Evening Bible Study
The name Deuteronomy means “second law”. It is Moses’ final address to the
people. It covers the last 1˝ months of Moses’ life. He’s 120 years old. It’s
God’s “review” for the people to make sure they understand His ways before they
go into the land.
:1 “If there is a dispute between men, and they come to court, that the
judges may judge them, and they justify the righteous and condemn the wicked,
:2 then it shall be, if the wicked man deserves to be beaten, that the
judge will cause him to lie down and be beaten in his presence, according to
his guilt, with a certain number of blows.
:3 Forty blows he may give him and no more, lest he should exceed this and
beat him with many blows above these, and your brother be humiliated in your
:2 be beaten in his
In other cultures, a prisoner might be beaten in some dungeon, away from
the presence of the judge. But in God’s ways, the judge was to see the
punishment he had ordered.
:3 forty stripes …
and not exceed
The Jews actually would only give out 39 lashes, not because they were
merciful, but in order to make sure they didn’t break the Law of Moses. Just in
case someone miscounted, they were cautious not to break this law.
In actual practice, the Jews developed a whip with three cords, and the
prisoner was beaten thirteen times, making 39 stripes (3 x 13).
Paul knew all about it.
(2 Co 11:23–24 NKJV)
—23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more
abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths
often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.
This can apply to us as parents as we are trying to discipline our
We shouldn’t be over-doing our discipline or giving more than the behavior
Excessive punishment can break a person’s spirit. The unfairness of it can
do great damage.
There is a
lesson too about humiliation
When we had to discipline our children, the usual thing was to take the
offending child into a bedroom away from the rest of the family so he didn’t
have to be punished in front of the others.
:4 Muzzling an ox
:4 “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.
:4 not muzzle an ox
An ox would be used to thresh the grain by having it walk over the grain,
separating the grain from the chaff. If the ox gets hungry as he’s doing his
work in your grain bin, let him eat.
Twice Paul used this verse to say that a person who works hard in ministry
ought to be able to make a living off of what he’s doing. (see also 1Tim. 5:17-18)
(1 Co 9:9–11
NKJV) —9 For it is written in
the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.”
Is it oxen God is concerned about? 10 Or does He say it altogether for our
sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow
in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. 11 If we
have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your
:5-10 Levirate Law
The Latin word
for “brother-in-law” is levir. This
next passage is about the responsibility of a “brother-in-law” to his brother’s
:5 “If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the
widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the family;
her husband’s brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife, and perform the
duty of a husband’s brother to her.
:6 And it shall be that the firstborn son which she bears will succeed to
the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.
:7 But if the man does not want to take his brother’s wife, then let his
brother’s wife go up to the gate to the elders, and say, ‘My husband’s brother
refuses to raise up a name to his brother in Israel; he will not perform the
duty of my husband’s brother.’
:8 Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him. But if he
stands firm and says, ‘I do not want to take her,’
:9 then his brother’s wife shall come to him in the presence of the elders,
remove his sandal from his foot, spit in his face, and answer and say, ‘So
shall it be done to the man who will not build up his brother’s house.’
:10 And his name shall be called in Israel, ‘The house of him who had his
:6 her husband’s
The practice of a man raising up a name for a deceased brother who had no
offspring was a custom that actually predated Moses.
When Judah’s son Er died without having had a child with his wife Tamar,
Judah made Er’s brother Onan marry Tamar to produce offspring (Gen. 38:8).
(Ge 38:8 NKJV) —8 And Judah said to Onan,
“Go in to your brother’s wife and marry her, and raise up an heir to your
The Sadducees (Mat.
22:23-33) used this law to try and trap Jesus. They set up a story where
there were seven brothers – the first one marries and then dies. The next
brother takes the woman as a wife, then dies. One after another they all marry the gal and died.
The Sadducees then asked the big question: When they are all in heaven, who
is married to the gal?
They thought they had Jesus trapped. Actually, I think a better question
would be to ask about the woman’s cooking.
Jesus answered the Sadducees by saying that they simply didn’t know the
Scriptures nor the power of God, and that there is no marriage in heaven.
:6 that his name
may not be blotted out
This was the purpose behind the law, to keep the family line of the brother
going and to keep the property within the family.
Marrying a family
If you were about to married under these laws of Israel, I think you’d want
to pay attention to who your in-laws were. If you were a gal marrying a guy,
you’d probably want to make sure you could stand his brother (if he had any). If
you were a guy and your brother was getting married, you’d probably want to
make sure that he marries a nice gal. After all, you may get stuck with each
This is kind of a controversial subject, but it’s one I think we ought to
consider. When you marry a person, there is a sense that you are gaining a new
family, your spouse’s.
I’ve heard a person say to their spouse, “I married you, not your mother”. Then
they will proceed to alienate their spouse from their mother. There is a point
where this is completely appropriate since we are to “leave” our parents’
influence and “cleave” to our spouse.
But I’ve also seen a type of abuse over the years where one spouse works
hard to alienate their spouse’s family.
I think when a couple marry, there’s a fine line they need to walk where
they on one hand “leave” the influence of their family, yet on the other hand
they need to continue to show love and respect toward their family as well.
:9 remove his
sandal … spit in his face
This act signified that he had
abandoned his duty. It was a kind of sign of degradation, that the man was
becoming poorer by having to go barefoot. The city officials would keep the
sandal as evidence of the transaction.
Spitting in a person’s face was a sign of contempt.
:10 The house of
him who had his sandal removed
We see this
whole law played out in the book of Ruth.
When Ruth’s husband dies, her mother-in-law takes her back to the family
home in Bethlehem to see if there is a “near kinsman” who will “redeem” her.
This law was what brought Ruth and Boaz together.
First they had to check with a relative who was nearer to the family, but
that guy ended up saying “no” and he lost his shoe.
Ruth and Boaz were the great grandparents of King David.
:11 “If two men fight together, and the wife of one draws near to rescue
her husband from the hand of the one attacking him, and puts out her hand and
seizes him by the genitals,
:12 then you shall cut off her hand; your eye shall not pity her.
:11 seizes him by
These verses are about fairness
in fighting. Don’t hit below the belt.
It was okay for a wife to help defend her husband, but there are certain
lines that shouldn’t be crossed.
When you are fighting with another individual (hopefully not violently),
there are things that just aren’t fair.
I believe that within marriage, there are going to be times when you fight,
when you “disagree”. I don’t think that a healthy marriage is one where there
are no fights, I believe that in a healthy marriage you know how to fight
fairly. No “hitting below the belt”.
As you grow in your marriage, you will know more and more about the other
person. You will know the things that encourage the other person, but you will
also know what kinds of things can devastate the other person.
It’s inevitable that every once in a while you’re going to accidentally
walk into a “mine field” by talking about a subject that is very hurtful to
your spouse. All you can do is apologize and do your best to make up.
But you also need to realize that you have just found a weakness in the
other person that you must NEVER ever exploit. You have found one of those “red
buttons” that can cause great damage in the other person and you must vow to
never fight by pressing those “red buttons”.
There’s even a penalty when you hit “below the belt”. The woman was to have
her hand cut off. That’s about the most useful part of your body.
When you fight “dirty” in relationships, you lose a sense of all
usefulness, you destroy the ability to do constructive work, you only hurt
:13 “You shall
not have in your bag differing weights, a heavy and a light.
:14 You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a
:15 You shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure,
that your days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD your God is giving
:16 For all who do such things, all who behave unrighteously, are an
abomination to the LORD your God.
These verses are about fairness in business transactions.
This has to do with measuring stuff. If you have a balance scale, you’d set a weight on one
side, and pour whatever you were measuring on the other side until the scale
balanced. If you had two different “weights” that were both supposedly one
pound, and you were a sneaky thief, you would use the smaller weight for
selling things and a larger weight for buying things. That would be an easy way
to increase your “profit margin”.
The point is that we need to handle all our transactions impartially. We
need to use the same weight to sell things as we do to buy things.
We need to treat each person with the same
standard that we treat others or how we would want to be treated ourselves.
James warns the church against showing
favoritism to wealthy people.
(Jas 2:9 NKJV) but
if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as
:17 “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of
:18 how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers
at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God.
:19 Therefore it shall be, when the LORD your God has given you rest from
your enemies all around, in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to
possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek
from under heaven. You shall not forget.
:17 Remember what
The tribe of Amalek were descendants of
Esau’s grandson (cf. Gen. 36:12)
When the Israelites first came out of Egypt and were wandering in the
wilderness looking for water, it was the Amalekites who attacked them (Ex. 17:8-16).
(Ex 17:8–16 NKJV)
—8 Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9 And Moses said to
Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will
stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” 10 So Joshua did
as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up
to the top of the hill. 11 And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel
prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands
became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And
Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other
side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 So Joshua
defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 Then the LORD
said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the
hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from
under heaven.” 15 And Moses built an altar and called its name,
The-LORD-Is-My-Banner; 16 for he said, “Because the LORD has sworn: the LORD
will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
Dealing with the flesh
For some, Amalek is a type or “picture” of the flesh.
My own sin nature loves to try and destroy me, especially when I’m weak.
1. Kill it
God would command Saul (1Sam.
15) to kill the Amalekites, but he didn’t do a very good job at
it. In the end, Saul was killed by an Amalekite.
Too often I want to pamper my flesh. I don’t want to get “too tough” on
My feelings get hurt over something and my poor “flesh” wants a treat.
But victory over our sin nature doesn’t come from coddling,
it comes from crucifying.
(Ro 8:13 NKJV) For
if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put
to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Moses lifting up his hands is a picture of prayer and surrender.
Yet Moses had a hard time keeping his hands up in the air.
and Hur helped Moses. It’s a good thing to have friends who can help you keep
your hands up.
The next chapter is a ritual that Israelites were to perform after they had
come into the Promised Land. It’s all about remembering who they are, where
they’ve come from, and who is responsible for their being in the land.
It apparently was supposed to take place on the third year after they had
come into the land.
:1 “And it shall be, when you come into the land which the LORD your God is
giving you as an inheritance, and you possess it and dwell in it,
:2 that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground,
which you shall bring from your land that the LORD your God is giving you, and
put it in a basket and go to the place where the LORD your God chooses to make
His name abide.
:3 And you shall go to the one who is priest in those days, and say to him,
‘I declare today to the LORD your God that I have come to the country which the
LORD swore to our fathers to give us.’
:4 “Then the priest shall take the basket out of your hand and set it down
before the altar of the LORD your God.
:5 And you shall answer and say before the LORD your God: ‘My father was a
Syrian, about to perish, and he went down to Egypt and dwelt there, few in
number; and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous.
:5 My father was a
father of the Israelites had lived quite a while in the land of Syria. Eventually
the family migrated to Egypt. There were seventy “Israelites” when they went to
Egypt, there were over 2 million when they left.
:6 But the
Egyptians mistreated us, afflicted us, and laid hard bondage on us.
:7 Then we cried out to the LORD God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our
voice and looked on our affliction and our labor and our oppression.
:8 So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an
outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders.
:9 He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, “a land
flowing with milk and honey”;
:10 and now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land which you,
O LORD, have given me.’ “Then you shall set it before the LORD your God, and
worship before the LORD your God.
:10 brought the firstfruits
This ceremony is an acknowledgment of what God has done.
:11 So you shall rejoice in every good thing which the LORD your God has
given to you and your house, you and the Levite and the stranger who is among
:11 rejoice in
every good thing
Rejoice in God’s blessings
We need to step back every once in a while and realize just how much God
has given us.
Sadly, we often don’t think about God’s blessings until some of them are
I often am not that grateful about my good health … until
I think this is along the lines of what Solomon meant when he wrote,
(Ec 2:24 NKJV) Nothing is better for a
man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in
his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.
Life is difficult when we are constantly looking at what others have and we
want it too. But we can find contentment when we look at the good things that
God has given us, and learn to say, “thanks”.
I personally was blessed with the GM “Thank You” commercial that came out
this year. Play “Thank You” clip.
We need to be people who say “thanks”.
(Heb 13:15 NKJV)
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that
is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
Keep in mind, this is the attitude for those bringing their “gifts” to the
(2 Co 9:7 NKJV) So
let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity;
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Jon Courson: “Tithing is not a time for tears, but a time
Our giving to the
Lord should be out of gratitude and acknowledgment of what He’s done for us.
:12 “When you
have finished laying aside all the tithe of your increase in the third year—
the year of tithing—and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the
fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your gates and be
:13 then you shall say before the LORD your God: ‘I have removed the holy
tithe from my house, and also have given them to the Levite, the stranger, the
fatherless, and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have
commanded me; I have not transgressed Your commandments, nor have I forgotten
:14 I have not eaten any of it when in mourning, nor have I removed any of
it for an unclean use, nor given any of it for the dead. I have obeyed the
voice of the LORD my God, and have done according to all that You have
:15 Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people
Israel and the land which You have given us, just as You swore to our fathers,
“a land flowing with milk and honey.” ’
:15 bless Your
Ask for blessings
I think that sometimes we have a hard time with this. We can become so
aware of our own “unworthiness” that we feel that God must not want to bless
Some things God gives to us unconditionally. We call that grace. We didn’t
ask. He just gives.
Some things require that we “ask”.
Mr. Jones Goes To Heaven
little fable about a Mr. Jones who dies and goes to heaven. Peter is waiting at
the gates to give him a tour. Amid the splendor of golden streets, beautiful
mansions, and choirs of angels that Peter shows him, Mr. Jones notices an
odd-looking building. He thinks it looks like an enormous warehouse-it has no
windows and only one door. But when he asks to see inside, Peter hesitates.
“You really don’t want to see what’s in there,” he tells the new arrival. “Why
would there be any secrets in heaven?” Jones wonders. “What incredible surprise
could be waiting for me in there?” When the official tour is over he’s still
wondering, so he asks again to see inside the structure. Finally Peter relents.
When the apostle opens the door, Mr. Jones almost knocks him over in his haste
to enter. It turns out
that the enormous building is filled with row after row of shelves, floor to
ceiling, each stacked neatly with white boxes tied in red ribbons. “These boxes
all have names on them,” Mr. Jones muses aloud. Then turning to Peter he asks,
“Do I have one?” “Yes, you do.” Peter tries to guide Mr. Jones back outside.
“Frankly,” Peter says, “if I were you....” But Mr. Jones is already dashing
toward the “J” aisle to find his box. Peter follows, shaking his head. He catches up with Mr.
Jones just as he is slipping the red ribbon off his box and popping the lid.
Looking inside, Jones has a moment of instant recognition and lets out a deep
sigh like the ones Peter has heard so many times before. Because there in Mr.
Jones’s white box are all the blessings that God wanted to give to him while he
was on earth ... but Mr. Jones had never asked.
“Ask,” promised Jesus, “and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7:7). “You do not have
because you do not ask,” said James (James
4:2). Even though there is no limit to God’s goodness, if you
didn’t ask Him for a blessing yesterday you didn’t get all that you were
supposed to have. That’s the catch-if you don’t ask for His blessing, you
forfeit those that come to you only when you ask. In the same way that a father
is honored to have a child beg for his blessing, your Father is delighted to
respond generously when His blessing is what you covet most.
- Bruce Wilkinson, The Prayer of Jabez, pgs. 25-27
26:16-19 A Special
:16 “This day the LORD your God commands you to observe these statutes and
judgments; therefore you shall be careful to observe them with all your heart
and with all your soul.
:17 Today you have proclaimed the LORD to be your God, and that you will
walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments, and His judgments,
and that you will obey His voice.
:18 Also today the LORD has proclaimed you to be His special people, just
as He promised you, that you should keep all His commandments,
:19 and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, in
praise, in name, and in honor, and that you may be a holy people to the LORD
your God, just as He has spoken.”
27:1-10 Written on
:1 Now Moses, with the elders of Israel, commanded the people, saying:
“Keep all the commandments which I command you today.
:2 And it shall be, on the day when you cross over the Jordan to the land
which the LORD your God is giving you, that you shall set up for yourselves
large stones, and whitewash them with lime.
:3 You shall write on them all the words of this law, when you have crossed
over, that you may enter the land which the LORD your God is giving you, ‘a
land flowing with milk and honey,’ just as the LORD God of your fathers
:4 Therefore it shall be, when you have crossed over the Jordan, that on
Mount Ebal you shall set up these stones, which I command you today, and you
shall whitewash them with lime.
:3 all the words of
When they crossed into the Promised Land, they were to make stone “billboards”, painted
white in order to write the Law on them.
Some think just the Ten Commandments were written on them.
Others think the entire book of Deuteronomy was written on them.
:5 And there
you shall build an altar to the LORD your God, an altar of stones; you shall
not use an iron tool on them.
:6 You shall build with whole stones the altar of the LORD your God, and
offer burnt offerings on it to the LORD your God.
:7 You shall offer peace offerings, and shall eat there, and rejoice before
the LORD your God.
:8 And you shall write very plainly on the stones all the words of this
:6 whole stones
They were to build an altar out of stones that were uncut.
This was how God wanted His altars to be built – uncut stones
(Ex 20:25 NKJV)
And if you make Me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stone; for
if you use your tool on it, you have profaned it.
I think that the point is that God wants the attention to be on Him and the
sacrifice, not the instrument that is being used to bring the sacrifice.
We need to be
careful that we don’t get caught up looking at the “instrument”, whether it’s a
musician or their instrument. Instead, when we worship we ought to be concerned
about bringing our “sacrifice”, our praise. I don’t think that means that our
songs or music ought to be “plain”, they are the things we bring as sacrifice. In
a way, our praise ought to be the best we can bring, sacrifices weren’t
supposed to be brought from animals that were defective, but the best of the
And our main goal in worship is to put our attention on the Lord. As
important as the sacrifice is, we are bringing our sacrifice in order to draw
attention to and honor the Lord. This isn’t always easy because there are times
when the music is simply “cool”. And that’s not bad. But we need to work at our
hearts in keeping in mind that what we bring is for Him, not for us. He is the
audience, not us.
:9 Then Moses
and the priests, the Levites, spoke to all Israel, saying, “Take heed and
listen, O Israel: This day you have become the people of the LORD your God.
:10 Therefore you shall obey the voice of the LORD your God, and observe
His commandments and His statutes which I command you today.”
27:11-26 Curses on
:11 And Moses commanded the people on the same day, saying,
:12 “These shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people, when you have
crossed over the Jordan: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin;
:13 and these shall stand on Mount Ebal to curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher,
Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.
:12-13 Gerizim and
Gerizim/Ebal map clip. These two “mountains” face each other with the city of
Shechem between them.
The Israelites were supposed to divide into two groups, one group on each
Joshua carried out these instructions early on, after
he had finished the first two battles, those of Jericho and Ai. (Josh. 8:30-35)
:14 “And the
Levites shall speak with a loud voice and say to all the men of Israel:
:15 ‘Cursed is the one who makes a carved or molded image, an abomination
to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’
“And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen!’
:15 sets it up in secret
Not just worshipping other “gods” in the open. God cares what you do in
:15 all the people
shall answer …
Even though the people were divided with half on one mountain and half on
the other mountain, they all responded by saying “Amen”, or, “so be it”.
All the people are shouting their acknowledgment of what God says.
Very dramatic. Practice it…
:16 ‘Cursed is the one who treats his father or his mother with contempt.’
“And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
:17 ‘Cursed is the one who moves his neighbor’s landmark.’ “And all the
people shall say, ‘Amen!’
It would be like changing your neighbor’s property lines, stealing their
:18 ‘Cursed is the one who makes the blind to wander off the road.’ “And
all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
:19 ‘Cursed is the one who perverts the justice due the stranger, the
fatherless, and widow.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
:19 fatherless … widow
The most helpless people of the ancient world.
:20 ‘Cursed is the one who lies with his father’s wife, because he has
uncovered his father’s bed.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
:21 ‘Cursed is the one who lies with any kind of animal.’ “And all the
people shall say, ‘Amen!’
:22 ‘Cursed is the one who lies with his sister, the daughter of his father
or the daughter of his mother.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
:23 ‘Cursed is the one who lies with his mother-in-law.’ “And all the
people shall say, ‘Amen!’
:23 who lies with
Isn’t it strange that there are four lines dedicated to immoral sex?
There is nothing new under the sun.
:24 ‘Cursed is the one who attacks his neighbor secretly.’ “And all the
people shall say, ‘Amen!’
:25 ‘Cursed is the one who takes a bribe to slay an innocent person.’ “And
all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
:26 ‘Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law.’
“And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’ ”
:26 who does not
Paul used this verse to show that eternal life could NOT be achieved by the
keeping of the Law:
(Ga 3:10 NKJV)
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is
written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are
written in the book of the law, to do them.”
The purpose of the Law was to show us how far we fall short. God didn’t ask
His people to do most of the Laws most of the time, but ALL of the Law ALL of
That’s why we
(Ga 3:13 NKJV)
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us
(for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)
Jesus took the punishment for our sins so we might be made perfect with God
not based on our performance, but based on Jesus’ performance.
Which mountain would you want to be standing on?
We probably would all opt for Gerizim, the “blessing” mountain.
Keep in mind though, it wasn’t just the curse on Ebal, the “altar” was
The place for sacrifice and forgiveness was on the mountain of cursing.
If you feel like you’ve got too much of a “curse”, it’s where the altar is,
where the cross was where Jesus became a curse for us.
(Ro 5:20 NKJV) …But
where sin abounded, grace abounded much more