Deuteronomy 5-8 Chapter Study


Deuteronomy means “2nd Law.”

The book is given that title because it’s Moses’ rehearsing of the history of Israel 40 years after the Exodus for Egypt, to the new generation of Israelites who are preparing to make their conquest of the Promised Land.

The elders of this new generation are the children of the generation of adults who’d made the original Exodus.

You remember what happened to those adults – they’d all died in the wilderness as the judgment of God for having refused to go up and conquer Canaan 38 years before.

Since a whole new generation has now risen, Moses makes sure they’re fully informed on who they are – the chosen people of God & in covenant with Him.

The terms of that covenant were spelled out in the Law.

So Deuteronomy is Moses’ recounting their history over the last 40 years and reminding them of the provisions of the Law.

Deuteronomy records 3 speeches Moses gave, probably delivered over a few days.

Israel is camped now on the eastern side of the Jordan river in territory already conquered from the Amorites.

We covered chs. 1-4 in our last study so we pick it up at ch. 5 tonite . . .


A. Review of the Sinai Covenant Ch. 5

1 And Moses called all Israel, and said to them: “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your hearing today, that you may learn them and be careful to observe them.

Moses repeats the same thing over & over in Deut.; the call to fear & obey the Lord.

Here’s the 1st in our study tonight.

2 The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. 3 The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, those who are here today, all of us who are alive.

Moses wants to make sure the people realize the covenant the nation entered into with God at Mt. Sinai 40 years before was a living & active thing.

It wasn’t just something their parents had agreed to with God – it was a national covenant every generation & individual must embrace personally.

4 The Lord talked with you face to face on the mountain from the midst of the fire.

By “face to face,” Moses obviously doesn’t mean a literal face to face conversation because he says God spoke “from the midst of the fire.”

The phrase “face to face” is a Hebrew idiom or figure of speech meaning an intimate, personal encounter.

Moses’ point here is that when God made Himself known to the nation it was an encounter with them in which He manifested Himself to them personally; not through a secondary or an intermediary, like a prophet or a priest.

There was no other religion which could claim such a thing – that their God had appeared to them collectively and made His existence and power personally evident.

5 I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord; for you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up the mountain.

God’s personal manifestation turned out to be too scary for the people to handle so they pleaded with Moses to intervene on their behalf.

Moses went up onto Mt. Sinai & met with God to receive the rest of God’s revelation.

Vs. 6-21 backtrack a bit and recites the words the entire nation heard that instilled such overwhelming awe in them.

He said: 6 ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Moses then recounts the word of the Ten Commandments.

Since we’ve studied these things in depth at other times, we’ll just summarize them tonight.

7 ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.

8 ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 9 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 10 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

11 ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

12 ‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

The first 4 commandments all establish the sanctity of God, each in a unique way.

The 1st defines the priority of God in the lives of His people.

The 2nd establishes the sanctity of His worship.

The 3rd defines the specialness of God.

The 4th enforces the whole idea of Israel’s being in covenant with God with the Sabbath being the memorial, the reminder of who they were in relation to Him.

16 ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

The 5th commandment established the sanctity of the family & the levels of authority God has ordained.

17 ‘You shall not murder.

The 6th defines the sanctity of life.

18 ‘You shall not commit adultery.

The 7th speaks of the sanctity of marriage.

19 ‘You shall not steal.

The 8th establishes the sanctity of private property.

20 ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

The 9th gives the sanctity of the Truth.

21 ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’

The 10th establishes the sanctity of respect for others.

22 “These words the Lord spoke to all your assembly, in the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and He added no more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me. 23 “So it was, when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, that you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders. 24 And you said: ‘Surely the Lord our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he still lives. 25 Now therefore, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the Lord our God anymore, then we shall die. 26 For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?

The revelation of God was simply too much for them.  Any more and they feared they would perish.

27 You go near and hear all that the Lord our God may say, and tell us all that the Lord our God says to you, and we will hear and do it.28 “Then the Lord heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and the Lord said to me: ‘I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They are right in all that they have spoken. 29 Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!

The elders of Israel asked Moses to intervene on their behalf.

He should go & receive Gods Word then report back.

They agreed ahead of time that whatever God said, they would do.

God was pleased with this response on the part of the people for it showed they were sensitive to the fact that while He was holy, they were not!

They realized they needed an intermediary, someone who would stand between them & God.

30 Go and say to them, “Return to your tents.” 31 But as for you, stand here by Me, and I will speak to you all the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments which you shall teach them, that they may observe them in the land which I am giving them to possess.’

So Moses tells them . . .

32 “Therefore you shall be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

This is now Moses’ 2nd call to obey.

33 You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.

Here’s his 3rd obedience call.

Israel’s blessing by God was conditioned on their keeping the law; this was their side of the covenant.

I want to jump back to v. 3 now –

3 The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, those who are here today, all of us who are alive.

Let me repeat what I said before - Moses wanted to make sure this new generation realized the covenant the nation entered into with God at Mt. Sinai 40 years before was a living & active thing.

It wasn’t just something their parents had agreed to with God – it was a national covenant every generation & individual must embrace personally.

That’s why Moses says, “The Lord did not make ‘THIS’ covenant with our fathers, but with us.”

God had made “THAT” covenant with their fathers.

But “THAT” covenant needed to become “THIS” covenant as the people Moses spoke to saw their relationship with God, not as a tradition, nor as a religion, but as a personal, intimate, real relationship with God.

That’s true today as well.  Although we come to God through a new covenant, each new generation must make their relationship with Him personal.

God has no grandchildren – only children.

One of the things we emphasize in our work with the junior & senior high students is the importance of each of them moving out from under their parents’ faith into their own vibrant experience with God.

Some young people think they can ride into heaven on the tails of their parent’s faith.

Each of us needs to have our own faith in & relationship with God.

B. Warnings Against Disobedience Ch. 6

1 “Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, 2 that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.

Here’s the 4th call to obedience.

The Covenant God made with Israel was this – God would bless them, if they obeyed Him.

Israel’s obedience was defined by keeping the Law.

God’s blessing comprised of giving them victory in their conquest of Canaan then prospering them in their lives there.

3 Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it,

The 5th.

that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you— ‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’ 4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.

The 6th.

Vs. 4-9 comprise what is known in Judaism as the Shema – the heart of the Law.

“Shema” comes from the first word of v. 4 “Hear.”

We covered these verses in depth a few Sundays ago so we’ll not go into them tonight. [“First” – Mark 12 Sermon]

7You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

The 7th.

God called on them to keep His word ever present in their lives.

They were to keep it in places they would see often, and so be reminded of it and the covenant they were in with God.

Parents were to teach it to their children, and encourage those children not only to obey it, but to teach it to their children when they came along.

What God said here led to the practice of the phylactery. [Explain]

But really, God is not calling them to wear such things – He’s simply calling them to make sure their thoughts & acts are shaped by His Word.

His word is to govern their family life as well as their public life.

While we are under a different covenant than ancient Israel, the importance of God’s Word remains the same since it’s His Word which defines our covenant with God.

Parents must still teach their children what God says, then provide a good example of those who live it.

As we walk with the Lord, we must be careful to make sure that God’s Word isn’t just something we study on weekends and in the mid-week service.

We ought to be living the scriptures when we shop, when we work, & when we play.

Year after year we keep hearing the same thing – that those who come to faith in Christ were first moved to consider Christ, not because they heard some great sermon in a church, but because they watched the quiet integrity & example of a Christian at work or school.

10 “So it shall be, when the Lord your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build, 11 houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant— when you have eaten and are full— 12 then beware, lest you forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

Here’s the 8th.

Because Israel would be conquering a land already occupied by others, there would be cities, houses, & fields already for them to move in & take over.

They wouldn’t be starting from scratch but would move into a social & economic infrastructure that was already well underway.

If they were faithful & obedient, their conquest would be a relatively easy venture.

The danger then was that they might begin to think the reason for the victory & prosperity was their own skill in battle & business.

Moses warns them to be on guard against such foolishness.

They must not forget that it was God who was blessing them!

Why is the United States such a blessed nation?

Is it because of our own innate goodness & skill or because of God’s grace & favor?

Our nation has been blessed with the greatest prosperity & opportunity in the history of the world precisely because our entire governmental & economic system were originally based on the principles of God’s Word.

The Founders were heavily steeped in a Biblical & Christian worldview, even if they weren’t all sincere born again believers.

The original settlers who came from Europe and who laid the foundation of our Republic landed on these shores with a vision of establishing a home totally devoted to God.

They understood that while as individuals their relationship with God was based on faith in Christ and depended solely on God’s grace, collectively, as a nation, blessing was conditioned on obedience to and dependence on God.

Read the journals of those early settlers and the records of the Founders and you will see that they all took these words of Moses in v. 12 literally & seriously.

Whenever calamity fell, they dropped to their knees & cried out to God for forgiveness.

When there was trouble with the Native Americans; when drought, pestilence, or famine struck, when war threatened, they would call for a time of national repentance.

They believed the blessing of the nation was directly tied to the awareness of its dependence on God.

When trouble came, they saw it as the Lord’s chastening hand correcting them of their arrogance and self-sufficiency & calling them back to dependence on Him.

In light of the multitude of problems besetting our nation today, it would be wise to take a cue from our ancestors & repent of our arrogant self-sufficiency, casting ourselves on the mercy and grace of God, & recommitting ourselves to Him & His ways.

13 You shall fear the Lord your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name.

The 9th.

Moses was saying that they were to make their oaths ONLY in God’s name; no other deity was to be invoked!

Jesus elaborated on this in the Sermon on the Mount when in Matt 5:33-37 He told His followers that they were to be people of such consistent integrity that the need for oaths became unnecessary.

Taking His name & identifying with Him was the oath that ensured all others.

That Moses was saying that they were to make their oaths ONLY in God’s name is made clear by what comes next -

14 You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you 15 (for the Lord your God is a jealous God among you), lest the anger of the Lord your God be aroused against you and destroy you from the face of the earth.

The covenant Israel had entered into with God was exclusive; He would tolerate no competitors for Israel’s devotion.

His jealousy wasn’t driven by petty selfishness but because Israel’s complete devotion to Him was the best thing for her.

If she left serving Him to serve other gods it would lead to her destruction because those idols would corrupt her.

16 “You shall not tempt the Lord your God as you tempted Him in Massah.

Moses gives them an example of the kind of thing that grieves God.

In Exodus 17 when Israel arrived at Rephidim, they complained because there was no water.                 [17:1-7]

They began to murmur & protest, saying God had led them out of Egypt just so He could kill them with thirst in the wilderness.

This was an utterly foolish charge to level against the Lord & Moses says that it was really a provocation of His anger.

Because of that, He named the place “Massah” which means “Tempting.”

That’s a good lesson for us – to be on guard against doubting God’s care & goodness when we’re faced with some trial.

No matter how difficult that thing we’re going through, God hasn’t changed; He is still good & desires the best for us.

We must never allow our experience to alter the reality of the nature of God.

When our experience stands in contradiction to the goodness of God, then we’ve drawn the wrong conclusion from our experience.

We need to see it from a different perspective.

When Israel arrived at Rephidim & found no water, instead of jumping to the foolish conclusion God wanted to kill them with thirst, they ought to have reasoned,

“He just brought Egypt to its knees in the plagues & broke their back at the Red Sea.  All so we could gain our freedom!  Is it reasonable that He would then let us languish here until we all croak?  If killing us was His aim, wouldn’t it have been simpler to let the Egyptians finish us off in the slave pits?”

In the same way, when we find ourselves in some difficult place we can reason, “God sent His own Son to die for me so I can be free of sin and death.  Seeing He did that, is it reasonable that He would neglect & ignore me now?”

God escorted Israel to waterless Rephidim so they would learn a new lesson about His provision, that He gives water where there is none.

God will bring you to your own Rephidims – places that seem impossible, where the goodness of God is only a belief – where there is NO evidence of it other than the promise of it.

God allows those times to prove that HE ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES – even when it seems impossible.

17 You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, His testimonies, and His statutes which He has commanded you.


18 And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may be well with you, and that you may go in and possess the good land of which the Lord swore to your fathers, 19 to cast out all your enemies from before you, as the Lord has spoken.


20 “When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the Lord our God has commanded you?’ 21 then you shall say to your son: ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; 22 and the Lord showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against Egypt, Pharaoh, and all his household. 23 Then He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in, to give us the land of which He swore to our fathers. 24 And the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day. 25 Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us.’

We covered these verses 3 Sundays ago.

In v. 20 Moses speaks of the Law as “testimonies, statutes, & judgments.”

What’s the difference?

Testimonies refer to the stories of God’s deliverance, guidance and provision for the people.

Statues refer to the individual laws that defined their obedience under the Covenant.

Judgments refer to the blessings & curses that would come because of their obedience or disobedience.

What’s important to note here is that Moses tells the people they were to share their testimony about the goodness of God with their children.

Mom & Dad, make sure you tell your children about the good things God has done for you & your family.

Just as the Jews were to tell their kids about their experience as slaves but how God had delivered them, make sure your children realize you weren’t born a Christian – but that you were born again, that Jesus saved you from a life of sin & death.

People act with some surprise when they learn of my past as a nasty little hell-bent for leather sinner.

They imagine I was born in a church pew & spent all my youth with my nose in the pages of a Bible.

Hardly! My nose was given to other things for several years.

My training for ministry didn’t come by attending seminary or Bible college.

It came from sitting under the teaching of Pastor Chuck @ CC while I worked 70 hours a week as a taco-bender.

But while I attended CC, my life changed from being a pagan taco-bender to a Spirit-filled taco-bender.

And because I was faithful there, God moved me from bending tacos to bending souls.

C. Instructions on Dealing with Idolatrous Nations Ch. 7

1.   Whoop the Canaanites 7:1-11

1 “When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, 2 and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them.

Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land was used by God to bring judgment on the native people who’d settled there.

These cultures had all influenced each other, but not toward godliness.

Their influence had been toward the most wretched & hideous kind of evil imaginable.

Actually, the perversions they practiced AREN’T imaginable to most of us.

These cultures had deified power & had become so disgustingly brutal they delighted in tormenting & torturing the weakest & most vulnerable in public rituals.

They were over ripe for judgment and God used Israel as His sword.

It was important they see themselves as such & realize that just as these 7 nations had infected each other with their wickedness, if Israel didn’t wipe them out, their spiritual disease would corrupt them too.

3 Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. 4 For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly. 5 But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars,

To give you an idea of just how far gone these cultures were, these pillars, which they worshipped, were huge phallic symbols!

and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire.

Israel was to destroy every last vestige of pagan religion & worship.

6 “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. 7 The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; 8 but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

God chose Israel, not because they were somehow better than others but because He is God and His grace is free.

In v. 7 Moses says the reason God chose Israel was because of His love & because of the promise he’d made to Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob.

In the same way, God didn’t chose you because you’re better than others.

God chose you because He loves you & because He made a promise to His Son.

If it wasn’t for the grace of God, no one would be saved!

Ephesians 2:8-9 says . . .

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Understand something – it is not faith itself that saves.

It is faith IN what God offers that results in salvation.

If God did not first hold forth the gift of salvation, all the faith in the world would accomplish nothing.

Think of it this way:

It’s a Christmas morning when you’re a child & you believe your parents are going to give you a gift.

You believe it with every ounce of your strength.

But guess what – they didn’t get you anything!

Will your faith magically conjure up a gift?  No!

Faith is only realized when there’s something real, something objective for it to fix on.

Our faith in God is effectual because God has first extended a gift to us called salvation.

Faith doesn’t create something out of nothing.  Faith can only respond to what is.

This is the error metaphysical religions like Religious Science & the Faith movement make.  They think faith is an active force that creates reality.

Biblical faith is a response to the prior act & offer of God which He makes by grace.

Moses said this because as Israel entered in & destroyed these nations, he knew they would be tempted to see the horrible abominations the Canaanites practiced and so think God chose them because they were so much better.

No – God chose them because He loved them out of His own nature & not because they were so loveable.

The great secret to enjoying God’s love is to stop looking inward for reasons to justify that love & to simply revel in its bestowing.

Christian – the same is true for you & I.

Don’t waste one second trying to figure out why God loves & has chosen you.

Instead, just celebrate & saturate in the fact that He does!

We ought all be “well marinated” Christians – flavored through & through with His love.

“Flava’d with Fava!”

9 “Therefore know that the Lord [Yahweh] your God, He is God,

Not Baal, or Molech, or Asherah, or any of the idols worshipped in Canaan.

He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; 10 and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face. 11 Therefore you shall keep the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments which I command you today, to observe



2.   Blessing on Obedience 7:12-15

12 “Then it shall come to pass, because you listen to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers. 13 And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flock, in the land of which He swore to your fathers to give you. 14 You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be a male or female barren among you or among your livestock.

Material prosperity would reward their obedience.

In an agricultural economy, having lots of children was a means to increased wealth because more hands meant more productivity.

15 And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you.

As we noted when studying Exodus & Leviticus, many of the dietary & sanitation rules God gave the Jews protected them form infectious diseases centuries before the cause of such things was known.

3.   Erase all evidence of paganism 7:16-26

16 Also you shall destroy all the peoples whom the Lord your God delivers over to you; your eye shall have no pity on them; nor shall you serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you. 17 “If you should say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I; how can I dispossess them?’— 18 you shall not be afraid of them, but you shall remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt: 19 the great trials which your eyes saw, the signs and the wonders, the mighty hand and the outstretched arm, by which the Lord your God brought you out. So shall the Lord your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid. 20 Moreover the Lord your God will send the hornet among them until those who are left, who hide themselves from you, are destroyed. 21 You shall not be terrified of them; for the Lord your God, the great and awesome God, is among you. 22 And the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you little by little; you will be unable to destroy them at once, lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. 23 But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, and will inflict defeat upon them until they are destroyed. 24 And He will deliver their kings into your hand, and you will destroy their name from under heaven; no one shall be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them. 25 You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is an abomination to the Lord your God. 26 Nor shall you bring an abomination into your house, lest you be doomed to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is an accursed thing.

We covered these verse two Sundays ago in a message titled “Progress.”

D. Lessons from the Past 8:1–11:7

8:1 “Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers.


2 And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.

When Israel came out of Egypt in the Exodus, they were slaves – that’s a pretty humbling place to be.

But in Egypt there was plenty of food & and infrastructure to provide for them.

In the wilderness, Israel was reduced to total dependence on God.

So dependent were they that their daily bread was a miraculous provision in the form of manna.

God used the Wilderness as a way to teach Israel that even more necessary & immediate than physical food & water was their need to be dependent on Him.

4 Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. 5 You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.

Israel had seen some serious trials during the last 40 years, but they needed to take it to heart that these difficulties had been God’s chastening hand to perfect them.

That chastening was motivated by God’s love.

The writer of Hebrews says the same thing to us as Christians – that God uses chastening to perfect us.

6 “Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.


7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; 9 a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper.

The natural resources of Canaan were stupendous.

10 When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. 11 “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today,


12 lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; 14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 15 who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end— 17 then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ 18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. 20 As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God.

Moses keeps returning to this theme of the imperative that they not forget they are in covenant with God.

Their side is to obey, God’s side is to bless.

When they’re blessed, they’re not to think that it’s the result of their own strength.

It’s God’s doing.