Here we go everybody! Four of the five Torah books are DONE!!! Only one more and we get a nice break with some pleasant, pastoral reading in Joshua.
But I admit, I am a little nervous about this one. Why?
I can’t ever remember how to spell “Deuteronomy.”
Does the “E” or the “U” come first? I’m going to have to be writing this word for the next month and a half. Someone please make up a little memory song that will help me. Like “I before E except after C.” or something like that.
What Is Deuteronomy?
Well, from the looks of it, Deuteronomy is Moses’ “I’ve been to the Mountain Top” speech to the Israelites. 10 points for you if you get that joke.
They are about to finally go into the Promised Land. Moses has gathered them all together to give them one last reminder of who they are and what they are about.
I was expecting to jump right in to the laws, but Moses went in a different direction.
He reminds the people of their story.
He reminds them where they have been and where they came from.
Which is good, since none of them were actually there when it started. None of these people were in Egypt. None saw the plagues. None experienced that first passover. Many have known nothing save for wandering in a desert their entire lives.
Great, this nation is made up entirely of former slaves or nomads.
That is a strange way to start a nation if you ask me.
What Parts of The Story Do You Tell?
So Moses has a captive audience and wants them to know their story. What parts does he tell? What do they absolutely need to know?
There was a Journey.God led them from Horeb to the hill country of the Amorites. He was about to give them the land he had promised.
They had leaders. Rather than one all-powerful king, authority was spread out among the tribes. Wise, discerning, and reputable people were selected to justly and fairly lead the Israelites.
They Scouted the Land. People went ahead to see what the land was like and what route they should take to conquer it.
There Was a Rebellion. Those who went ahead discouraged the people from wanting to come into the land. They said “The LORD hates us,” and that the people of the land would surely destroy them.
They were punished. Because of that, not one person who left Egypt was to enter the Promised land (save Joshua and Caleb). This included Moses himself.
A new leader was appointed. Joshua would take up the mantle of Moses and lead the people into the land.
There was another rebellion. This time, the people rebelled by trying to get it right. They attacked the Amorites but unlike before, God was not with them. They were defeated.
That’s all we get in chapter 1. We’ll see how Moses continues in chapter 2.