Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – SSMicah 6:8
Read the “0307 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
Deuteronomy – Second Law or Repeated Law
First off there are some important things we must remember when reading the book of Deuteronomy. One, this was written to ancient Israel, not us, we can not insert ourselves into these passages. What we can do however is see some eternal principles for the Christian life that we should adhere too. Secondly, the reason the book was written is because there was now a new generation of Israelites that were going to enter the promised land. The Exodus generation disqualified themselves from entering the promised land and this new generation needed to be reminded of the original laws and there were some new ones or clarified laws as well. Thirdly, we must remember Moses was not going to enter this promised land with the Israelites. Therefore he must prepare them for the things they will face, because their record doesn’t favor them when it comes to the times Moses has had to leave them. The Book of Deuteronomy is a series of speeches by Moses calling this new generation to be faithful to the covenant with God
Three Major Sections
- Moses opening speech 1-11
- Collection of the Laws 12-26
- Moses final speech and death 27-34
Section 1. Moses opening speech 1-11
Chapters 1-3 – How things have gone so far
Chapters 4-11 – call to covenant faithfulness
In chapter 6:4-5 we read some very familiar words; words that Jesus himself used in the New Testament Matthew 22:37. This is what is known as the Shama. The Shama (some spell it Shema) became an important daily prayer in Judaism.
Hear (obey), O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD(God is the one and only God Israel is to worship and obey): And thou shalt love (love brings the context of devotion) the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (Deuteronomy 6:4 – 5)
(Some different ways in which the word Shama is used)
Shama – Hear or Listen – Proverbs 20:12
Shama – Pay Attention or focus on – Leah named her son Simeon or Shim-on in Hebrew – Genesis 29:33 Because the LORD hath heard (shama)
Shama – responding to what you hear Psalm 27:7 asking God to respond or act
Ex 19:5 – Listen and obey or Keep my covenant
11:26 Behold I set. Fore you this day a blessing and a curse – a blessing if ye obey … and a curse if ye will not obey.
Section 2. Collection of the Laws 12-26 (roughly arranged topically)
Chapter 12-16a Israels worship of God (one central temple to worship the one God) and Israels care for the poor All Israelites set aside 1/10 (tithe) to give to the poor every 3 years. These were to set Israel apart from the rest of the world/society as they were entering into the Promised land.
Chapter 16b – 18 character qualities of Israels leaders (Elders, Priest, and Kings) God would send prophets to keep them accountable.
Chapter 19-26 Israel’s civil laws (i.e. marriage, family, and business) & Social Justice/legal system and how it was to protect widows orphans and immigrants.
These were given to set Israel apart from the rest of the world
Section 3. Moses final speech and death 27-34
Listen and obey = blessing
Rebellion = devastation and exile
Forces decision 30:15-20
Chapter 32 – poem of warning
Chapter 33 – poem of blessing
Then Moses walks up on the mountain and dies.
The chapters I was assigned were 19-22 which fall in the section of where all the Laws were being given. The one thing that shocked me most was how many there were. I mean that’s 14 chapters of nothing but laws and statutes, who could ever keep all of them. That brings a whole new level to when the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 3:6b “touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” This was when Paul was describing himself as a Pharisee and he says he was blameless according to the law. Adam and Eve couldn’t follow one verse but Paul is blameless for 14+ Chapters in the Old Testament?! This provoked a couple of thoughts. First and foremost I am so thankful we aren’t under the law. Jesus gave the Pharisees the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:37-40 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Secondly why so were there so many laws? Well first off for the Children of Israel they were there to set them apart from the rest of the people groups. They were about to go into the promised land where a lot of sinful things were going on, and these laws were separating them from the sin and sanctifying them to God. Along those same lines as Galatians says the law was the schoolmaster unto salvation. The law mad the Children of Israel totally reliant upon God, and reminded them of where they really stood in light of the law and ultimately who God was/is. Now going back to the Shama and Matthew 22:37-40, how is loving the Lord with all thy heart souls and mind the greatest commandment how can that replace all those laws and statutes? It’s pretty simple actually, when we truly put God where he should be we will put ourselves where we should truly be. In our proper places everything else will fall in line where they should. There are only two questions we must ask/answer now, are you putting God in His proper place in your life, ahead of everything else where He has the preeminence, or is something else there?
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 4 comments.