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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Deuteronomy

- Deuteronomy

by Brian Bell

  1. Intro:
    1. My last OT book to do (kinda) - explain.
    2. Why this book? - Because of memory lost.
      1. Ever hear of the story about the 3 absent-minded sisters who lived together, Anabelle, Mabel, & Gladys?
        1. Anabelle announced she was going upstairs to take a bubble bath. She filled the tub, got one leg in & forgot if she was getting in or getting out. She called Mabel to help.
        2. Mabel started up the stairs, making it to the landing, & then couldn’t remember if she was going up or coming down. It was Gladys’ time to help.
        3. Gladys shaking her head lamented, “those 2 sisters of mine, if they didn't have me to help them remember they wouldn’t make it through the day. I’m glad I’m not like that, knock on wood.” She wrapped twice on the coffee table, then responded looking in the direction of the front door, “Come in!”
      2. We all forget at times. Sometimes it can paralyze us & keep us from moving ahead.
        1. *To get where we need to go, we need to remember where we’ve been.
        2. *That’s why the Israelites needed the Book of Deut. It reminded them of their past & prepared them for their future.
      3. This new generation of desert wanderers were about to enter the Promise Land.
        1. But before they could move ahead, they needed to recall & emblazon on their minds & hearts the precious heritage God had given them.
        2. As they would reflect on God’s Faithfulness they would build faith for the future.
    3. Ps.103:1-5 Forget not all his benefits.
  2. MOSES’ STORY
    1. Background: 1400bc. - Read 1st 3 & last 3 verses of Deut.
    2. Moses’ Story: It’s a story of…
      1. It’s a story of an incredible birth at the wrong/right time.
        1. King of Egypt, decided to kill all Hebrew baby boys.
      2. It’s a story of rescue - from the water (Moses = drawn forth)
      3. It’s a story of adoption - by Pharaoh’s daughter.
      4. It’s a story of a royal upbringing - in Pharaoh’s court.
      5. It’s a story of Moses the historian, leader, statesman, legislator, & patriot.
      6. It’s a story of the greatest honor...being considered a friend of God.
        1. Ex.3:11 ...as a man speaks to a friend. Holy intimacy w/the Almighty.
      7. It’s a story of long life of 120 years. Broken into 3 sections of 40 yrs each.
        1. 1st 40yrs: Birth to fleeing to Midian, as Pharaoh’s son. Learned how to be somebody.
        2. 2nd 40yrs: Midian to Exodus, as desert dweller. Learned how to be nobody.
          1. We learn life’s most important lessons not in times of success but during seasons of loss, failure, disappointment, and discouragement.
        3. 3rd 40yrs: from the Exodus to his own, as God’s Leader. Learned God was everybody.
      8. #5h It’s a story of an absolute break from this world - Heb.11:24,25.
        1. Refusal & choice. Not enough to refuse...we must also choose.
      9. It’s a story of being a type of Christ:
        1. Both were preserved from the perils of infancy. (All the Men of the Bible, Herbert Lockyer, pg. 47,248.)
        2. Both knew what it was to fast for 40 days. (Ex.34:28) Solitude was their strength.
        3. Both had power to control the sea.
        4. Both fed a multitude. (Manna)
        5. Both had a radiant face.
        6. Both endured murmurings.
        7. Both were discredited at home.
        8. Both were mighty intercessors.
        9. Both spoke as the oracles of God.
        10. Both had 70 helpers.
        11. Both establishment memorials. (Passover/Communion)
        12. Both reappeared after death. (Transfiguration/Res)
      10. It’s a story of a penman - he gets to write the Pentateuch.
        1. Jesus said in Jn.5:46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me...thus setting the seal to the Mosaic authorship of these books.
      11. It’s a story of an incredible death - he died in the plains of Moab.
        1. He climbed mount Nebo. Looked into the land. Then, kissed to sleep by an angel. God became his undertaker. Deut.34:6
  3. MOSES’ BOOK, DEUTERONOMY
    1. Book Break Down: 3 parts.
      1. Looking Back (ch.1-4); Looking Up (ch.5-26); Looking Ahead (ch.27-34).
        1. Remember God’s Faithfulness (ch.1-4)
          1. Stop/reflect on ground you’ve covered. Stop/see it’s God who got you this far.
          2. Remember His faithfulness when we’ve doubted; His strength when we faltered; His grace when we disobeyed.
          3. When was the last time you stopped to reflect on God’s faithfulness throughout your spiritual journey? A few moments ofreflection can refuel you for the journey.
        2. Remember God’s Holiness (ch.5-26)
          1. He restates His Law. Exhorts them to holy living.
        3. Remember God’s Promises (ch.27-34)
          1. The book closes with God’s promises of blessing (ch.28) or cursing (ch.29) depending on how well they obey His commandments.
    2. 40 Days Of Purpose:
      1. ​​​​​​​This whole book of 40 days occurs On The Edge before entering the Promise Land.
        1. 40 days to reflect on the past. God’s miraculous deliverance from Egypt, from Pharaoh's army. God’s provision of manna & water in the desert. And the bodies of their disobedient parents & grandparents who lay buried under desert sand.
        2. 40 days to hear afresh God’s own laws for His own people. The 10 commandments. The holy statutes. The compassionate decrees. The distinctive codes of behavior that would make Israel shine like a city on a hill.
        3. 40 days for the Israelites to anticipate the realization of God’s promises. A land of their own. God’s Law to guide them. His strength to sustain them.
    3. Key message: Love God & keep His commandments.
    4. Book Name: Deuteronomy
      1. Hebrew: Haddebharim “the words” 1:1.
        1. This is a series of Farewell Sermons from Moses to the Israelites. Where he urges them to love God, obey His laws, & follow the leadership of Joshua.
      2. Greek: To Deuteronmion Touto (where we get our English) “The Second Law”.
        1. However, it really isn’t a 2nd Law, it’s a restatement & expansion of the law originally given at Sinai & recorded in Exodus & Leviticus.
        2. Deuteronomy fills in missing elements & gives the spiritual significance of the history found in the other books of Moses.
    5. Setting: Where the Jews received these words is crucial to understanding the significance of What was said.
      1. Vs.5 in the land of Moab, other side of Jordan river.
      2. 40 years earlier, they walked out of Egypt. They received God’s Law. They heard God’s voice. They stood on the brink of Canaan at Kaedsh-barnea - Then tragically chose not to trust their God who had brought them out of slavery.
        1. See how close they came on the map behind me?
        2. Now this next generation stands at the gates of the Promise Land. They too are urged to keep covenant with God. (picture: looking from Mnt Nebo to Promise Land)
        3. They represent a new era in the life of Israel. A new land. A new leader (Joshua). A new way of living (settled instead of noamdic).
          1. But God who brought them out of Egypt has remained unchanged.
          2. He was still holy, still faithful, still jealous for the devotion of His people.
    6. The Book Ends With:
      1. ​​​​​​​The last 4 chapters mark the end of Moses life.
      2. His ministry ends like it began...w/God & him conversing on a mountain.
      3. There is a leadership transition.
      4. Moses takes in a breath taking view of the Promised Land....which is only a mere shadow of where he was going - to heaven, the ultimate Promises Land.
        1. And there He will be met, not by a burning bush, but by the great I Am in all His blazing splendor. Home at last.