Deuteronomy 2-3

Sunday Evening Bible Study

June 21, 1998

Introduction

The name Deuteronomy means "second law".

It is Mosesí final address to the people. It covers the last 1 Ĺ months of Mosesí life. Heís 120 years old. He can still see and hear very well.

Heís rehearsing the work of God in Israelís past history. Many of the people were born in the wilderness. Many did not sea the parting of the Red Sea. Many did not have the memories of the and being delivered out of Egypt.

This is all taking place in the last 40 days of Mosesí life.

I see two purposes for Deuteronomy Ė

1) Encouragement for the people in crossing over and taking the Promised Land. Weíll see this heavily in the first couple of chapters.

2) A review of Godís laws, retold for the next generation.

Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers were in some ways written more for the Levites, as they contain specific instructions for the priests and Levites in their ministries.

But Deuteronomy is written for the entire nation.

One of the major themes weíre going to see through the book is that of Godís love for His people.

The word "love" or one of its forms is found 22 times in this book.

Along with this, the word "heart" is found 43 times in the book.

Last week Ė

Chapter one dealt early wilderness history. After having received the Law at Mt. Sinai (or, Mt. Horeb), God told the Israelites to get moving. When they got to Kadesh Barnea, they sent spies into the land, but when the people heard about the giants and the high-walled cities, the people became afraid. They decided they didnít want to go in. They had a hard time believing that God could help them conquer the land.

Deuteronomy 2

:1 we compassed mount Seir many days.

Mount Seir is the land of the Edomites.

This "many days" is the 38 years of wandering.

:7 these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.

Isnít this an awesome display of Godís love for these people?

Here they are, stubborn, rebellious, and He takes care of them?

Godís purpose is to get them into the Promised Land ALIVE!

Even though they claim that God is trying to destroy them, Heís really been preserving them all along.

:8 And when we passed by from our brethren the children of Esau

They were actually denied passage through Edom, and had to go around it. The Edomites felt threatened by the massive multitude of Israelites. (Num.20)

See map

:10-12 Emims Ö Anakims Ö Horims

God is trying to get a message across to the Israelites.

Giants have been driven out of other territories. Theyíre not invincible. The Edomites had done it.

Heís trying to encourage their faith to face the giants.

:15 until they were consumed.

How did they know when all the men were dead?

Circumcision (Joshua 5). The new generation was uncircumcised. The old generation was circumcised.

:19 the children of Lot

Lot had two sons by getting his daughters pregnant. The people descended from Lot were the Ammonites and the Moabites.

:21 A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; but the LORD destroyed them before them

Again, encouragement against the giants.

It was even Yahweh Himself who had apparently helped the Moabites to get rid of their giants!

If God could help the Moabites, couldnít He help His people Israel?

:24 Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnon Ö

This picks up the historical narrative, how the Israelites, after going around Moab, headed up north to face the Amorites.

:34 we left none to remain:

Why such destruction against the Amorites?

It was a judgment by God, through Israel, against their sin.

Hundreds of years earlier, God had spoken to Abraham about his descendants, and told him that they would become slaves in a foreign land, but that after 400 years of slavery, God would bring them out Ė

(Gen 15:16 KJV) But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

By Mosesí time, Godís patience with the Amorites was all used up.

:36 there was not one city too strong for us: the LORD our God delivered all unto us:

too strong Ė lit. Ė "too high"

Remember that the Israelites were afraid of cities with high walls!

Yet God showed that He could handle it.

This was training for the Israelites.

God moves us on from one victory to another.

David Ė

(1 Sam 17:37 KJV) David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.

Deuteronomy 3

:3 So the LORD our God delivered into our hands Og

Moses and the people saw God as being the one who gave them a victory, yet in reality, the Israelite army had to go out and fight this one.

Lesson:

Sometimes Godís deliverance means you swinging a sword.

Sometimes Godís victories come through us simply "standing and seeing" the salvation of the Lord.

Sometimes Godís victories come through us putting a sword in our hand, and swinging it.

:4 threescore cities

sixty cities.

:5 All these cities were fenced with high walls

Again, those "high walls". Now they have learned that God can handle walled cities.

:11 For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants

remnant of giants Ė or, "rephaim". Og was the last of this race of giants

:11 nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man

13 Ĺ x 6 foot bed. He must have been huge!

:17 Chinnereth

or, Galilee.

:20 Until the LORD have given rest unto your brethren

The two and a half tribes that settled on the east side of the Jordan, occupying the land of Sihon and Og, were to not settle down, but to keep fighting with the rest of the nation until the entire land was taken and everyone had their inheritance.

Lesson:

Donít stop if thereís work to be done.

I see it in my kids when I give them chores to do. They will do the chores I assign them, but they donít want to have to help any of their brothers do their work.

As soon as they have their chores done, they take off.

Perhaps God has delivered you from many things. Perhaps Heís delivered you from drugs, given you a job, given you a family and a home.

But donít get comfortable and think that God is done working in you and through you.

There are lots of things to be done for the Lord. There are lots of folks who havenít crossed over into their Promised Land yet.

:21 Thine eyes have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto these two kings: so shall the LORD do unto all the kingdoms whither thou passest.

God has already shown you that you can have victory.

Now theyíre finally ready to believe it.

Lesson:

You can do it the easy way, or the hard way.

But either way, God wants to take you into the land.

They were unwilling to believe God the first time, so God gave them 38 years to think about it, and now God has begun to build their faith by giving them one victory over another.

But they still have to believe God for the victories.

:22 Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you.

38 years earlier, the Lord had told the people this, but now theyíre finally at a place where theyíre ready to listen.

:24 what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works,

If I didnít know any better, Iíd think Moses was trying to butter God up and ask him for something.

:25 I pray thee, let me go over

Moses really wanted to go into the Promised Land. He was looking forward to it.

:26 Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.

Moses had blown it.

He had not represented God properly back at Meribah.

When God had told him to speak to the rock, he struck it instead. Then he got mad at the people and misrepresented God when God wasnít mad at them.

As a result, Moses would not go into the Promised Land.

Lesson:

Donít shorten your ministry.

Donít think that this has to do with Mosesí salvation. It has nothing to do with Mosesí salvation. But his ministry certainly didnít go as far as it could have if he hadnít disobeyed.

(1 Cor 9:24-27 KJV) Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. {25} And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. {26} I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: {27} But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Lesson:

You canít twist Godís arm.

This is one time God did not answer Mosesí prayer in the affirmative.

In fact, God tells Moses to stop asking about it. Itís not going to happen.

There are some who would give you the idea that you can force God to do whatever you want.

But it seems to me that these people must come across to God like spoiled little brats, always crying and complaining until they get it their way.

God says for Moses to be silent about this subject. Period.

:27 Get thee up into the top of Pisgah

Moses wasnít allowed to go into the Promised Land, but he would be able to see it from a distance, from atop a mountain.

:29 So we abode in the valley over against Bethpeor.

This was where the Israelites had fallen into sin with the young Moabite women, committing immorality and idolatry, all at the advice of Balaam.

This is where they are sitting at the time of this address.