THE SCENE AND BACKGROUND OF THE GREAT BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY: MESSAGES FOR ALL BELIEVERS, 1:1-5

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(1:1-5) Introduction— Nation, Foundation of— Society, Basis of— Victorious Life, Basis of: God had delivered the Israelites from the enslavement of Egypt (a symbol of the world), and He had led them through forty years of wilderness wanderings. This has been seen in the great books of Exodus and Numbers. The book of Numbers closed with the Israelites camped in the plains of Moab close by the Jordan River, right across from the great city of Jericho.

At last, they are poised to enter the promised land of God. But before they can cross the Jordan to lay claim to their promised inheritance, they must be prepared—spiritually prepared. Spiritual preparation is the thrust of the great book of Deuteronomy. To prepare the people, Moses preached a series of messages that were grouped under three basic subjects:

1.  The need to remember the lessons from history (Deut. 1:6-4:43). By learning from the past, the Israelites would know how to conquer the promised land and build a strong, orderly society within the promised land.

2.  The need to remember the Ten Commandments and the laws that are to govern man and society (Deut. 4:44-26:19). The Israelites had to know and obey the law to please God. They had to know the law in order to live victorious and fruitful lives and to build a just and righteous society.

3.  The charge to rededicate their lives to God, to renew their covenant or commitment with God (Deut. 27:1-30:20). Once the Israelites had been led to recommit their lives to God, then and only then would they be ready to inherit the promised land of God. This Moses knew. Thus he preached a series of messages under each of these three main subjects.

Note that while the first outline of Deuteronomy covers only five verses, it serves as an introduction to the entire book. This is: The Scene and Background of the Great Book of Deuteronomy: Messages for All Believers, 1:1-5.

1.  The messenger—Moses, the servant of God: a symbol of Christ and of the minister (v.1).

2.  The recipients—"all Israel": a symbol of all believers (v.1).

3.  The strategic place, east of the Jordan—right at the entrance to the promised land: a symbol of heaven and of spiritual conquest and rest (v.2).

4.  The time—40 years after the Exodus: a symbol of God's great deliverance from this world and its enslavements (v.3).

5.  The message: the Word of God—all the commandments of God (v.3).

6.  The purpose (v.4-5).

 

1. (1:1) Messenger, of God— Servant, of God— Moses, Messenger of God— Symbol, of Christ: there was the messenger, Moses, the servant of God. As the messenger of God, Moses was a symbol of both Christ and the minister of God. Moses was chosen by God...

•  to be the liberator of Israel, freeing them from Egyptian slavery

•  to be the great leader of Israel, leading them to the promised land

•  to be the founding father of Israel as a nation

•  to be the intercessor who stood between God and His people

But this was not all. God also chose Moses to be the messenger of God, the great giver and communicator of the law of God. It is this call, this function of Moses—to be the messenger of God—that is the focus of the great Book of Deuteronomy. God had three sermons—three strong challenges—that He wanted declared to His people. In obedience to God, the messenger of God was to stand boldly before the people and preach the sermons. This is one of the great scenes of the Book of Deuteronomy: Moses standing and preaching three sermons, three strong challenges to the people of God.

 

Thought 1. The minister of God is chosen to proclaim the Word of God to the people of God. This is the very purpose for which he is called: to be the messenger of God, to proclaim the Word of God.

 

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).

"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you" (John 15:16).

"He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep" (John 21:17).

"And straightway he [Paul] preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God" (Acts 9:20).

"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood" (Acts 20:28).

"Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind" (1 Peter 5:2).

"I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence" (Isaiah 62:6).

"And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding" (Jeremiah 3:15).

"And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord" (Jeremiah 23:4).

"Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me" (Ezekiel 3:17).

 

Thought 2. Moses stood between God and the people, stood as the messenger of God. As the messenger of God, Moses is a picture of Christ. Jesus Christ came to earth as the perfect Messenger of God, came to save man and to proclaim the way of salvation to man.

 

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11).

"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:16-17).

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).

"Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins" (Acts 5:31).

"Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25).

 

2. (1:1) Israel, Messages to— Symbol, of Israel, Believers— Believers, Symbolized by Israel— Deuteronomy, Recipients: the recipients of the messages were the Israelites, the people chosen by God to be His witnesses upon earth. As the people of God, Israel was a symbol of believers, a symbol of all who would become true followers of the Promised Seed, the coming Messiah and Savior of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ, God's very own Son.

Note that Moses preached to "all" the Israelites, not just to a small number of them. These messages were important, so important that everyone needed to hear what was being preached.

 

Thought 1. The message of God's Word is important, so important that every person needs to hear and heed what God has to say. People should be running to hear the Word of God preached and taught, seeking after the Lord while He may be found.

 

"Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near" (Isaiah 55:6).

"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39).

"But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name" (John 20:31).

"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11).

"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope" (Romans 15:4).

"Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (1 Cor. 10:11).

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15).

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16).

"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious" (1 Peter 2:2-3).

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God" (1 John 5:13).

"But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul" (Deut. 4:29).

 

Thought 2. The true Israelite believers were a type, a picture of all who would believe and become followers of the Promised Seed, the coming Messiah and Savior of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

"And he [Abraham] received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised" (Romans 4:11-12).

"He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification" (Romans 4:20-25).

"Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham" (Galatians 3:6-9).

"Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ" (Galatians 3:16).

 

3. (1:2) Promised Land— Israel, Second Generation of— Israel, Preparation to Enter the Promised Land: the strategic place where the messages were preached was east of the Jordan River—right at the entrance to the promised land (see Map of the Wilderness Wanderings of Israel). Israel was camped by the river, right across from the great city of Jericho—poised to enter the promised land. The people were anxious, excited. For years they had longed for this day to come, the day they would enter the promised land and be able to settle down, build their homes and cities, plant their crops, start their businesses, establish their worship center, and live like God expected them to live—in spiritual conquest and rest. They had never known what it was to have a permanent roof over their heads, to live in freedom and security, nor to possess the spiritual peace and rest that God alone gives to those who walk obediently before Him.

But now the Israelites stood at the threshold of laying claim to the inheritance promised by God. There the land lay, right across the river from them. Obviously, as any of us would do, various groups of Israelite believers often gathered on the bank of the Jordan River, excitedly talking about what they were going to do when they inherited their place in the promised land of God.

This was the setting for the three great messages that are preached in the Book of Deuteronomy, a strategic setting—by the Jordan River across from the great city of Jericho. The people were poised to enter the promised land of God.

 

Thought 1. Two strong lessons are seen in this point.

1)  Some people stand on the threshold of receiving Christ and inheriting the promised land of God. But note: they have not yet crossed the threshold. They are still on the outside, still refusing to receive Christ as their Savior. The consequence is tragic: they continue to live in unbelief. They never receive the promised land of heaven, never know the spiritual conquest and rest of God, and never inherit eternal life.

2)  Other believers are on the threshold of entering the promised land of conquest, victory, and spiritual rest. But they have not yet crossed the threshold. After their conversion, they fail to study and grow in Christ, fail to learn how to walk and live for Christ. Some sin, some worldliness, some unbelief seeps into their lives. The consequence is tragic: they live defeated not victorious lives, restless not restful lives. They simply do not experience spiritual conquest and victory, do not possess the spiritual rest of soul that conquers all the trials and temptations of this life and that fills the soul with the deepest sense of fulfillment, purpose, and satisfaction.

 

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matthew 11:29).

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:35, 37-39).

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Cor. 10:13).

"Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest)" (Hebrews 3:7-11).

"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God" (Hebrews 3:12).

"But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end" (Hebrews 3:13-14).

"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it" (Hebrews 4:1-2).

"Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief" (Hebrews 4:11).

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).

"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1 John 5:4-5).

"I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not" (Jude 5).

"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them" (Rev. 14:13).

"And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest" (Exodus 33:14).

"Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee" (Psalm 116:7).

"And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve" (Isaiah 14:3).

 

4. (1:3) Deliverance, of Israel, from Egyptian Slavery— Israel, Second Generation— Preparation, to Enter the Promised Land— Promised Land, Preparation to Enter: the messages of Deuteronomy were preached forty years after the Exodus of Israel from Egyptian slavery. Keep in mind that Egypt is a symbol of the world with all its enslavements and bondages. The Exodus is a picture of God's great deliverance from the enslavement of this world, from the sin and death of this world.

Standing there on the banks of the Jordan River, they must have thought about the great Exodus that had taken place forty years earlier; and remember, the forty years of wilderness wanderings had just ended. This is significant: it means that the people standing before Moses were the children of the Israelites who had experienced the great Exodus and the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai. All the adults of the first generation—20 years old and older—had died in the desert wilderness because of their terrible sin and unbelief, died under the judgment of God. Only the children 20 years old and younger had survived the ordeal of the wilderness wanderings and God's judgment. Many of the second generation had not yet been born or were too young to understand the law of God when it was first taught at Mt. Sinai. Consequently, there was great need for the present generation to be prepared before they could enter the promised land of God.

In fact, the second generation needed special preparation since they had not been eyewitnesses of the events of God's glorious power in delivering and guiding His people. There was a dire need for these events to be reviewed for one last time before the present generation of believers launched their campaign to claim the promised inheritance. A fresh grasp and consciousness of God's power and guidance were needed. The people needed a new work of God's Spirit in their hearts and lives. This was the setting for Deuteronomy when the messages of this great book were preached—forty years after the Exodus—at the very end of the forty-year wilderness journey.

 

Thought 1. A person has to be prepared to enter the spiritual conquest and rest of the promised land of heaven. Preparation is essential.

 

"Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober" (1 Thes. 5:5-6).

"Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:12-13).

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).

"Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless" (2 Peter 3:13-14).

"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown" (Rev. 3:11).

"Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame" (Rev. 16:15).

 

5. (1:3) Word of God— Commandments, of God— Deuteronomy, Message of: the message preached was the Word of God—all the commandments of God—all that God had commanded the people to do. The people needed to learn the Word of God, learn more and more about the commandments of God before they entered the promised land (Deut. 1:3). Like all people of all generations, they needed to know exactly...

  what God demanded and expected

•  how they were to live and where they could secure the power to live life to the fullest

•  what God had promised and how they could claim His promises

•  how they could secure the promised land of God and conquer the enemies who opposed them

•  how they could be assured of God's continued presence and blessings

 

God's Word, His commandments, answered all this for the people. Once they learned the Word of God, they would know how to live life to the fullest, live life exactly as God commanded. The people would be ready to enter the promised land of God, ready to lay claim to the great inheritance promised by God.

 

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him" (John 14:23).

"If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love" (John 15:10).

"These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full" (John 15:11).

"But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me" (John 15:21).

"And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified" (Acts 20:32).

"And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another" (Romans 15:14).

"Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (1 Cor. 10:11).

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Col. 3:16).

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15).

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16).

"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious" (1 Peter 2:2-3).

"And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment" (1 John 3:23).

"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word" (Psalm 119:9).

"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee" (Psalm 119:11).

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105).

"For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life" (Proverbs 6:23).

"Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts" (Jeremiah 15:16).

 

 

6. (1:4-5) Encouragement, to Live a Life of Victory— Victory, over Enemies— Promised Land, March to— Deuteronomy, Purpose of: there were two major purposes for preaching the messages of Deuteronomy.

1.  The people needed encouragement, a strong encouragement, to continue their victorious march into the promised land (Deut. 1:4). God had already given great victories over two mighty armies, the army of King Sihon of the Amorites and the army of King Og of Bashan (Numbers 21:21-35).

They were going to face terrifying enemies as they sought to enter and secure the promised land of God. Enemy after enemy would assault the people of God. A spirit of doubt, fear, and cowardice could grip the people and lead to their defeat. They needed a strong spirit of faith, courage, and conquest. God had assured them of the promised land, that the land would be theirs. Victory was assured if they marched forth in faith, believing and obeying God. They would triumph over all the enemies who tried to keep them out of the promised land of God. This was the purpose for the three messages of Deuteronomy: to encourage God's people—arouse them to continue their victorious march into the promised land.

 

Thought 1. As we march to the promised land of heaven, enemy after enemy will confront us, enemies such as...

•  temptations

•  trials

•  greed

•  lust

•  immorality

•  covetousness

•  theft

•  anger

•  malice

•  evil thoughts

•  drugs

•  alcohol

•  gluttony

•  bitterness

•  ill will

•  pride

•  haughtiness

•  selfishness

Such enemies stand opposed to the promised land of God. They are strong and mighty, able to enslave and defeat the believer. Such enemies will keep the believer out of the promised land, keep him from ever knowing the spiritual conquest and rest promised by God. But this is not the call of God. God calls the believer to victory. The believer can rest assured: the power of God is at his disposal. If he will just believe and obey God, he will conquer and triumph over all the enemies who oppose him. Victory is guaranteed. The conquering power of God in the life of the believer is assured.

 

"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls" (Luke 21:17-19).

"Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God" (Romans 6:13).

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us...Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:35, 37, 39).

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Cor. 10:13).

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:3-5).

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Ephes. 6:10-13).

"But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses" (1 Tim. 6:11-12).

"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier" (2 Tim. 2:3-4).

"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him" (James 1:12).

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).

"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1 John 5:4-5).

"For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars" (2 Chron. 16:9).

"The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them" (Psalm 34:7).

"Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us" (Psalm 44:5).

"My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not" (Proverbs 1:10).

"Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men" (Proverbs 4:14).

 

2.  The people needed the law of God explained one last time by God's aged servant, and they again needed to renew their covenant with God. They needed these two things before Moses died and before they set out to conquer the promised land of God (Deut. 1:5).

The word "law" (Torah) means more than just dictates, commandments, and statutes. Basically, the law (Torah) means all the instructions and teachings of God. It refers to the entire Pentateuch or Decalogue, the first five books of the Bible. The law includes all that the Lord commanded (Deut. 1:3): the Ten Commandments, the civil and religious laws, and all the other instructions given by God to His people. It is the wonderful law of God (Torah)—the full instruction and teaching of God—that tells people how to live life to the fullest. (See Deeper Study #1—Deut. 4:1-2 for more discussion.) It was the law of God that the people needed to review right before entering the promised land. Once they were in the promised land, the law needed to be fresh upon their minds. It was the law of God—the full scope of His Word and teaching—that told the people what to do and how to live. But note this fact as well: the law of God is a covenant between God and man. The covenant of the law is conditional. God promised to bless man; but to receive the blessings of God's promises, a person must obey God. A person does not inherit the promised land unless he obeys God. The very purpose for explaining the law was to stir the people to obey God—to arouse them to renew their covenant or commitment to God. This was the purpose for the three messages being preached to the people of God, the very purpose for the great Book of Deuteronomy being written.

 

Thought 1. Man desperately needs to learn the law of God—all the instructions and teachings of God. It is the law of God that tells us what to do and how to live life to the fullest. Keep in mind that Jesus Christ came to fulfill the law. (See note—