Feb 24: Deuteronomy 1:16 – 3:29
We are in the final book of the Pentateuch! You are doing
a fabulous job – stick with it.
‘Deuteronomy’ means ‘repetition of the law’. I know –
that sounds like such an exciting book to read, especially if you struggled
with the FIRST reading of the law! But we can do this – it’s only eleven days
–and I’m sure there are some pearls of wisdom we will learn along the way.
Moses is proclaimed to be the author by almost all scholars,
however we know someone else probably wrote the preamble and obviously the part
after Moses dies. There are over 100 references to Deuteronomy in the New
Testament, including quotations Jesus used.
This is considered Moses’ farewell address, and it’s
believed this is a series of ‘sermons’
he gave over the course of several days, knowing he would soon be going to his
death. It is essentially al covenant renewal and is full of the love
relationship between God and His people. Overall it is a call to commitment and
The key verses are probably Dt 6:4-7 “4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with
all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today
are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress
them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk
along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Moses is now an old man (about 120 years old), and he is
remembering the journey the Israelites have been on. However, it seems to me
his memory is fading a bit! Did you notice the way he’s changed the story?
Verse 19 is the only time I’ve seen any reference to the
difficulty of the journey when he refers to the ‘vast and dreadful desert’. But
then he talks to the new generation of Israelites as if they were the original
travelers. In 1:22 he blames them for wanting to send out spies to investigate
the Promised Land, yet Numbers 13:1-3 states it was God’s command. God selected
the 12 men to go, not Moses.
A little later, in 1:37, Moses blames the Israelites for
keeping him from seeing the Promised Land. Hmmm, that’s not how Numbers 20:9-13
tells it! Even later in our text, Dt 3:26, Moses refuses to take responsibility
for his rash actions. He has begged God to let him step foot in the land, but
God stands firm. He does, however, allow Moses to view it from the top of a
With these inconsistencies, does it mean that we can’t
trust the Bible? Of course not! How many times do we see others remember things
incorrectly after just a few days, much less 40 years (of course, we ourselves
NEVER do that…). Honestly, I think this gives more credibility to the Bible.
These words most likely came from a journal Moses kept and were recorded just
as he wrote them instead of being corrected to ensure absolute consistency.
The little historical references that interrupt his
speech are interesting, too, and add a lot of validity to the story. The items
he mentions can be validated archaeologically when artifacts exist. My favorite
reference, though, is to the size of King Og’s bed!
Oh, wouldn’t it be amazing to read his journal?
TOMORROW’S TEXT: Dt. 4:1 – 6:15