Deuteronomy 3-4

Thursday Evening Bible Study

September 16, 2010


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision

The name “Deuteronomy” means “Second (deutero) Law (nomos)”.

This book is a series of messages that Moses gave to the nation of Israel during the last month and a half of his life.

It’s been almost forty years since God gave Moses His laws on Mount Sinai.  It’s time for a review.


Love:  This may be a surprise, especially considering that this is a book of the “Law”, but one of the special themes of the book of Deuteronomy is “love”, God’s love for us and our love for God. The word “love” or a form of it is found 25 times, the word “heart” is found 50 times.

Moses starts with a brief historical review.

Moses talked about appointing elders to help him lead the people.

He’s reminded them of how they refused to trust God initially at Kadesh Barnea, and as a result have wandered for 38 years.

Finally the day came when God began to move them up toward the Promised Land again.  Their first conquest was Sihon, king of the Amorites.

Deuteronomy 3

:1 “Then we turned and went up the road to Bashan; and Og king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei.

:1 Bashan – Bashan would be the next stop in learning to conquer. It is the land to the northeast of Israel. The land of “Og”, known today as the “Golan Heights”, in dispute between Israel and Syria.

:2 And the LORD said to me, ‘Do not fear him, for I have delivered him and all his people and his land into your hand; you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon.’

:3 “So the LORD our God also delivered into our hands Og king of Bashan, with all his people, and we attacked him until he had no survivors remaining.

:4 And we took all his cities at that time; there was not a city which we did not take from them: sixty cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan.

:5 All these cities were fortified with high walls, gates, and bars, besides a great many rural towns.

:5 fortified with high walls


Conquering your fears.

Remember that one of the concerns Israel had about the Promised Land was the cities that would be too “difficult” to conquer –
(Deu 1:28 NKJV) 'Where can we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying, "The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there."'
Now that Israel has this initial victory over Sihon under their belts, God leads them to deal with one of their fears:  the “walled” cities.
What will happen?

:6 And we utterly destroyed them, as we did to Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children of every city.

:7 But all the livestock and the spoil of the cities we took as booty for ourselves.

:8 “And at that time we took the land from the hand of the two kings of the Amorites who were on this side of the Jordan, from the River Arnon to Mount Hermon

:9 (the Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir),

:10 all the cities of the plain, all Gilead, and all Bashan, as far as Salcah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan.

:11 “For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of the giants. Indeed his bedstead was an iron bedstead. (Is it not in Rabbah of the people of Ammon?) Nine cubits is its length and four cubits its width, according to the standard cubit.

:11 the giants

Og’s bed was 13 feet long.  That’s truly a “KING” sized bed.


Giant killing

One victory leads to another. It started with Sihon, it took a step further when they conquered the walled cities, and then they took on the big fear, the giants.
God may not have you start by conquering your biggest fears first, it seems He often starts with lesser things.
David was probably the most well known giant killer. But he wasn’t always a giant killer.  We know about David because of his victory over Goliath (over 9 feet tall), but David’s taste of victory didn’t start with Goliath.
(1 Sa 17:33–37 NKJV) —33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”

David had confidence in God’s ability to help him because he had seen God help him with other things, a lion and a bear.

Lions and bears are nothing to sneeze at, they’re pretty scary too, but they were a stepping stone from just being a shepherd to being a giant killer.

I think a key to killing “giants” is learning to be faithful with the things that God has put before you. As you gain “battle” experience, you will find yourself facing and conquering bigger and bigger giants.

:12 “And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the River Arnon, and half the mountains of Gilead and its cities, I gave to the Reubenites and the Gadites.

The territories that had belonged to Sihon were divided up among two of the tribes, Reuben and Gad. (map)

:13 The rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to half the tribe of Manasseh. (All the region of Argob, with all Bashan, was called the land of the giants.

Half of the tribe of Manasseh settled to the east of the Jordan, and this part was given the kingdom of the giant Og.

The Land of the Giants (TV show from 1968)

:14 Jair the son of Manasseh took all the region of Argob, as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maachathites, and called Bashan after his own name, Havoth Jair, to this day.)

:14 Havoth – “villages”

:15 “Also I gave Gilead to Machir.

:16 And to the Reubenites and the Gadites I gave from Gilead as far as the River Arnon, the middle of the river as the border, as far as the River Jabbok, the border of the people of Ammon;

:17 the plain also, with the Jordan as the border, from Chinnereth as far as the east side of the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea), below the slopes of Pisgah.

:17 Chinnereth – the Sea of Galilee

:17 the Salt Sea – the Dead Sea

These two and a half tribes are given their Promised Land on the eastern side of the Jordan.

:18 “Then I commanded you at that time, saying: ‘The LORD your God has given you this land to possess. All you men of valor shall cross over armed before your brethren, the children of Israel.

:19 But your wives, your little ones, and your livestock (I know that you have much livestock) shall stay in your cities which I have given you,

:20 until the LORD has given rest to your brethren as to you, and they also possess the land which the LORD your God is giving them beyond the Jordan. Then each of you may return to his possession which I have given you.’

:20 your brethren

These two and a half tribes wanted to settle to the east of the Jordan. Moses was reluctant at first, but finally the decision was made that they could have the land to the east as long as they still sent their armies with the rest of the nation to conquer the rest of the Promised Land.


Helping others

Perhaps God has delivered you from many things. Perhaps He’s delivered you from drugs, given you a job, given you a family and a home.
But don’t 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 haven’t crossed over into their Promised Land yet.
God wants to use the victory He’s brought in your life to help others cross into their Promised Land.
(2 Co 1:3–4 NKJV) —3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

The victory, the “comfort” that we receive is able to be used in the lives of others.

:21 “And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings; so will the LORD do to all the kingdoms through which you pass.

:22 You must not fear them, for the LORD your God Himself fights for you.’

Moses encourages Joshua to keep trusting in God.  God has helped before, He will help again.

:23 “Then I pleaded with the LORD at that time, saying:

:24 ‘O Lord GOD, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your mighty hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like Your works and Your mighty deeds?

:25 I pray, let me cross over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, those pleasant mountains, and Lebanon.’

:26 “But the LORD was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me. So the LORD said to me: ‘Enough of that! Speak no more to Me of this matter.

:27 Go up to the top of Pisgah, and lift your eyes toward the west, the north, the south, and the east; behold it with your eyes, for you shall not cross over this Jordan.

:27 Pisgah – (show map) a mountain on the eastern side of the Jordan river. From the top of Pisgah Moses would have been able to get a glimpse of the Promised Land.

:28 But command Joshua, and encourage him and strengthen him; for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which you will see.’

:29 “So we stayed in the valley opposite Beth Peor.

:29 Beth Peor – That’s where they are today as Moses is talking to the people, in the land of Moab near Peor.

:25 let me cross over

Moses wants to go into the Promised Land.  God says “no”.


Accepting God’s “no”

Some people think that God’s just a great big “genie” who grants you your wishes.

3 Wishes

Walking along the beach, John tripped over a half buried kerosene lantern. He rubbed its side and sure enough, a genie materialized. “I can’t grant your wishes,” explained the freed spirit, “But I’ll give you three gifts for releasing me: a potion to cure ill health, a very large diamond and a dinner date with a famous movie star. By tomorrow afternoon, you will have received all these gifts.” When John returned home from work the next evening, he excitedly asked his mother if anything had been delivered. “Yes,” she replied. “It’s been an unusual day. At 2 pm, a 55 gallon drum of chicken soup arrived. About a half-hour later, a telegram came saying that a long-lost relative had left you a minor-league baseball stadium. Ten minutes ago, MGM called, inviting you to dinner with Lassie tonight.”

We get disappointed when things don’t pan out exactly the way we “asked” them to.
Some would have you think that you have the ability to twist God’s arm and make Him do whatever you do, especially if you have the magic key (faith) and say the right things (like positive confession).
Play “Positive Affirmation”
But the truth is, sometimes God does say “no”.
Paul had some sort of “affliction”.  He asked God to take it away.
(2 Co 12:8–9 NKJV) —8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Paul learned that even when God said “no”, that he still had God’s grace.  God still loved him.  God could even help Paul grow stronger when things were difficult.

Deuteronomy 4

:1 “Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you to observe, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you.

:2 You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

:2  You shall not add


Don’t change it

Jesus said,
(Mt 5:17–19 NKJV) —17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Some people have this notion that Jesus “changed” things, that the Old Testament is now irrelevant.  Not so.

There are things in the Old Testament that don’t apply specifically to us because we are not Jews, but many things in the Old Testament do apply to us, and the basic principals laid out in the Old Testament are good things to learn from.

Sometimes we “add” to God’s Word.
The Bible says that we must believe in order to be saved.  Yet the things that God says can seem too simple, and we think that people ought to do more, so we can add to God’s word and say, “You must believe, and be baptized, and go to our special church, and climb Mount Everest, etc.”
Sometimes we “diminish” God’s Word.
Sometimes the Bible tells us things that we don’t like to hear.

The Bible tells us that we must forgive each other.  This is one that I find quite “diminished” for some folks.  They don’t mind forgiving when it comes easy, but when it comes to forgiving someone like a family member who has done something really, really bad, well there’s reasons not to forgive.

We would be much better off if we just learn to do what the Bible says.
This is the “key” to possessing the “Promised Land”.

…that you may live, and go in and possess the land (4:1)

If we want to get to the place where we are experiencing all that God has for us, we need to learn to follow all that God says.

:3 Your eyes have seen what the LORD did at Baal Peor; for the LORD your God has destroyed from among you all the men who followed Baal of Peor.

:4 But you who held fast to the LORD your God are alive today, every one of you.

:3 Baal Peor


Obedience pays

Those who obeyed the Lord were the ones alive at that moment.
For the Israelites listening to Moses, this is very recent history (Num. 25), perhaps days or weeks earlier. 
It was an incident that took place after Israel had finished conquering the Amorite kings Sihon and Og.  The nation was camped on the plains of Moab, possibly in the very same place they are sitting right now. 
Balaak, the Midianite king tried to hire a prophet named Balaam to place a curse on Israel so he could conquer them.
When Balaam was unable to curse Israel, he came up with another plan – to send young good looking gals into the Israelite camp, tempt the men to have sex with them, and then worship their gods through sex. 
These young gals didn’t have any problem finding willing men, and as a result of this horrible sin, God sent a plague on the nation and 24,000 people died.
This was a great example to the people of how it paid to follow the Lord.  The people that had followed the Lord were not touched by the plague.
It’s very similar to the lessons of venereal disease today.
Some feel that we need to teach kids to have “safe sex” using condoms in order to avoid venereal disease.
God’s idea of “safe sex” is marriage.  If our world practiced God’s kind of “safe sex”, would we have an AIDS epidemic today?  I don’t think so.

I saw a cartoon once of a young man who asked his grandfather about what his generation used for “safe sex”.  The grandfather responded, “Yes, in my day we had a device for “safe sex”, it was called a “wedding ring””.

:5 “Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess.

:6 Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’

:7 “For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?

:8 And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?

:6 this is your wisdom

The thing that will set Israel apart from the nations is the Word of God.


True Wisdom

Listen to how the Psalmist describes God’s Word:
(Ps 19:7–11 NKJV) —7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; 8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; 9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.
I particularly like this verse:
(Ps 119:99 NKJV) I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation.
The smartest thing you can do is to study and pattern your life after God’s Word.

:9 Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren,

:10 especially concerning the day you stood before the LORD your God in Horeb, when the LORD said to me, ‘Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’

These events happened in Exodus 19.

:11 “Then you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the midst of heaven, with darkness, cloud, and thick darkness.

:12 And the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of the words, but saw no form; you only heard a voice.

:13 So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.

:13 the Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments are found in Exodus 20.

:9 let you forget



Moses didn’t want the people to forget what had happened on that day 39 years ago when they stood at the base of Mount Sinai.
The people heard the voice of God.
It’s easy to forget.

Two elderly couples were enjoying friendly conversation when one of the men asked the other, “Fred, how was the memory clinic you went to last month?” “Outstanding,” Fred replied. “They taught us all the latest psychological techniques, like visualization, association, and so on. It was great. I haven’t had a problem since.” “Sounds like something I could use. What was the name of the clinic?” Fred went blank. He thought and thought, but couldn’t remember. Then a smile broke across his face and he asked, “What do you call that flower with the long stem and thorns?” “You mean a rose?” “Yes, that’s it!” He turned to his wife, “Hey Rose, what was the name of that memory clinic?”

How well do you remember 9/11?
Play 9/11 clips
I saw some of these clips last week, and realized how much I had forgotten.

It’s only been 9 years.

As human beings, we forget tragic things quite easily.  We forget important things quite easily.
Remember the day of your salvation.
Don’t forget how you got started with the Lord.

:12 you heard the sounds


Supernatural Book

People will want to argue with you about what you believe and say, “Well the Bible is just like every other religious book – written by men with men’s ideas.
The Bible is not like any other religious book.
It was written by God.
1.  Hearing the Voice

The people of Moses’ day heard God speak.  They literally heard God give them the Ten Commandments.

2.  Fulfilled prophecy

I can think of no greater evidence that this book has a supernatural origin than the fact that it contains hundreds of specific prophecies which have been fulfilled.

How do you explain that?  The content came from someone outside our domain of time.

:14 And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might observe them in the land which you cross over to possess.

:15 “Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire,

:16 lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female,

:17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air,

:18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish that is in the water beneath the earth.

:18 the likeness of …


Bad Images

In our current world, people don’t tend to make little idols and call them their “god”.  We’re more sophisticated than that.
But we do something just as dangerous when we talk about God and say something like, “Well I just don’t believe that God could do such-and-such”.
People say that they don’t believe in hell because they just can’t accept the fact that God would create such a place.
Our “religious” beliefs aren’t based on what we “think” God is like.
We should not make God in our image.
God is not what we “wish” Him to be.
God is our Creator, the originator of all things, nobody “made” Him.

He is not who we want Him to be, we must learn to understand Him as He has revealed Himself.

Our images always fall short of the real thing.

The world might consider Pablo Picasso a master painter, but I imagine the painter’s goal was not to paint you a picture so you’d recognize his model. 

This gal’s name was Dora Maar.  Does she look like her “image”?

In reality, God is a whole lot bigger than our ability to comprehend Him.

(Is 55:9 NKJV) “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Whenever we start to think we’ve got God figured out, we’ve stopped far short of who He really is.
If you really want a good “picture” of what God is like, the best “image” you can look at is that of Jesus Christ:
(Jn 14:8–9 NKJV) —8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Beyond that, we need to be careful how we form our ideas of who God is.
We need to stay with what God has told us about Himself.

:19 And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the LORD your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage.

:20 But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be His people, an inheritance, as you are this day.

:21 Furthermore the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, and swore that I would not cross over the Jordan, and that I would not enter the good land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.

:22 But I must die in this land, I must not cross over the Jordan; but you shall cross over and possess that good land.


Seriousness of leadership

At times it might look like it is fun to be a leader, to be “in charge”.
It’s also a very serious thing.
Moses did not go into the Promised Land because he misrepresented God.
(Jas 3:1 NKJV) My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.

:23 Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the LORD your God has forbidden you.

:24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

:24 a consuming fire

(Heb 12:29 NKJV) For our God is a consuming fire.



Fire can be a good thing or a bad thing.
1)  Fire burns wood, hay or stubble

(1 Co 3:12–13 NKJV) —12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

When we have our lives filled with worthless, flammable things, we ought to be a little concerned that God is a fire.

2)  Fire turns iron into steel

(1 Pe 1:6–7 NKJV) —6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

Fire will melt the metal and bring the dross to the surface where it can be removed.

Fire can take weak iron and harden it into steel.

God called the Israelite’s wilderness experience the “iron furnace” (vs. 20)

Trials can ruin you or make you stronger than ever.

:25 “When you beget children and grandchildren and have grown old in the land, and act corruptly and make a carved image in the form of anything, and do evil in the sight of the LORD your God to provoke Him to anger,

:26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that you will soon utterly perish from the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess; you will not prolong your days in it, but will be utterly destroyed.

:27 And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD will drive you.

:28 And there you will serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell.

:29 But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

:30 When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the LORD your God and obey His voice

:31 (for the LORD your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.

:31 He will not forsake you

This is incredibly prophetic.  This is exactly what would happen.  The nation slowly degenerated and began to fall away from worshipping God.

The day would come when God would scatter Israel among the nations.

They would wake up, come to their senses, and call on God.

God would respond by restoring them.

When the nation split into two kingdoms at the time of Solomon’s son Rehoboam, the northern kingdom (known as Israel) went immediately away from the Lord.  This nation was finally taken captive by the Assyrians in 722 BC and were scattered around the world.
The southern kingdom (known as Judah) had times when they were close to the Lord and times when they were far from God.  Eventually, they too were conquered by the Babylonians in 586 BC and taken off to Babylon.
It was the remnant of the nation of Judah in Babylon that began to call upon God for mercy and under the Persian emperor Cyrus were allowed to come back and rebuild their nation.

:32 “For ask now concerning the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether any great thing like this has happened, or anything like it has been heard.

:33 Did any people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and live?

They had actually heard God’s audible voice.

:34 Or did God ever try to go and take for Himself a nation from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

:35 To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD Himself is God; there is none other besides Him.

:36 Out of heaven He let you hear His voice, that He might instruct you; on earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words out of the midst of the fire.

:37 And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power,

:38 driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day.

:39 Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.

:40 You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD your God is giving you for all time.”

4:41-43  Cities of Refuge

:41 Then Moses set apart three cities on this side of the Jordan, toward the rising of the sun,

:42 that the manslayer might flee there, who kills his neighbor unintentionally, without having hated him in time past, and that by fleeing to one of these cities he might live:

:43 Bezer in the wilderness on the plateau for the Reubenites, Ramoth in Gilead for the Gadites, and Golan in Bashan for the Manassites.

:41 three cities

Moses would eventually set aside six cities as “cities of refuge”.

In ancient days if someone accidentally killed a relative of yours, you were bound by tradition to hunt that person down and kill them.
There was no sense of justice, no court system, just “revenge”.
The system of these cities was to set up places that a person guilty of manslaughter could go to and find justice without just being hunted down and killed.
They were scattered throughout the land of Israel so that no person was more than one days’ run from a city of refuge.

Moses would set aside the cities of Bezer, Ramoth, and Golan, all on the east side of the Jordan (from the land they had already conquered from Sihon and Og).

Three more cities on the western side of the Jordan would be set aside once they had conquered the Promised Land.

4:44-49 Summary of the Introduction

Moses winds up this first sermon by simply putting an historical “tag” on it, that these were the things that Moses spoke on the Plain of Moab before they crossed into the Promised Land.

:44 Now this is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel.

:45 These are the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which Moses spoke to the children of Israel after they came out of Egypt,

:46 on this side of the Jordan, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon, whom Moses and the children of Israel defeated after they came out of Egypt.

:47 And they took possession of his land and the land of Og king of Bashan, two kings of the Amorites, who were on this side of the Jordan, toward the rising of the sun,

:48 from Aroer, which is on the bank of the River Arnon, even to Mount Sion (that is, Hermon),

:49 and all the plain on the east side of the Jordan as far as the Sea of the Arabah, below the slopes of Pisgah.

This finishes Moses’ introduction to the Second Law.

:33 Did any people ever hear…

Judaism is not based on some guy claiming to hear God in a secret closet where nobody was watching. The nation heard God’s voice.


God is there

Sometimes we can lose sight of just how real God is.
I do not know if this is a true story or not, but it’s certainly an interesting one, and it certainly makes a point –
There is a store front church called the Almighty God Tabernacle. On a Saturday night, the pastor was working late, and decided to call his wife before he left for home. It was about 10:00 PM, but his wife didn't answer the phone. The pastor let it ring many times. He thought it was odd that she didn't answer, but decided to wrap up a few things and try again in a few minutes. When he tried again she answered right away. He asked her why she hadn't answered before, and she said that it hadn't rung at their house. They brushed it off as a fluke and went on their merry way. The following Monday, the pastor received a call at the church office, which was the phone that he'd used that Saturday night. The man on the other end wanted to know why he'd called on Saturday night. The pastor was dumbfounded and couldn't figure out what the guy was talking about. Then the caller said, "It rang and rang, but I didn't answer." The pastor remembered the apparently misdirected call and apologized for disturbing the gentleman, explaining that he'd intended to call his wife. The called said, "That's OK, let me tell you my story. You see, I was planning to commit suicide on Saturday night, but before I did, I prayed, 'God if you're there, and you don't want me to do this, give me a sign now.' At that point my phone started to ring. I looked at the caller ID, and it said, 'Almighty God'. I was afraid to answer!" The man who had intended to commit suicide is now meeting regularly for counseling with the pastor of Almighty God Tabernacle.
God may not work exactly like that in your life, but He’s real.  He hears you.  He wants you to call on Him.