Deuteronomy 10-12

Thursday Evening Bible Study

October 12, 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 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 calf.

Deuteronomy 10

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.

:1 ark – a box of wood.  Noah’s ark was a big floating box full of animals. Moses’ ark was a wooden box, covered with gold, that would be the storage container for the two stone tablets, the covenant.  Hence this was known as the “Ark of the Covenant”.

: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 Commandments.

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 chance”.

: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.”

:5 in the ark

At the time that Moses was talking to the people, the two tablets of stone were still in the Ark.

: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.

This seems to be a little out of place – a reminder to the reader of where the people are when Moses is giving this sermon.

: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.)

:8 the tribe of Levi

One of the twelve tribes of Israel was set aside to be in charge of handling the worship of God.  The priests were from this tribe.  This is the tribe that ran things at the Tabernacle. This tribe was not given a specific region of the Promised Land, but was scattered throughout the Promised Land among the other tribes.

: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 you.

Moses learned as a leader to pray for “difficult people”. His prayer was not, “Okay God, wipe them out!”  But instead, Moses learned to pray for mercy for the people that had been so troublesome to him.

: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 them.’

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.

10:12-22 The 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 what does the LORD your God require of you

He wants us to follow Him.

: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 obey.

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 longer.

:16 circumcise the foreskin of your heart

This isn’t a literal circumcision, but a spiritual one.  Circumcision represented a cutting away of the flesh, a ritual which meant that you were choosing to raise your son, or live your life, in a manner after the Spirit and not after the flesh.

We can tend to look at the Old Testament as being a life of rigid, cold obedience to God’s laws.  But God always intended a warm, loving, spiritual relationship with His people.

Paul wrote,

(Ro 2:28–29 NKJV) —28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
Paul wasn’t making up some new doctrine, but simply explaining what God had already said, even in the very Law of Moses itself!

: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?

:17 greatgadowl – great
He is greater than any other “god”, He is Lord over all other lords.
:17 mightygibbowr – strong, mighty
:17 awesomeyare’ – to be fearful, dreadful; to cause astonishment and awe, be held in awe
:17 shows no partiality – literally, “to receive the face
He doesn’t play favorites, He doesn’t act nicer to people who give Him bribes.
God isn’t impressed with “important” people.
The Pope had just finished a tour of the East Coast and was taking a limousine to the airport. Having never driven a limo, he asked the chauffeur if he could drive for a while. Well, the chauffeur didn’t have much of a choice, so the chauffeur climbs in the back of the limo and the Pope takes the wheel. The Pope proceeds to hop on Route 95 and starts accelerating to see what the limo could do. Well he gets to about 90 miles per hour and, WHAM!, there are the blue lights of our friendly State Police in his mirror. He pulls over and the trooper comes to his window. Well the trooper, seeing who it was, says, “just a moment please I need to call in.” The trooper radio’s in and asks for the chief. He tells the chief “I’ve got a REALLY important person pulled over and I need to know what to do.” The chief replies “Who is it, not the New York mayor again?” The trooper says,” “No, even more important.” The chief replies, “It’s the Governor, isn’t it?” The trooper replies “No, even more important.” “It’s isn’t the President is it?” “No, more important”, replies the trooper. “Well WHO the HECK is it!” screams the chief. “I don’t know,” says the trooper. “But he’s got the Pope as a chauffeur!
:18 justicemishpat – judgment, justice; act of deciding a case
He does what’s right for those who can’t defend themselves
:18 loves‘ahab – to love; act of being a friend
We tend to pull away from strangers or needy people, God acts as their friend.

: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.

:22 as the stars

God made a promise to Abraham when he still had no children:

(Ge 15:5–6 NKJV) —5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6 And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

We think that in Moses’ day there were about 2 million Israelites.

Deuteronomy 11

11:1-32 Blessings and Curses

: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—

:2 I do not speak with your children

Moses is going to remind these people what they have gone through.  They are the very ones who have seen amazing things.

: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 part.

: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 Abiram

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 Commandments”)

Their group didn’t like the way that Moses was leading the nation.  They thought they could do just as good a job.

God responded by making the earth open up and swallow them alive.

(Nu 16:28–30 NKJV) —28 And Moses said: “By this you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own will. 29 If these men die naturally like all men, or if they are visited by the common fate of all men, then the Lord has not sent me. 30 But if the Lord creates a new thing, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the pit, then you will understand that these men have rejected the Lord.”

That’s exactly what happened. 

(Nu 16:31–34 NKJV) —31 Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods. 33 So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly. 34 Then all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up also!”

: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 possess,

:8 that you may be strong


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.
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 vegetable garden;

:10 watered it by foot

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 your oil.

:14 early … latter rain

The early rains came around September-October, the latter rains came in March and April.  Both were necessary for the crops to grow.

In contrast to Egypt, the land of Israel would have rain.

: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 miners.
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.

:18 “Therefore 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 gates,

: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.

:18 sign on your hand

We’ve talked about the phylacteries and the mezuzah’s (Deut. 6:8-9), things that the Jewish people have developed to take these passages literally.

God wanted them to remember Him.

: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 Him—

: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

Compare the size of Israel today with the size described here.


All mine, within limits.

Some people will quote this verse as if they can lay claim to whatever they want.  “Where ever I walk will be mine” they say.  Yet this is all within the boundaries of what God has already spelled out as the Promised Land.
A better idea of this is to think that all of God’s Promises can be yours if you walk with obedience.
Paul said,
(1 Co 6:12 NKJV) All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

: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 you.

:25 No man shall be able to stand

Victory will be tied to their obedience to God’s commandments.

: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

Play “Gerizim and Ebal” map video.

This would 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.
Joseph Stowell writes,
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.”
Recently while 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.

Deuteronomy 12

12:1-32 The Central Sanctuary

: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.

:2 the high mountains

This is one of the things that Israel did not do.

Over and over we read how even the good kings did not “remove the high places”.

: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 articles!”

:4 You shall not worship the LORD your God with such things.

:4 with such things


Pure worship

It’s kind of hard to know where to draw the line here.
We need to be careful that our worship of God is led by God, not by the way that the world does things.
The problem is that some folks take this to mean that there shouldn’t be guitars in church, because guitars are worldly.  And no drums either.

Some take this to the point where there are no musical instruments at all in church.  Very sad.

On the other hand, if church comes off just like some sort of worldly concert or “show”, and people come away without ever having spent time with God or looking at His Word, perhaps we’re off base.  We need balance.

: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 go.

: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 be.

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. 

Gilgal, Bethel, and Shiloh would all be temporary central sanctuaries until the temple would be built in Jerusalem.

The final selection wouldn’t come until David’s day.

It happened after David had sinned in taking a census of the people.  As punishment, a plague was running through the nation and David could see an angel making it’s way to Jerusalem.  David was told to make a sacrifice at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.  David purchased the place and with his sacrifice the plague was stopped.
(1 Ch 22:1 NKJV) Then David said, “This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel.”
David recognized that this was a special place.  Eventually this would be the place where Solomon would build the temple.  This would be the place where God was to be worshipped.

: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 you.

: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 water.

:15 you may slaughter

It’s okay to kill animals/eat meat at home, but just keep it Kosher (no blood)

: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 tithe:
(Mal 3:8–10 NKJV) —8 “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 land.

:19 do not forsake the Levite

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 desires.

: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.

:24 pour it on the earth

The kosher way of butchering an animal is to hang the animal upside down and slit its throat.  It makes a bloody mess as the blood drains from the animal.  But this way the blood is removed from the animal before the meat is butchered.

: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


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 significance.
(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.

:26 holy things

These are the things that you’ve promised to God, things that belong to God.  You don’t keep the things that belong to God, you must give them to God.  And that will mean going to the place that God sets up for worship.

: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 likewise.’

: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:
(Jn 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.”

(Note:  “this mountain” for the Samaritans was Mount Gerizim)

Worship in “Spirit” means there is no longer an issue about location.

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.