Deuteronomy 5-6

Sunday Evening Bible Study

July 19, 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.

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.

Moses has just finished a review of the last forty years of wandering in the wilderness, and is now about to begin a review of the Law.

Deuteronomy 5

:2 the LORD our God made a covenant with us

The Ten Commandments were part of a legally binding contract that God made with Israel.

The signing of the contract was in the sprinkling of blood Ė

(Exo 24:3-8 KJV) And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. {4} And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. {5} And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD. {6} And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. {7} And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. {8} And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.

(Heb 9:18 NKJV) Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood.

As Christians, we donít fall under this contract, but a newer contract, one that does away with the old one.

(Mat 26:26-29 KJV) And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. {27} And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; {28} For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. {29} But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.

There is great value in understanding the Old Covenant, the Old Testament, the Old Contract. Godís nature hasnít changed, and the Old Covenant tells us much about Godís nature.

But Godís conditions for approaching Him have changed, so that we now come through the blood of Christ, and not the obedience of the Law.

:7 none other gods

1st commandment.

:8 not make Ö graven image

2nd commandment

:11 not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain

3rd Commandment

Ryrie: i.e., for wrong purposes, such as manipulation or magic or selfish desires. This can even be done when we pray (James 4:3).

:12 the sabbath day

4th commandment. This ends the "First Table" of the Law, the first part of the Law that deals with manís relationship with God.

:15 therefore the LORD they God commanded thee Ö

The idea of keeping a Sabbath day, taking a day of rest, is a good one to keep, especially in our day where some of us can easily work seven days a week.

Illustration

When a gentleman was inspecting a house in Newcastle, with a view to renting it as a residence, the landlord took him to the upper window, expatiated on the extensive prospect, and added, "You can see Durham Cathedral from this window on a Sunday." "Why on a Sunday and not any other day?" inquired our friend, with some degree of surprise. The reply was conclusive enough. "Because on that day there is no smoke from those tall chimneys." Blessed is the Sabbath to us when the earth-smoke of care and turmoil no longer clouds our view. Then our souls often behold the goodly land, and the city of the New Jerusalem.

-- Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990)

But part of the idea behind the Sabbath was remembering that God had delivered the nation out of a life of slavery in Egypt, taking them to a place of rest.

So take the rest!

:16 Honour they father and thy mother

5th commandment.

Paul calls this the "first commandment with a promise" (Eph. 6:1-3), the promise of long life in the Promised Land.

Are we to continue to honor our parents after we become adults?

Yes. But that doesnít mean that we have to ask them for help on everything we do, or that we have to necessarily do whatever they ask us to do. But we are to still give them honor and respect.

:17 not kill

6th commandment.

Literally, "thou shall not commit murder". No, this does not mean that a state should not put a murderer to death.

:18 adultery

7th commandment

Illustration

Each week a New York youngster would bring home from Sunday school an illustrated card that dramatized one of the Ten Commandments. The first week showed people worshiping at church. Another week, to illustrate "Thou shalt not kill," the picture showed Cain in the act of slaying Abel. The child's father reports: "I was waiting with considerable alarm for the seventh week. But fortunately, tact and delicacy prevailed. Under the caption, "Thou shalt not commit adultery" was a picture of a dairyman, leering villainously, as he poured a huge pail of water into a can of milk.

:19 steal

8th commandment

:20 false witness

9th commandment Ė donít lie.

:21 covet

10th commandment Ė actually quite a broad one, to not lust for something that belongs to another.

Illustration

An ancient Persian legend tells of a wealthy man by the name of Al Haffed who owned a large farm. One evening a visitor related to him tales of fabulous amounts of diamonds that could be found in other parts of the world, and of the great riches they could bring him. The vision of all this wealth made him feel poor by comparison. So instead of caring for his own prosperous farm, he sold it and set out to find these treasures. But the search proved to be fruitless. Finally, penniless and in despair, he committed by jumping into the sea. Meanwhile, the man who had purchased his farm noticed one day the glint of an unusual stone in a shallow stream on the property. He reached into the water, and to his amazement he pulled out a huge diamond. Later when working in his garden, he uncovered many more valuable gems. Poor Al Haffed had spent his life traveling to distant lands seeking jewels when on the farm he had left behind were all the precious stones his heart could have ever desired.

The apostle Paul wrote:

(Phil 4:11-13 KJV) Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. {12} I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. {13} I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

The answer to covetousness is learning to be content in whatever circumstances weíre in.

:22 two tables of stone

Robert Orben quipped, "The world now has so many problems that if Moses had come down from Mount Sinai today the two tablets he'd carry would be aspirin."

-- Tim Hansel, Eating Problems For Breakfast, p. 129.

:31 I will speak unto thee all the commandments Ö which thou shalt teach them

Moses was to be the one to teach the people Godís Laws.

But we are now under a new covenant, where God desires to teach each of us directly in our heart:

Jer 31:31-34 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: {32} Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: {33} But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. {34} And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Deuteronomy 6

:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

This is what is known as the great Shema, the basic cry of a Jew.

Shema comes from the first word, "hear".

According to rabbinical tradition, the Shema originally consisted only of verse 4 but was later expanded to include verses 5-9; 11:13-21; and Num. 15:37-41. According to verse 7, it was to be recited morning and night.

There are two emphases in this verse.

1) Yahweh is unique, and the only God of the Jews.

It could more properly be translated, "The LORD is our God, the LORD alone."

2) He is one God.

This doesnít contradict the doctrine of the Trinity, since the word for "God" (Elohim) is a plural word, and the word for "one" is also used of the union of Adam and Eve (Gen. 2:24) to describe two persons in one flesh.

:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Jesus said this verse was the GREATEST COMMANDMENT. (Mark 12:30).

Everything in life flows from this. God desires that we have a strong, intense, love relationship with Him!

Illustration

A. W. Tozer said, "We are called to an everlasting preoccupation with God."

Illustration

One day when the Raiders were in Oakland, a reporter visited their locker room to talk to Ken Stabler. Stabler really wasn't known as an intellectual, but he was a good quarterback. This newspaperman read him some English prose:

"I would rather be ashes than dust.

I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than that it should be stifled by dry rot.

I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy, impermanent planet.

The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.

I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.

I shall use my time."

After reading this to the quarterback, the reporter asked, "What does this mean to you?"

Stabler immediately replied, "Throw deep."

-- John Maxwell, Be all You Can Be (Victor, 1987), p. 132.

All or nothing, intense love relationship with God.

:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children

It is a parentís responsibility to teach Godís ways to their children. It should be a natural, way of life kind of thing. God isnít saying you have to sit them down and have a Sunday School class once a day. Itís more than that. Itís teaching them all throughout the day, learning from all of lifeís situations.

Illustration

Graduate students at the University of Chicago, when asked where they got their major ideas in morals and religion, replied, "Through the conversation in our family at mealtime."

-- Dr. W. T. Thompson

Illustration

My mother worked in the church, took hot meals to the elderly, led a Bible study, went back to school to get her master's degree, counseled people, and showered my sister and me with love; all as a single parent. A single-parent family isn't the optimal situation, but it doesn't have to be dysfunctional. My experience certainly wasn't.

-- Debbye Turner, 1990 Miss America, Better Families, Vol. 18:11, November 1994, p. 1.

:8 bind them for a sign upon thine hand

The Jews took this literally, and developed "phylacteries", which are little leather boxes with a bit of scripture inside. They wear them on the hand or on the forehead.

:9 write them upon the posts of thy house

This too has been taken literally. When Calvary Anaheim used to meet that the Jewish Community Center, you would see these little clay scroll things with Hebrew lettering on them nailed to the doorframes.

It is called a "mezuzah" (= doorpost)

:10 to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not

This is something so true in Christianity. Itís never really about what we have done for God, but what God has done for us. Ask not what you can do for God, but what God can do for you.

:12 Then beware lest thou forget the LORD

We often are afraid of facing hard times, but in reality, itís usually the easy times that are most dangerous. Itís then we tend to forget the Lord.

:16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.

From Exodus 17. The people had seen God do incredible things. They had seen the plagues of Egypt. They had seen the Red Sea part. They had seen God provide manna in the wilderness for them to eat.

But when they ran out of water, rather than asking God for water, they resorted to complaining again.

(Exo 17:7 KJV) And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?

You may not always understand the difficulties you are going through, but you donít have to throw it in Godís face and challenge Him, not when Heís done so much for you.

:18 that thou mayest go in and possess the good land

Obedience to Godís ways isnít just because He likes to boss us around. But we will find that there is a type of prosperity that goes with keeping Godís commands. You donít suffer brain damage from drugs. You donít have to worry about venereal disease.

:20 And when thy son asketh thee in time to come

This is part of teaching the children along the way. Theyíll ask lots of questions. Why do we do it this way Daddy?

:21 Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt

A parent sharing his testimony to his son.