On-Line Bible Lessons

Deuteronomy - Chapter 9, Lesson 1

Pastor Ovid Need

1. Now Moses seems to start a new theme. This portion of instruction by Moses covers one of the most prevalent, as well as the most dangerous, of all sins. Here he confronts this sin head on. This sin was the very first of all sins and is the cause of all sin. You will have no trouble spotting it in Isa. 14:12-15. Another account of this first sin is found in Ezek. 28:11-19. In v. 15 we find "--Till iniquity was found in thee." What was this iniquity, v. 17?
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Personally, I feel this sin took place AFTER Gen. 1:31 because there He says that God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. This would seem to include every­thing, but I am no language expert by any means. I do not know if it would include v. 1. If it does, that means Satan didn't fall until after v. 31. If it only includes from v. 3 on, then it could put the fall of Satan outside of "everything" of v. 31. Is everything of v. 31 everything?

All of that to say this. Deut. 9 deals with this most prevalent and most devastating of all sins, PRIDE.

2. What was God going to do for His people, vv. 1-3? _____________________________________

3. Moses emphasizes this over and over. Notice how many times Moses reminds them of this in vv. 1-5. Therefore, what was the danger here as they went into the land and the Lord showed Himself strong? _____________________________________________________________ ___

Here is a point we need to make as we pass through. Notice verses 1 and 2. You might make note of this. Numbers have nothing to do with strength. The nations of Canaan were stronger, greater, and taller than God's people, yet God promises to deliver them to His people. In fact, our God delights to show Himself strong through small people and groups in the world's eyes. He spe­cializes in working through the very insignificant person and groups of people who are right with Him. This is quite the contrary to the heathen's gods around us. They specialize in numbers and size. Their gods say "might makes right" where our God says "HE MAKES RIGHT".

It would seem that I Cor. 1:27-2:5 has been removed from the current day Christian's thinking as we go whoring after the heathen's gods of fleshly might and strength. Have we lost sight of the need of a holy life of prayer and self-denial because we now have the "strength" of numbers and money, Deut 31:16; Ps. 106:39?

Jer. 3:3 talks of a whore's forehead. This refers to a person who is unashamed that they have departed from dependence upon the living God. It could go even farther as they are proud of their numbers, size and strength, rather than seeing their utter helplessness before their enemies apart from their God.

I Sam. 2:9 tells us "for by strength shall no man prevail". Strength, here, is power opposite of God (B.D.B., pg. 470) as in Deut. 8:17 and Zech. 4:6. Let me quote Keil here on "The Books of Samuel", pg. 33. "--For no man can be strong through his own power, so as to meet the storms of life. All who fight against the Lord are destroyed--" All who disregard the principles of His Word face destruction.

Many times we take this verse in Samuel and say, "Because we are prevailing in size, numbers and great things, therefore we are depending on God's strength." This is wrong. The ONLY thing which determines who we are dependent on is God's Word. We may have strength in the world's eyes, but to say this is the sign of God's blessings must say that today's many false gospels are right because they are growing. I Sam. 2:9 says that no matter how good it looks, it will not prevail in the end.


We have believed a false doctrine of humanism, that numbers make right. A good example is I Tim. 6:5. Our strength DOES NOT lie in numbers. It lies in our Lord. Prov. 21:31 will confirm this. We can find this illustrated in I Sam. 14 where Jonathan and his armorbearer defeated twenty men by themselves and God caused the mighty Philistine army to flee before Israel when Is­rael didn't even have sword or spear, 13:22. (The AXE- Growth and Godliness.)

Have we bought the humanist lie that numbers mean might or that numbers represent godliness?

Also notice here, what would have taken place if Israel had been greater and mightier than the Canaanites? There was going to be enough problem with pride anyway. As we have already mentioned, Paul covers this principle again in I Cor. 1:27-2:5 and 2:6-9. This is still the number one danger among God's people today and here Moses takes as many steps as possible to prevent their falling to this sin, but they did, and we do, in spite of the many warnings.

4. As the small group of God's people move in obedience to God's Word what can they expect to take place? This is a restatement of question #2, v. 3. __________________________________

a. Also notice v. 2 "--Who can stand--" To the human reasoning power it is overwhelming that the Lord would perform such a feat. Look at Lev. 26:1-13, what is the promise here?
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b. What is the promise of verses 7-8?

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c. What is this promise based upon? __________________________________________________

d. Look at the other side, vv. 14-17. The rest of Lev. 26 covers this and it would be well to read. Where does boldness come from for God's people that they can wage an effective warfare in the face of tremendous odds against them, Prov. 28:1; I Tim. 1:18-20?
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Follow on through in Lev. 26. Look at v. 36. This is indeed sad. A people who have the power of the Creator of the universe are afraid of a shaking leaf. His peoples boldness does not come from numbers as we would like to believe, but, it comes from God as His conditions are met as outlined in His Word, Lev. 26; Deut. 32:30; Joshua 23:10.

Moses, here in Deut. 9:3, clearly tells them where their victory over their enemies lies.

5. Now, as there are tremendous victories completely beyond all human understanding and reason­ing, what would be the destructive danger to His people, v. 4? ___________________________

6. What was the reason He was going to perform this, v. 5? _______________________________

a. Why has He called us? Why will He use us if He sees fit to, II Tim. 1:9? Notice that it sure isn't because of any good He found in us. _________________________________________________

7. Now, Moses starts reviewing their history, vv. 6-26. What is the point Moses is making in this passage as he reviews these many things? It could be summed up in v. 24.
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We might keep in mind that the calf which provoked the Lord to such wrath here took place before the law was brought down by Moses. This shows us that ignorance of the written law of God will not avoid the results of its violation. They knew better in their heart, yet did it anyway.

8. The people of God were going to see many great supernatural victories. The danger would be that pride would enter in and with it, destruction. Moses gives us an example here of how to overcome this very dangerous situation. He tells them to remember what , vv. 7-8?
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The same holds true for His people today. We obey God's Word and will for us, and we see some supernatural results. Then we are in grave danger of falling to pride, but if we will only remember our past, where God has brought us from and our many failures, rebellions, and stubborn­ness, no doubt this will help remind us of where our current victory comes from. It sure isn't be­cause we are so good.

I know for myself, as I see God's hand move a little upon my efforts, if I will only remember the MANY times in the past and the utter embarrassment and shame which I got myself into, then I have very little problem with thinking it is me which is accomplishing anything. I'm afraid I must plead guilty to 9:6 far too often. Yet the Lord in His mercy and grace "pulls" me through. Far too often though, our attitude is, "Look at what we did by the might of our own power." "Isn't God lucky He has us." The problem is that many start to experience God's blessings and they soon forget who has made it possible and where it comes from. They build their calves and fall down before them saying, "This is how we did it."

9. God gives us a formula to avoid this clever trap of the world, flesh and the devil. We are given two things which will help in this area. First, we find that after we have done all we can, no matter how many victories might have been won, what are we, Lk. 17:7-10?
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a. Secondly, if we do do something "outstanding" in mens eyes, if we are allowed to conquer some mighty enemy of God, where did we receive the equipment to do the "mighty" work for God, I Cor. 4:6-7? ________________________________________________________________

Then why are we so inclined to think it was our own might, power and wisdom which ac­complished the "supernatural" task? Human nature and the heart will sure deceive us into think­ing it was us. We must be constantly on guard against this, Jer. 17:9-10.

10. Moses gives the answer for those caught in this trap of thinking we have done it. What is it, vv. 25-29; Ja. 4:1-10; 5:15? __________________________________________________________

Could a failure to do this be a reason we get caught in this sin and that others stay in it? How bad do we want to stay clear of this or do we want to see others freed from it? What kind of a price are we willing to pay? Moses paid a great price. How much do we love those caught in this sin?

God wants to and will work mightily through and for His people. This will leave them wide open for our enemy to use pride to bring us down. Here is a whole chapter of God warning His people. "When I prosper you, beware that you don't get the idea it is because you are good or that you have accomplished it on your own--by your own strength and abilities." My, how the mighty have fallen to this, II Sam. 1:19.

This sin finds its roots all the way back to Eve. God help us to recognize it for what it is, and, by His grace, remain humble before Him even in the prosperity He gives. Let us not forget where our victory comes from, Ja. 4:6-10; I Pet. 5:5-10.