End Notes: My end notes will only cover the passages we are asked questions about. It is too many chapters to do in one week.
Summary of passages: Deuteronomy 12: Moses tells the people to destroy all the altars to other gods, burn their Ashram poles, and cut down their idols. Don’t worship God in the way the pagans worshipped their gods. The people shall rest once they have finished defeating the pagans. Then God will chose the place they will worship Him and they are to bring their offerings to Him there. Moses says they may kill animals but never eat their blood. They are to eat their tithe only in the presence of the Lord. Do exactly what God says to do without adding or detracting in any way.
Deuteronomy 13: Do not believe false prophets who try to lead you into worshipping other gods. This is a test sent by the Lord to test your heart. That prophet must be put to death for his crimes. If your brother, sister, son or daughter try to lead you to other gods, they must be put to death as well. If people in your town are leading you astray, they must be killed and the town destroyed along with all the livestock as a burnt offering to the Lord.
Deuteronomy 14: Lists clean and unclean food the Israelites could eat (repetition of Leviticus 11). Moses reminds the Israelites about tithing. Set aside one tenth of your produce each year for the Lord to eat in His presence or exchange it for silver if you live far away to but items at the tabernacle to be consumed in the Lord’s presence. Every three years the tithes are to be stored for the Levites, aliens, orphans, and widows to live on.
Deuteronomy 15: Review of Jubilee year (Leviticus 25), freeing servants (Leviticus 25), and setting aside the firstborn animal for God (Exodus 13).
Deuteronomy 16: Review of the Passover Festivals, Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23). Moses tells the people to appoint judges for each tribe in every town.
9a) Destroy completely all the places where the nations worshipped their gods. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, and burn their Ashram poles. Cut down their idols and wipe out their names from those places.
b) Because only in that place would the presence of God dwell. The people are to worship in His presence. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be worshipping with God.
c) Personal Question. My answer: Worship is to be taken seriously and if God is not invited in and not present, then it’s meaningless. We are to worship Him and He is to receive it. Going through the motions is unacceptable to God.
10) Part Personal Question. My answer: False prophets, relatives (brother, son, daughter, wife or other relatives), and townspeople (wicked men). Honestly, they don’t trouble me because I don’t associate with them. False prophets are easy to spot. My relatives are mostly believers and the ones that aren’t aren’t close to me. I also don’t associate with friends who would lead me astray (Admittedly, I don’t have much contact with the outside world so my connections are limited).
Conclusions: Loved the emphasis on worshipping God where He is and taking it seriously. Question 10 was a toss-out. I am a very strong personality, very strong beliefs, and am very opinionated and not afraid to say it. So it’s hard for me to be influenced by others.
Much of this passage was review of Leviticus. Thank goodness!
End Notes: Deuteronomy 12: The destroying of the places of worship went completely against contemporary practice. In the ancient world, it was difficult to build buildings and time consuming. They had only simple tools and machines. Nothing like we have today. So the ancients would re-use buildings and if one empire conquered another, they’d simply remove the old temple’s accessories and replace it with theirs. Not here. God wanted no part in a building not meant for Him.
As usual, the Israelites did not fully follow these rules and tear down the places. Hundreds of years later in a temple renovation a priest discovered the Book of the Law (scholars believe it was a copy of Deuteronomy), which resulted in a renewed vigor for God (2 Kings 22-23). God’s work never ceases to mystify–how He uses disobedience for obedience hundreds of years later.
The Israelites had been doing their own thing with regards to worship. “No more,” God says. “Once you are settled, there will be a place dedicated to me.” Rejoicing is commanded, both here and in the New Testament (Philippians 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:16).
Animals could be killed for purposes of meat only. It didn’t have to be just for a sacrifice.
Tragically, the Israelites were infected by the Canaanite worship of their god, Molech, that demanded children as sacrifices. From Solomon on, the worship of Molech is recorded and was a systemic problem throughout Israel’s history. One can only wonder what would have happened if the Israelites had done as the Lord said–destroyed the people and their places of worship and followed Him whole-hearted. Wonder if earth would be any better off?
Deuteronomy 13: It is rare for God to speak solely through a dream. One must look for confirmation of that dream. Deuteronomy 18:22 speaks of the easier one to discern: a dreamer whose prediction does not come to pass. Here we examine a dreamer whose prediction does come to pass but then tries to turn you away from God. This is a test from God of your heart for Him.
Jesus warns in Mark 16:17 that signs follow believers; believers are not to follow signs as Satan will arrive, performing miracles (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
We must remember ancient Israel was a theocracy where the civil laws matched the religious laws. Hence, some penalties that seem harsh to us today were permitted by God before Jesus came and ushered in the New Covenant. Israel was the only true theocracy sanctioned by the One, True God. Some say some Islamic countries are theocracies but non of them are pure–some secular laws are in existence there.
As we studied in Matthew 10:37 last year, God is above family. The same is here. Leading someone away from the Almighty is punishable by death since God is the giver of eternal life, you essentially have damned them. Again, casting of the first stone is seen here as well. (See also Matthew 18:6).
“Detestable” used to be translated “abomination”, which is a much stronger word and much more correct in translation. It meant anything God could not stand and was impure, unholy, and unclean.
By destroying all within the city, it ensured no one would profit from the ruin of the city. This deterred false reports.
Map Showing the King’s Highway and Israel’s Camp: http://www.biblenews1.com/maps/moabcamp.gif
Time Fact to Complete This Lesson: 3 days and 4 hours.