Deuteronomy should make us conscious of our responsibility for obedience.
Deuteronomy is a record of the words that Moses spoke to the people of Israel just prior to their entering the Promised Land. In fact, the first line of the books states, “These are the words,” giving Deuteronomy its Hebrew title Devarim – “Words.” The original adults who fled Egypt have all passed away, and a new generation has risen up. God is going to give them great victory against their enemies in Canaan, but many temptations are also going to face them. Moses gives the Israelite’s one last sermon to reiterate God’s instructions for them.
The children were not held responsible for the cowardice of their parents. They were assured possession of the land while the parents were sent back to the desert. The author of Hebrews later points to the wilderness strewn with the corpses of that faithless generation as a grim reminder.
There are consequences for lacking confidence in God’s power.
God provided for the Israelites. He did huge miracles on their behalf. He wanted to bring them into the Land, but He had to let the faithless parents die in the desert. He could not pollute the land with unbelievers right from the beginning.
When we fail to appreciate the power and love of God, it’s like we’re poking a finger in His eye.
That’s disturbing stuff. We get enamoured with grace, but we fail to realise some of these implications. God loves us completely, and He has tremendous patience with us. That’s why it is such an incredible insult to suggest He doesn’t love us. He gave us everything. He gave us His Son. All eternity is ours because of God’s self-sacrifice. How can we be so cruel and foolish to think for a moment He doesn’t love us or that He can’t be trusted?
Trusting God is loving God. If we trust Him, though, that also means we trust Him enough to obey Him. Real trust says, “I know Your way is best.”
We are saved through the blood of Jesus, not by our works. However, in His seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3, Jesus repeatedly offers rewards to the “overcomer.” Overcoming is incredibly important. The fruit of our lives is at stake. The lives of other people are at stake. Our rewards in Heaven are at stake. Moses was saved, but he didn’t get to enter the Promised Land he’d worked so hard to reach.
Let’s get to the end of our lives and be able to say, “I fought the good fight. I finished the race.”