DEUTERONOMY – The 2nd Giving Of The Law
Introduction: Today we come to the book of Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Bible. It is the closing book of the Pentateuch. Deuteronomy records the last words of Moses to Israel. Moses reviewed the history of Israel and offered lawful advice to establish and maintain a spiritual and prosperous nation. These lawful principles form the Commonwealth of Israel (Eph. 2:12). A commonwealth generally designates a Republican frame of government, one in which the welfare and rights of the entire mass of people are the main consideration, rather than the privileges of a class or the will of a king or monarch. A commonwealth seeks the well-being of the common people through the common law (Esther 10:3).
A constitutional republic is that form of government in which the administration of affairs is open to all the citizens (Bouvier’s Law Dictionary 1856). The lawful authority in this form of government is retained by the common people (Prov. 29:2), whereas officials are elected as servants to the people. This was the foundational law for the nations of Israel and the original United States of America. The latter formed a Triune Republic with the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. This book serves as a handbook of a lawful foundation for any nation.
“Deuteronomy” is a word meaning, “the repeating of the law” or “the second law.” It records the second (deuce) giving of the Law. This makes it a duet of the Law. Actually, it is not “a second law,” but it recalls to memory what has already been given. This shows that repetition with variation is the key to learning (Isaiah 28:9-13; Luke 11:52). Learning from the failures of history is better than repeating them (Eccl. 1:9). National blessings or curses are dependent upon the people’s obedience to God’s word (Deut. 11:26-28; Ps. 33:12). The person God used to pen this book is Moses, and the theme of the book is “Moses’ Closing Words to the Israelites.” The book consists chiefly of three lengthy addresses delivered by Moses to the people just before his death. He spoke these to them on the east side of Jordan before they entered into the Promised Land.
Moses is soon to die; Joshua is soon to take over. The book of Deuteronomy is basically Moses’ advice to the people in his last days.
MOSES’ FIRST ADDRESS. Deuteronomy 1:6 – 4:49.
He recalls to the people their past history and reminds them how good God has been to them. This is a good idea for each of us to do. We should do this as a country, we should do this as a church, and we should do this as individuals.
He exhorts them earnestly to obedience to the ordinances.
He warns them against idolatry and the forsaking of Jehovah,, the God of their fathers and the only true God. Deuteronomy 4:1-40.
He speaks to them about the cities of refuge on the east side of the Jordan. Deuteronomy 4:41-49.
THE SECOND ADDRESS. Deuteronomy 5-27. Moses goes over the leading precepts of the law, which he, as the servant of God, has already declared to his people.
He reminds them of the covenant that God had made with them in Horeb.
He exhorts them to obedience. Of course, this is the key word for the Christian life, or, for that matter, for any other life or any country or any law and order. (Teacher, stress the importance of the pupils being obedient!)
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
John 15:10 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.
I John 5:2‑3 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
He admonishes the people to love Jehovah as the one true God. Since the greatest commandment is to love God, the worst sin that a person can commit would be to not love God.
Mark 12:28‑30 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
He tells them to be obedient to the law.He tells them to teach the law diligently to their children . Ah, here is something we ought to stress over and over again! We must teach the Word of God to the children.
He tells them to avoid all yokes of bondage with the idolatrous nations of Canaan. (Teacher, warn the pupils here about keeping bad company and running with the wrong crowd.)
1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
Proverbs 4:14‑15 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
Proverbs 9:6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
1 Corinthians 5:9‑11 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
II Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
II Thessalonians 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
He tells of God’s coming judgements on idolaters.
He promises victory over the Canaanites if they will obey God’s laws and God’s will.
He tells them that they should destroy all objects of idolatrous worship that they find in the land.
He warns them of the danger of self-confidence and pride.
Proverbs 16:18 PRIDE goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 18:12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.
Proverbs 11:2 When PRIDE cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
Proverbs 29:23 A man’s PRIDE shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.
Daniel 4:30‑31 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?
31 While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.
Acts 12:21‑23 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.
22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.
23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
Jeremiah 49:16 Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the PRIDE of thine heart, …….
Obadiah 1:3 The PRIDE of thine heart hath deceived thee, ……..
Psalm 10:2 The wicked in his PRIDE doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.
Psalm 10:4 The wicked, through the PRIDE of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
Proverbs 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Jeremiah 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
I John 2:15‑16 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
III. THE THIRD ADDRESS. This is found in Deuteronomy 27-28. The third address is not as lengthy as the second. He charges them to proclaim the blessing and curse by which the law was sanctioned. He sets forth the blessings that should come upon the people if they hearken to the voice of God and the curses that would befall them if they neglect His Word or refuse to obey it.
WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
Moses has now finished his three addresses. He closes the book by announcing Joshua to be his successor and encourages the people to follow Joshua. He pronounces blessings upon the tribes. He prepares for his own death and leaves his will. It is important that we plan for death as we realize we are not here forever. We should plan that our work will go on. Certainly, every Christian should have a will, which includes God and His work.
Some specific truths from Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
There are three warnings to not add or subtract word from the words of God (1 Chron. 10:13; Prov. 30:5-6; Rev. 22:18-19).
1 Chronicles 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it;
Sin against the words of God is equal to sin against God. Saul ignored one word of a command of God (1 Samuel 15:3). God’s wrath upon Bible revisers will equal his wrath on Sodom (Romans 1:18-32). The written word has a dual nature as the Lord Jesus. Both are eternal truth, which will judge men (John 5:22-27; 12:48). Both can be blasphemed (Titus 2:5; Revelation 16:11). Both deserve exaltation and glorification (Philippians 2:9-11; 2 Thessalonians 3:1), but God magnifies His written word above His name, and so shall man (Proverbs 4:7-9; Acts 13:48).
Deuteronomy 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
The word word is italicized. Is it is supposed to remain in the text? The decision about the italicized words is either they all stay or they all must be removed. Jesus answers that issue by his quotation of the passage in Luke 4:4. Jesus quotes the word word, which means that all of the italicized words are inspired of God. More examples are revealed by comparing Isaiah 65:1 with Romans 10:20, Ps. 94:11 with 1 Cor. 3:20, and Deut. 25:4 with 1 Cor. 9:9)
Deuteronomy 9:4-5 Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the Lord thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the Lord hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord doth drive them out from before thee.
5 Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Battles are won based upon the wickedness of the enemy, not upon the righteousness of the victor. The proper method in prayer is to remind God of the tyrant’s wickedness and don’t mention the personal righteousness of the saints (Ps. 109; Isaiah 50:7-11).
Deuteronomy 10:1-5 At that time the Lord said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood.
2 And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark.
3 And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand.
4 And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the Lord spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the Lord gave them unto me.
5 And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the Lord commanded me.
God preserves His words eternally (Psalm 12:6-7). The preservation of God’s word includes the inspiration of His words. Alexandrians or Bible revisers scoff at this example of double inspiration.