The book of Deuteronomy is quoted in the New Testament over 50 times! Only Psalms and Isaiah are quoted more in the New Testament. This is not an easy book to study, the detail of the laws along with some of the very long chapters, can bog us down.
Deuteronomy chapters 1-4, gives us a look back at the history of Israel. It was written in story form as we see the rebellion of Israel and the powerful and miraculous care of God’s people.
We see that our God is stronger and greater than any other!
As we move into chapters 5-30, we move into the list of Israel’s laws. There is no story line. This is more of a summary of Moses’ final teaching before they crossed the Jordan and took possession of the Promised Land.
So, let’s begin!
The first set of laws we see laid out are the Ten Commandments. These are retold in Deuteronomy almost identical to when they were given the first time in Exodus 20, only…it’s 40 years later and to a new generation.
Deuteronomy 5:22 says:
These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly at the mountain out of the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and he added no more. And he wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.
The Ten Commandments are the only laws given directly by the voice of God. The rest of the laws came from God, through Moses, to Israel. No other nation had a God who spoke to them!
These Ten Commandmentss are the core commandments. Let’s look at them in order.
The first 4 commandments refer to our relationship with God:
1.) You shall have no other gods before Me. 2.) You shall not make idols. 3.) You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. 4.) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
The next 6 commandments refer to our relationship with each other:
5.) Honor your father and your mother. 6.) You shall not murder. 7.) You shall not commit adultery. 8.) You shall not steal. 9.) You shall not lie. 10.) You shall not covet.
We see by the order of the Ten Commandments that our morality is based on our theology and our love for God.
Our hearts were made to love and serve the one true God but sin has caused us to place those affections elsewhere.
If we don’t love God, we are loving something else more in His place.
As we break commandments one and two, three and four tend to get broken as well. And before you know it – we are stair-stepping down through all the commandments breaking them one by one.
Now you may think – hold up – I have never murdered anyone or committed adultery. But Jesus said in his most famous “Sermon on the Mount” that anger with a brother (likened to hatred) and lust in the heart towards a woman – are both sins liable of the same judgement as murder and adultery! (Matthew 5:21-30) Yikes!
The Ten Commandments reveal our sinful hearts and should drive us to Christ.
In Romans 3:20, we see that it is through the law, that we come to the knowledge of our sin. When we review the Ten Commandments, we see that we are guilty of breaking at least one and therefore in need of a Savior. Jesus fulfilled the law and paid the penalty for all of our sin. When we place our faith in Him we are declared righteous by the blood of the lamb. (Hallelujah!)
Now we are under grace but not so sin may abound. We do not live by lists and rules and legalism.
We live by love.
Jesus said the greatest commandment is that we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and…
If we love Him, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15).
Living well comes from loving God.
Godly living is a fruit of our passionate love for God. This mighty God, whose voice boomed on the mountain as He gave the Ten Commandments, loves you and has called you into a relationship with Him.
There are to be NO other God’s, NO other relationships and NO other pursuits that come before Him.
Is God first in your life today?
Do you love God more than anything else or anyone else in your life?
If not, what has taken His place?
Is it another person – perhaps a child or spouse? Or is it another pursuit – perhaps a career, money or a desire to have a perfect body? Maybe it’s just simply busyness – crowding out your time and affections for Him.
As the Ten Commandments reveal, our love for God (or lack of love for God) affects our daily living and our daily pursuits.
May we examine our lives right now – pause – pinpoint any places where you are tempted to go astray and put God first in your life today!
Would you be so bold as to share in the comments what’s first in your life right now?
We all struggle to keep God first – what tempts you to stray?
Commit today in the comments to make God first in your life and all other priorities second to your relationship with Him.
Walk with the King,
For a really great explanation of Deuteronomy – check out this video below – it’s a little long, but well worth the time to get a clear overview of the book we are studying together.
For Further Reading The GMG Leadership Team is Blogging Through the Bible Too! Visit their blogs here: