The name ‘Deuteronomy’ means second law. The people of God had reached the edge of the promised land after spending way too much time trekking around the wilderness both physically and spiritually.
1 These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab. 2 (There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.) 3 And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the Lord had given him in commandment unto them; Deuteronomy 1:1-3
It took them 40 years! They sure did mess around and take their own ‘sour’ time. Fear and doubt were the beacons of their darkness, so they became subject to an abundance of failure and frustration. There is nothing new under the sun, this same chaos is going on all around us. Humans will trip on their own two feet when they rely on their own balancing act.
Before Moses died, he spoke to the younger generation among the sojourners about what God was all about and he gave then some detailed guidelines about their relationships to God and to each other. Deuteronomy is not a scary book like some say, it is a book of love. The first four chapters of deuteronomy recap what God had done for them in the journey. In chapters 4-26, Moses further explains the law with greater details and examples. Chapters 27-30 delve into the God’s covenant with man. The book ends with the final words from Moses.
People often view God from their own perspective and fail to see God’s perspective. God is the designer of the universe. He knows how it works. He sees the full picture. Above all of those accomplishments, He loves and that love is woven through all that He made.
Another perspective that many people don’t consider is the opposition’s perspective. Some people don’t even think there is an opposition. It is in this misunderstanding that people attribute evil to God.
God led His people through the wilderness with a pillar of fire and a cloud and yet when it came to going into the promised land, they needed to send people in to figure out the best way in. H-m-m.
Despite man’s pride and mistakes in not listening to God, God continues to love man. After seeing in Leviticus the basic desire of God to be among His people, to the frustrations of wilderness living in Numbers, there are rich principles in Deuteronomy to mine to help people understand how to live the kind of life God desires for people.