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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Deuteronomy 31

Verses 1-30

  1. Intro:
    1. Title: Moses Bids His Adieu
      1. Adieu - from Old French, from à ‘to’ + Dieu ‘God’; compare with adios.
    2. Moses’ life work was now done. He had been marvelously used by the Lord. But now that Moses was about to die, he left a last heritage to the new generation:
      1. Moses left a new leader Joshua.
      2. Moses left a written Law our first five books of the OT.
      3. Moses left a song to memorize. As copies of Scripture were not available to the people of Israel. How would they remember the central teachings of Moses, and retain their commitment to the Lord? Memorization.
  2. ENCOURAGEMENT GIVEN (1-8)
    1. ​​​​​​​To Israel (1-6)
    2. (2) Moses was not permitted to lead Israel into Canaan for 2 reasons:
      1. He had sinned against God at Meribah (struck rock). And…
      2. Also, Canaan is a type of the “rest” we have in Christ, and Moses the lawgiver could never bring rest. Only Joshua, the type of Christ the conqueror, could do that.
    3. (3-6) Moses gave the people that wonderful promise of God’s victorious presence.
    4. Which situation tonight do you need to know that He crosses before you, He goes before you?
      1. And what do you think that this actually promises them/us? Ask.
        1. Protection. He’ll take care of our enemies. Not have to fear. He wont leave/forsake us. I’ll be present. At hand.
    5. To Joshua (7,8)
      1. This promise was given to Israel...then, repeated to Joshua now in vs.7,8.
        1. Then It’s repeated by God Himself to Joshua 3 more x’s in Josh.1:6,7,9. be strong, good courage
      2. It is also given to us today. Because it’s a cool promise that we pretend apply’s to us too? No...because it’s repeated to us in Heb.13:5 :)
  3. SCRIPTURES READ (9-13)
    1. ​​​​​​​Read, Hear, Learn, Observe
    2. Moses asked for Deut to be read at the Feast of Tabernacles, every 7th year as the basis for a recurring act of covenant renewal.
      1. He knew that only God’s Word could make the people the kind of nation God wanted them to be.
      2. But...Unfortunately this was seldom done. The only recorded instance of the Law publicly read during this Feast of Tabernacles is in Neh.8:13-9:38.
    3. (10) Feast of Tab - was a National Campout, to remember that Israel lived in booths (tents) during the wilderness wanderings.
      1. They were a people who journeyed to a sacred place for religious reasons.
      2. Our reminder? we are people on a journey, on our way to another place/another life.
      3. It reminds them/us to separate from the world & commune w/God in the outdoors (w/His Word).
    4. God uses various ways of communicating with people.
      1. He did it through chosen instruments, such as Moses and Joshua.
      2. He does it through the written word in which we are particularly rich since we have both Old and NT.
      3. And He does it through memory.
        1. Listen to God’s endorsement of the ministry of songs & poetry where He puts his approval on their use for worship and witness as well as for growth in Christian living.
        2. The practice of memorization has divine commendation.
        3. Truth stored in the mind may become God’s messenger of encouragement, comfort, or reproof when these are most needed. (The Teachers Bible Commentary, Deut.31.)
  4. ​​​​​​​REBELLION WARNED (14-29)
    1. ​​​​​​​Joshua’s Commission (14)
    2. The transfer of leadership is now underway.
      1. Joshua was God’s choice for this heavy responsibility.
      2. God raises up others to carry on His work.
      3. God changes His workers but continues His work.
    3. Moses laid his hands on him & thereby granting the spiritual power he would need for his great task. Really? does it say that here? No...but it does in 34:9 (read).
    4. Warns of Israel's Rebellion (15)
    5. God has infallible foresight of all the wickedness of the wicked.
      1. How often He has conferred His favors upon those whom He knew would deal treacherously and ungratefully.
    6. (19) Now...write down this song –
      1. National songs take deep hold of the memories and have a powerful influence in stirring the deepest feelings of a people.
        1. Last night we were asked to stand for the National Anthem, in our gym, at our girls VB game. I stood next to a man, Colonel Bo, (g-gpa to Danika/setter) who was celebrating his 95 B-Day, who served in WWII, Korea, & V.N. - I was holding the tears back hearing him singing the final words.
      2. Again, National songs take deep hold of the memories and have a powerful influence in stirring the deepest feelings of a people.
    7. End: Ok, what’s a little bit freaky/cool is the timing...Next wed 10/8/14, is when we will learn about ch.32, which is this years start of the Feast of Tabernacles.
      1. But tonight we thought it would be neat to have a portion of Deut read to us...actually, you get to participate in reading some also.
        1. Since we can’t read all of Deut...the portion we chose is...well, ch.32. The Song.
      2. So, our reader will read parts from the NLT & the verses I place in front of us, we as the audience, will read out loud together.
      3. Keep in mind, the song was given to the children of Israel to help prevent them from breaking covenant with God.
      4. Moses wove promise and blessing together in this song or poem that affirms the greatness of Israel’s God.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 31". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/deuteronomy-31.html. 2017.