As we start this new book, here is a head’s up that we’ll be going back to our normal six chapters per week rhythm as we read through Deuteronomy. Sundays will go back to being a rest (or catch-up) day. For an overview (or refresher) on Deuteronomy, click here.
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Read Deuteronomy 10
Tablets Like the First Ones
10 At that time the Lord said to me, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones and come up to me on the mountain. Also make a wooden ark. 2 I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Then you are to put them in the ark.”
3 So I made the ark out of acacia wood and chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hands. 4 The Lord wrote on these tablets what he had written before, the Ten Commandments he had proclaimed to you on the mountain, out of the fire, on the day of the assembly. And the Lord gave them to me. 5 Then I came back down the mountain and put the tablets in the ark I had made, as the Lord commanded me, and they are there now.
6 (The Israelites traveled from the wells of Bene Jaakan to Moserah. There Aaron died and was buried, and Eleazar his son succeeded him as priest.7 From there they traveled to Gudgodah and on to Jotbathah, a land with streams of water. 8 At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to ministerand to pronounce blessings in his name, as they still do today. 9 That is why the Levites have no share or inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance, as the Lord your God told them.)
10 Now I had stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights, as I did the first time, and the Lord listened to me at this time also. It was not his will to destroy you. 11 “Go,” the Lord said to me, “and lead the people on their way, so that they may enter and possess the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.”
Fear the Lord
12 And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lordyour God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
14 To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. 15 Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today. 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow,and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. 20 Fear the Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. 21 He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. 22 Your ancestors who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.
We may hear someone say on occasion, “The Bible just isn’t relevant now.” Deuteronomy 10 demonstrates the opposite is true, however, as Moses retells the miracle-laden, foundational history of the Israelite nation. Almost two generations had passed since Moses received the Ten Commandments. The people, old and new, needed to hear God’s law again, and so do we.
Verses 1-11 point to Moses as a type of Christ, a figure symbolic of redemption in the Old Testament who points to the work of Christ in the New Testament. Per God’s command, Moses tells of his second trip to Mount Horeb where he pleads for God’s mercy over Israel in spite of their disobedience. After 40 days and nights on the mountain, he returns with the Ten Commandments rewritten by God on tablets of stone, along with God’s special instructions about the ark. God’s compassion, mercy, and commands to the people establish the holy significance of the ark and covenant. In the New Testament, Ephesians 1:12 tells us, “And you are included in Christ, when you hear(d) the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation.” Hence, Moses explains to the Israelites that they are chosen objects of God’s affection, love, and mercy. This is glorious news for the Israelites and for us who have heard and believed the gospel of our salvation!
The commands of God in verses 6–9 set forth the Levitical priesthood’s work and provision. Verse 9 states, “The Levites have no share in the inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance.” This special designation, given by God, claims their work as Holy and Lord led, and their provision would come from God’s law through His people. The message for us today is obvious. Our pastors, staff, worship leaders, missionaries, etc., in our local church are God-breathed and directed. These modern-day Levites need our spiritual and financial support as their ministries equip us to be God’s people in our communities and world. It is a beautiful response to God’s love and mercy to be in a circular relationship between God, the church, and each other.
Finally, the Israelites are reminded in verses 14-22 of the faithful love of God. Moses describes God as the Creator, Lord of lords, and God of all gods, and, yet He is individually compassionate to the orphan, widow, and foreigner. He claims the promise to Abraham is fulfilled, saying in verse 22, “Your ancestors who went down to Egypt were seventy in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.” Genesis 26:4 says, “I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars of the sky, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants, all the nations of the earth will be blessed.” First, Abraham, then Moses, and now in Christ, we can see the parallel. The estimated number of Christians worldwide is 2.2 billion. From this one chapter, we can see the love, mercy, and forever faithfulness of God to the Israelites, and to us. May we joyfully respond to all God has done for us now and forever, striving “to walk in obedience to Him, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (v. 12). Let’s show His love and faithfulness to those who need to hear the gospel. Let’s make heaven crowded!
- Review Exodus 32. How does Moses fit into Christ’s redemption story?
- What are the four things God requires of you? On a scale of 1-10, how are you doing in each category?
- Are you responding to God’s call in Deuteronomy 10:12? How can you grow in your love for God?
Matthew Henry (a 17th century minister) said, “There is true honor and pleasure in obedience. We must give honor to God; and to Him we must cleave as one we delight in, trust in, and from whom we have great expectations.”
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