Church Discipline. This lesson will teach you about some of the contemporary problems.
Can humankind solve the challenges on its own?
No. It would be the same as a child walking up to a broken plane and attempting to fix it.
Deuteronomy Book Overview
|1805 b.c. (1640 b.c.)||Joseph dies|
|Slavery in Egypt
|1446 (1280)||Exodus from Egypt|
|1445 (1279)||Ten Commandments given|
|1406 (1240)||Moses’ death; Israelites enter Canaan
|1375 (1220)||Judges begin to rule
|1050 (1045)||United kingdom under Saul|
|Purpose:||To remind the people of what God had done and encourage them to rededicate their lives to him|
|Author:||Moses (except for the final summary, which was probably written by Joshua after Moses’ death)|
|To Whom Written:||Israel (the new generation entering the Promised Land)|
|Date Written:||About 1407/6 b.c.|
|Setting:||The east side of the Jordan River, in view of Canaan|
|Key Verse:||“Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and constantly loves those who love him and obey his commands” (7:9).|
|Key People:||Moses, Joshua|
|Key Place:||The Arabah in Moab|
If you’ve ever been a part of the following scene, you’ll never forget it.
Inside the house is a quiet bedroom. Last spring’s prom photo sits on the bedside table. A dried homecoming mum hangs from the bulletin board. Outside the house is a packed car. Both trunk and seat are full of clothes, books, and stereo. What was in the room is now in the car. The one who used to live in the room is about to drive the car … to college.
Both parent and child are stunned by the moment. What happened to childhood? Who fast-forwarded the years? Why, just yesterday was filling the house with cartwheels and playdough – now look. He’s so tall. She’s such a beauty. The child is grown.
The grown child is equally stunned. The road ahead looks lonely and long. There is safety in these walls. Protection. Security. Those pleas for independence so recently voiced are unheard today. “Just say the word, Dad, I’ll stay. Just ask me, Mom, I won’t leave.”
But Mom and Dad know better. They know that love releases the loved. They know the training is over. The last bell has rung. The class is dismissed, and the application has begun.
.And so parent and child hesitate at the side of the car. There’s no time to teach new truths. There is no time to instill values or lay foundations. There is only one word that can be said,- Remember. Remember who loves you/. Remember what matters. Remember what is right and what is wrong.
In Deuteronomy God tells his children to remember.
Israel is about to make a transition. For forty years they have wandered. Now they are about to settle down in a new land. It’s time of transition.. From Moses to Joshua . From the wilderness to the promised land. From nomads to farmers. From people with no land to people of the land.
God wants them to stay faithful. Stay distinctive. For fourty days Moses teaches the words you are about to summarize. God repeats what he has already taught. Deutero means second. Notomos means law. Deuteronomy is a second hearing of the law.
God didn’t want them to forget.
Class reunions, scrapbooks and photo albums, familiar songs, and old neighborhoods—like long-time friends they awaken our memories and stir our emotions. The past is a kaleidoscope of promises, failures, victories, and embarrassments. Sometimes we want to forget memories that are too painful. However, as the years pass, remembrances of unpleasant events usually fade into our subconscious. But there is a time to remember: Mistakes should not be repeated; commitments made must be fulfilled; and the memory of special events can encourage us and move us to action.
The book of Deuteronomy is written in the form of a treaty between a king and his vassal state typical of the second millennium b.c. It calls Israel to remember who God is and what he has done. Lacking faith, the old generation had wandered for 40 years and died in the wilderness. They left Egypt behind, but never knew the Promised Land. Then on the east bank of the Jordan River, Moses prepared the sons and daughters of that faithless generation to possess the land. After a brief history lesson emphasizing God’s great acts on behalf of his people, Moses reviewed the law. Then he restated the covenant—God’s contract with his people.
The lessons are clear. Because of what God has done, Israel should have hope and follow him; because of what he expects, they should listen and obey; because of who he is, they should love him completely. Learning these lessons will prepare them to possess the Promised Land.
As you hear the message of Deuteronomy, remember how God has expressed his kindness in your life, and then commit yourself anew to trust, love, and obey him.
Deuteronomy introduces the reader to the great theological themes of Judaism. Hence, we read of a God who acts in history for the redemption of his elect; we confront the Israelite concepts of sin, punishment and reward; and we are introduced to the essential creed of Judaism, “Here, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one” Behind these great themes, and binding them together , is the covenant between God and Israel. It is this covenant which provides the driving force of the message of Deuteronomy, leaving no doubt as to the responsibilities, rewards, and punishment in the covenant.
|A. What God Has Done for Us: Moses’ First Address (1:1–4:43)||Moses reviewed the mighty acts of God for the nation of Israel. Remembering God’s special involvement in our lives gives us hope and encouragement for the future.|
|B. Principles for Godly Living: Moses’ Second Address (4:44–29:1)
1. The Ten Commandments
2. Love the Lord your God
3. Laws for proper worship
4. Laws for ruling the nation
5. Laws for human relationships
6. Consequences of obedience and disobedience
|Obeying God’s laws brought blessings to the Israelites and disobeying brought misfortune. This was part of the written agreement God made with his people. Although we are not part of this covenant, the principle holds true: Obedience and disobedience carry inevitable consequences in this life and the next.|
|C. A Call for Commitment to God: Moses’ Third Address (29:2–30:20)||Moses called the people to commitment. God still calls us to be committed to love him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.|
|D. The Change in Leadership: Moses’ Last Days (31:1–34:12)||Although Moses made some serious mistakes, he had lived uprightly and carried out God’s commands. Moses died with integrity. We too may make some serious mistakes, but that should not stop us from living with integrity and godly commitment.|
|History||Moses reviewed the mighty acts of God whereby he liberated Israel from slavery in Egypt. He recounted how God had helped them and how the people had disobeyed.||By reviewing God’s promises and mighty acts in history, we can learn about his character. We come to know God more intimately through understanding how he has acted in the past. We can also avoid mistakes in our own lives through learning from Israel’s past failures.|
|Laws||God reviewed his laws for the people. The legal contract between God and his people had to be renewed by the new generation about to enter the Promised Land.||Commitment to God and his truth cannot be taken for granted. Each generation and each person must respond afresh to God’s call for obedience.|
|Love||God’s faithful and patient love is portrayed more often than his punishment. God shows his love by being faithful to his people and his promises. In response, God desires love from the heart, not merely a legalistic keeping of his law.||God’s love forms the foundation for our trust in him. We trust him because he loves us. Because God loves us, we should maintain justice and respect.|
|Choices||God reminded his people that in order to ratify his agreement, they must choose the path of obedience. A personal decision to obey would bring benefits to their lives; rebellion would bring severe calamity.||Our choices make a difference. Choosing to follow God benefits us and improves our relationships with others. Choosing to abandon God’s ways brings harm to ourselves and others.|
|Teaching||God commanded the Israelites to teach their children his ways. They were to use ritual, instruction, and memorization to make sure their children understood God’s principles and passed them on to the next generation.||Quality teaching for our children must be a priority. It is important to pass on God’s truth to future generations in our traditions. But God desires that his truth be in our hearts and minds and not merely in our traditions.|
The events of this book take place on the plains of Moab as the Israelites are poised to enter the Promised Land. Moses oversees the important task of transferring his leadership to Joshua. He gives his final instructions to the people. The book ends with an account of his death.
1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen carefully to my wise counsel. 2Then you will learn to be discreet and will store up knowledge.
3 The lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil. 4But the result is as bitter as poison, sharp as a double-edged sword. 5Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.£ 6For she does not care about the path to life. She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t even realize where it leads.
7So now, my sons, listen to me. Never stray from what I am about to say: 8Run from her! Don’t go near the door of her house! 9If you do, you will lose your honor and hand over to merciless people everything you have achieved in life. 10Strangers will obtain your wealth, and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor. 11 Afterward you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body, 12and you will say, “How I hated discipline! If only I had not demanded my own way! 13Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers? Why didn’t I pay attention to those who gave me instruction? 14I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace.”
15 Drink water from your own well—share your love only with your wife. 16Why spill the water of your springs in public, having sex with just anyone? 17You should reserve it for yourselves. Don’t share it with strangers.
18 Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 She is a loving doe, a graceful deer. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love. 20Why be captivated, my son, with an immoral woman, or embrace the breasts of an adulterous woman?
21For the Lord sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes. 22 An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. 23 He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his incredible folly.
This “immoral woman” is a prostitute. Proverbs includes many warnings against illicit sex for several reasons. First, a prostitute’s charm is used as an example of any temptation to do wrong or to leave the pursuit of wisdom. Second, sexual immorality of any kind was and still is extremely dangerous. It destroys family life. It erodes a person’s ability to love. It degrades human beings and turns them into objects. It can lead to disease. It can result in unwanted children. Third, sexual immorality is against God’s law.
Any person should be on guard against those who use flattery and smooth talk (lips that “are sweet as honey”) that would lead him or her into sin. The best advice is to take a detour and even avoid conversation with such people.
At the end of your life, it will be too late to ask for advice. When desire is fully activated, people don’t want advice—they want satisfaction. The best time to learn the dangers and foolishness of going after forbidden sex (or anything else that is harmful) is long before the temptation comes. Resistance is easier if the decision has already been made. Don’t wait to see what happens. Prepare for temptation by deciding now how you will act when you face it.
“Drink water from your own well” is a picture of faithfulness in marriage. It means to enjoy the spouse God has given you. In desert lands, water is precious, and a well is a family’s most important possession. In Old Testament times, it was considered a crime to steal water from someone else’s well, just as it was a crime to have intercourse with another man’s wife. In both cases, the offender is endangering the health and security of family.
In contrast to much of what we read, see, and hear today, this passage urges couples to look to each other for lifelong satisfaction and companionship. Many temptations entice husbands and wives to leave their spouses when marriage becomes dull and find excitement and pleasures elsewhere. But God designed marriage and sanctified it, and only within this covenant relationship can we find real love and fulfillment. Don’t let God’s best for you be wasted on the illusion of greener pastures somewhere else. Instead, rejoice with your spouse as you give yourselves to God and to each other.
God never intended marriage to become boring, lifeless, pleasureless, and dull. Sex is a gift God gives to married people for their mutual enjoyment. Real happiness comes when we decide to find pleasure in the spouse God has given us and to commit ourselves to meeting his or her needs. The real danger is in doubting that God knows and cares for us. We then may resent his timing and carelessly pursue sexual pleasure without his blessing.