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Deuteronomy 2 "The Old Way and the New"

Rev Mark Foley • 21st November 2021

Why we could love Deuteronomy!

Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do what I am telling you, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly… (Deu 6:3)

“The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the LORD swore to give. (Deu 8:1)

“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today… then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. (Deu 30:15-16)

The instructions are plain and clear

“All flying insects that swarm are unclean to you; do not eat them” 14:19

“Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year” 14:22

“At the end of every 7 years you must cancel debts” 15:1

“Do not move your neighbour's boundary stone set up by your predecessors…” 19:14

“Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself” 23:12

“Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain…” 25:4

We have no excuse

We are told what blessings will come if we do

“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God…  Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. (Deu 28:1-6)

And it is clear what will happen if we don't!

But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. (Deu 30:17-18)

BUT... There's a problem

We can't, we won't, and we don't!

Moses knew this

“Take this Book of the Law and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against you. For I know how rebellious and stubborn you are. Behold, even today while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the LORD. How much more after my death!... For I know that after my death you will surely act corruptly and turn aside from the way that I have commanded you. And in the days to come evil will befall you, because you will do what is evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger through the work of your hands.” (Deu 31:24-29)

But this is good news

1.    Deuteronomy presents 2 ways to live

The old way - you get what you deserve

Or the New Way

This way is about God, who He is and what He has done and will do

Your eyes have seen what the LORD did at Baal-peor, for the LORD your God destroyed from among you all the men who followed the Baal of Peor. (Deu 4:3)

To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides him. Out of heaven he let you hear his voice, that he might discipline you. And on earth he let you see his great fire, and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire. And because he loved your fathers and chose their offspring after them and brought you out of Egypt with his own presence, by his great power, driving out before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is this day, know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. (Deu 4:35-39)

When you… have grown old in the land… there you will serve gods of wood and stone, the work of human hands, that neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the LORD your God and obey his voice. For the LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them.(Deu 4:25-31)

2.    Deuteronomy helps us see our desperate need

The law is good - because it shows us our sin and need for God

God who can and will change us

And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live... And you shall again obey the voice of the LORD and keep all his commandments that I command you today. (Deut 30:6-8)

3.    Deuteronomy was loved by Jesus

Which commandment is the most important of all?” (Mark 12:28),

“The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’” (Mark 12:30, Deut 6:4–5).

Shows that our relationship with God is about loving God

Love which comes from God's love for us

“This is love – not that we love God – but that he loved us and gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins…” 1 John 4:10

We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). 


Deuteronomy - not a book telling us what we must do to make life work.

But a book showing us that we cannot do what we must do to make life work.

And that God has done it for us in Jesus.