Monday, January 21, 2008

Deuteronomy: Key Themes

Key Themes / Verse: Deuteronomy 12:1;

Key chapter: Deuteronomy 29

SECOND LAW: Deuteronomy means “second law,” but this book is not simply a repetition of the Law given at Mount Sinai. Deuteronomy adapts and expands the original law given at Mount Sinai. It is the Law interpreted in light of forty years of experience in the wilderness. It includes application of the Law to issues that arose during the sojourn in the desert, e.g., the daughters of Zelophehad (Numbers 27). Here laws that need emphasis are repeated and enlarged upon, e.g., the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 5). Here we see an example of Hebrew spiral thinking and story-telling. Deuteronomy is a commentary on the Mosaic Law. It is a fascinating look at the Law through the mind of Moses who has meditated on it for 38 years. Deuteronomy gives the divine rather than the human view. Compare Deuteronomy 1 with Numbers 13-14.

BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE – Remember is found 18 times. Deuteronomy 5:15; 15:15; 24:18, 22, etc.) Moses recounts God’s Law and care to this new generation, unfamiliar with the events of the Passover, Mount Sinai, and the miracles in the desert. This new generation, unlike their fathers and mothers, “held fast to the Lord” (Deuteronomy 4:4). Moses focuses on preparing them to “cross over” to the Promised Land. No wonder Jesus found this to be his most quoted and apparently favorite book. He was Himself preparing a new generation of disciples to “cross over” to the New Covenant Promises which they would inherit at Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. Deuteronomy is quoted about 80 times in the New Testament.

TRUST & OBEY - This book teaches us to love and obey God. “Observe to do,” says Moses, to be doers of the word and not hearers only (James 1:22). The motivation for obedience is love (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). God’s love for man is His motivation for His government and giving of laws.

Covenant: 24 times; Deuteronomy 4:2; 5:29; 6:2; 7:9, 11-12

Love - 22 times; Deuteronomy 4:37; 7:7-8, 13; 10:18-19; 23:5

Love For God - 11 times; Deuteronomy 6:4-5; 7:9; 10:12; 13:3; 30:6, 16, 20

Obey - 18 times; Deuteronomy 4:30, 40; 5:1; 9:1; 11:26-28; 20:3; 30:8-20

Obedience (Fear) & Love: 20 times; Deuteronomy 4:10; 10:12; 13:4; 17:19

Spiritual Warfare: Condemnation of spiritism (Deuteronomy 18:9-14); overthrow of Satan’s power (Deuteronomy 34:2; Matthew 17:3; Hebrews 2:14; Jude 9)

PROPHECY: Scattering of Israel (Deuteronomy 32:15-26); God’s faithfulness to His promise (Deuteronomy 32:26-27); threatened with obliteration (Deuteronomy 32:28-35); God to reveal Himself as Deliverer, heal His people, destroy their enemies (Deuteronomy 32:36-43). Psalms related to Deuteronomy: Psalm 78; 105, 106, 135.

CHRIST IN DEUTERONOMY: A Prophet like Moses whom God will raise (Deuteronomy 18:15; Act 7:37).

HENRIETTA MEARS ON DEUTERONOMY: “Nothing in literature matches the majesty of [Deuteronomy’s] eloquence; nothing in the Old Testament has any more powerful appeal for the spiritual life. No book in all the Word of God pictures better the life which is lived according to God’s will, and the blessings showered upon the soul who comes into the richness and fullness of spiritual living along the rugged pathway of simple obedience. Jesus often quoted from Deuteronomy. In fact, it is almost invariably from this book that He quotes. He took Deuteronomy as His code of conduct (Luke 4:4, 8, 12). He answered the devil in the hour of temptation from its writings.”– H. Mears, pp. 74-75.