Summary: Just as God wanted to prepare the people from whom the Savior of the world was to come and they were to live as a distinct people until His coming. He desires that in us even today ~ His blood bought children, before His second coming.
Opening illustration: [Sultan Q__s disguises himself as an ordinary man and walks into a hospital]
Introduction: We must think of the children of Israel camping in the meadow by the Jordan, looking across at the hills of the Promised Land; and must think of Moses, now a hundred and twenty years old, their wise and faithful leader many years, talking to them as to his little children, charging them earnestly to obey the Lord. And if Moses longed to have them good children and obedient, much more did the Lord Who gave the laws long to have them so; and He longs to have us learn and keep them and find them the way to heaven. Listen, Moses is speaking. (Deut. 6:1-5) Do these last words sound familiar? They are the first great commandment, almost as we recite it together.
The purpose of the Book of Deuteronomy [literarily means – this second law], was to prepare the people from whom the Savior of the world was to come for the occupation of the land in which she was to live as a distinct people until His coming. The theme, correspondingly, may be stated as follows: God promised Israel political security and economic prosperity in Palestine so long as she should prove faithful to Him (as the true visible church of the age) and threatened to reject Israel if she should prove unfaithful to Him.
This passage is also called the Magna Carta of the home which would guarantee the happiness and well being of the family in the purpose of God. But while it is an important passage for the home, this passage must not be used outside of its overall context and purpose or it loses its real impact for the home. One of the chief purposes of this section of Scripture is a call to ministry and testimony as the people of God through obedience to HIM.
What was the essence of God giving His Laws? [Taught by God – Done by God’s children]
1. Prescription for God’s Laws [v. 1 - 3]:
What is here spoken applies powerfully to every part of the moral law; God has given it as a rule of life, therefore obedience to it is indispensably necessary, not to the purchase of salvation, for no human merit can ever extend to that, but it is the way by which both the justice and mercy of God choose to conduct men to heaven. But let it be fully understood that no man can walk in the way of obedience but by and under the influence of the grace of God.
(a) FEAR Yahweh your God – The fear of God in the heart will be the most powerful principle of obedience. It is highly desirable that not we only, but our children, and our children’s children, may fear the Lord. Our faith in Christ and righteousness advance and secure the prosperity of any people. The maintenance of the fear of God would bring prosperity, and the increase of the nation promised to the fathers. Respect his sovereign authority as a lawgiver, and ever feel yourself bound to obey him. No man can walk either conscientiously or safely who has not the fear of God continually before his eyes. When this is gone, more than a guardian angel is fled. Whoever fears God will endeavor to bring up his children in the way of righteousness that they also may fear God, and that pure and undefiled religion may be preserved in his family through all its generations, not only in word, but in practice also.
(b) KEEP all His statutes and commandments – it must be performed, that the end for which it was given may be accomplished, viz., that God may be glorified, and that it may be well with the people.
© HEAR the Lord – Literally, you shall hear, O Israel, and you shall keep doing them. God is to be heard; no obligation without law to found it on, and no law in religion but from God. Hearing the Word must never degenerate into religious formality or into merely a religious routine in which we do our ‘nod to God,’ but afterwards immediately forget God (cf. Ps. 50:22). The text will show us, that our purpose for hearing the Word and its truth is to really know God intimately and personally, to so understand the truths of Scripture that they become the means and guide to a personal relationship with the Lord. We do “not live by bread alone, (i.e., by the details of life) but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” We need to live by God’s Word that we might personally know God and put our trust in Him. Not only be a hearer of God’s Word but also a doer of His statues and commandments.