Evening Bible Study
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.
Things are going to be changing for the nation. After they conquer the land, they will be
spreading out into their new homes. It’s
time to review what’s important and bring out some new ideas that will be
applicable in the Promised Land.
First Moses did a review of their history, and we’re now jumping into the
various Laws that will be important.
:1 “If there arises among you a prophet or a
dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder,
:2 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of
which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not
known—‘and let us serve them,’
:3 you shall not listen to the words of that
prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know
whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
:1 prophet – nabiy’ – spokesman, speaker, prophet
A prophet is a person who claims to speak for God.
For the nation of Israel at this time, Moses has been their “prophet”. God
has been leading the people and teaching them through the man Moses.
Prophecy is a good thing. It is good to have God speak to you personally.
But with prophecy comes a huge temptation for abuse.
If a person is truly speaking for God, then you had better pay attention to
what they say, because if you disobey what is being said, you aren’t just
disobeying a person, you are disobeying God.
This is the “ultimate” authority.
This kind of authority is quite attractive. If you have this kind of
authority, if you tell people what to do and put a “thus saith
the Lord” at the end of it, they have to do it.
This kind of power attracts the wrong kind of people, people who want to
exercise authority over others. It can also twist people around who start off
Some are attracted to this because they simply want power. They want to
dominate other people.
Sometimes a person can be attracted to this for what seems to be a good
motive. They want to help people. They see what needs to be fixed in people and
feel they can do something about it.
Yet either way, if a person claims to be speaking for God but God hasn’t
been speaking, then the person is a “false prophet”.
A false prophet is someone who claims to be speaking with God’s authority,
but God isn’t the one behind the words.
Moses is about to leave the scene. He is about to die. God is going to be
preparing the people for knowing how to tell if a prophet is of God or not.
There are going to be two tests, one here in chapter 13, the other in chapter
:2 the sign or the wonder comes to
The idea is that the prophecy or dream is accompanied by something
miraculous. Either a predicted thing comes true, or some miracle occurs.
Miracles can be a sign that God is at work.
Miracles alone don’t prove truth.
I think much of our society has fallen into the trap of thinking that if
something miraculous occurs that it must be God.
The truth is that supernatural experiences can come from places other than
Be careful when you see people pointing to miracles as the sole reason why
something should be followed.
:2 Let us go after other gods
Here’s the thing that should stop us
Correct theology proves truth.
I think it’s important to mention that this should include more than just “gods”
with a different name. It’s more than just staying away from Hinduism or the
worship of Baal.
There is more than one “gospel”
1:6–9 NKJV) —6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who
called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but
there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an
angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to
you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if
anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be
Paul, in writing to the Galatians, was dealing with the Judaizers. These were Jewish believers who taught that a
person had to become circumcised and follow the Law as a full Jew in order to
be saved. They didn’t teach salvation as a gift from God, but rather that it
was something you earned. Legalism is a “different gospel”.
Paul even talks about “another Jesus” (2Cor. 11:3-4)
There is more than one “Jesus”
Because a person mentions the English name “Jesus” doesn’t mean that they
are talking about the same Jesus you and I are talking about. This is why we
need to pay attention to what people say about Jesus, not just that they use
The Mormon was the half brother of Lucifer.
The Jesus of the Jehovah Witnesses was once Michael the
archangel, a created being.
So how can we tell which Jesus or
which gospel is true?
For a young Christian, it may seem confusing since these people are also
quoting the Bible. The difference is that they make up their doctrines by
picking one verse here, another verse there, and patching it all together to
make a different message.
Stay in the Word. Keep reading your Bible. Keep
reading the entire book, not just a verse here and a verse there.
:3 the LORD your God is testing
This is a difficult truth, but it’s right here.
Tests prove love
God tests us to see if we really love Him above anything else.
God says He would allow these deceivers to be a sort of “test”. To see if the Israelites will choose to
follow Him rather than some new hyped up thing.
I get concerned when people are looking too often for “signs” in their
lives when it comes to making decisions.
I think God wants us to use our brains every once in a while.
Signs can be deceiving.
:4 You shall walk after the
LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you
shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.
:5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death,
because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who
brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of
bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to
walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.
:5 put to death
God was pretty serious about the people paying attention to what is true.
The key thing is that God’s people continue to worship the true and living
You could perhaps make a point that Jesus might have been perceived as
leading the Jews away from their worship of Yahweh.
Yet Jesus made it clear in His ministry and HE WAS YAHWEH.
:6 “If your brother,
the son of your mother, your son or your daughter, the wife of your bosom, or
your friend who is as your own soul, secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go
and serve other gods,’ which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers,
:7 of the gods of the people which are all around
you, near to you or far off from you, from one end of the earth to the other
end of the earth,
:8 you shall not consent to him or listen to him,
nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him or conceal him;
:9 but you shall surely kill him; your hand shall
be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the
:10 And you shall stone him with stones until he dies, because he sought to
entice you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of
Egypt, from the house of bondage.
:11 So all Israel shall hear and fear, and not
again do such wickedness as this among you.
:6 your brother … your friend
God considered false doctrine to be a capital offense.
Sometimes the temptations can come from sources a little too close for
You may be faced with a choice to make.
Will you follow God or will you follow your family?
14:26–27 NKJV) —26 “If anyone comes to Me and does
not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes,
and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear
his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
The point is not about “killing” or “hating” your
family. The issue is about influence.
When a person close to you is trying to influence you away
from God, how will you respond?
:12 “If you hear someone in
one of your cities, which the LORD your God gives you to dwell in, saying,
:13 ‘Corrupt men have gone out from among you and
enticed the inhabitants of their city, saying, “Let us go and serve other gods”
’—which you have not known—
:14 then you shall inquire, search out, and ask
diligently. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination was
committed among you,
:15 you shall surely strike the inhabitants of
that city with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying it, all that is in it
and its livestock—with the edge of the sword.
:14 you shall inquire
Check the facts.
I’m afraid to say it, but Christians are some of the most gullible people
on the face of this planet. We believe just about anything anyone says.
I hate to say
it, but all the fake computer “warnings” I get come from my Christian friends.
There are stories about dying children who will be
benefited if you forward an e-mail to your friends. There are warnings about
evil people who are out to drug you and take your organs and sell them to third
world countries. There are stories of AIDS contaminated needles being stuck on
the handles of gas pumps.
What’s worse is that this goes way beyond computer hoaxes. It gets into
real people’s lives.
One of the things I see happening lately in the Christian community is the
temptation to label things in a slanderous way.
One of the biggest buzzwords today “emergent”. Some churches consider it cool to be
considered “emergent”, but there are a lot of churches who consider it a
horrible slander to accuse another church of being “emergent”.
The problem is, there is no standard, set definition of
what it means to be “emergent”.
see it as meaning that your church is cool, hip, and has the latest music.
see it as bringing into the church ancient practices from Orthodox Christianity
see it as people who deny basic doctrines like the Trinity. Now that is what’s seriously wrong.
When you hear this term, please learn to ask the question,
“What do you mean by this? What proof do
you have of this?”
After the Israelites
conquered the Promised Land, they heard that the tribes that had settled on the
east of the Jordan River were busy building a strange altar near the Jordan
River (Josh. 22). It sounded like idolatry.
gathered to send their armies to wipe out these tribes, but decided to first send
Phinehas, the son of the high priest, to check it out.
They ended up finding out that they weren’t building the altar to worship
another god, but they were building it as a reminder to future generations that
the tribes on both sides of the river Jordan worshipped the same God, Yahweh.
It’s good to check your facts.
:16 And you
shall gather all its plunder into the middle of the street, and completely burn
with fire the city and all its plunder, for the LORD your God. It shall be a
heap forever; it shall not be built again.
:17 So none of the accursed things shall remain in your hand, that the LORD
may turn from the fierceness of His anger and show you mercy, have compassion
on you and multiply you, just as He swore to your fathers,
:18 because you have listened to the voice of the LORD your God, to keep
all His commandments which I command you today, to do what is right in the eyes
of the LORD your God.
:16 completely burn with fire
the city and all its plunder
Not only do you eliminate the “gods” that could lead people astray, but
also no one profits from the plunder.
It’s all destroyed.
accuse someone of blasphemy just to steal their Playstation.
Ahab & Jezebel – the vineyard of Naboth
(1Ki. 21). Jezebel accused Naboth
of blasphemy so Ahab could take Naboth’s vineyard.
14:1-2 Bad Mourning
:1 “You are the children of the LORD your God; you
shall not cut yourselves nor shave the front of your head for the dead.
:2 For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen
you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who
are on the face of the earth.
:1 you shall not cut
Apparently these were some of the ancient practices of the pagans done to
honor their gods.
Some of the pagans honored their god (the Arabian god Orotal)
with the cutting of their hair, or making cuts in their flesh.
14:3-21 Clean and
:3 “You shall not eat any detestable thing.
:4 These are the animals which you may eat: the
ox, the sheep, the goat,
:5 the deer, the gazelle, the roe deer, the wild
goat, the mountain goat, the antelope, and the mountain sheep.
:6 And you may eat every animal with cloven hooves, having the hoof split
into two parts, and that chews the cud, among the animals.
:7 Nevertheless, of those that chew the cud or
have cloven hooves, you shall not eat, such as these: the camel, the hare, and
the rock hyrax; for they chew the cud but do not have cloven hooves; they are
unclean for you.
We get a list of all the various clean and unclean animals.
:7 they are unclean for you – tame’ – unclean, impure
It’s kind of like teaching your kids the difference between good candy and
Hawkins “Bad Candy”
wasn’t quite like sinning, but very close.
There was a consequence to being unclean.
If you were involved in unclean things, you could not participate in
worship, and you could not participate in fellowship with God (the peace
(Le 7:21 NKJV) —21 Moreover the person
who touches any unclean thing, such as human uncleanness, an unclean animal, or
any abominable unclean thing, and who eats the flesh of the sacrifice of the
peace offering that belongs to the LORD, that person shall be cut off from his
We might call this a “ceremonial” uncleanness. It’s not just talking about
germs and disease.
A healthy diet
The specific dietary restrictions
no longer apply to us.
Jesus declared that all
foods were now clean (Mar. 7:15-23). He said that it wasn’t what went into a
person that defiled them, but what came out of their heart.
From the time of Jesus, it has become clear that it’s not what goes into a
person by way of food that makes them spiritually unclean.
Yet there is value to paying attention to these laws.
Most of the
animals on the “unclean” list were scavengers, carriers of disease.
In the middle ages,
during the “black plague”, many people died from the bubonic plague, except the
Some believed this proved that it was a Jewish plot.
What it actually proved was the superiority of their way
of life, demonstrated by these dietary laws.
God wanted His people healthier than the rest.
In a way, some of these dietary laws aren’t all that bad for us!
There was a distinction between clean and unclean all the way back to Noah, way before Moses’
time. Noah took into the ark two of every unclean animal and seven of every
clean animal (Gen. 7:1-2).
God didn’t tell Noah a lot about which animals were clean and which were
unclean. Apparently, this was something that Noah already understood.
Yet after being
slaves in Egypt for 400 years, things weren’t so clear.
Perhaps the Israelites had spent too much time in Egypt.
They no longer understood the differences between clean
I am quite concerned that we are losing our spiritual clarity as Christians
living in this worldly, secular, pagan America.
We are becoming
more and more like the church of Laodicea:
(Re 3:15–17 NKJV) —15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I
could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become
wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched,
miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
Solomon told us what happens when we hang around “fools” too much:
(Prov 14:7 NASB) Leave the presence of
a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge.
The Bible says:
NKJV) —1 Therefore we also, since we are
surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin
which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set
We might know some of the “sin” we need to lay aside.
Do we know what are the “weights” in our
lives? What are the things that
slow us down?
I think there might be things that are not particularly
“sin”, but are “unclean”. There might
not be a rule against these things, but they slow us down.
God give us discernment.
14:22-29 The Tithe
:22 “You shall truly tithe all the increase of
your grain that the field produces year by year.
:22 tithe – ‘asar – to
tithe, take the tenth part of, give a tithe, take a tithe
The tithe was a tenth. God reminds the people to not forget to give Him
back the tithe.
was considered by Jewish interpreters to be a second tithe.
Ryrie: Two tithes were required: an annual tithe for the maintenance of the
Levites (Lev. 27:30;
Num. 18:21) and a
second tithe brought to Jerusalem for the Lord’s feast (Deut. 14:22). Every third year,
however, the second tithe was kept at home and used for the poor (Deut. 14:28).
:23 And you
shall eat before the LORD your God, in the place where He chooses to make His
name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the
firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the LORD
your God always.
:23 that you may learn to fear the
Tithing and Fearing
What does tithing have to do with fearing the Lord?
It has to do with learning to trust and obey God, even when sometimes it
doesn’t make sense or seem logical.
This is not just an Old Testament concept. In the New Testament, the principle is the same, if we put God and make His concerns
our concerns, then He will take care of our needs.
(2 Co 9:6–8 NKJV)
—6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also
reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give
as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a
cheerful giver. 8 And God
is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all
sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for
every good work.
We need to be careful that we aren’t being pressured by
people to give. But if God is truly leading you in your giving, God will supply
:24 But if the journey is
too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place
where the LORD your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, when the
LORD your God has blessed you,
:25 then you shall exchange it for money, take the
money in your hand, and go to the place which the LORD your God chooses.
:26 And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for
oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you
shall eat there before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your
:24 not able to carry the tithe
If you are a shepherd,
your tithe would be in animals. But it
may be too far to Jerusalem to take your flocks, so you sell your “tithe” and
bring the money to Jerusalem, or, the “Central Sanctuary” (Deut. 12)
:27 You shall not forsake
the Levite who is within your gates, for he has no part nor inheritance with
:28 “At the end of every third year you shall
bring out the tithe of your produce of that year and store it up within your
:29 And the Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and
the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are within your gates, may
come and eat and be satisfied, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the
work of your hand which you do.
:28 every third year
Once every three years, this “second tithe” was to be given to the local
synagogue to help support the local Levites and the poor.
:1 “At the end of every seven years you shall
grant a release of debts.
:2 And this is the form of the release: Every
creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not
require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the LORD’s
:3 Of a foreigner you may require it; but you
shall give up your claim to what is owed by your brother,
:1 a release of debts
This was the “Sabbath Year”.
Every seventh year, there was to be an unconditional forgiveness of the
debts of fellow Israelites.
Those who were not Israelites and simply temporarily living in Israel did
not have to be released from their debts.
I wonder if it
didn’t also help teach forgiveness.
The concept of forgiveness is the releasing of a debt. I’m not so sure I
like the idea of waiting seven years to forgive someone, but the idea of
forcing you to forgive another person is pretty cool.
:4 except when there may be
no poor among you; for the LORD will greatly bless you in the land which the
LORD your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance—
:5 only if you carefully obey the voice of the
LORD your God, to observe with care all these commandments which I command you
:6 For the LORD your God will bless you just as He promised you; you shall
lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; you shall reign over many
nations, but they shall not reign over you.
:6 you shall lend
The implication is that if the people would learn to forgive their debtors,
then God would ensure that they would be a prosperous nation. Rather than being
a nation that borrows from others, they would be the ones lending.
Reaping and Sowing.
If you would forgive others, you’ll receive forgiveness.
6:36–38 NKJV) —36 Therefore be merciful, just as
your Father also is merciful. 37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you
shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give,
and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken
together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same
measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Want others to be merciful to you? Be merciful.
to the Poor
:7 “If there is among you a poor man of your
brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the LORD your God is
giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor
:8 but you shall open your hand wide to him and
willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.
:8 willingly lend
Helping the needy
God wants us to be open to the needs of others.
I find it interesting that the word “lend” is used instead of “give”
(Pr 19:17 NKJV) He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he
Stay balanced though –
3:10 NKJV) —10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this:
If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.
If a person is willing to work, then we ought to be
willing to help. If a person is unwilling to work, and just wants to live off
of the kindness of others, we are doing the wrong thing in helping them.
We need to help others according to what their real need is.
If they aren’t working, then their real need is to get a job and learn to
Skip to …
:12 “If your brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and
serves you six years, then in the seventh year you shall let him go free from
:12 let him go free
Slavery was a way of life. It’s not that much different from much of our
It’s not that God is in favor of slavery, but God was trying to teach His
people how to operate within the system, how to make it better. Ultimately
God’s desire is for all to be free.
If you had a Jewish slave, you were to set them free after six years.
:16 And if it happens that he says to you, ‘I will not go away from you,’
because he loves you and your house, since he prospers with you,
:17 then you shall take an awl and thrust it
through his ear to the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also to your
female servant you shall do likewise.
:17 take an awl
The idea was to pierce the ear, then put a ring in it so the hole doesn’t
Piercing the ear was a sign of permanent, willing slavery.
A willing servant
Another way of describing a pierced ear was to call it an ear “that had
been opened”. I believe David is referring to this in the Psalms in regards to
his relationship with God –
40:6 NKJV) Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened. Burnt
offering and sin offering You did not require.
David is describing his relationship with God as one of a slave and a master.
A slave that has willingly chosen to stay in the house of his
master because he loves Him. David is saying that God would rather have
David as a willing servant than to have David simply offering gifts and
sacrifices to God.
Paul considered himself a slave of God:
(Ro 1:1 NKJV) —1 Paul, a
bondservant of Jesus Christ
(Mk 9:35 NKJV) —35 And He sat down,
called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall
be last of all and servant of all.”
Perhaps we all ought to have our ears pierced.
:19 “All the firstborn males that come from your
herd and your flock you shall sanctify to the LORD your God; you shall do no
work with the firstborn of your herd, nor shear the firstborn of your flock.
Set them apart by sacrificing
them to God.
Giving back to God from the first of what you reap is a way of
acknowledging that He was the one who blessed you.
:20 You and your household
shall eat it before the LORD your God year by year in the place which the LORD
:21 But if there is a defect in it, if it is lame
or blind or has any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to the LORD your
:22 You may eat it within your gates; the unclean
and the clean person alike may eat it, as if it were a gazelle or a deer.
:23 Only you shall not eat its blood; you shall
pour it on the ground like water.
Giving God the best
Don’t give God your leftovers. Give God only the best.
One day while
walking with some children and palace attendants, Queen Mary was caught in a
sudden thunderstorm. The queen quickly took shelter on the porch of a home. To
avoid attracting a crowd, she had disguised her appearance by putting on a hat that partly covered
her face and a plain coat she borrowed from one of her attendants. The queen
then knocked at the door and asked to borrow an umbrella. “I’ll send it back
tomorrow,” she told the unfriendly woman who answered the door. Despite the
assurances about returning her umbrella, the woman did not want to lend her
best umbrella. So
she retrieved an old umbrella stored in the attic. One rib was broken, and
there were several holes in it. With a haughty attitude and scornful words, she
handed it to the unrecognized monarch. The next day the woman had another visitor—a man with gold
braid on his uniform and an envelope in his hand. “The queen sent me with this
letter,” he said, “and also asked me to thank you personally for the loan of
your umbrella.” The woman was stunned, and then brokenhearted. She burst into
tears. “This is just horrible—I missed an opportunity to give my queen my very
best!” she sobbed. “And my attitude was shameful,” she added.
The King of Heaven may not always be dressed up in our presence, but He
still deserves our best.