Evening Bible Study
The name Deuteronomy means “second law”. It’s God’s “review” for the people
to make sure they understand His ways before they go into the land.
:1 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD
your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today,
that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.
:2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because
you obey the voice of the LORD your God:
:2 all these
blessings shall … overtake you
This is a promise again for Israel, but there is a sense in which it can
apply to any nation.
(Pr 14:34 NKJV) Righteousness exalts a
nation, But sin is a reproach to any people.
I like the idea of God’s blessings “overtaking” me.
There was but a
brief time in my life when girls actually chased me. It was in first grade.
Even though there was a part of you that was running for your life, there was a
part of you that was glad to get caught.
God’s blessings will “overtake” us when we are walking in obedience to the
Blessings and obedience
Last week we talked about learning to ask God to bless us.
(Dt 26:15 NKJV) Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your
people Israel …
There is a sense in which God’s blessings on our lives come from His grace
– He gives us what we don’t deserve. We
There is also a
sense in which God does promise to “bless” us as a result of our obedience.
Sometimes we can fall into the trap of
thinking that it’s not “worth it” to obey the Lord. The unbeliever thinks that
being a “Christian” means not having any “fun”.
But in the long run, you are WAY AHEAD
by following the Lord. You may not have the blessings of hangovers or venereal
disease, but you will have God’s blessings.
I remember talking to a friend who used to go to church, but has gotten
very far from God.
to tell me how jealous he was of me that I lived in a nice house and had a nice
family. He lives with his mom, was in ill health, and was living on the edge of
poverty, spending all his disability checks on alcohol.
Why am I so blessed and he’s kind of not?
At least partly because of obedience. I’ve never spent a
nickel on alcohol or illegal drugs. I’ve stayed married to the same woman for
33 years so I don’t have to worry about alimony or child support. I’ve tried to raise my sons to know and follow
the Lord. So far so good.
I’m not speaking out of pride. I’m not sure I’d say that
those actions have “earned” me a blessing, but look at all the money I’ve saved
by doing at least some things correctly.
:3 “Blessed shall
you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
:4 “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and
the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of
:5 “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
:6 “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when
you go out.
:6 come in … go out –
Might refer to going in and out of a person’s house. Might refer to a city.
Whatever you do, wherever you go, you will be blessed.
:7 “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated
before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you
:7 defeated before
Obedience and Victory
We all struggle with various battles in our lives.
We will not always be “victorious” in every struggle, but a major component
to consistent victory is obedience.
God can help us. The Holy Spirit can help us.
But when we are not doing the things we should be, we shouldn’t blame God
for our defeat.
There was once
was a man on a diet who prayed, “Lord, if you don’t want me to go get donuts,
then don’t let there be any parking spots at the donut shop.” But sure enough he had to
give in to the donuts because when he got there, there was a parking spot right
in front of the door … after his twentieth time around the block.
Victory over the donuts doesn’t come from making deals like that with God. Victory
over donuts comes from not going to the donut shop. That’s “obedience”.
Truth be told, sometimes instead of fighting to do the right things, we
actually find ourselves fighting for the wrong things.
A more consistent victory over the battles of life comes from a life that
is learning obedience.
:8 “The LORD
will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you
set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is
:9 “The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has
sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His
:10 Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name
of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you.
:11 And the LORD will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body,
in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the
land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you.
:12 The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the
rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You
shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.
:12 lend … not
It’s interesting how God’s promised of blessing involved lending and
It makes you
wonder about our own nation and our huge economic debt, even borrowing from
other nations like China.
:13 And the
LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not
be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command
you today, and are careful to observe them.
:14 So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you
this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
28:15-68 Curses of
:15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD
your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I
command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
:16 “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the
:17 “Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
:18 “Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land,
the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
:19 “Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you
:16-19 Cursed shall you be
The mirror opposite of the promised blessings of 28:3-6.
:20 “The LORD will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that
you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly,
because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me.
:21 The LORD will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you
from the land which you are going to possess.
:22 The LORD will strike you with consumption, with fever, with
inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and
with mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish.
:23 And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the
earth which is under you shall be iron.
:24 The LORD will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the
heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.
:23 heavens … shall
From time to time you will hear Christians use this phrase as a way of
describing what it’s like for God to not answer prayers.
They will make it sound as if your prayers bounce off of heaven because
they can’t get through the “bronze” barrier.
It’s not a bad picture really, but I’m not sure it’s what the text is
Keep in mind
the context – it’s talking about a lack of rain. Bronze and iron are
descriptions of a land without water where the ground has grown hard.
:25 “The LORD
will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way
against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome
to all the kingdoms of the earth.
:25 The LORD
will cause you to be defeated before your enemies
Is this a cause for
concern for America? I pray that we as a nation would continue to do the right
things and fight the right fights. But when we as a nation no longer
acknowledge God nor walk in His ways, I become concerned that we may be heading
down a dark alley.
Pray for our nation. Pray for our President. Pray for our troops.
:26 Your carcasses
shall be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and no
one shall frighten them away.
:27 The LORD will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with tumors, with the
scab, and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed.
:27 the boils of
The old life that we left behind.
It’s a sad thing
when a Christian falls back into sin and ends up reaping the consequences of
alcoholism, STDs, gambling debts, etc.
God doesn’t promise to protect you from these things because you are a
Christian. In fact, it seems to me that Christians tend to get caught quicker
:28 The LORD will
strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart.
:29 And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness; you
shall not prosper in your ways; you shall be only oppressed and plundered
continually, and no one shall save you.
:30 “You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall lie with her; you
shall build a house, but you shall not dwell in it; you shall plant a vineyard,
but shall not gather its grapes.
:31 Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you shall not eat of
it; your donkey shall be violently taken away from before you, and shall not be
restored to you; your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you shall have
no one to rescue them.
:32 Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, and your
eyes shall look and fail with longing for them all day long; and there shall be
no strength in your hand.
:33 A nation whom you have not known shall eat the fruit of your land and
the produce of your labor, and you shall be only oppressed and crushed
:34 So you shall be driven mad because of the sight which your eyes see.
:35 The LORD will strike you in the knees and on the legs with severe boils
which cannot be healed, and from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.
:36 “The LORD will bring you and the king whom you set over you to a nation
which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other
gods—wood and stone.
:37 And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all
nations where the LORD will drive you.
:36 there you shall
serve other gods
We see this prophetically being fulfilled several times in the nation’s
In 722 BC the
northern tribes were conquered by the Assyrian empire and hauled off to foreign
In 586 BC the
southern kingdom was conquered by the Babylonian empire and hauled off to
Babylon for seventy years.
Why? Because they had forsaken God.
God will let you
These things happened because the people wanted to follow after other
“gods”. God would let them.
If someone continues to live after the things of the world, there can come
a day when God will let them experience all that they are craving.
It won’t be a pleasant thing, it will be a horrible thing.
It reminds me
of the story (Num. 11) in
the wilderness when the people began to get tired of the heavenly “manna”, they
complained they wanted meat to eat.
God gave them
more quail to eat than they could have imagined, along with a plague.
They called that place “Kibroth
Hattaavah” (“Graves of Greediness”). They got what they asked for.
:38-52 More Curses
There are warnings about all sorts of horrible things that will happen as a
result of walking away from God’s ways.
:53 You shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and
your daughters whom the LORD your God has given you, in the siege and desperate
straits in which your enemy shall distress you.
:54 The sensitive and very refined man among you will be hostile toward his
brother, toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the rest of his children whom
he leaves behind,
:55 so that he will not give any of them the flesh of his children whom he
will eat, because he has nothing left in the siege and desperate straits in
which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates.
:56 The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set
the sole of her foot on the ground because of her delicateness and sensitivity,
will refuse to the husband of her bosom, and to her son and her daughter,
:57 her placenta which comes out from between her feet and her children
whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of everything in the
siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your
:53 eat the fruit
of your own body
God promises that there would be times when an enemy would lay siege to a
city, cutting off all trade and resources, forcing the city into famine.
The famine would grow so severe that people would resort to cannibalism,
even eating their own children.
We have a record of this happening to the city of Samaria when the city was
under siege, and two prostitutes asked the king for help:
(2 Ki 6:28–31 NKJV) 28
Then the king said to her, “What is troubling you?” And she answered, “This
woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my
son tomorrow.’ 29 So we boiled my son, and ate him. And I said to her on the
next day, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him’; but she has hidden her son.” 30 Now it happened, when
the king heard the words of the woman, that he tore his clothes; and as he
passed by on the wall, the people looked, and there underneath he had sackcloth
on his body. 31 Then he said, “God do so to me and more also, if the head of
Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on him today!”
It’s interesting that the king responded to the horrible
news of cannibalism by blaming the prophet Elisha. Elisha had been warning the
king and encouraging the kingdom to turn back to God.
The truth is, there is no limit to the depths of depravity that we can fall
into when we are away from the Lord.
:58-65 More curses
It goes on and on, the terrible things that will happen…
:66 Your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night,
and have no assurance of life.
:67 In the morning you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were evening!’ And at
evening you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were morning!’ because of the fear which
terrifies your heart, and because of the sight which your eyes see.
:68 “And the LORD will take you back to Egypt in ships, by the way of which
I said to you, ‘You shall never see it again.’ And there you shall be offered
for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.”
:68 back to Egypt
They will end up back in Egypt where
they started. Josephus tells us this happened in AD 70 when Rome wiped out
:1 These are the words of the covenant which the LORD commanded Moses to
make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant
which He made with them in Horeb.
:1 besides the
covenant … Horeb
Horeb is the other name for Mt. Sinai. They people had already made a
“covenant”, a “contract” with God at Mount Sinai. It’s time to renew the
:2 Now Moses
called all Israel and said to them: “You have seen all that the LORD did before
your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all
:3 the great trials which your eyes have seen, the signs, and those great
:4 Yet the LORD has not given you a heart to perceive and eyes to see and
ears to hear, to this very day.
:5 And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not
worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet.
:6 You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or similar drink, that
you may know that I am the LORD your God.
:7 And when you came to this place, Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of
Bashan came out against us to battle, and we conquered them.
:8 We took their land and gave it as an inheritance to the Reubenites, to
the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh.
:9 Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may
prosper in all that you do.
:4 a heart to
Even though the people had seen the amazing things that God had done both
in Egypt and in the wilderness, there was still a sense in which they didn’t
Paul quotes this to talk about how many Israelites don’t “get it”.
(Ro 11:8 NKJV) Just as it is written: “God has given them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very
Salvation doesn’t come by being born Jewish. It comes from a heart that is
open to God.
:10 “All of you
stand today before the LORD your God: your leaders and your tribes and your elders
and your officers, all the men of Israel,
:11 your little ones and your wives—also the stranger who is in your camp,
from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water—
:12 that you may enter into covenant with the LORD your God, and into His
oath, which the LORD your God makes with you today,
:13 that He may establish you today as a people for Himself, and that He
may be God to you, just as He has spoken to you, and just as He has sworn to
your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
:14 “I make this covenant and this oath, not with you alone,
:15 but with him who stands here with us today before the LORD our God, as
well as with him who is not here with us today
:15 as well as with
him who is not here with us today
This contract was to not just be with those standing present on that day,
but with future generations as well.
:16 (for you know
that we dwelt in the land of Egypt and that we came through the nations which
you passed by,
:17 and you saw their abominations and their idols which were among
them—wood and stone and silver and gold);
:17 you saw their
Danger at the eye-gate.
The Israelites would be facing all kinds of temptations because they had
and will be exposed to the different perversions of the surrounding nations.
Over and over God warns them not to go after the gods of the other nations,
nor to do the things that they did.
One of the ways we are tempted starts by what comes through the eyes.
(Ge 3:6 NKJV) So when the woman saw that the tree was
good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make
one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her,
and he ate.
Sometimes you can’t avoid what you see. Sometimes you just
can’t avoid the things in the world.
But sometimes you can.
Don’t expose yourself to more of the world than you need
to be exposed to. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to stop sinning, but you
can at least cheat your flesh from finding more ways to sin.
I worry about our nation when we’ve opened up the floodgates of the
internet that allow us to “see” whatever we want.
When a guy
looks at pornography, it’s like pumping air into a balloon. You keep pumping in air, something’s going to happen,
something’s going to explode. Stop putting air into the
Why are we so surprised at some of the wicked things that go on in this
world when we have exposed ourselves to so much evil?
:18 so that there
may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away
today from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations, and
that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood;
:19 and so it may not happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that
he blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall have peace, even though I
follow the dictates of my heart’— as though the drunkard could be included with
:20 “The LORD would not spare him; for then the anger of the LORD and His
jealousy would burn against that man, and every curse that is written in this
book would settle on him, and the LORD would blot out his name from under
:18 root bearing
bitterness or wormwood
The idea here is that sometimes we allow things like bitterness to be our
excuse as to why God’s Word does not apply to us.
The person hears about God’s ways, but decides he doesn’t have to do it for
some reason, and his life is doing just fine.
We think that we are justified by doing the things we do because of some horrible
thing or tragedy that has made us bitter.
It’s not an uncommon thing for people to blame their “spouse”.
We see this same language in the book of Hebrews:
12:14–17 NKJV) —14 Pursue peace
with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15
looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness
springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator
or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17
For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was
rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently
Esau’s “excuse” to sell his birthright was that he was
The point is that you are not “off the hook” because of your bitterness or
You are just as accountable to God as the person next to you.
:21 And the LORD
would separate him from all the tribes of Israel for adversity, according to
all the curses of the covenant that are written in this Book of the Law,
:22 so that the coming generation of your children who rise up after you,
and the foreigner who comes from a far land, would say, when they see the
plagues of that land and the sicknesses which the LORD has laid on it:
:23 ‘The whole land is brimstone, salt, and burning; it is not sown, nor
does it bear, nor does any grass grow there, like the overthrow of Sodom and
Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in His anger and His
:24 All nations would say, ‘Why has the LORD done so to this land? What
does the heat of this great anger mean?’
:25 Then people would say: ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the
LORD God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of
the land of Egypt;
:26 for they went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods that they
did not know and that He had not given to them.
:27 Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against this land, to bring on
it every curse that is written in this book.
:28 And the LORD uprooted them from their land in anger, in wrath, and in
great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.’
:29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which
are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the
words of this law.
(Dt 29:29 NLT) —29
“The Lord our God has secrets
known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are
accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all
the terms of these instructions.
We are accountable for what we know.
:1 “Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the
blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind
among all the nations where the LORD your God drives you,
:2 and you return to the LORD your God and obey His voice, according to all
that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with
all your soul,
:3 that the LORD your God will bring you back from captivity, and have
compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the LORD
your God has scattered you.
:4 If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from
there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you.
:5 Then the LORD your God will bring you to the land which your fathers
possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more
than your fathers.
:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your
descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your
soul, that you may live.
:2 you return to
the LORD your God
Just come back
There are times when God disciplines us, allowing us to go through hard
times because of our sins. He doesn’t do this to punish us, but to get us to
come back to Him, to get us to turn away from our sin.
The whole goal of these “curses” is to bring God’s people back to Him.
We see an
example of this fulfilled in the life of the prophet Daniel. He had been
studying the writings of Jeremiah while in Babylon, and began to see the bigger
picture of why his people were in captivity in a foreign land.
Daniel saw this (Dan. 9)
and responded in prayer. He asked God for forgiveness.
It is shortly after this that the Jews are allowed to return to Jerusalem
Have you received your “wakeup” call? It’s time to turn around. It’s time
to seek the Lord.
:7 “Also the
LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate
you, who persecuted you.
:8 And you will again obey the voice of the LORD and do all His
commandments which I command you today.
:9 The LORD your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in
the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce
of your land for good. For the LORD will again rejoice over you for good as He
rejoiced over your fathers,
:10 if you obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep His commandments
and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to
the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
:11 “For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious
for you, nor is it far off.
:12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven
for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
:13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the
sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
:14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that
you may do it.
:14 the word is
very near you
God’s ideas for us are not some mysterious thing that requires great feats
of courage to acquire or brilliant minds to understand.
It’s right in front of you.
Salvation by faith
Paul quotes this passage and puts a little twist on it to talk about how we
(Ro 10:8–10 NLT)
8 In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and
in your heart.” And that message is the very message about faith that we
preach:9 If you confess
with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised
him from the dead, you will be saved.10 For it is by believing in your heart
that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that
you are saved.
Jesus has already done the hard, even impossible work, for us. All we need
to do now is to believe in Jesus.
:15 “See, I have
set before you today life and good, death and evil,
:16 in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His
ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you
may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which
you go to possess.
:17 But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn
away, and worship other gods and serve them,
:18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not
prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and
:19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set
before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that
both you and your descendants may live;
:20 that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and
that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and
that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
:19 I have set
before you life and death
Even though we no longer need to keep the Law perfectly to be saved (we
need to believe in Jesus), there is an eternal principle that still applies.
God’s ways are best
The world wants you to think that it has some ideas that are better than
God’s, but it’s not the truth.