Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 24, 2009

Deuteronomy 1:1-5

• Introduction to the Book | Deuteronomy 1:1-5

1:1-4 | Moses spoke “to all Israel” (1:1) at the intersection of a past filled with failure and a future as bright as the promises of God. Deuteronomy 1:2 is a solemn reminder of the high price of disobedience and unfaithfulness (see Numbers 13). Kadesh-barnea, the entry point to the Promised Land, was only an eleven-day journey from Mount Horeb (Sinai). The spies were sent into the land of Canaan from Kadesh-barnea and returned with their negative report about the difficulties of conquest. It was at Kadesh-barnea that the people were sentenced to wandering in the wilderness one year for every day the spies spent in Canaan (see Numbers 14:34). Notice also that the words that “Moses spoke to the children of Israel” were God’s words (1:3). Moses’ message had a divine origin.

God is with us in the in-between times of life. | We all experience in-between times in life. In-between times are those times when we find ourselves between the actualities of the past and the uncertainties of the future. Times when we wonder how what happened yesterday will impact what will happen tomorrow. Times when we realize we cannot go back and have a new beginning but must determine today what we will do to have a new ending. Times when we are ready to shed the shabby clothes of past failures, sins, and heartaches and embrace a fresh start. God is with us in the in-between times of life.

1:5 | “Moses undertook to expound this law” to the people while encamped on the plains of Moab, east of the Jordan River. The word “expound” means to “make clear.” Moses’ message was more than a restatement of the law, it was also an interpretation of the law designed to lead the people to understand and apply it in their personal lives. The word “law” (from the Hebrew word torah) includes instruction, warning, exhortation, and comfort. This was Moses’ final opportunity to impress upon the people the importance of obeying God as they prepared to make the transition from a wandering to a settled community.


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