Day 53 – Thru the Bible
Today we begin Deuteronomy and continue in Psalms.
Video – Read Scripture: Deuteronomy
How does this video help you understand the purpose of Deuteronomy?
Deuteronomy 1 – In Jewish (Hebrew) tradition Deuteronomy is called “Words.” The name “Deuteronomy” comes from the later Greek title, meaning “second law,” since the book contains a repeat of much that Moses revealed earlier in the Pentateuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy).
This book opens with a reference to the “words that Moses spoke”, the words “that the Lord had given him”, and the words that “Moses undertook to explain”. From the beginning, God graciously spoke redemptive words to fallen humanity (Genesis 3:15). Those words included God’s promise to bless humanity through Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 12:1–3).
Some 400 years later God fulfilled the word spoken to Abraham when Moses said, “Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore to your fathers”.
Some 1,400 years after that, how has God revealed His ultimate redemptive word? Hint: Hebrews 1:1–4.
Israel knew that God was bringing them into a “good land”, that God had graciously cared for them in the wilderness, and that He had promised to fight for them against the Canaanites just as He had fought against the Egyptians. Yet they did not respond to God’s grace with faith. Their unbelief led them to conclude that God hated them and was intent on destroying them, and this resulted in their failure to enter the “good land”.
But all was not lost. There was one, Caleb, who “wholly followed the Lord”. Had God’s people believed God’s word and followed this devoted leader, they would have inherited the promise.
How does this point is to follow Jesus, our devoted Leader, into our eternal inheritance? Hint: Hebrews 12:1–3.
Deuteronomy 2 – The recitation of covenant history in Deuteronomy 1–4 is a means to an end. The end is motivation to live by the teachings found in Deuteronomy 5–26. The means is reminding the old covenant people of the grace that God had granted them in the past by His promises, provision, and deliverance. This chapter exemplifies such motivational history, as it reminds the old covenant people how God had blessed them in the wilderness—so that they lacked nothing—and how God had begun to grant them their inheritance in the Promised Land.
As in the old covenant, so in the new covenant, our obedience is always to be motivated by what God has graciously done for us in the past, whether that is in redemptive history or in our own personal history.
Since we know our obedience will always fall short, how does this point us to Jesus (the ultimate portrait of the gracious nature of God revealed in these opening sections of Deuteronomy) and His work on our behalf? Hint: Ephesians 5:1–2.
Deuteronomy 3 – There is a pattern repeated throughout Deuteronomy: hope for the future is rooted in the past.
What God did to Sihon and Og should encourage Joshua and the covenant people with regard to what God would do to the kingdoms in the land of Canaan.
How is our hope for our future resurrection, found in this same pattern? Hint: 1 Corinthians 15:20–23.
Related to this pattern is the repeated principal that “it is the Lord your God who fights for you”. Israel’s entrance into and life in the Promised Land was guaranteed by what God did for them rather than what they did for God.
How is our entrance into and life in God’s eternal kingdom guaranteed? Hint: It’s not about OUR performance.
Though the consequences of Moses’ sin are severe, grace is not absent. The nature of Moses’ sin at the waters of Meribah (see Num. 20:2–13) was that he did not “uphold [God] as holy” but instead portrayed himself as having divine status. For God to allow Moses to take Israel into the Promised Land, as though a human were their deity, would not have been gracious to the nation or to Moses. Instead, God protects his people’s relationship with himself by denying Moses entry.
But God is also gracious to Moses, allowing his humbled leadership to continue for a time, letting him see the Promised Land, giving him the privilege of charging his successor with faithfulness. In this way God grants Moses the honor of completing the testimony of God’s faithfulness (i.e., the Pentateuch) that will better lead God’s people in all future generations—and, providing for Moses ultimately to arrive in the Promised Land by virtue of Christ’s transfiguration (see Matthew 17:1–13).
Psalm 53 – There are only two major differences between this psalm and Psalm 14. Rather than referring to God by his covenant name “the Lord” (e.g., Ps. 14:2), Psalm 53 refers to Israel’s Savior as “God” throughout. The second difference is that 53:5 focuses on God’s judgment on his enemies versus his care for the poor in 14:5–6. God comforts his people by describing His eventual terrifying subjugation of all those who attack them.
Throughout redemptive history, God has shown His ability to instill direct fear in the enemies of His people through acts of judgment.
What is such fear (awe, reverence) intended to drive people toward today? Hint: Psalm 53:6; Mark 5:36; 1 John 4:18.
How does this Psalm bring you comfort and a sure hope for your future?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s video and reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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