I don’t know if this happens to you, but in my house, when I am teaching something important to my children, I have to repeat it a thousand times. I must always remind them of everything, from the basic rules for living in society (“don’t eat your boogers“), to the reason why we read the Bible. Most of the time I feel they will never understand the importance of what I tell them. And I get so tired of repeating myself, particularly when I realize that I still have thousands of repetition ahead of me. The truth, sister, is that I am my kids. I behave the same with God; Deuteronomy is a testament of how God needs to repeat His Word over and over and over again. In fact, the meaning of Deuteronomy is “second law” or “repeated law.” This book is a repetition of the first law given in Exodus, but this time, to a new generation. And the one word that is repeated over and over again is “remember”. Let’s discover all the treasures that this book has for us!
Deuteronomy is one of the books of the Bible that has had the most impact on my life and one of my favorites. It guides me in my walk with Christ and has been a source of help in raising my children. This book, sister, without a doubt, is a jewel! I wish I could write to you about how valuable each word of Deuteronomy is, maybe in the future, but right it is not possible. I will only give you a brief description and share my favorite gems from this precious book.
We left Israel about to enter the promised land. The Israelites were so close that they could see it from the mountains. At that time, the previous generation had died in the desert as a result of their disobedience and as God had promised. Now, Moses had an important task: to remind this younger generation of their story. It was necessary to tell them once again about the law and the consequences of obedience and disobedience. The next generation needed to be prepared to enter the promised land, and Moses would do that!
The first part of this book, from chapter 1 to 11, is a reminder of the consequences they would suffer if they disobeyed God’s law, but also, of the blessings they would receive if they decided to follow and obey it. Moses restates the importance of remembering, remembering and remembering Israel’s past in order to make wise decisions.
One of the most important prayers and pinnacle of life as an Israeliteof the Jews even today is the Shema (Deut 6:4). For us, as Christians, these lines are the heart of the Bible: we serve the only true God to whom we must love and listen (obey) because we love Him. Through the strength that the Holy Spirit gives us, and because we live in Christ, we can love Him. We listen to Him through His Word, we know His heart and what He wants us to for His glory and our joy. In obedience, our love for Him grows. It is a perpetual circle of love and obedience that always leads us to God, to the abundant life He has for us in Christ. Sister, the key to living is simple: listen, love and obey the only true God.
In the second part of Deuteronomy, from chapter 12 to 26, Moses exposes, once again, the laws that God had given Israel. As we saw in Leviticus, these norms are summed up in one word: holiness. God did not create the laws at random, but rather for Him to be known to all human race. By leading a life in obedience and by being separated to God, the Israelites would be a blessing to the other nations and point them to by showing that there is only one, true God. In addition, the laws also provided protection.
The third part of Deuteronomy, from chapter 27 to 34, deals with the freedom of choice that Israel had. We, sister, as believers, also have this freedom. Moses presents Israel with two options: the first, to obey God’s law and reap blessings; the second, to disobey it and suffer the consequences. The message was clear.
Can you imagine the helplessness of Moses? As a sober leader, he saw God’s people disobey Him again and again. Moses insisted on choosing life and following God wholeheartedly. He even sings a song where he reminds them of God’s faithfulness and the suffering that the previous generation experienced because of disobedience. In this song Moses lamented the fact that mankind could not obey or love God completely because of the hardness of their heart. However, in his song we can see the mercy of God; compassion is evident in the redemption that points us to our need for Christ. Only Jesus we can listen and obey God!
At the end of Deuteronomy, Joshua is designated as Moses’ successor. Joshua was to lead Israel to enter the promised land. The tables of the law were placed in the ark of the covenant as a constant reminder that God’s presence was at the center of their lives (both physically and spiritually) and not in one leader. The grace and mercy of God allowed Moses to see the promised land from Mount Nebo. As we know, he wasn’t allowed to enter and after seeing the Promised land, Moses dies. God buries his bones so that no one could find him and venerate him. And that’s where Deuteronomy ends.
The first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah or Pentateuch, end up leaving Israel just outside the promised land. Deuteronomy leaves us an important message and three gems for our soul. The first: follow Christ. Letting our life e lead by Jesus does not mean doing a magic prayer and that’s it. You can start your walk with Jesus with a prayer, but without obedience, sister, must follow or your prayer will be a mere emotional reaction without lasting fruit. Second: remember. Do not forget how much pain sin has caused in your life and how you have made a mess of your life by being the master of your soul. Remember the abundant life that floods your being when you live in obedience to Jesus even if you go through hard trials and tribulations. Only in Jesus will you find the joy that your soul has so desperately seeks in the wrong places. Third: choose life. You will face temptations and you must choose between good and bad, but do not forget that your choice will have consequences. Although we have the grace of repentance, our sin will always bear fruit, and it will be unpleasant. Sister, the key to life is to choose Christ over everything. Sometimes it will be difficult, but in doing so, you will show your total dependence on Him.
1. List times in your life where your obedience to God bore fruit. What fruit did you reap?
2. List situations where your disobedience to God had consequences. What consequences did you experience?
Keep these lists in your heart so that you remember that choosing to follow God, regardless of cost, will fill your life with lasting fruits of peace, love and joy.
1. Share these lists with someone of the next generation and show them the results that their actions can have if they decide to obey God or not.