5. Deuteronomy: The Old Testament
THE BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY
The Fifth Book of Old Covenant Law
The Spiritual Significance:
God’s Faithfulness and Blessings to Us
If We Believe Him and Trust Him
Sometimes this book is jokingly referred to as the book of:
(1) DO teronomy, and
(2) DON’T eronomy
In other words the book of . . . . do’s and don’ts.
But really, when seen through gospel eyes, the Book of Deuteronomy reveals God’s faithfulness to us, even if we are not faithful to him.
Believing this, God will always see us as having faith. As has been said, “If you’re not sure of the way, take God’s hand and trust his leading.”
Moses’ prayer in this book is best recorded in Exodus 33:13: “(Lord) I pray, if I have found grace in your sight, show me now your way, that I may know you and that I may find grace in your sight.” This is the way it is done.
In the New Testament, what it means is that we live by the truth and reality God reveals to us in the gospel of the finished work of his Son Jesus. If we sincerely totally trust the cross, all of life falls into place.
The gospel is God’s ‘Plan A.’
Don’t miss this:
There is no ‘Plan B.’
This is what God so plainly says in Deuteronomy 18:15-19. Moses is speaking for God:
I will raise up a Prophet like you from among their brothers,
and I will put my words in his mouth,
and he shall speak to them all that I command him.
And it shall be that whoever will NOT hear my words,
which he speaks in my name,
I will REQUIRE it of him! (Selah)
This is speaking of the life of Jesus, and his gospel gift to us.
The Pharisees asked John the Baptist if he was ‘the Prophet’ (John 1:21). When they asked this question, they were referring to this verse. John the Baptist said he wasn’t even worthy to tie Christ’s sandals. Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant, but Jesus became Mediator of our New Covenant gospel (Heb 8:6). “The law was given by Moses, but grace and (gospel) truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
THE ANCIENT JEWS VS. MODERN DAY CHRISTIANS
The ancient Jews hadn’t believed God, and lived the way he said, all through their history with him. They invented their own ways. They were told to do two things:
(1) Separate from all other religions, gods, and the beliefs of other people, and
(2) Separate themselves to God’s Old Covenant law, and obey it.
They didn’t do it. And now, ready to enter the Promised Land under Joshua’s leadership, they were going to fail again. They never took God totally seriously, and never did all that he said to do in entering and occupying the Promised Land.
We modern Christians apparently don’t believe God either, and don’t live the way he says to live. We invent our own ways. We listen to the theology and wisdom of man that Paul says beguiles us, entices us and deceives us (I Cor 2:4, Col 2:4). We even believe we can ’have things our way,’ and concoct our own beliefs. What Jesus tells us to do in Mark 1:14-15, is the same thing Moses told the Jews to do in entering the Promised Land:
(1) Separate yourselves (he says ‘repent’) from all other beliefs, and
(2) Separate yourself only to God’s New Covenant gospel: believe it and live it.
In fact, in Acts 3:23-26, we are told the same thing that Moses and God talked about above out of Deuteronomy. It says that any Christian who will not hear this ‘Prophet’s’ message (meaning Jesus) will be DESTROYED from among the people. That is a hard word. But it goes on in verse 26 to tells us why believing the gospel truth of Jesus is so important. It’s because this is what God uses to BLESS us.