Deuteronomy 1-3

A History Lesson

 Today we begin our study in the book of Deuteronomy. The book is often called the second Law but that is incorrect. Moses is teaching the same law to the second generation of people who have been wandering through the wilderness for forty years. The first generation of people 20 and older that God brought out of Egypt have died in the wilderness. When Moses sent the twelve spies into the Promised Land ten of the spies brought a bad report regarding the land. Certainly it was a good and productive land but it was well fortified and the people were like giants and strong. This struck fear among the people and they wanted to go back to Egypt. God said those who refused to go into the Promised Land because they were afraid, would die in the wilderness and their children would go in and possess the land instead. These children are the people that Moses is speaking to in this book.

 It should be noted that most of the people Moses is speaking to do not have any firsthand knowledge of what it was like being enslaved in Egypt. The only people in this group who came out of Egypt were 19 years old or under when God brought the people out.  It is important to keep in view this fact so we can relate to what these people might be thinking as they stand on one side of the Jordan River and the Promised Land is on the other. Several questions come to mind. What have they heard about Egypt? We have read several times that the people wanted to go back. What had they heard about the Promised Land? How bad did they want to go there? And how strong was their relationship and commitment to God? We can only speculate on the answers to these questions but the bottom line is, how important, and how much influence does the history have on the future? Given what Jesus has done and the history of what the Church has gone through in history we face the same questions and our answers show how strong our faith is.

 Moses starts with a history lesson and ends with the examples of their recent defeats of Og and Sihon. These men were kings of fortified cities and giants. By faith in God the people overcame the fears that had stopped their fathers from going into the Promised Land nearly forty years earlier.

 Jesus taught that those who are faithful in little things will be faithful in much. The defeat of these two kings showed faith in little things. In teaching the Law to this second generation Moses is preparing them to be faithful to God when they enter the Promised Land.

 It is said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. May we learn to not respond to fear and doubt but respond to the Lord’s leading by faith in Him and His Word.


Pastor Dave