I don’t know if you have children or grandchildren but if you do you’ll understand the necessity of the book of Deuteronomy. The name means ‘second law’ and it’s the last book of the beloved Torah, written as a book end with Genesis, to the new generation of believers: children and grandchildren. The wandering of the Jewish people had about a month left and Moses, the foreshadow of Christ, is instructing this new group of God- worshippers. The older generation had failed to teach their children the ways of God but the Spirit will reteach through the words of Moses. Believers in Jesus Christ also have a responsibility to teach the next generation how to love God and obey Him. It’s taught by example.
Jesus fulfilled the book of Deuteronomy since He was the prophet that Moses spoke of in Dt. 18:15-18. It was the Messianic promise that One was coming Who would speak the words of God because He is the Word of God. Listen to His words:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19 ESV)
Dt. 28 is a clear picture of how to live God’s kind of life: the higher life. The list of blessings and curses are clear declarations for every aspect of living. But how do we remember all the rules? Jesus took care of that when He quoted from Dt. 6:4-5 and called it the ‘greatest commandment’. You know, He is all about relationship not just obeying rules. How do you suppose He summarized the 613 commandments listed in the Torah?
Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31 ESV)
We find Jesus all through this book but chapter four gives us His promise of covenant faithfulness in the latter days or the end times. As the Jewish people needed to be reminded of that truth in time of suffering, so do we. It is worth your reading.
Repetition is the key to learning so don’t get bored when you read Deuteronomy thinking that you’ve already read it’s content; read it as the new generation that walks into their own promised land in victory.