Deuteronomy 27-28

Sunday Evening Bible Study

January 3, 1999

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. Itís Godís "review" for the people to make sure they understand His ways before they go into the land.

Deuteronomy 27

:2 and plaster them with plaster:

plaister (or lime). Produced by roasting gypsum, which was available in the Jordan and Dead Sea valleys. When the stones were whitewashed with this, the writing would be clearly visible.

:5 And there shalt thou build an altar unto the LORD thy God, an altar of stones: thou shalt not lift up any iron tool upon them.

(Exo 20:25 KJV) And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.

:8 And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly.

This was previously commanded in:

(Deu 11:26-29 KJV) Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; {27} A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: {28} And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known. {29} And it shall come to pass, when the LORD thy God hath brought thee in unto the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt put the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Ebal.

Joshua carried out these instructions.

(Josh 8:30-35 KJV) Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal, {31} As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings. {32} And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel. {33} And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, as well the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel. {34} And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law. {35} There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.

:9 Take heed, and hearken, O Israel; this day thou art become the people of the LORD thy God.

Though there is plenty of room to apply these principles to our lives, keep in mind that this is a covenant between God and His people Israel.

:12 These shall stand upon mount Gerizim to bless the people, when ye are come over Jordan; Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Joseph, and Benjamin:

Half of the tribes set on the side for blessing.

:13 And these shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.

Half of the tribes set on the side for cursing.

The choice between blessing and cursing was dramatized by relating it to the cleavage between two mountains in the central part of Palestine that rise about 3,000 ft (914 m) on either side of Shechem.

Lesson

You have a clear choice.

Follow the Lord or not follow.

Here we see it clearly. The Israelites at this point would see it clearly. When weíre in the middle of temptation, we donít see it very clearly.

(1 John 2:15-17 KJV) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. {16} For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. {17} And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

:14 And the Levites shall speak, and say unto all the men of Israel with a loud voice,

The Levites stood in the valley between the two peaks, reciting the blessings and the curses, and the other tribes would echo with "Amen".

:15 Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.

Making other gods or idols, doing it in secret.

God sees whatís done in secret.

:16 Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.

(Deu 27:16 NKJV) 'Cursed is the one who treats his father or his mother with contempt.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen!'

:17 Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour's landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Stealing your neighborís property. Property was marked off by landmarks. Moving the landmark would be equivalent to stealing your neighborís land.

:18 Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Donít take advantage of helpless people.

:19 Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Donít take advantage of those who canít defend themselves.

:20 Cursed be he that lieth with his father's wife; because he uncovereth his father's skirt. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Incest.

:24 Cursed be he that smiteth his neighbour secretly. And all the people shall say, Amen.

(Deu 27:24 NLT) 'Cursed is anyone who kills another person in secret.' And all the people will reply, 'Amen.'

:25 Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Murder for hire.

:26 Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Paul used this verse to show that eternal life could NOT be achieved by the keeping of the Law:

(Gal 3:10 KJV) For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

Deuteronomy 28

:1 that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:

This is a promise again for Israel, but there is a sense in which it can apply to any nation.

(Prov 14:34 KJV) Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

:2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

I like the idea of Godís blessings "overtaking" me.

There was but a brief time in my life when girls actually chased me. It was in first grade. Even though there was a part of you that was running for your life, there was a part of you that was glad to get caught.

:4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

fruit of thy body Ė your children

:5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.

thy store. A wide, shallow bowl used to prepare dough for making bread.

:7 The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.

Lesson

Obedience leads to stronger victory.

Donít let the enemy say, "Just do it this once Ö"

It will continue to make you weaker and weaker against temptation.

:12 The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.

God, not Baal, provides rain from His storehouse to make the land fertile.

:23 And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.

We often think of this as prayer that canít reach heaven.

It probably refers to a lack of rain.

:25 The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.

This is what concerns me about our nation. I donít mean to get "political", but when our president is caught in the middle of an immoral scandal, I become real concerned when we go out and attack someone like Saddam Hussein. I think our victories up to this point have simply been a matter of Godís grace on us.

:27 The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.

botch Ö emerods. Better, boils Ö tumors or hemorrhoids. the scab. Scurvy. the itch. Probably scabies.

Yuck.

:36 The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.

A prediction of the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, which would be more than 700 years in the future.

(Dan 5:1-4 KJV) Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. {2} Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein. {3} Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. {4} They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.

:38 Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it.

(Joel 1:4 KJV) That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpillar eaten.

:40 Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit.

(Deu 28:40 NLT) You will grow olive trees throughout your land, but you will never use the olive oil, for the trees will drop the fruit before it is ripe.

:45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:

All this comes to a people who are stubborn to refuse to obey the Lord.

:47 Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;

(Deu 28:47 NLT) Because you have not served the LORD your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received,

Lesson

Attitude

(Psa 100:1-2 KJV) A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. {2} Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Serving without the right attitude is a waste of time.

(1 Cor 13:1-3 KJV) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. {2} And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. {3} And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

(2 Cor 9:7 KJV) Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

What causes people to feel such great heaviness or pressure in serving the Lord?

Trying to bear burdens He did not put on us.

If the burden is heavier than you can bear you can be sure of one thing, He didn't put it on you

(Mat 11:28-30 KJV) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. {29} Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. {30} For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

:48 Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.

(Jer 28:13-14 KJV) Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron. {14} For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also.

:49 The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;

Several times this was fulfilled in different ways, most vivid was with the Babylonians:

(Hab 1:6-8 KJV) For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs. {7} They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. {8} Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat.

:53 And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:

Cannibalism of their own children during times of siege and famine.

This also would happen several times, as described by the siege of Samaria by the Syrians:

(2 Ki 6:24-30 KJV) And it came to pass after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria. {25} And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver. {26} And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king. {27} And he said, If the LORD do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? out of the barnfloor, or out of the winepress? {28} And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. {29} So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son. {30} And it came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he rent his clothes; and he passed by upon the wall, and the people looked, and, behold, he had sackcloth within upon his flesh.

:58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD;

Or, Yahweh, Thy God.

:62 And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the LORD thy God.

There would always be a remnant, as we read in Isaiah this morning:

(Isa 1:9 KJV) Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

This is because Godís judgment was out of discipline, and not for the purpose of destroying them.

:66 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:

Quite a picture of the person who has been running from God. No rest, filled with fear, doubt, guilt.

:68 And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.

A prophecy of the dispersion of the Jewish people among all people (nations) after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in a.d. 70. At that time, according to Josephus, many were consigned to slavery and transported in ships to Egypt (v. 68).