Evening Bible Study
Deuteronomy means “second law”.
The people are about to cross into the Promised Land.
Before they cross the Jordan, Moses pulls the people aside to give them a
review of what God’s laws are all about.
It’s been 38 years since they’ve heard the Law.
He’s started with reviewing the work of God in Israel’s past
history, and had gotten to the point where Moses had been on Mount Sinai for
forty days, and came
back to find the Israelites already gone astray to make and worship a golden
10:1-11 The Backup Tablets
:1 “At that time the LORD said to me, ‘Hew for yourself two tablets of
stone like the first, and come up to Me on the mountain and make yourself an
ark of wood.
:2 And I will
write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke;
and you shall put them in the ark.’
:1 two tablets
of stone like the first
When Moses saw
the golden calf, he broke the first set of stone tablets on which God had written the Ten
The contract had been broken between God and man.
Now God tells Moses to make a new set of tablets. They are going to get a “do-over”, a “second
:3 “So I made an ark of acacia
wood, hewed two tablets of stone like the first, and went up the mountain,
having the two tablets in my hand.
:4 And He wrote on the tablets according to the first writing, the Ten
Commandments, which the LORD had spoken to you in the mountain from the midst
of the fire in the day of the assembly; and the LORD gave them to me.
:5 Then I turned and came down from the mountain, and put the tablets in
the ark which I had made; and there they are, just as the LORD commanded me.”
:6 (Now the children of Israel journeyed from the wells of Bene Jaakan to
Moserah, where Aaron died, and where he was buried; and Eleazar his son
ministered as priest in his stead.
:7 From there they journeyed to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a
land of rivers of water.
:8 At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi to bear the ark of the
covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister to Him and to bless
in His name, to this day.
:9 Therefore Levi has no portion nor inheritance with his brethren; the LORD
is his inheritance, just as the LORD your God promised him.)
:10 “As at the first time, I stayed in the mountain forty days and forty
nights; the LORD also heard me at that time, and the LORD chose not to destroy
:11 Then the LORD said to me, ‘Arise, begin your journey before the people,
that they may go in and possess the land which I swore to their fathers to give
It was after these incidents around Mount Sinai that the people set out for
the Promised Land, though it would take them 38 years to get where they were on
that day before Moses.
Essence of the Law
:12 “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to
fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the
LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
:13 and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I
command you today for your good?
:12 with all your
heart and with all your soul
The Law wasn’t intended to just be a cold bunch of rules for the people to
It was always intended to be a matter of the heart. It was intended to be a matter of loving God
and proving it by keeping His commandments.
:14 Indeed heaven
and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all
that is in it.
:15 The LORD delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose
their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day.
:16 Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no
:17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God,
mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe.
:18 He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the
stranger, giving him food and clothing.
:17 your God
Who is God?
– gadowl – great
He is greater than any other “god”, He is Lord over all other lords.
– gibbowr – strong, mighty
– yare’ – to be fearful, dreadful; to
cause astonishment and awe, be held in awe
:17 shows no
partiality – literally, “to receive
He doesn’t play favorites, He doesn’t act nicer to people who give Him
God isn’t impressed with “important” people.
– mishpat – judgment, justice; act of
deciding a case
He does what’s right for those who can’t defend themselves
– ‘ahab – to love; act of being a
We tend to pull away from strangers or needy people, God acts as their
:19 Therefore love
the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
God loves the stranger, so should we.
:20 You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you
shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name.
:21 He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great
and awesome things which your eyes have seen.
:22 Your fathers went down to Egypt with seventy persons, and now the LORD
your God has made you as the stars of heaven in multitude.
:22 seventy persons
It was the famine during the time of Joseph, and Joseph brought all his family
to Egypt. When papa Jacob arrived, there
were seventy in his family who settled in Egypt.
We think that
in Moses’ day there were about 2 million Israelites.
:1 “Therefore you shall love the LORD your God, and keep His charge, His
statutes, His judgments, and His commandments always.
:2 Know today that I do not speak with your children, who have not known
and who have not seen the chastening of the LORD your God, His greatness and
His mighty hand and His outstretched arm—
:3 His signs and His acts which He did in the midst of Egypt, to Pharaoh
king of Egypt, and to all his land;
:4 what He did to the army of Egypt, to their horses and their chariots:
how He made the waters of the Red Sea overflow them as they pursued you, and
how the LORD has destroyed them to this day;
There were still some people alive before Moses who had seen the Red Sea
:5 what He did for you in the wilderness until you came to this place;
:6 and what He did to Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, the son of
Reuben: how the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, their households,
their tents, and all the substance that was in their possession, in the midst
of all Israel—
:6 Dathan and
These were some of the guys who were a part of Korah’s rebellion (Num.
16). (Dathan was played by Edward G. Robinson in the “Ten
Their group didn’t like the way that Moses was leading the nation. They thought they could do just as good a
by making the earth open up and swallow them alive.
:7 but your
eyes have seen every great act of the LORD which He did.
:8 “Therefore you shall keep every commandment which I command you today,
that you may be strong, and go in and possess the land which you cross over to
:8 that you may be
Strength from obedience
Sometimes we have the idea that it isn’t all that necessary that we obey
every little thing that God has for us.
We think that one little thing can’t be all that bad.
Yet learning to obey all that God has for us gives us strength.
PUSHING AGAINST THE ROCK
There was a man who was asleep one night in his cabin when suddenly his
room filled with light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man He had a
work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that
the man was to push against the rock with all his might. This the man did, day
after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set
squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock pushing with
all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out,
feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain. Seeing that the man was
showing signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture placing
thoughts into the man’s mind such as; “You have been pushing against that rock
for a long time and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are
never going to move it? etc.” Thus, giving the man the impression that the task
was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the
man even more. “Why kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my
time, giving just the minimum of effort and that will be good enough.” And that
he planned to do until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and
take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. “Lord” he said, “I have labored long and hard in
your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet,
after all this time, I have not even budged that rock a half a millimeter. What
is wrong? Why am I failing?” To this the Lord responded compassionately, “My
friend, when long ago I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that
your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have
done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task
was to push. And now you come to me, your strength spent, thinking that you
have failed. But, is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and
muscled, your back sinewed and brown, your hands are callused from constant
pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you
have grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet
you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and
to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you have done. I, my
friend, will now move the rock.
It’s a good thing to obey God. It
makes us stronger.
:9 and that you
may prolong your days in the land which the LORD swore to give your fathers, to
them and their descendants, ‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’
:10 For the land which you go to possess is not like the land of Egypt from
which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it by foot, as a
:10 watered it by
Egypt was a
desert. The only farming that was done
was done alongside the Nile River, through irrigation. It took work to water the fields, whether through foot
pumps, water wheels, or carrying the water.
:11 but the
land which you cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which
drinks water from the rain of heaven,
:12 a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God
are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year.
:13 ‘And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I
command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart
and with all your soul,
:14 then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early
rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and
:14 early … latter
The early rains
came around September-October, the latter rains came in March and April. Both were necessary for the crops to grow.
:15 And I will
send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.’
:16 Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn
aside and serve other gods and worship them,
:17 lest the LORD’s anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the
heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish
quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you.
:17 no rain
The Wakeup Call
God sometimes has to use difficult things like drought to wake people up
for their need of God.
The Chilean miners
We are getting little hints of God doing a work in the hearts of the
When they got the first communication from the miners, they asked for
toothpaste and Bibles.
One of the miners said he felt like he was trapped between heaven and hell,
and he had to make a choice: Follow
Satan or follow God. He chose God.
you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind
them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
:19 You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in
your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
:20 And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your
:21 that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the
land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the
heavens above the earth.
:22 “For if you carefully keep all these commandments which I command you
to do—to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to
:23 then the LORD will drive out all these nations from before you, and you
will dispossess greater and mightier nations than yourselves.
:24 Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours: from
the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the River Euphrates, even to the
Western Sea, shall be your territory.
:24 from the river
size of Israel today with the size described here.
:25 No man
shall be able to stand against you; the LORD your God will put the dread of you
and the fear of you upon all the land where you tread, just as He has said to
:26 “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse:
:27 the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I
command you today;
:28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your
God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other
gods which you have not known.
:29 Now it shall be, when the LORD your God has brought you into the land
which you go to possess, that you shall put the blessing on Mount Gerizim and
the curse on Mount Ebal.
:30 Are they not on the other side of the Jordan, toward the setting sun,
in the land of the Canaanites who dwell in the plain opposite Gilgal, beside
the terebinth trees of Moreh?
:29 Gerizim … Ebal
and Ebal” map video.
happen in Josh. 8:30-35,
when Joshua set up an altar on mount Ebal, whitewashed the rocks, and wrote a
copy of the law on it. Then half of the
people stood on one mountain while the other half on the other, and they read
the law to the people with the blessings and curses.
Make your choice
The idea of the display on the mountains would make a huge impression on
the people, there is a clear difference between the results of following God
and the results of disobeying God.
I remember as a boy hearing about the great preacher-evangelist Charles Templeton. He
pastored a large church in Toronto and helped found Youth for Christ in Canada.
Templeton is a clear memory because the story of his departure from the faith
was such a shock to Christians all over North America. It wasn’t a moral
failure, but a denial of all he had believed. So you can imagine my interest as
I recently read about him in Lee Strobel’s new book, The Case for Faith. Templeton was now in his
80s (he died in 2001). After denying his faith, he had a brilliant career as
the editor of two of Canada’s largest newspapers and made one run at the prime
minister’s job. While interviewing Templeton for the book, Lee asked him about
his denial of a belief in God. Templeton was unmoved and spoke of why he could
not accept the God of the Old Testament. Strobel then asked him what he thought
of Jesus. At this point Templeton bowed his head and wept. Through his sobs he
said, “I … miss … Him.”
sitting next to Billy Graham at a dinner in Fort Lauderdale, I asked him what
he had enjoyed most in his many years of ministry. Before he could answer I
suggested that perhaps it had been his times with and influence on presidents
and heads of state. I was going to suggest that it might have been preaching
the gospel to great throngs around the world. …
Before I could go on, Graham said with a determined softness in his voice,
“Beyond a doubt it has been my fellowship with the Lord. To be able to talk
with Him, to hear from Him, and to have His guidance and presence in my life
has been my greatest joy.” Billy Graham is two years younger than Charles
Templeton. In the early days they were friends and colleagues in the cause of
Christ. I couldn’t help but feel the contrast as I heard the love and adoration
for Christ in Graham’s answer. One man chose to stay with Jesus, and in his
later years he finds his greatest joy in the relationship that he has
cultivated with Christ all through life. The other, having denied Jesus, in
spite of a celebrated life, feels the loss deeply.
:31 For you will
cross over the Jordan and go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is
giving you, and you will possess it and dwell in it.
:32 And you shall be careful to observe all the statutes and judgments
which I set before you today.
12:1-32 The Central
:1 “These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to
observe in the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you to possess,
all the days that you live on the earth.
:2 You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you
shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and
under every green tree.
:3 And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn
their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their
gods and destroy their names from that place.
:3 burn their … images
Much of the ancient, pagan religions had to do with sex. Many of the articles of worship in these
religions could be classified as pornographic.
This was their purpose, to stir up the lusts.
The Israelites were to destroy it, not cry out, “But I only read the
:4 You shall not
worship the LORD your God with such things.
:5 “But you shall seek the place where the LORD your God chooses, out of
all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall
:5 the place where
the LORD your God chooses
Remember that things are about to change.
Instead of the entire nation camping around the Tabernacle, they are all
going to scatter once the land is conquered.
When the land is conquered, God will choose a place for the Tabernacle to
We call this
the command for the “Central Sanctuary”.
There would one day be a single place selected in the land of Israel where
God would have His people come to worship.
and Shiloh would all be temporary central sanctuaries until the temple would be built in
:6 There you
shall take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave
offerings of your hand, your vowed offerings, your freewill offerings, and the
firstborn of your herds and flocks.
:7 And there you shall eat before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice
in all to which you have put your hand, you and your households, in which the
LORD your God has blessed you.
:8 “You shall not at all do as we are doing here today— every man doing
whatever is right in his own eyes—
:9 for as yet you have not come to the rest and the inheritance which the
LORD your God is giving you.
:10 But when you cross over the Jordan and dwell in the land which the LORD
your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies
round about, so that you dwell in safety,
:11 then there will be the place where the LORD your God chooses to make
His name abide. There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt
offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, and
all your choice offerings which you vow to the LORD.
:12 And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your sons and
your daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within
your gates, since he has no portion nor inheritance with you.
:13 Take heed to yourself that you do not offer your burnt offerings in
every place that you see;
:14 but in the place which the LORD chooses, in one of your tribes, there
you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command
:15 “However, you may slaughter and eat meat within all your gates,
whatever your heart desires, according to the blessing of the LORD your God
which He has given you; the unclean and the clean may eat of it, of the gazelle
and the deer alike.
:16 Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it on the earth like
:17 You may not eat within your gates the tithe of your grain or your new
wine or your oil, of the firstborn of your herd or your flock, of any of your
offerings which you vow, of your freewill offerings, or of the heave offering
of your hand.
:18 But you must eat them before the LORD your God in the place which the
LORD your God chooses, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant
and your female servant, and the Levite who is within your gates; and you shall
rejoice before the LORD your God in all to which you put your hands.
:17 You may not eat
within your gates the tithe
God’s gift, not mine
The Israelites were commanded to give back to God one tenth of all their
income. They were required to give it to
the Lord, not keep it for themselves.
They were to take this tithe to the Central Sanctuary.
From time to
time I hear of people taking their “offering” and spending it on something that
will benefit them. For example, some people
will excuse not giving to the church because they spend their “tithe” on their
kids’ private Christian school. I’m all
in favor of sending your kids to a Christian school (we did), but I’m a little
concerned about taking my offering and spending it on my family.
God would later rebuke the people for their lack of faithfulness in their
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we
robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even
this whole nation. 10
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My
house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for
you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will
not be room enough to receive it.
God promises that if we learn to obey Him with the tithe,
that He will meet our needs.
:19 Take heed
to yourself that you do not forsake the Levite as long as you live in your
:19 do not forsake
The primary means for making a Levite was supposed to be in the service of
the Tabernacle. Their income came from
the tithes and offerings.
When the tithes and offerings stop, then the Levite has to go make a living
somewhere else, and the whole process of worship stops.
:20 “When the
LORD your God enlarges your border as He has promised you, and you say, ‘Let me
eat meat,’ because you long to eat meat, you may eat as much meat as your heart
:21 If the place where the LORD your God chooses to put His name is too far
from you, then you may slaughter from your herd and from your flock which the
LORD has given you, just as I have commanded you, and you may eat within your
gates as much as your heart desires.
:22 Just as the gazelle and the deer are eaten, so you may eat them; the
unclean and the clean alike may eat them.
It’s okay to eat meat. You don’t
have to take all animals to be slaughtered to the Tabernacle. It’s not convenient for most of the nation to
travel to the Tabernacle every time they want hamburgers.
:23 Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life;
you may not eat the life with the meat.
:24 You shall not eat it; you shall pour it on the earth like water.
:25 You shall not eat it, that it may go well with you and your children
after you, when you do what is right in the sight of the LORD.
:23 do not eat the
Blood is special
The only restriction God had about butchering meat in the local towns was
that the people were careful about blood.
God had already told the people that blood was to have a special
(Le 17:11 NKJV) For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to
you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that
makes atonement for the soul.’
God decided that blood was a symbol of the life of the animal. Blood would be used in the sacrifices to
signify the animal pouring out its life for the one bringing the sacrifice.
It points to
the day that Jesus would one day shed His blood for us.
God wanted the blood to be special so that one day people would recognize
the significance of Jesus dying on the cross and shedding His blood.
:26 Only the
holy things which you have, and your vowed offerings, you shall take and go to
the place which the LORD chooses.
:27 And you shall offer your burnt offerings, the meat and the blood, on
the altar of the LORD your God; and the blood of your sacrifices shall be
poured out on the altar of the LORD your God, and you shall eat the meat.
:28 Observe and obey all these words which I command you, that it may go
well with you and your children after you forever, when you do what is good and
right in the sight of the LORD your God.
:29 “When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you
go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land,
:30 take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after
they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their
gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do
:31 You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every
abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they
burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.
:32 “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to
it nor take away from it.
:14 but in the
place which the LORD chooses
Stay on track
I think the whole point of this Law of the Central Sanctuary is to make
sure that the beliefs of the Jews stayed pure.
This was a day
when people didn’t have their own copies of the Bible.
They relied upon the priests
to teach them about God.
That requires that the people go to where the priests are.
When the people started getting away from a set standard of worship, the result would always be
that the people would go into idolatry.
Jesus told us
that the time of the “central sanctuary” has changed:
4:20–24 NKJV) —20 Our fathers worshiped
on this mountain,
and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her,
“Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain,
nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what
we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the
true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is
seeking such to worship Him. 24
God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
mountain” for the Samaritans was Mount Gerizim)
Worship in “Spirit” means there is no longer an issue
Worship in “truth” means that the main issue is still present
– staying on track with the truth.
We need to stay in God’s Word – our “Central Sanctuary”.
When churches begin to get away from God’s Word, it’s like
the people trying to offer sacrifices their own way, and they end up
worshipping goat-demons instead of following after God Himself.
Every man doing what is right in his own eyes.