Deuteronomy

Why is Deuteronomy repeating everything we have already read?

This gave the new generation who was to go to the Promised Land the knowledge of what their ancestors did and the opportunity to learn from that. They needed to be told and reminded of where they came from. There are also different perspectives in each of the books.

Does the greatest commandment given in Deuteronomy chapter 6 change throughout the bible?

The commandment is” Love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all you strength.” The commandment does not change throughout the bible. We also hear it again in Matthew 22 when Jesus said it. In the midst of all the rules, the one thing that Moses wanted the people to get is to love God with everything they’ve got.

Read Deuteronomy chapter 9:1-12. Why did God choose the Israelites over other nations? (Hint 7:1-11)

Because God gave an oath to Abraham, and because he loved them. There was nothing they did to deserve being chosen, it was only because of God and his love for them.

Why does the bible say God is a jealous God? Deuteronomy 4:24

We think jealousy is a bad thing, but from God it is a good thing. God wants us to be all his. When we are consumed with other idols, he is jealous because he wants us all to himself. He is jealous for his people.

Why did God kill so many people in Deuteronomy 2:32-35?

It’s the same reason that he chose his people. He chose the Israelites and the people around them are sinful. This was to fulfill God’s promise. This is also to show how devoted God is to his people. No one would take the Israelites from him. It seems harsh to have so many people killed, but they deserved it. The people had turned their backs against God, so they deserved the wrath from God. The Israelites did not get that wrath because God loved them and chose them.

Why was God not merciful?

He was. He wasn’t merciful to the people who were destroyed, but they didn’t deserve it. He was merciful to Israel.

Why was it okay for the people to have slaves?

Slavery in the Old Testament was very different than the way we think of it now. A slave then was working to pay off a debt they owed. After seven years they would be set free. When Israel would bring people in, they would become slaves and would be engrained into the culture and religion of the Israelites. They would see God and who he was, and after seven years when they got their freedom the hope was that they would stick around because they had seen the greatness of who God is.

There are so many very specific laws, and it is clear there is no way Israel can obey every single one. If that is the case, why did God give them the law in the first place?

God sent these laws down as guidelines so they had something to live by. The Israelites couldn’t obey them all and they would eventually sin. God’s law is moral perfection that he desires and requires us to meet and when we look at it we realize how sinful we are. Also, when we compare the Israelite’s laws with the laws from the places around them, the Israelites had more laws to follow.  This was to set the Israelites apart, morally above as God’s people.

Deuteronomy Chapter 28 outlines a bunch of curses that will come on the Israelites if they disobey God. Given their track record, we know Israel is going to disobey. Chapter 30 offers hope for the Israelites, but what must happen to them to be saved from the curses?

They had to repent for their sins, obeying God with all their heart and soul, and then God would save them from the curses and God would have compassion on them. Just like the Israelites we deserve curses, but God will release those curses and have compassion on us if we repent and obey.

What do you do if one of your friends is making fun of God? Do you tell them that it’s wrong or leave it alone?

It depends on the relationship you have with the person. If you are close with them, you should probably talk with them and have a conversation about it. If it’s someone you don’t really know you may not need to say something, but you would not be wrong if you did.

Why did Jesus ask so many questions instead of giving all the answers?

We often learn better by coming to conclusions by ourselves, thinking about and discussing answers. Jesus was the greatest teacher on earth and he knew the best way to teach. He would often help people come to answers on their own.

Did the people ask for the law and God gave it to them, or did he put them in place by himself?

God put them there. God did create us to need laws, rules, and regulations, and we crave structure as humans but they weren’t asking for all the laws to be in place.

What does it mean to circumcise your heart? Deut 30:6

The symbol of the covenant that God made with Abraham was circumcision. God circumcises hearts so that people would love God with all their heart, mind and soul. It’s getting at what God really wants: he wants our hearts.