BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 29, Day 5: Deuteronomy 34

Summary of passage:  Moses climbed Mount Nebo and God showed him the Promised Land.  Moses died as the Lord had said and was buried in Moab.  He was 120 years old.  The Israelites mourned his death for 30 days.  Joshua took over as leader of the people.  There has never been anyone before or since like Moses.

Questions:

10a)  God promised the Promised Land to Abraham and his descendants (Isaac, Jacob, etc).  The land was from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates River, which included the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Raphaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites–the whole land of Canaan.

b)  It is a fulfillment of God’s promise, one the Israelites have waited for for centuries.  Finally, the time has come.  All of the people (including Moses) must have been overwhelmed with God’s faithfulness and their faith must have grown.  God would keep His promises of a Savior and a time when all would live forever with Him on heaven and earth.

11)  Filled Joshua with the Holy Spirit.  Thus, the Israelites listened to him and accepted him as their new leader as well.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Faith.  Prayer for decisions.  Prayer for guidance in his role for my life.

Conclusions:  Dang!  I really wanted to study the Israelites in the Promised Land!  Is that a study in BSF?  The Minor Prophets perhaps?  I know BSF alternates Old Testament with New Testament, but it would be cool to do this study back-to-back because I fear when we get to the Minor Prophets in a few years I won’t remember a lot of the details of the study of Moses.  I’m an order/chronological freak so I’d love to do the bible straight from the beginning to the end.

Good lesson today.  Great conclusion to the Life of Moses as we see him ascend into God’s arms.

End Notes:  Moses does get to set foot on the Promised Land with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17; Mark9; Luke 9).

Mount Nebo scholars believe is in the country of Jordan today.  The list of places is in a counter-clockwise circle from north to south.

Can you imagine Moses’s thoughts and feelings?  Immense job mixed with incredible sadness.

Note what Moses is called:  The servant of the Lord.  Not great leader.  Not prince of Egypt.  Not miracle-worker.  Not prophet.  Servant.  That is the greatest job God wants from all of us.

Moses died as the Lord had said.  This is usually translated “at the mouth of the Lord.”  This shows us that God keeps all of His promises–even the judgement ones.  Ancient Jewish custom says that Moses died as God took away his soul with a kiss.  Of all the ways to die, this is the best!

Note the Lord Himself buried Moses where no one can find his body.  Jude 9 tells us that the devil wanted the body of Moses.  We are not told why the devil wanted Moses’ body and scholars speculate reasons.  But we do know Moses appeared for the Transfiguration.  God was not done with him yet!

Notes Moses life divided by 40:  40 years in Egypt.  40 years in the desert leading sheep.  40 years leading people to the Promised Land.  God prepared Moses for 80 years for the last 40 years of His life.

God’s plan moves on as it always does.  But Moses is remembered for his intimacy with God, his miracles, and his leadership over Israel.  Moses was prophet, lawgiver, deliverer, and judge.  Before Jesus, he was the closest to God and in my opinion still is/was the closest human being (Jesus was both man and God) to God.

Scholars debate whether or not Deuteronomy 34 should really be the first chapter of Joshua.  First, it obviously wasn’t written by Moses (and no one knows who wrote this chapter).  Second, it seems to transition well into the first chapter of Joshua.  Furthermore, when these books were originally written one book followed another.  The modern divisions and chapter breaks are just that–modern.  This was an advent of the Middle Ages beginning in 1227 (Great note HERE) for the sole purpose of our convenience.  They are not from God.

One scholar believes the Bible was meant to read as a whole–the books without stopping.  The divisions can cause problems in interpretation as well.  (See article HERE).  Fascinating in my opinion.

Summation:  The bible is God-breathed.  The divisions are not God-breathed.

Modern Country of Jordan showing Mount Nebo:  http://www.atlastours.net/jordan/map.jpg

Mount Nebo is now a tourist destination.  Note this is where scholars think is the likely Mount Nebo from the Bible.  We are not 100% sure.  Information HERE

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 29, Day 4: Deuteronomy 33:26-29

Summary of passage:  Moses leaves the people with encouraging words, telling them there is no one like God who is their refuge and salvation and protector and provider.  They are blessed and will drive out their enemies with the Lord before them.

Questions:

8 )  They are God’s chosen people no matter their sins (just like we are today).  God chose them from the beginning and God will never abandon them.  They are righteous if they follow the sacrificial law despite their rebellion.  They are blessed and righteous because God said they are blessed and righteous.  In my book, that’s proof enough.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God is omnipotent.  God never abandons us.  God drives out our enemies so we can live in safety.  God blesses us and is our shield.  God walks with me in my daily struggles which compound sometimes into the big struggles.  Knowing He is there makes life indescribably easier.

Conclusions:  Felt these questions could have been deeper.  Moses sums up his whole experience with God in these three verses and gives them as a gift to us.  God is there always and we should feel forever humbled and grateful and reverent for what He has done.

End Notes:  Note the power in these words:  “eternal God” and “everlasting arms”.  God is forever.  No other god was/is.

Israel shall live alone means Israel shall never merge with other people.  They shall continue to be separate and set apart from all the other people–which is true to this day.  Try reading the translation:  “Israel shall dwell in safety; alone shall the fountain of Jacob be”.

Most translations render “Blessed” in verse 29 as “Happy.”  Reads different, doesn’t it?  We should be happy God has saved us and chosen us.

On this side of heaven, we are to read this victory as Jesus’s victory on the cross as well.  These words instruct us:  The One, True God has saved us completely; therefore, He is to be our refuge, our shelter, our protector, our provider.  And in return we offer full faith, worship, and surrender to Him.