Skip to main content

Introduction to Deuteronomy

Lest we forget. There are stories that need to be told because forgetting them would be harmful and remembering them is fruitful. Sit down and hear the story again. Deuteronomy says that the Triune God wants your heart. The God who is one in the plural has affection for you. He carried his people, even though they were hard hearted, like a father carries a son. He is for his people. He is kind. He is overflowing and he will gather his people to himself.

Deuteronomy wraps up the Pentateuch in the form of sermons by Moses to the people just before his death, before their new Saviour Joshua (same name as Jesus... Trying read The Book of Joshua with but calling it The Book of Jesus!) takes up the mantle and .

It's a book of transition that looks back and says again what has happened. It's often referred to as the second law (which is what its title means) or called Words in Hebrew, after its opening line 'These are the words..'

There are sections that retell the story of the people from the Exodus, and also their future - up to and beyond exile from the land they're about to enter. This makes some put a late date on the book (suggesting it comes from the reigns of King Hezekiah or Josiah) but this simply isn't necessary. The middle of the book is roughly shaped around an opening up of the 10 commandments thematically.

Chapters 13-17 speak of priests and prophets and a king but this doesn't seem to describe a king like 2 Samuel 7, this is a king who is a brother, one of the people - and of a people who are the LORD's assembled people, served by a king. Prophets don't stand over the people, but again serve them and are accountable to the people under God.

Chapter 30 points the people beyond exile to a return to the land with new hearts. And the famous section on blessings and curses, life and death seems to be less a fork in the road and more of a necessary path... they will pass through curse to life, as is the way of the gospel. They will be scattered, then gathered and their hearts will be circumcised. A people born as light triumphed over darkness, through going down into water and rising up will pass through curse to blessing - for that is the way of the True Israelite.

"The LORD your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.’ Yet in spite of this word you did not believe the LORD your God..." (Deuteronomy 1:30-32 ESV)

Their story is ours, their God ours:

 “And you shall make response before the LORD your God, ‘A wandering Aramean was my father. And he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. And the Egyptians treated us harshly and humiliated us and laid on us hard labor. Then we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror, with signs and wonders. And he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. And behold, now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground, which you, O LORD, have given me.’ And you shall set it down before the LORD your God and worship before the LORD your God. And you shall rejoice in all the good that the LORD your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you. (Deuteronomy 26:5-11 ESV)

This our God, and it is he who raised Jesus from the dead. Read Deuteronomy, in three days, and have your heart refreshed by the God who carries, who wants your heart, and who though he sentence you to death in Christ will gather you to himself in resurrection.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use (http://planningcenteronline.com/) tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue



2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin



3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong



4. Cornerstone - Hillsong


Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…