This rather long chapter is an exposition of the first verse
“And now, O Israel, listen to the statues and rules that I am teaching you and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your Fathers is giving you.” It calls to mind the much later generation who rediscovered the teaching Moses brought and had the book read, explained so that they could understand and do (Nehemiah 8:8)
Listening to the word of God and teaching is important – Romans 10 tells us faith comes from hearing. It’s true, when we read something out aloud we retain much more. But as James 1:22 reinforces we need to be not just hearers or the word, but doers. the people of God needed to pay attention, listen and do what the Lord was commanding them. As they do so they will live and take possession of their inheritance. God has promised much – but to possess it we have to listen to His Word and do it!
Seeing is important too – they have seen God do so much v3. That gives them a testimony that they can tell the next generation v9. What have you seen the Lord do? Who have you told about His exploits?
Holding fast v4-5 – they can see that those who hold fast are the ones who have inherited the promises and will inherit the promised Land. They are the ones who will be an example to the other nations v6-8. Even as they take the Land, God will show his heart for the nations around to draw them into His purposes.
Take care v9
I can see four things in the next verses that they are to take care of.
- Keep your soul diligently – that speaks of watching out for temptation and sin and being diligent about intimacy with the Lord, prayer, reading the Bible and other spiritual disciplines.
- Don’t forget – you will forget if you are not diligent!
- Teach next generation – it’s vital there are always people getting passed down too. Not just your own children if you have them, but spiritual children.
- Gather to hear God’s word v10 – listening to sermons online is okay, but there is an impartation that is a game changer when we gather face to face, that just doesn’t happen online. We want transformation, not just information.
Presence of God v10-12 – we stand before God together, we experience His presence in glory – with Holy Spirit fire and cloud!
Prophetic words v12 – God speaks as we gather!
Watch yourselves very carefully v18 – the passage talks about watching out for idolatry – John Calvin said that the heart is an idol factory. Our old nature loves to worship anything that is not God – whether it be idols, or money, sex, power. Watch out! Be diligent in passionately pursuing God instead.
Moses taught provision for when people messed up and found themselves far from Godin sin. v29 – Seek God with all our heart and you will find Him.
Marinate on that.