This week we dive into Deuteronomy 13-31!
After forty years of wilderness wandering, a new generation is almost ready to enter the promised land. Let's take a moment to reflect on everything that has happened so far in the story.
God promised Abraham that through his family, he would restore all the nations of the world to his blessing. Abraham's descendants became enslaved in Egypt, but God rescued them and brought them to Mount Sinai, where he entered into a covenant with the nation of Israel. Sadly, Israel broke that covenant at Mount Sinai (remember the golden calf incident?). God then disqualified the Exodus generation from entering the promised land, making them wander for forty years in the wilderness.
At this point in the story, Moses offers the children of the Exodus generation many words of warning and wisdom as they prepare to cross into the promised land. Without further ado, let's wrap up Deuteronomy and hear Moses teach the Torah to this new generation.
This week we will listen to Moses teach and develop the laws, ordinances, and commands for the new generation that is ready to enter the promised land. It's from this section of the text that Deuteronomy gets its name, “Deuteronomion,” which is Greek for “second law.”
Here, on the edge of the promised land, Moses expands and clarifies many of the earlier laws about worship procedures, tithing, leadership structure, and social justice. Near the end of the book, he reminds this generation of the blessings they will receive if they keep these laws and the curse that will befall them if they do not.
But after forty years, Moses knows the people of Israel intimately, and he predicts that they will be unfaithful and break the covenant just like their ancestors. He locates the root of the problem with Israel's stubborn and rebellious hearts. At their core, they don't want to trust God. So Moses' grave prediction is also a cry for divine help. Moses has hope that God will transform the hearts of his people, so they can love God with all their heart, soul, and strength. The Torah concludes by showing that God's own covenant faithfulness is Israel's only hope.
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