Deuteronomy 4:41-43 Refuge

God provided a place of safety. Moses got to name the first three.

Moses sets aside the first of the cities of refuge. There were to be six in all; three on each side of the Jordan.

Because Moses was told by God that he wouldn’t be going into the Promised Land, he wouldn’t see where each tribe’s inheritance would be. But three tribes had requested lands on this side of the Jordan. Moses got to participate in assigning them their portions. He also got to assign the cities of refuge within their borders.

There were only going to be six cities of refuge in all of Israel. Not every tribe would contain one of them within their own territory but the three tribes who remained on this side of the Jordan each hosted one. This is a testament to the size of land they received. The tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh were 23% of the total population of the Israelite’s. I don’t know if their portion of land was bigger because they were the only ones who wanted this side of the Jordan or not but their territory was substantial. Read more »

Deuteronomy 4:32-40 ONE TRUE God

You are the ONLY True God. All others are cheap imitations.

Moses reminds the people of God’s superiority above ALL else. There is NO other god who has done anything like what He was doing for them.

These are the children of the first generation who came out of Egypt under God’s hand. I don’t know if any of them were children as they set out or if all were born in the wilderness. I have a feeling it was a mixed multitude in that respect. Those who were under the age of inclusion in the census Moses took were not counted in the first generation. They would be over 40 years old now. The oldest would be 59 as everyone over 20 was included in the first generation. That is not an ancient age then or now but it might be past the age of serving in battle. Read more »

Deuteronomy 4:15-31 Idols

No matter what shape they may take, they CANNOT take God’s place!

Moses is reminding the people of all the commandments of God. He touched on obedience and now he moves to imagery.

God tells His people not to make ANY image of Him what so ever. Let NOTHING be set up as a representation to Him that you bow down to. This doesn’t mean that we can’t have pictures designed to represent Him as reminders but that those items are nothing more than reminders of who He is. He is the Creator not the created.

Moses lists everything he can think of that the people might choose to fashion as a god. If he were living in our time I’m sure he would have included cars, money, and houses in that list. ANYTHING that we look to for our source of happiness, protection, or sense of being is an idol. It doesn’t have to be a statue or occupy a shrine. Read more »

Deuteronomy 4:1-14 Obedience

One key ingredient this generation had that the last one lacked.

God called His people to be separate and to obey Him. Moses is in the beginning of revisiting the rules and regulations Israel is to live by.

The place to start is at the beginning. While in Egypt Israel relied on the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They lived through the relationship of their ancestors as their connection to God. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob passed on the promises through the generations but none had encountered God in some time. This changed with the generation God brought out of Egypt.

Moses experienced God first hand. He spoke with God on a daily basis. He followed His commands in bringing the people out of Egypt. He urged the people to follow wherever God led. And he called them all together to personally experience God’s presence at Horeb. Read more »

Deuteronomy 3:23-29 Firm Answer

When God says “No” stop trying to change His mind. His answer is BEST for you.

Moses continues his recounting of the events leading up to the crossing of the Jordan. Today he tells of his firm answer from God about his own journey’s end.

This is the only place where we see that Moses didn’t accept his punishment quietly. In all the other accounts we read it appears that Moses heard God’s answer and resigned himself to it. But the man of God begged Him to reconsider.

Moses’ plea for himself is not the only time he asked God to reconsider His stance. But this is the first time it was for him personally. Moses asked God to reconsider killing the whole camp and starting again at least twice, that I remember. The first time was when they had Aaron make them a “god” since Moses had been gone so long. The second time was when they refused to follow the Lord’s command and enter the Promised Land after hearing from the spies. Read more »