Deuteronomy (Program #25) – The Final Exhortation and Charges, The Blessing of Moses
Deuteronomy, the mysterious little book with a very strange name. Actually it means re-speaking or second speaking as we have seen over the past weeks and this is the an account of Moses re-speaking the law with all of the statues and all the ordinances to a new generation of the children of Israel as they were about to enter into the land of Israel, the good land. But incorporated into this book were page after page of serious warnings of the curses that were befall Israel if they were to not listen to the word of Jehovah.
Near the end of the book, there is a long section, chapter 33, called the song of Moses that accounts in poetic form many incorporated in this book and it concludes this way, a very fitting conclusion to the entire book of Deuteronomy. “So Israel dwelt securely, The fountain of Jacob in solitude, On a land of grain and new wine; And the heavens over him drop their dew. Happy are you, O Israel; who is like you? A people saved by Jehovah, The shield of your help And He who is the sword of your majesty! So your enemies shall come cringing to you, And you shall tread upon their high places.”
The history of the nation of Israel is the story of both blessing and cursing. Often victorious under God’s divine provision and protection and at other times when they had been especially rebellious against God’s, we see Israel’s suffering attack and even scattered out of the land.
After 19 centuries of such a scattering the Lord fulfilled His prophetic word in Zechariah chapter 1 where He said “Therefore thus says Jehovah, I return to Jerusalem with compassions; My house will be built in it, declares Jehovah of hosts, and a measuring line will be stretched over Jerusalem. Cry out again, saying, Thus says Jehovah of hosts, My cities will again overflow with good, and Jehovah will again comfort Zion and will again choose Jerusalem.” This prophetic word was fulfilled in the last century in the beginning of 1948 and the nation of Israel once again was restored. The promise of both the blessing and the cursing of Israel that we just referred to can be found in Deuteronomy specially in chapter 28.
Deuteronomy (Program #23) – Warning (Implying Grace) (1) and Christ in Deuteronomy – The Monument, the Altar, and the Offerings
In the land of Israel near the ancient city of Shechem they are two peaks. One is called Mount Ebal and the other is Mount Gerizim. The two were separated by a narrow valleys and to this day one is called the Mountain of Cursing and the other is the Mountain of Blessing. Because it was here that Moses commanded the children of Israel to erect a monument to the law and an altar for burn offering and peace offering. Under the law man is cursed but under the cross of Christ were He was offered to God as the unique offering, God and man find peace and the very man that was formerly cursed is brought under the blessing of righteous and Holy God.
Deuteronomy (Program #22) – The Rehearsal of the Law (16)
Deuteronomy contains a lengthy section, 13 chapters actually where Moses rehearsed or repeated the law that had came down from Jehovah on Mt Sinai. He was repeating it to a new generation of the children of Israel that had never heard it before.
We come today to the final program dealingwith this rehearsal of the law and how it concluded gloriously with the children of Israel declaring that they would keep these commandments and walk in them and Moses saying to them, “today you had declared Jehovah to be your God that you would walk on His way and keep His statues, His commandments and His judgments and listen to His voice and He will set you high above all the nations which He has made for praise and for a name and for honor and that you will be a holy people to Jehovah your God as He has spoken.”
Deuteronomy (Program #21) – The Rehearsal of the Law (15)
Deuteronomy or the re-speaking of the law has a long portion containing many of the detail statues and ordinances that supplemented the basic 10 commandments. Among these were stringent prohibitions against mixture. For example, a woman was not to wear a man’s clothing and vice verse. Also an ox was not to be yoked with a donkey to plow a field. These statues even went so far to prohibit the wearing of wool and cotton at the same time. What does all of these have to do with us as New Testament believers? Outwardly of course we are not under these same restrictions. But there is an inward, an intrinsic principle which does have a real application for us as the New Testament believers, as we will see in today’s life study of Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy (Program #20) – The Rehearsal of the Law (14)
Warfare is a big topic in the Bible, what is warfare to a christian? The New Testament talks about it and especially in Ephesians chapter 6 and most Christians are aware that there is such a thing as spiritual warfare. Of course the Old Testaments records many battles fought by the children of Israel and we know that these typify the spiritual battle that believers are called to today. We probably also realize that our fight is against Satan and his forces of darkness but in any battle it’s crucial to understand not only who you are fighting against but positively what you are fighting for? As we see Moses preparing Israel as an army as they were about to enter into the good land.
Deuteronomy (Program #19) – The Rehearsal of the Law (13)
If you drive through virtually any major city these days, it’s hard not to see shop after shop for fortune tellers, crystal ball readers, palm readers and spiritualists. Even the television and radio carry advertisements for people claiming that they can tell our future just by talking to them on the telephone.
Though this industry seems to be flourishing of late, it is not something new. People claiming they have such super natural powers has been around through the ages. Old Testament books like Deuteronomy warned God’s people against engaging such ones. Other books of the history like Samuel even tell the story of Saul, the king of Israel who sought out such counsel. What motivates people, even God’s people to seek out such prophets? And more seriously what is behind this activity that caused Jehovah God to react so strongly against it?
Deuteronomy (Program #18) – The Rehearsal of the Law (12)
When Jehovah God gave the 10 commandments to Moses on Mt Sinai to pass on to the children of Israel, they failed to understand that God was giving them a portrait of Himself. In any society, the laws of that society reflect the kind of person the law giver is. But not only did the 10 basic commandments review our God in His person so also do the detail ordinances and statues that followed.
Deuteronomy, is the rehearsing or re-speaking of the law to a new generation of Israelites waiting to enter into the good land. And each of them unveils more of what kind of God we have.
Deuteronomy (Program #17) – The Rehearsal of the Law (11)
The politics of the world shows us a few models for how mankind govern himself. There are dictatorships and monarchies on one hand and various forms of democracy on the other. One is according to the opinions of one man and the others are according to the opinions of the people. Logically as God’s people, a kind of spiritual nation we may bring one or the other of these model into the Church. But Israel, God’s Old Testament people received detail instructions of how they were to be governed. Neither as a democracy or as autocracy but with a divine government a government by God and according to what God is.
Deuteronomy (Program #16) – The Rehearsal of the Law (10)
Through out the centuries, mankind has struggled to properly and justly govern himself. How grateful we are as a nation to be living in a democracy where we have so much freedom. No doubt this is God’s mercy to us. When so many people on this earth are living under the oppression and tyranny of dictators of unrighteous monarchs. But as wonderful as the democracy is, in the Bible God’s way for the governing of His people was not a democracy neither was it by dictators or kings. What God desires for His people, Israel and for us His people today within the Church is a theocracy that is government by God’s divine ruling. This matter is covered in some detail by Moses in the book of Deuteronomy as the children of Israel who were preparing to enter into the good land.