On-Line Bible Lessons

Deuteronomy - Chapter 12, Lesson 1

Pastor Ovid Need


"The statutes and rights which follow in the second or special half of this address, and which consist in part of rules having regard to circumstances not contemplated by the sinaitic laws, and partly of repetitions of laws already given, were designed as a whole to regulate the ecclesiasti­cal, civil, and domestic life of Israel in the land of Canaan, in harmony with its calling to be the holy nation of the Lord. ---Moses allows himself to be guided much more by analogies and the free association of ideas than by any strict regard to the decalogue; although, no doubt, the whole book of Deuteronomy may be described, as Luther says, as "a very copious and lucid explanation of the decalogue, an acquaintance with which will supply all that is requisite to a full understanding of the ten commandments." (Keil, "Fifth Book of Moses", pgs. 351-352)."

This chapter relates to the worship of the Israelites of the Lord their God, as well as the command once again to destroy everything which even speaks of false worship; also to avoid these false methods at all costs, because it will cost all if they get involved. Covered here is the law concerning the slaughter of animals for food and the use of their blood. The blood was to be poured out on the ground and covered at all times unless it was used on the altar. There are several reasons for this. One would be good health practice. Another would be the use of blood by the pagans. To eat or drink the blood of a victim was a sign of their power over the victim and the increase of their own power or strength by that amount. God's people are to avoid all such foolishness and realize that all of our strength comes from our God. Therefore, we pour out the victim's blood to our God for He alone gave us the strength. There are several things in this chapter which reflect this same thought of not picking up the pagan practices.

1. At the very first here, how long are the statutes and judgments of the Lord God in effect, v. 1, Gal. 6:7-10?

Rushdoony makes a good point here in vv. 2-14. "--Law is a form of warfare, and , indeed the major and continuing form of warfare. The second commandment prohibits graven images in wor­ship; it requires the destruction of all such forms of worship--. In Deut. 12:1-14, the contrast is drawn clearly: obedience means on the one hand destroying all places of idolatrous worship, and, on the other hand, bringing offerings to God in the prescribed manner and to the prescribed place." He goes on "--in certain instances, the destruction of graven images required also the destruction of the people of the images. Deut. 7:1-5; not only are covenants with the Canaanites forbidden, but inter-marriage also." Then he goes on to develop the point that "all law is a form of warfare." He concludes with a quote from John Philpot Curran (1750- 1817). Curran said, in 1790, in a speech on "The Right of Election." "It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition, if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt (emphasis added)" ("Institutes" pgs. 92-95)."

We need to peruse this. Notice he said the lazy will lose their rights of liberty to the active. Liberty takes eternal vigilance, warfare if you please, to keep it. The immediate results of the crime of ease is servitude, the servitude also being the punishment for the crime. No doubt we are living in the result of men not maintaining their vigilance against those who are seeking to install socialism upon us.

Deut. 12:2-14, here the Lord God requires active warfare against anything and everything which might influence His people away from Him and His Word. To relax a moment results in our enemy gaining that ground. But, sad to say, many folks become so relaxed they don't even care if the ground is lost, as long as it doesn't disturb them.

2. Every law which governs society fits into this warfare. The laws are either at war against God and His ways, or they are at war against what, v. 8? ______________________________
a. These laws will have the authority to arrest and confine. They have the "power of the sword" to enforce the laws, which either reflect man's will or God's will, and will attempt to subvert each other from the inside.

(1) How are godly laws subverted, Deut. 7:4? ________________________________________

(2) How are ungodly laws subverted, Matt. 28:19-20? _________________________________


Absolutely everything which is contrary to God's Word is to be removed from our lives. As for society, neither the Christian nor the church has the "power of the sword" to enforce godly laws. In our system today our responsibility is to do all we can to see that there are civil laws "on the books" which reflect the Word of God as well as men in these offices which reflect Christ. Laws always reflect who the god is of a society, Ps. 33:12. Of course, we also have the prayer which we are to pray for the civil authorities, I Tim. 2:2. This passage in Timothy calls for prayer that the ungodly authority would be removed by God. The historical stand of our law sys­tem was based upon God's laws as found in the writings of Moses. The civil government used the sword to enforce them. God's people have lost their active vigilance, and we have seen and are seeing these fall quickly.

Let us mention Hosea 8:4. The people of God here claimed to love God, yet they set up rulers contrary to God's will. Then they depended on gold and silver to protect them. Here would be the false teaching of, "A Christian should not be involved in politics." The result was/is God's judg­ment.

God's people fail to realize that there is a warfare to the death over whose laws will govern the individual and society, as well as whose laws are going to govern our innermost being. Only a very active vigilance will prevent the laws of death from taking over. God's Word is an active word of warfare (Heb. 4:12). It contains marching orders, Matt. 28:19, 20, as well as instructions on how to win in this warfare, I Tim. 1:18-20; II Tim. 2.

The enemy will be at every corner to attempt to overthrow God's laws, Ps. 2. If he can't over­throw them openly, then he will subvert our hearts away, II Pet. 2:1-3. Gurnal makes this state­ment: "Who is able to express the conflicts, the wrestlings, the convulsions of spirit the Christian feels, before he can bring his heart to this work. It requires more prowess and greatness of spirit to obey God faithfully than to command an army of men; to be a Christian than a captain ("The Christian in Complete Armor," Banner of Truth Trust, pgs. 13, 12., 1665 [1987])."

The question is not, "Will this law-order be attacked?" The question is, "Will this law-order resist the attack? Will it stand up under the attack by the forces of evil?"

V. 6 calls for keeping vows. This is to devote something or one's self to God, to set it apart to Him. Vows were voluntary but had to be kept, Lev. 22:21; 27:1-29, etc.. We will see more of vows later.

3. Verses 1-14 clearly show that God is totally at war against anything which does not reflect His standard of holiness. His warfare is carried out through people. We are to be at war against the same things that God is against. Without this continual vigilance what will happen, Deut. 12:8; Judges 21:25? _______________________________________________________________________

Another point which is covered in verses 1-14 is the restrictions placed on the worship of the Lord God. For worship and service to God to be pleasing to God, it must be done in His time and in His way. The heathen around them could worship their gods any way and any place they pleased. This would not work for God's people. We covered this back in chp. 4, lesson 5.

V. 20 shows us that as we obey Him, He will give us good things to enjoy and there is nothing wrong with this enjoyment. There would be several conditions upon this, though: (1) It must con­form to His will for us; (2) It must conform to His Word; (3) It must be for His glory. Whatever it might be, it must be within what He has provided for us according to His riches.

4. V. 15, here we have the laws concerning blood. It was absolutely forbidden to eat. Why, v. 23?

One reason for this could be health reasons as blood carries diseases. Presently, all of our meat is bled. This practice originated with these laws years ago. Kosher laws are more tradition on this point than scriptural. Kosher requires that the blood vessels be removed in order to get all of the blood out. That is not required here.

5. He once again gives the reason for observing the Word of the Lord. What is it, v. 28?

6. Again we have the warning of the danger of following the heathen gods. What is forbidden here in v. 30? ____________________________________________________________________

7. Now we have the confirmation that the iniquity of the Canaanites is now full and Israel is God's means of judging them. What all were the Canaanites involved in, v. 31?

Verses 12-18 call for rejoicing before the Lord. Pleasing Him should cause our hearts to rejoice. Also, a call to remember the Levite. He was dependent upon their obedience to the Lord, and when the people of God didn't obey Him the Levite could not survive and would have to find other means of support. Judges 18 gives an example of this. Our disobedience NEVER effects just us.

Moses concludes this with another warning. How many times is this warning given just in this chapter?