Deuteronomy: Fifth Book of Moses

deuteronomy

In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses reviewed the mighty acts of God for the nation of Israel. Remembering God’s special involvement in our lives gives us hope and encouragement in the future.

Obeying God’s laws brought blessings to the Israelites and disobeying brought misfortune. This was part of the written agreement God made with his people.  Although we are not part of this covenant, the principle holds true; obedience and disobedience carry inevitable consequences in this life and the next.

Moses called the people to commit. God still calls us to be committed to love him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Although Moses made some serious mistakes, he had lived uprightly and carried out God’s commands. Moses died with integrity. We too may make some serious mistakes, but that should not stop us from living with integrity and godly commitment.


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The book of Deuteronomy is written in the form of a treaty between a king and his vassal state typical of the second millennium B. C. It calls Israel to remember who God is and what he has done. lacking faith, the old generation had wandered for 40 years and died in the desert. They left Egypt behind but never knew the promised land. Then on the east bank of the Jordan River, Moses prepared the sons and daughters of that faithless generation to possess the land. After a brief history lesson emphasizing God’s great acts on behalf of the people. Moses reviewed the law. Then he restated the covenant – God’s contract with his people.

The lessons are clear. Because of what God has done, Israel should have hope and follow him; because of what he expects, they should listen and obey; because of who he is, they should love him completely. Learning these lessons will prepare them to possess the promised land.

As you read the message of Deuteronomy, remember how God has expressed his kindness in your life, and then commit yourself anew to trust, love, and obey him.

Writer of Deuteronomy

Conservative Bible students are united in their conviction that Moses wrote this book, but many liberal scholars theorize that Deuteronomy was written several centuries later. This theory, unfortunately, overlooks the statement of the book itself that Moses wrote Deuteronomy and the use of the first person pronoun throughout the book. Chapter 34, about his death, probably was added by his successor Joshua as a tribute to Moses. The date of the writing must have been sometime around 1400 B.C.

To Whom Written

Israel (the new generation entering the promised land)

Theological Contribution of Deuteronomy

The New Testament contains more than 80 quotations from Deuteronomy; Jesus himself often quoted from Deuteronomy. During His temptation, He answered Satan with four quotations from Scripture. When Jesus was asked to name the most important commandment in the law, He responded with the familiar call from Deuteronomy: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.

Special Considerations in Deuteronomy

Some people look upon the laws of God in the Old Testament as burdensome and restrictive. The book of Deuteronomy, however, teaches that God’s laws are given for our own good to help us to stay close to Him in our attitudes and behavior.


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