Read 46.) Deuteronomy 1:1 thru 4:40. The time has come to go. Moses must leave his beloved Israel. He has led them after the Lord for 40 years. We have a tremendous testimony to his faithfulness in Hebrews 3:1-6 and 11:24-28. But, before he goes, he addresses Israel 2 times. The first is here. What does he tell them? First, 1:2 is a subtle damnation of sorts. Israel could have marched to the Promised Land, and entered in to take it, in just 11 days, had they only been faithful to the Lord! But, instead, due to their great unbelief and stubborn disobedience, it cost them 38 more years in the wilderness, and an entire generation of their people! Sin can be terribly costly! From 1:3, we can conclude that it’s a January day in 1406 BC. 1:8 makes clear, the story to this point, has been about God’s promises to the Patriarchs about many descendants and the Promised Land. This story has been playing out for nearly 700 years now! But, from 1:26, 27+32, we learn Israel was faithless, yet from 1:36, that Caleb followed the Lord wholeheartedly, just as we are to. Chapter 2 is truly important, as the Lord takes credit for giving land, and establishing political boundaries, even for all of the other unbelieving nations of the world, not just Israel! Chapter 3 recounts the most recent events of Moses and Israel’s history, up to that point in time, which brings us to this impassioned exhortation of chapter 4.
Chapter 4 is rich. See the words of verse 7. We never read of, or saw any of this in the story before now. Not only was Israel not faithful, but we read here of what they really missed out on most of all! Had they become a prayerful people, they would have experienced a nearness of the Lord to themselves, that we have not yet found in anyone, but Moses himself! Verse 10 serves as a new wording of The First Commandment; “Revere Me as long as you live!” With verses 15 thru 20, we have words that expound upon The Second Commandment to not have any idols. Verse 24 might seem odd, as we ascribe evil to jealousy, but we need to know this: Jealousy is the fear of displacement; the fear that another might take our place. God’s concern is that Israel would put another in His place. His was not an unfounded concern, as it will be their habit and snare for nearly all the rest of their recorded history in their Bible, and they will pay ever so dearly for it, too! You who own the Lord as your God, have NO idols! I John 5:21.
It is with 4:25 thru 31, we must pay careful heed. God promised and prophesied to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob 4 specific things. Two have been fulfilled, and a 3rd was about to be. They had become many. They had been in slavery and delivered, and they were about to take the Promised Land. All this was so that the Lord could bring forth Messiah for the world. But, it is here, that Moses prophesies unto Israel the next three matters that will become all the rest of Israel’s recorded history for the next 1,000 years! See it? 1.) Israel will become so unfaithful as to break their covenant with the Lord entirely, 4:25. 2.) The Lord will remove the people from the Promised Land, 4:26-28. And, 3.) Israel will return to the Lord, and He, in turn, will restore Israel to their Promised Land, 4:29-31. Now, we have 7 promises and prophecies. These are the 7 matters around which all of the entire recorded history of Israel, in the remainder of the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament, and the 4 Gospel accounts of the New Testament, entirely revolve around. As we go forward, we will note book, chapter and verse, where each of these begins and ends. It is this that stands out as the evidence and proof that the Bible truly is the very Word of God! It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell