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.
31:1-8 Joshua Will
:1 Then Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel.
:2 And he said to them: “I am one hundred and twenty years old today. I can
no longer go out and come in. Also the LORD has said to me, ‘You shall not
cross over this Jordan.’
:3 The LORD your God Himself crosses over before you; He will destroy these
nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua himself crosses
over before you, just as the LORD has said.
:3 Joshua himself
There is a kind of picture here that we need to keep in mind.
It wasn’t Moses that took the people into the Promised Land.
Joshua finished what Moses couldn’t do.
As much as we’ve been seeing principles from Deuteronomy that we can live
our lives by, we need to keep in mind the difference between the Old and New
Moses is the
Old Covenant. And though the Law is good
and perfect, the Law only acts to show us our weakness and inability to follow
God’s ways on our own.
Jesus is the
Jesus is the Greek name for a Jewish boy named Joshua.
Jesus is able to do what Moses couldn’t.
The Law can’t get you into heaven, into the Promised Land.
Jesus (Joshua) is the one that takes us in.
Jesus died for us, taking away our sin and giving us His
He gets us “in”.
:4 And the LORD
will do to them as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites and their
land, when He destroyed them.
:4 as He did to
Sihon and Og
With God’s help, they had already conquered the kings of the Amorites and
had taken their land. (Deut.
2:26 – 3:11)
When we face our battles or temptations, we should be able to look back at past
victories and remind ourselves that if God helped us then, He will help us in
It’s also a good reason to remind ourselves why it is important to do well
in the battle before us.
Sometimes we tell ourselves that it doesn’t much matter if we blow it in
just one battle, we can always try again.
But one defeat puts us backward, not forward.
One defeat makes it easier to lose the next battle.
:5 The LORD
will give them over to you, that you may do to them according to every
commandment which I have commanded you.
:6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for
the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor
:7 Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be
strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which
the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to
:8 And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He
will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
:6 Be strong and of
Moses is speaks these words first to the entire nation of Israel (vs. 1,6),
then he repeats it to Joshua specifically (vs. 7)
Courage is mine
I find it interesting to see how God would take these same words and repeat
them over and over to Joshua, personally, in just a few days/weeks from this
—5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was
with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to
this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their
fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong
and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law
which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or
to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall
not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that
you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will
make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not
commanded you? Be strong and of good
courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
I think the real power of these words doesn’t just come when they’re spoken
to a large mass of people.
The real power comes when you realize that God is speaking to YOU.
Joshua is challenged by God to spend time in His Word.
He is encouraged to be careful to do all that God has
It’s important to spend time in God’s Word and give God time to actually
speak to you. And then you do what God
31:9-13 Seven Year
:9 So Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the priests, the sons of
Levi, who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and to all the elders of
:10 And Moses commanded them, saying: “At the end of every seven years, at
the appointed time in the year of release, at the Feast of Tabernacles,
:11 when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God in the place
which He chooses, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing.
:12 Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the
stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn
to fear the LORD your God and carefully observe all the words of this law,
:13 and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to
fear the LORD your God as long as you live in the land which you cross the
Jordan to possess.”
:10 every seven
This is talking about something that would take place on the year of
release, every seventh year, when you were to set slaves free and not plant
seed in the fields. (Deut.
Once every seven years during the Feast of Tabernacles, in
September-October, the whole nation was to gather at “the place” and listen to
Eventually this would be Jerusalem.
Need for review
I find it interesting that they only had to go through the Law every seven
When the people did this in the book of Nehemiah, the people wept when they
realized how all these warnings had come true (Neh. 8).
I know I need to spend time every day reading God’s Word and taking time to
think about it.
The Psalmist wrote:
(Ps 1:1–3 NKJV) —1
Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in
the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is
in the law of the Lord, And in
His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the
rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also
shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
He felt a need to spend time daily in God’s Word.
:14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, the days approach when you must
die; call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of meeting, that I
may inaugurate him.” So Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves in the
tabernacle of meeting.
:15 Now the LORD appeared at the tabernacle in a pillar of cloud, and the
pillar of cloud stood above the door of the tabernacle.
:16 And the LORD said to Moses: “Behold, you will rest with your fathers;
and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners
of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will forsake Me and break
My covenant which I have made with them.
:17 Then My anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will
forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured.
And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that
day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’
:18 And I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil
which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods.
Notice that God is not surprised when they stumble.
:19 “Now therefore, write down this song for yourselves, and teach it to
the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness
for Me against the children of Israel.
:19 write down this
Moses and Joshua were to write a song (the verb is plural, they both wrote
Songs are a great way to teach things, a great way to remember things.
Close your eyes and listen to this music.
Raise your hand when you recognize the tune. You get bonus points if you can sing along…
Play “Mr. Ed”
How did you remember that? Because songs are a great way of getting
something into our brain.
Write songs that teach.
Here’s a challenge to you song writers out there. Your songs don’t have to
just be about worship and telling the Lord you love Him. They can also be songs
that teach a principle.
One of the greatest things you can teach people is the Word of God. Take
God’s Word and put it to music.
:20 When I have
brought them to the land flowing with milk and honey, of which I swore to their
fathers, and they have eaten and filled themselves and grown fat, then they
will turn to other gods and serve them; and they will provoke Me and break My
:21 Then it shall be, when many evils and troubles have come upon them,
that this song will testify against them as a witness; for it will not be
forgotten in the mouths of their descendants, for I know the inclination of
their behavior today, even before I have brought them to the land of which I
swore to give them.”
:21 this song will testify
They’ll have probably forgotten God’s Word, but they won’t forget the song.
“Flintstones, meet the Flintstones…”
:22 Therefore Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it to the
children of Israel.
The song is the next chapter, Deut. 32
:23 Then He inaugurated Joshua the son of Nun, and said, “Be strong and of
good courage; for you shall bring the children of Israel into the land of which
I swore to them, and I will be with you.”
– tsavah – to
command, charge, give orders, lay charge, give charge to, order
:24 So it was, when Moses had completed writing the words of this law in a
book, when they were finished,
:25 that Moses commanded the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of
the LORD, saying:
:26 “Take this Book of the Law, and put it beside the ark of the covenant
of the LORD your God, that it may be there as a witness against you;
:27 for I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. If today, while I am yet
alive with you, you have been rebellious against the LORD, then how much more
after my death?
:28 Gather to me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I
may speak these words in their hearing and call heaven and earth to witness
:29 For I know that after my death you will become utterly corrupt, and
turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in
the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke
Him to anger through the work of your hands.”
:30 Then Moses spoke in the hearing of all the assembly of Israel the words
of this song until they were ended:
32:1-43 Song of
:1 “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; And hear, O earth, the words of
:2 Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew, As
raindrops on the tender herb, And as showers on the grass.
:3 For I proclaim the name of the LORD: Ascribe greatness to our God.
:3 I proclaim the
name of the LORD
I find it fascinating that in the beginning of Exodus, Moses didn’t know
(Ex 3:13–14 NKJV) —13
Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say
to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me,
‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 And God said to Moses, “I AM
WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM
has sent me to you.’ ”
Moses has come a long way since that day, forty plus years earlier. He not only knows God’s name, now he
:4 He is the Rock,
His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without
injustice; Righteous and upright is He.
:5 “They have corrupted themselves; They are not His children, Because of
their blemish: A perverse and crooked generation.
:6 Do you thus deal with the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is He not
your Father, who bought you? Has He not made you and established you?
:7 “Remember the days of old, Consider the years of many generations. Ask
your father, and he will show you; Your elders, and they will tell you:
:8 When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, When He
separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to
the number of the children of Israel.
:8 According to the
After the flood of Noah, we have a record of the nations that were
established on the earth (Gen. 10)
If you count carefully, you find there were 70 nations.
When Jacob went down to Egypt, his family consisted of 70 people. (Gen. 46:26-27)
This is a bit of a mystery to me, why God divided the earth into 70
nations, the same number as the number of Jacob and his descendants when they
went to Egypt. But that’s the way God did it.
The Number 70
The number 70 is kind of interesting in its use. It seems to be tied to the
nation of Israel.
In fact God says here it’s the “number of the children of Israel”.
Jesus’ rule of forgiveness
(Mt 18:21–22 NKJV)
—21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin
against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do
not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Where do you suppose that He came up with the “seventy
times seven”? Was it just a way of exaggerating Peter’s suggestion?
Perhaps it was a way of saying that just as God has been
completely forgiving to all of Israel, so we ought to be forgiving to others as
:9 For the LORD’s
portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance.
:10 “He found him in a desert land And in the wasteland, a howling
wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of
:10 He kept him as
the apple of His eye.
When someone tries to hurt you, it’s like they’re poking God in the eye.
Pity someone who pokes God in the eye.
:11 As an eagle
stirs up its nest, Hovers over its young, Spreading out its wings, taking them
up, Carrying them on its wings,
:11 carrying them
on its wings
God has mentioned this before, regarding the time He delivered them through
the Red Sea:
(Ex 19:4 NKJV)
seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and
brought you to Myself.
An eagle teaches
it’s young to fly in a very different way. Eagles’ nests are located on very
high, out of the way places. When it’s time for a flying lesson, the mother
eagle will push the baby out of the nest. The baby will start flailing at the
air, trying to fly, but falling like a rock to the canyon floor. At just the
last moment, the mother will swoop down, and scoop up the baby on top of its
wings. Then they try it all over again.
God never promises to keep us away from problems, but He always promises to
rescue us in the nick of time.
In talking about how the Israelites gave us examples of how to live, and
how not to live, Paul writes:
(1 Co 10:13 NKJV) —13 No temptation has
overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will
not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation
will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
He will deliver us.
:12 So the LORD
alone led him, And there was no foreign god with him.
:12 So the LORD
alone led him
By pushing him out of the nest.
It’s scary learning to fly.
Sometimes God has to make things uncomfortable for us to get us to move along.
A baby eagle can’t spend its entire life in the nest. There comes a time when
it needs to get out on its own and fly.
WHO IS THE PILOT?
There’s a story
about a photographer for a national magazine who was assigned to take pictures
of a great forest fire. He was advised that a small plane would be waiting to
fly him over the fire. The photographer arrived at the airstrip just an hour
before sundown. Sure enough, a small Cessna airplane was waiting. He jumped in with his equipment and
shouted, “Let’s go!” The tense man sitting in the pilot’s seat swung the plane
into the wind and soon they were in the air, though flying erratically. “Fly
over the north side of the fire,” said the photographer, “and make several
low-level passes.” “Why?” asked the nervous pilot. “Because I’m going to take
pictures!” yelled the photographer. “I’m a photographer, and photographers take
pictures.” After a long pause, the “pilot” replied: “You mean, you’re not my
:13 “He made him
ride in the heights of the earth, That he might eat the produce of the fields;
He made him draw honey from the rock, And oil from the flinty rock;
:14 Curds from the cattle, and milk of the flock, With fat of lambs; And
rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, With the choicest wheat; And you drank
wine, the blood of the grapes.
:15 “But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; You grew fat, you grew thick, You
are obese! Then he forsook God who made him, And scornfully esteemed the Rock
of his salvation.
– “upright one”, a term of endearment, referring to the nation of Israel.
There’s a danger that comes when your life smoothes out and becomes “nice”.
became “fat” and wealthy, they stopped seeking God.
I ache when some of you are going through the difficulties you’ve faced.
But I’ve also learned to be a little concerned when things begin to get
:16 They provoked
Him to jealousy with foreign gods; With abominations they provoked Him to
:17 They sacrificed to demons, not to God, To gods they did not know, To
new gods, new arrivals That your fathers did not fear.
:18 Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful, And have forgotten the
God who fathered you.
:19 “And when the LORD saw it, He spurned them, Because of the provocation
of His sons and His daughters.
:20 And He said: ‘I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end
will be, For they are a perverse generation, Children in whom is no faith.
:21 They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God; They have moved
Me to anger by their foolish idols. But I will provoke them to jealousy by
those who are not a nation; I will move them to anger by a foolish nation.
:21 I will provoke
them to jealousy
Israel made God jealous by their worshipping other gods, so God would make
them jealous by turning to other nations with salvation.
Paul told the Romans about how God was using the ministry to Gentiles to do
this very thing:
(Ro 10:19 NKJV)
But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says: “I will provoke you to
jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will move you to anger by a foolish
God loves the Jewish people. We
ought to love the Jewish people.
:22 For a fire
is kindled in My anger, And shall burn to the lowest hell; It shall consume the
earth with her increase, And set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
:23 ‘I will heap disasters on them; I will spend My arrows on them.
:23 I will heap
disasters on them
God is referring to the discipline He would be bringing on Israel to bring
them back to Him, encouraging them to turn around.
Now God has built this warning into the song that the people might remember
and be warned.
:24 They shall be
wasted with hunger, Devoured by pestilence and bitter destruction; I will also
send against them the teeth of beasts, With the poison of serpents of the dust.
:25 The sword shall destroy outside; There shall be terror within For the
young man and virgin, The nursing child with the man of gray hairs.
:26 I would have said, “I will dash them in pieces, I will make the memory
of them to cease from among men,”
:27 Had I not feared the wrath of the enemy, Lest their adversaries should
misunderstand, Lest they should say, “Our hand is high; And it is not the LORD
who has done all this.” ’
:27 Had I not
feared the wrath of the enemy
This is God speaking about Israel’s enemies. God didn’t want Israel’s
enemies to get the wrong idea about what was happening to Israel, as if somehow
Israel’s God was weaker than theirs. And so God would limit the victories that
Israel’s enemies would have over her.
:28 “For they
are a nation void of counsel, Nor is there any understanding in them.
Speaking of Israel’s enemies …
:29 Oh, that they were wise, that they understood this, That they would
consider their latter end!
:30 How could one chase a thousand, And two put ten thousand to flight,
Unless their Rock had sold them, And the LORD had surrendered them?
:30 one chase a
This is talking about the defeats that Israel would face from their enemies
when they had walked away from God.
One enemy soldier would chase a thousand Israelis.
The truth is that Israel would not have suffered these kinds of defeats
unless God had stopped protecting them.
:31 For their
rock is not like our Rock, Even our enemies themselves being judges.
:32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom And of the fields of Gomorrah;
Their grapes are grapes of gall, Their clusters are bitter.
:33 Their wine is the poison of serpents, And the cruel venom of cobras.
:32 their vine is of the vine of
The enemies of Israel would not be good people, but wicked people. God would use wicked people to judge His
:34 ‘Is this not laid up in store with Me, Sealed up among My treasures?
You get the idea that God’s plans are all locked away in a vault somewhere
:35 Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; Their foot shall slip in due time;
For the day of their calamity is at hand, And the things to come hasten upon
:35 Vengeance is
Even Israel’s enemies, whom God used to bring judgment on Israel with, even
they will have to face God’s judgment.
Let God take care of it.
Vengeance is one of God’s job descriptions. It is not one of yours, yet we
like to think that we can handle it:
heard a story about a truck driver who dropped in at an all-night
restaurant in Broken Bow, Nebraska. The waitress had just served him when three
swaggering, leather-jacketed motorcyclists—of the Hell’s Angels type—entered and rushed up to him,
apparently spoiling for a fight. One grabbed the hamburger off his plate;
another took a handful of his French fries; and the third picked up his coffee
and began to drink it.
The trucker did not respond as one might expect. Instead, he calmly rose,
picked up his check, walked to the front of the room, put the check and his
money on the cash register, and went out the door. The waitress followed him to
put the money in the till and stood watching out the door as the big truck drove away into
When she returned, one of the cyclists said to her, “Well,
he’s not much of a man, is he?”
She replied, “I can’t answer as to that, but he’s not much
of a truck driver. He just ran over three motorcycles out in the parking lot.”
Vengeance is God’s job. Let go of the bitterness and let Him handle it.
(Ro 12:17–21 NKJV)
—17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all
men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all
men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for
it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore “If your enemy
is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you
will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but
overcome evil with good.
:36 “For the LORD
will judge His people And have compassion on His servants, When He sees that
their power is gone, And there is no one remaining, bond or free.
:37 He will say: ‘Where are their gods, The rock in which they sought
:38 Who ate the fat of their sacrifices, And drank the wine of their drink
offering? Let them rise and help you, And be your refuge.
:36 and have compassion
God will have compassion on His people when they are broken and realize
they’ve been trusting in the wrong things, things that don’t really help.
:39 ‘Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill
and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My
:40 For I raise My hand to heaven, And say, “As I live forever,
:41 If I whet My glittering sword, And My hand takes hold on judgment, I
will render vengeance to My enemies, And repay those who hate Me.
:42 I will make My arrows drunk with blood, And My sword shall devour
flesh, With the blood of the slain and the captives, From the heads of the
leaders of the enemy.” ’
:43 “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; For He will avenge the blood of
His servants, And render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide
atonement for His land and His people.”
:43 He will avenge
the blood of His servants
This is the end of the song of Moses.
There is mention in Revelation of a “song of Moses”, sung by the saints of
the Tribulation who have had victory over the antichrist:
(Re 15:2–4 NKJV) —2 And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and
those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and
over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.
3 They sing the
song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: “Great and
marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O
King of the saints! 4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For
Your judgments have been manifested.”
Some have suggested that the “song of Moses” may refer to Ex. 15
where Israel triumphed over the Egyptians.
Others suggest it’s this song of Ex. 32,
which gives a comprehensive review of God’s faithfulness to Israel.
I think it might be talking about our passage. God warns that He is going to take vengeance
on those (like the antichrist) who have tried to come against His people.
ready to die
:44 So Moses came with Joshua the son of Nun and spoke all the words of
this song in the hearing of the people.
:45 Moses finished speaking all these words to all Israel,
:46 and he said to them: “Set your hearts on all the words which I testify
among you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to
observe—all the words of this law.
:47 For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life, and by
this word you shall prolong your days in the land which you cross over the
Jordan to possess.”
:48 Then the LORD spoke to Moses that very same day, saying:
:49 “Go up this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of
Moab, across from Jericho; view the land of Canaan, which I give to the
children of Israel as a possession;
:50 and die on the mountain which you ascend, and be gathered to your
people, just as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his
– The range of mountains overlooking (from the E) the Jordan valley and the
– also known as Pisgah
Note: Moses would be looking from the top of Pisgah,
looking over his people scattered on the Plains of Moab, looking across the
Jordan River towards the Promised Land, where he would not be allowed to go.
Play video clip
“View from Pisgah”
:51 because you
trespassed against Me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah Kadesh,
in the Wilderness of Zin, because you did not hallow Me in the midst of the
children of Israel.
:52 Yet you shall see the land before you, though you shall not go there,
into the land which I am giving to the children of Israel.”
:51 Meribah Kadesh
Moses didn’t represent God correctly. He struck the Rock when he should
have spoken to it. (Num. 20)
Don’t jeopardize your witness
This isn’t about Moses losing his salvation. We know that Moses is in
heaven. After all, Jesus spoke with him on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mat. 17).
This is about not being able to finish your ministry.
(1 Co 9:24–27
NKJV) —24 Do you not know that
those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way
that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate
in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an
imperishable crown. 26
Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who
beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest,
when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.