The Law – Torah
Theme of Deuteronomy
The revealed, taught, remembered, and applied Word of God is the life of God’s people as they enter the land, take possession of the land, and live as God’s people in the land. God’s word instructs, prepares, warns, protects, and blesses God’s people (30.19-20; 32.45-47).
Theme Scripture, 30.19-20
- Deuteronomy 30.19 "I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,
- Deuteronomy 30.20 by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them."
Background to Events
- The Lord has brought his people from Canaan to Egypt, and now to the Plains of Moab.
- Israel is the theocratic nation, the priest nation.
- The Exodus generation, who refused to believe that the Lord would make them victorious over the Canaanites and give them the promised land, has died off.
When Did All This Happen?
The events of Deuteronomy happened in 1445 BC, just prior to Joshua taking the Israelites across the Jordan and into Canaan.
Key Words Used
- Wrote, 5 times
- Law, 24 times; 16 times in 27-33
- Commandment, 9 times
- Commandments, 37 times
- Statutes, 29 times
- Remember, 15 times
- Obey, 14 times
- Bless, 21 times; Blessing, 12 times; Blesses, 2
- Not obey, 6 times
- Curse, 11 times; curses, 6 times
- Life, 20 times
The second generation Israelites are on the Plains of Moab, north of the Dead Sea and east of the Jordan River. Moses prepares them for the conquest by delivering three messages. First, he reviews God’s blessings to them during the wilderness wanderings. Then, Moses reviews the Law that God gave at Sinai so that they know God’s will and what God expects of them. Finally, Moses challenges this generation to learn and follow the Sinai Law. That done, Moses dies and Joshua leads.
- Moses reviews God’s wilderness blessings, 1-4
- Moses reviews God’s statues and ordinances, 5-26
- Moses charges Israel to keep God’s commandments, 27-30
- Moses’ Final Words and Death, 31-34
Moses reviews God’s wilderness blessings, 1-4
- Chapter 1: Recap—Sinai to Kadesh
- Chapter 2: Recap—Edom to Moab to Sihon of Heshbon
- Chapter 3: Recap—Og of Bashon, and Gilead
- Chapter 4: Israel, Watch yourselves—blessing or cursing
Moses reviews God’s statues and ordinances, 5-26
- Chapter 5: Moses recalls the Horeb Covenant
- Chapter 6: Listen, fear, obey, love the Lord
- Chapter 7: Remove the Canaanites
- Chapter 8: Remember the Lord your God
- Chapter 9: God’s grace, not Israel’s righteousness
- Chapter 10: Fear, walk, love, serve, keep
- Chapter 11: Blessing or cursing in the land
- Chapter 12: The central sanctuary
- Chapter 13: Capital punishment for idolatry
- Chapter 14: Clean and unclean. Tithe
- Chapter 15: Seven year loans. Poor. Servants. Firstborn
- Chapter 16: Annual feasts. Judges
- Chapter 17: Idolaters, trials. King
- Chapter 18: Levites, omens, a prophet
- Chapter 19: Cities of refuge. Witnesses
- Chapter 20: Warfare
- Chapter 21: War bride. Double portion. Incorrigible son
- Chapter 22: Good neighbors. Boundaries on sex
- Chapter 23: Regulations on people, foreign slaves, loans
- Chapter 24: Divorce, Loans, Poor
- Chapter 25: Court case, brother’s wife, weights and measures
- Chapter 26: First of produce. Tithe to Levites. His people
Moses charges Israel to keep God’s commandments, 27-30
- Chapter 27: The Law, Mt Ebal, and Mt Gerizim
- Chapter 28: Blessings and cursings
- Chapter 29: Lord’s covenant with Israel
- Chapter 30: Choose life and live
Moses’ Final Words & Death, 31-34
- Chapter 31: Joshua, the song, the law
- Chapter 32: Moses’ song is Israel’s life
- Chapter 33: Moses blesses Israel
- Chapter 34: Moses dies, Joshua leads
- Divine Revelation. 1.6
- Delegated authority and leadership. 1.13
- Uniqueness of Israel. 4.7-8
- Spiritual alertness. 4.9
- God provides for his people. 4.14
- Divine Discipline. 4.24
- Ten Commandments. 5.6
- Teaching children. 6.7
- Testing. 8.2
- Importance of the Word of God. 8.3
- Self-righteousness. 9.4
- Abrahamic Covenant and Theocratic line. 9.5
- Mosaic Law. 9.9
- Blessing and cursing. 11.26
- Divine Attributes. 13.17
- Faith-Application—Learn, Consider, Apply. 11.13
- Central sanctuary. 12.11
- False Prophets. 13.1
- Capital Punishment. 13.9
- Tithing. 14.22
- Poor people. 15.11
- Canaanite religion. 18.9
- Future Prophet. 18.15
- Judicial witness. 20.15
- Deterrence of crime. 19.20
- Holy War. 20.3
- Rebellious son. 21.18
- Blessing before cursing. 28.1, 15
- Repentance and blessing. 30.1
- Life and death, blessing and the curse. 30.19
- Spiritual Courage. 31.6
- Fear of the Lord. 31.13
- Passing the leadership mantle. 34.1
- Land Covenant. 34.1
- Abrahamic Covenant. 34.4
Lessons For Us Today
- God’s Word is our life (8.3; Matthew 4.4; Luke 4.4; James 1.21-25; 1 Peter 2.2; 2 Timothy 3.16-17).
- Communication of the Word (31.9-13; 1 Timothy 1.3; 6.17; 2 Timothy 2.2, 11, 15; 4.2-5).
- Faith-Application, choose blessing or cursing (1.30-8; 4.10, 14, 15, 23; 6.1 11.26-32; 28.1-2, 15; 30.19-20; Acts 17.27; Romans 6.6, 11, 12-13; Philippians 4.8-9; Colossians 3.23-25; Hebrews 4.1-16;James 1.21-25).
- Spiritual courage (1.30-38; 31.6; John 16.33; Acts 23.11; 2 Corinthians 4.16).
- Divine discipline (4.24; 1 Corinthians 11.29-30; Hebrews 12.5-13).
- Punishment deters crime (19.20; Romans 13.3-4; 1 Thessalonians 4.6).
- Faith focusing on Christ (Occupation with Christ) is like fear of the Lord (31.13; Galatians 2.20; Colossians 3.1-3; Hebrews 12.2).