Deuteronomy 4:1–8, 12–13 People desire and appreciate faithfulness in all of their relationships. How are we to respond to the faithfulness of others? Deuteronomy 4 and 5 set forth obedience as God’s expectation of Israel in response to God’s faithful deliverance.
Lesson 6: October 6, 2019
Bible Background • DEUTERONOMY 4:1–14; 5:1–21
Printed Text • DEUTERONOMY 4:1–8, 12–13 | Devotional Reading • HEBREWS 8:1–12
Aim for Change
By the end of the lesson, we will: SUMMARIZE why people should obey God’s commandments, EXPERIENCE awe at the majesty of God, and COMMIT to faithfulness to God through the new covenant as the Israelites were to be faithful to the Old Covenant.
Danielle was a college student at Clark-Atlanta University in Georgia. She was student government president for the senior class and on the dean’s list. The youth in her Bible study class admired her wisdom about the Bible and how she related it to real-life issues. However, some of the youth began to notice Danielle’s clothes smelled like marijuana, and she always was eating snacks while teaching the class. They began to talk among themselves. Was she using drugs?
One youth, Trent, decided to confront Danielle. One night before youth group, he prayed and then said, “The youth love coming to your class. You’re a great teacher.” “Well, thank you, Trent.”
“But we think that there is a problem. You sometimes smell like marijuana and look high when you come to class. You’re not using drugs, are you?” Trent swallowed hard and waited for a response.
Danielle looked at Trent’s worried face and knew she had to repent. “I am so sorry. You’re right. I’m teaching you how to follow God’s commands but I don’t follow them myself. Using marijuana is not the best way to handle my stress. I will go talk to Pastor Hearst and maybe take some time off from teaching. Thank you, Trent, for being so concerned about me.” She hugged Trent and went to find the pastor.
Why is it important for Christians to be good examples for others?
Keep in Mind
“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:2, KJV).
“Do not add to or subtract from these commands I am giving you. Just obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you” (Deuteronomy 4:2, NLT).
The People, Places, and Times
Baal-peor. Baal was worshiped in various aspects all around Canaan, taking on different names to denote a particular shrine’s worship. Peor refers to a mountain in Moab, the location of this branch of Baal worship. People worshiped Baal as a god of storms, dew, and fertility. From the biblical account, it appears the worship of Baal-peor was focused on fertility since the practice involved licentiousness with Moabite women (Numbers 25:1–9). God’s punishment for falling into the idolatry of Baal-peor was to send a plague, which killed 24,000 Israelites before the nation’s crimes were expiated by Phineas.
Stone Tablets. Often used for recording the legal documents of that day, stone tablets were generally shaped like rounded off rectangles. God inscribed stone tablets with the Ten Commandments, which gave insight into the nature of God. There were two sets of stone tablets. In anger, Moses destroyed the first set that God inscribed, when Moses saw the Israelites worshiping a golden calf. He cut the second set that was rewritten by God.
The book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Pentateuch. The new generation of Israelites was standing on the banks of the Jordan River, preparing to go possess the Promised Land that their parents never got acquainted with. Moses told them about God’s mighty acts in the past, including the deliverance from slavery in Egypt, as well as His provisions and protection in the Exodus and the wilderness. But this never satisfied the Israelites, so they complained and rebelled against God, provoking Him to let them wander in the wilderness forty years and then die without ever entering the Promised Land.
This book is a partial restatement and explanation of the previous laws given to the Israelites, so the new generation would not repeat the same rebellious behavior. They also renewed the covenant with God before entering the Promised Land. God requires obedience to His commands. If they obeyed His commands, God promised blessings. If they disobeyed, God promised curses.
What happens when new generations do not know their family history?