By now, you probably know the drill. If you are new to this, this series, as you may have deciphered, is an outline of the entire Bible, book by good ‘ol book.
Part 4.1 | Numbers 1-8 – At the beginning of numbers we saw the formation of the army of Israel and further description of the law and the tabernacle. Most notably, we learned about the Levitical priesthood. On a side note: chronologically, there seems to be a jump to events in the past in some of the beginning chapters of Numbers, but Chapter 9 returns back to chronological order.
Part 4.2 | Numbers 9-19 – In these chapters we again see a lot of wavering by the Israelites. They longed for meat instead of manna; they trust the bad reports of spies over the Lord’s promise; they challenged Moses and Aaron; and they continued to lose faith although the Lord proved Himself time and time again.
Part 4.3 | Numbers 20-27 – We continue to see the unfaithfulness of the Israelites, and this time we surprisingly see the unfaithfulness of Moses! Numbers continues to express the importance of living by the law and living for the Lord, and we learn that doing anything short of that causes the Israelites (us) to walk down a dark path.
Part 4.4 | Numbers 28-36 – In the last chapters of Numbers, we see that despite all of the complaining and unfaithfulness, the Lord is still faithful to fulfill his promise! The book ends with the Israelites on the verge of conquering the land that the Lord promised them, and we see them conquer many others along the way with the immense strength of the Lord.
Now we begin our study of Deuteronomy – we have a new generation of Israelites after so many years of wandering, and it’s time for a refresher!
DEUTERONOMY – In Numbers we saw the children of Israel go through a great journey from the Mount Sinai to the promised land. Along the way however, we witnessed the unfaithfulness and worry and complaining of the Israelites that so vividly describes much of our lives even to this day. The biggest of these moments of unfaithfulness was when they trusted in the bad reports of spies over the promise of God. Because they refused to enter the land that God had promised to give them the Lord cursed them to wander through the wilderness for 40 years, and He vowed that those above a certain age would never enter the promised land. Deuteronomy begins after the 40 years. The Israelites have again arrived at the promised land, and this time it is a new generation that needs to hear and/or remember their history. They need to be reminded of the law that has the power to grant them a relationship with a holy God, and they need to prepare themselves to conquer the land that was promised to God’s own nation.
- Deuteronomy 1 – Deuteronomy 3 | A recount of the journey from Mt. Sinai: In the first few chapters of Deuteronomy Moses recounts the tale of the Israelites journey from Horeb to where they are now before the promised land. Mt. Horeb is often referred to in the Bible as the “mountain of God” (see Ex. 3:1), and many parts of the bible discuss events at Mt. Horeb, which directly match events that took place at Sinai. Therefore, it is safe to assume that Mt. Horeb is just a different name for Mt. Sinai. Simply put, these chapters are a condensed version of all that we read about in Numbers.
- Deuteronomy 4 | There is only one God: This chapter stands alone because it vividly describes a majestic, ever-faithful, and living God. It talks of the Lord who spoke out of the fire; who has no form; who brought them out of Egypt; who drove out nations that were stronger than Israel; who cannot be described or defined by any physical idol. Chapter 4 introduces the law by describing that God is God alone and that obedience to Him is paramount above all.
know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. Therefore you shall keep his statutes and his commandments, which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for all time. | Deuteronomy 4:39-40
- Deuteronomy 5 | Recounting the Ten Commandments: Moses recounts the giving of the 10 commandments on the two tablets of stone. He lists each of the commandments that the Lord revealed to him, which he in turn gave to the Israelites. It is important to note that while the Israelites return to their tents after the 10 commandments are given, Moses is asked by the Lord to stay so that He could tell him the “whole commandment”
- Deuteronomy 6 | The point of the Commandment: Much like Chapter 4, chapter 6 continues to express the importance of the commandment and the importance of transferring it from generation to generation. Verses 20 to 25 effectively summarize the point of everything the Israelites have gone through, but the most notable verse in this section is the “greatest commandment”, which is true for us today although we are no longer bound by the old testament law:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. | Deuteronomy 6:5
- Deuteronomy 7 | The Lord is faithful to Israel (us), so they (we) should be faithful to Him: This chapter describes the fact that the Lord has kept a great promise made to the forefathers of the Israelites, and He has set the nation apart from every other nation. Israel was holy to the Lord, and He was dedicated to keep them holy and blameless (much like Christ and the church!). There was no room for idols or any remnant of the other nations because they would cause the Israelites to turn away, much like what we face in our lives today! The Lord dedicates his life to the Israelites, and in return, He asks that we dedicate our lives to Him!
- Deuteronomy 8 – Deuteronomy 11 | The wilderness was a test, and it revealed what was in their heart: Again, we read of the importance of remembering the Lord! It is extremely clear that the Israelites are a forgetful people. We forget the goodness, the truth, the sacrifice, the love, and we turn away from the Lord often. In chapter 8 we read that wilderness was a test to reveal the deepest reaches of their heart. We also learn in chapter 9 that the blessing of the Lord and the faithfulness of God was not because the Israelites were a righteous people. That was made clear when they resorted to making a golden calf while Moses was gone for only 40 days receiving the ten commandments from God on Mt. Sinai. Fortunately in chapters 10 and 11 we experience the mercy of the Lord, and we realize that the stubbornness of the Israelites could only be resolved by humility, circumcision of the heart, and complete obedience. We read a notable verse that describes a wonderful truth that is revealed to all of us through the tests and trials that we face in our lives:
And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. | Deuteronomy 8:3
I don’t know what y’all are thinking, but to me, Deuteronomy is really a fascinating book! It is rich with so many circumstances that directly reflect our own as we live in this world today. The first 11 chapters explain so much and give us the purpose for everything that has happened to the Israelites. It shows us the purpose for loving the Lord with all our hearts and the way to do it! Deuteronomy is a KEY book of the Bible, and I recommend that you continue to study every chapter much more than what is listed on this outline [then again, I recommend that for every single book of the Bible…]. If my recommendation is not enough to convince you, then please check out Matthew 4:1-11 and realize that every verse that Jesus Christ used when being tempted by Satan was from the book of Deuteronomy!