordan, in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to explain this law,
saying, 6 “The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, ‘You have stayed long
enough at this mountain. 7 Turn and take your journey, and go to the
hill country of the Amorites and to all their neighbors in the Arabah,
in the hill country and in the lowland and in the Negeb and by the
seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great
river, the river Euphrates. 8 See, I have set the land before you. Go in
and take possession of the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to
Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their offspring
Deteronomy 1:1-8, English Standard Version
The definition of Deuteronomy is Second Law. It is a retelling of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers by Moses. Included is an extended review of the Ten Commandments, and Moses' farewell address to the people. The theme or summary of Deuteronomy is God's faithfulness and love, as well as His wrath against disobedience, particularly that of the previous generation of Israelites.
What would you do? You have carried the burden of this great people for over 40 years, and now the time has come for you to pass the baton of leadership to another. These are your last words to this great congregation. What would you say? That is where Moses found himself as the people camped on the shores of the Jordan River, ready to go in and possess God's promised land.
As we travel through this book, we will note a two-sided coin, so to speak. On one side is the great and awesome love and protection of God toward His people. The other side is the continual reminder of judgment and woe for those who choose to disobey God's call of obedience.
Are things really much different today? How important is the book of Deuteronomy to us in the 21st century? What is the purpose of the Law? Not one of us can obey it perfectly, therefore it can not bring salvation to us. Why, then, study it?
It is good for us, in our study of this book, to see both sides of God: His love and kindness as well as His justice and judgment. In our day we hear much of the love of God and rightly so! Who has hear of such love that even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly that He might save a people for Himself. However, right beside that love is justice and judgment. To those who do not choose this great gift of love, there is justice and judgment. To the nation that turns its back on the things of God, one should not be surprised by great traumatic events that come upon the land. God in His great love is trying to turn the hearts of the people back to Him.
Paul, in Romans 8:7, addresses the reason for studying Deuteronomy in this way:
Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would
not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, "You shall not
Think about that; is not that where we find ourselves in the world we live in today? Laws have become relative; what is right or wrong to you may be different from what is right or wrong to me. It is the "I'm OK, you're OK" mentality. God's Law, however, never changes; His Word is the same yesterday, today, and forever. When the laws of the land run contrary to God's Law, we as believers must remain true to God's Law.
In the end, when Christ returns, all wrongs will be made right and all people will bow the knee before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Pray for Christian growth and understanding of God's law, as we walk together through the book of Deuteronomy, the Second Law.
Devotionals from the Book of Deuteronomy
Devotional Reflections Home Page