Deuteronomy 1-3: Do Not Fear
March 15, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
The Book of Deuteronomy, the “second law,” is a series of Moses’ sermons given to Israel as they are on the verge of entering the Promised Land that recount the story of God’s rescue, God’s Word, and their needed obedience of that Word. “These are the words of Moses” (1:1), it begins, and so it carries on.
The first chapter is the most remarkable of these three, perhaps. It tells the story we have already heard (Num. 13-14) of how God’s people were told to enter the Promised Land, how they sent out spies first, but then decided to go against the Word of God and out of fear refused to enter the Promised Land (1:19-33). Having realized their folly, they decided presumptuously to enter—even without God’s blessing—and were beaten terribly in battle as a result (1:34-46).
Then come the wilderness years (2:1-3:22), and Moses emphasizes again and again that Israel is not to fear the nations or their enemies. They are to trust God and to take him at his Word. He tells how it was even true that he himself, despite pleading with God, would not enter the Promised Land because of Israel’s rebellion, and how it would be Joshua, encouraged by Moses, who would lead God’s people to cross the Jordan (1:37-38; 3:23-29).
It is a great beginning to a great book: we are hearing Moses preach to us. And now we have one greater than Moses, one who preached grace and truth. “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:16-17). Deuteronomy points us to another Preacher, a greater Preacher, the Savior.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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