|On-Line Bible Lessons|
Pastor Ovid Need
NOTE: Time requires I leave in the minor errors, e.g., abbreviations in text, wrong abbreviations, mixed tenses in a sentence (though I have tried to catch all of them), caps, etc. As time progresses, we will correct the lessons. There are also some comments at the end of this chapter.
When placing in your answers for each question in the space provided, put ANS: before each answer. Capitalize, ANS:
DEUTERONOMY Introduction 1
"The book of Deuteronomy contains not so much a recapitulation of the things commanded and done, as related in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers," as "a compendium and summary of the whole law and wisdom of the people of Israel, wherein those things which related to the priests and Levites are committed, and only such things included as the people generally required to know." (Keil, 1:269, the Fifth Book of Moses.)
This book is not given in addition to the other three books, but rather as an explanation of and application of, as well as a review of the promises contained in the law of God. We see from 1:5 that these are the words of Moses to the people of God explaining the law to God's people. With this book, Moses makes the law of God understandable to all people, impressisng it upon their hearts.
1. What is Moses' goal of Deut. 5:31-32?
2.What was to be the result, Deut. 5:33?
He uses several means to make it understandable: He reminds them of their past history and God's provision. He exhorts them not to forget what they saw of the Lord at Horeb. He reminds them of who their Lord is. He points out the results of obedience as being long life and prosperity. He reminds them of their God's requirements. He points out the dangers not only of disobeying their God's commandments, but also of the land where they are going, where the inhabitants will win their heart away from their God. He continually reminds them their conquest of Canaan will not be because of who they are; rather, it will be because of who their God is. He points out over and over that God's promises and blessings are conditional, and if they ignore his conditions, they will lose the promises.
The laws here concern EVERY area of life: Proper behavior towards the Lord God; toward their fellow man, whether slave, foreigner, neighbor or family member; toward the civil government in their appointments of all official rulers, whether they be kings, judges or magistrates; he covers the duties and rites of not only these rulers, but also of the priests and Levites; the proper precautions which are to be observed regarding human life, war, enemies, criminals and even women taken in war; proper regard of property, marriage, domestic and social life, and relationships; proper prayers and thanksgiving and giving are also covered.
Moses leaves no area of life uncovered. The Lord leaves no area of life to the imagination of man. He is a total God. He gives a total law for the total man.
3. Why does man need a total law that will cover every area of life, Rom. 3:11,12?
4. Man is in total rebellion against God, yet God first shows man how man can please him. Through Christ, our Lord gives the power to do what pleases him, including coming to him in faith. What is God's freely given power to please him called, Eph. 2:8, 9 (Phl. 2:13)?
In Deuteronomy, Moses again lays out the way of life vs. the way of death, along with pleading with God's people to choose the way of life. Here, also, we see that he rehearses his life before them, and gives a final charge to Joshua.
This book is referred to by every New Testament author, including our Lord. It is quoted many times and given its proper application for us. Just one example of proper application is Deuteronomy 30:14, 15, and Romans 6:16.
As we know, by the time Christ came, these books of the law had been completely corrupted. Christ came restoring the spirit of the law, and the New Testament authors continued on with this proper application of the law. The authors never did away with the law, but put it back in its proper application as God originally gave it. The letter of the law, as it was being used by the religious leaders of Christ's day, only had bondage and death in it, making it a burden. Christ restored the spirit of the law which led to life (2 Cor. 3:6).
Therefore, our goal here will be to see how these laws apply in our day not in the letter, but in the spirit. It is surprising how many times this book is applied by the New Testament authors. Just from Paul's usage of it in Romans 6, we see that this book still contains a choice for us todaya choice between a blessing and a curse, a choice between life and death.
This is a very practical book, as is Proverbs and James. As James points out, we show our faith by our works, and here in Deuteronomy, we have the works outlined that please God and that show our faith. Deuteronomy contains the law mentioned in Psalms 1 which promises a blessing to those who read it, study it, meditate upon it and apply its principles to their lives.
This book is part of the all scripture which is been given to us by God. Without an understanding of Deuteronomy, we have no doctrine, nothing to reprove by, no standard to correct our lives by and, most of all, we have no instruction in righteousness. We are commanded to study Deuteronomy as well as the other four books of Moses. Otherwise, we will be embarrassed as we incorrectly divide the word of truth. Here is where our good works are defined. Without the laws summarized in this book, we have NOTHING to instruct those that oppose themselves, and nothing for God to use to give the sinner repentance. Herein is contained the truth that God will give them repentance to acknowledge. Here is found the definition of iniquity which man is to depart from and purge himself of. Without the truth (law of God) contained herein, the devil can take a man captive at his will. Here, also, is found the definition of sin according to the apostle John (1 Jn. 3:4). In other words, the laws contained here that Moses reviews is what Paul encouraged Timothy to study and teach to those under his care. Can we do any less?
It is this instruction in God's law-word which brings conviction and repentance (2 Tim. chap. 2, esp. vv. 15-26, and chap. 3, vv. 16-17).
Let us look at a couple of things here:
5. Why did God choose Israel, Deuteronomy 4:37? Why did the Lord bring them out of Egypt, prevent
Balaam from cursing them, and even give them the law, Deuteronomy 7:6-9, 23: 5 (Is. 63:9)?
6. This is an interesting observation: As we look at the law of God here in Deuteronomy, we actually are looking at the (what) of God toward His people?
7. How can this be? Example, what will the law of God do for his people in Micah 7:8; Zeph. 2:3?
a. Psalms 119. How many things can you find that the law-word of God will do for His people? List them.
8. Why did God choose and give the law to us, the church, John 15 (Eph. 3:10)?
a. How do we abide in this love, John 15:10?
We might also mention that John. 15:10 is far more than outward actions. We have a consistent call for proper inner actions and attitudes toward God and toward man in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The commands of John 15:10 includes Colossians 3:12- 17. It includes Galatians 5:22-26 as well as 1 Corinthians 13. One of the major reasons for the wrath of God against his people was their failure to exhibit the proper inner attitude one toward another. (Hosea 4:1; 6:6; 12:6. Thus, Col. 3:12-17 was not a new messagethat passage, along with many others, calls for a renewal of what was already required by Moses.)
Because of the nature of the book of Deuteronomy, we may seem to be overlooking the requirements as found in passages such as Colossians 3:12-17, John 15:17, etc.. This is not our intention. We must be obedient to both the outward requirements of the law as well as its inward requirements. We are expected to do both. We cannot do one and leave the other undone and please our God, Matthew 23:23.
Though both inner and outer obedience require a tremendous amount of grace, we would think that the inner man is more of a conflict for most of us. It is much easier to go through motions, yet God lays the requirement far deeper, i.e., the inner man. The inner man out of control will lead to as sure a death as will the outer man out of control. Sometimes even quicker.
Medical science recognizes that the inner man (emotions) has a tremendous control over our physical well-being. Estimates range from 60 to nearly 100 percent of all sickness is due to emotional causes. Christ came to heal the inner, emotional area as much as he came to heal the outward actions, for without inner healing, there can be no outter healing. The law of God deals with the inner man also, which we do not intend to neglect as we proceed. (There is an overabundance of books in the "Christian" market that deal with an area we are not dealing with: the inner man.)
9. Mk. 12:24 The Sadducees sought to trap Christ in his words. As they asked Christ this seemingly hard question, what did Christ point out to them?
Our Lord put two things together in v. 24: the Old Testament and the power of God. We cannot ignore the Old Testament Scriptures and expect to have the power of God.
10. Christ was very emphatic concerning the writings of Moses. Observe in John 5:45-47:
a. Who will accuse of sin, v. 45, 1 John 3:4?
b. Belief in Christ is based on belief in what, v. 46?
c. If the writings of Moses are ignored, laid aside or considered void (e.g., not for us today), then what else must be "void" (v. 47)?
d. Therefore, the words of Christ cannot have any effect if what is ignored?
QUESTION: Could this be why the gospel of Christ has very little, if any, life-changing power today?
Lastly, let us look at a quote from Keil's preface to The Pentateuch:
The Old Testament is the basis of the New. "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake unto the fathers by the prophets, hath spoken unto us by His only- begotten Son." The Church of Christ is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. For Christ came not to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfill. As He said to the Jews, "Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me;" so also, a short time before His ascension, He opened the understanding of His disciples, that they might understand the Scriptures, and beginning at Moses and all the prophets, expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. With firm faith in the truth of this testimony of our Lord, the fathers and teachers of the Church in all ages have studied the Old Testament Scriptures, and have expounded the revelations of God under the Old Covenant in learned and edifying works, unfolding to the Christian community the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God which they contain, and impressing them upon the heart, for doctrine, for reproof, for improvement, for instruction in righteousness. It was reserved for the Deism, Naturalism, and Rationalism which became so prevalent in the closing quarter of the eighteenth century, to be the first to undermine the belief in the inspiration of the first covenant, and more and more to choke up this well of saving truth; so that at the present day depreciation of the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament is as widely spread as ignorance of what they really contain. At the same time, very much has been done during the last thirty years on the part of believers in divine revelation, to bring about a just application and correct understanding of the Old Testament Scriptures.
May the Lord grant His blessing upon our labours, and assist with his own Spirit and power a work designed to promote the knowledge of his Holy Word.
Comment on question 8a:
Here is our first hint that love is not identified as an emotion, but as action. Commenting on John 15:10, Hengstenberg says:
That [this] is the love of Christ to His people, is evident from the corresponding [Greek word] in v. 9. Consequently, the love of God also at the end must be the love of God to Christ, not the love of Christ to God. To this we are led also by chp. 10:17: "For this cause my Father loveth Me, because I lay down My life." The laying down the life there corresponds to the keeping the commandments of God here. This was manifested especially in the fact, that Christ, in obedience to the will of the Father, presented the atoning sacrifice. "Even as I have kept," etc., hangs on v. 9. As Christ's love to His people is the reflection of the Father's love to Him, it is natural that its maintenance should rest on the same condition. To the exhortation of that verse, urging the disciples to continue in the enjoyment of His love, is here appended an indication of the means in order to that continuance." (Hengstenberg, "Commentary on the Gospel of John," Klock & Klock, 2527 Girard Av. N., Minneapolis, Min. 55411. A reprint of the 1865 edition. II.256.)
In other words, Christ continued in the Father's love, shown by the fact that He kept His Father's will right to the death for His people. We are commanded to have this kind of love for Christ as well as for the brethren, 1 Jn. 3:16. God showed His love for us by His death for us. We ought to show this love for our brethren by displaying the attitude of 1 Jn. 3. Most of us have a hard time parting with our money to help a brother in need, let alone dying for him (Ja.3). True love for God will obey His Commandments all the way to death, if need be.