Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | June 9, 2009

Deuteronomy 10

• Moses Receives the Commandments Again | Deuteronomy 10:1-11

10:1-5 | Moses summarized the events surrounding the rewriting of the Ten Commandments. This event is recorded in fuller detail in Exodus 34. This recounting was intended to remind the people that God graciously renewed the covenant with them even though they were stiff-necked and rebellious. The things written on the second set of stone tablets were “the words that were on the former tablets” (10:2). According to God’s instructions (10:1), Moses constructed an ark of wood (10:3) in which He placed the placed the new tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments (10:4-5).

10:6-9 | After the death of Aaron, Eleazar his son served as priest in his place (10:6) and the tribe of Levi was set apart for priestly service (10:8). The tribe of Levi was assigned three functions (10:8): First, they were assigned the task of carrying the Ark of the Covenant which housed the covenant documents. The Levites were responsible for the care of the ark. Second, they were “to stand before the Lord to serve Him.” Third, they were to bless in the name of the Lord. In addition, the tribe of Levi was not to have an inheritance in the Promised Land (10:9). The Lord was to be the inheritance of the tribe of Levi (10:9). They made their living from offerings brought to the Lord.

10:10-11 | These verses summarize the results of Moses’ intercession on behalf of Israel. Had it not been for the intercession of Moses the Israelites would not be on the banks of the Jordan, poised to enter the Promised Land.

• The Lord’s Requirements | Deuteronomy 10:12-22

10:12-13 | An effective relationship is based, in large measure, on a proper understanding between individuals. It is important in any relationship that both parties understand what is required or expected of one another. Moses outlined what God required (asked or requested) of His people. This understanding was meant to help the Israelites enjoy an effective and meaningful relationship with God and one another. Understanding God’s requirements alone however, was not enough to insure an effective relationship. The Israelites would have to commit themselves to meeting those requirements. (See also Micah 6:8). God’s requirements are as follows:

First: “to fear the Lord your God” (10:12). The fear of the Lord is an inward attitude of respect and reverence for God. The Israelites were to respond to God’s faithfulness with an attitude of reverence and respect.

Second: “to walk in all His ways” (10:12). An inward attitude of reverence and respect for the Lord should manifest itself outwardly in a godly walk.

Third: to “love Him” (10:12). Read Deuteronomy 6:5. Love must be voluntary.

Fourth: “to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (10:12). Service is a demonstration of our love for God. The word “serve” refers to acts of worship. Do we delight in His service?

Fifth: “to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes” (10:13). Obedience is a demonstration of our love for God. 1 John 5:3 states, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” The word “keep” signifies to keep diligently, carefully, faithfully, just as a watchman keeps the city.

What God demands is what thankful hearts should gladly give. | There is nothing unreasonable about what God requires of His people, especially in light of His constant demonstrations of love and mercy. Hearts filled with gratitude to God should overflow in love and service to Him.

10:14-22 | God merits the obedience of His people because of His greatness and because of His love. Moses defined the greatness of God and the love of God in terms the Israelites could understand.

First, God is the creator, owner, and sustainer of the cosmos (10:14), “yet on your fathers did the Lord set His affection to love them” (10:15). The proper response to the love and greatness of God is submission and obedience to His will. This would happen when the people circumcised their hearts (or cut away all hindrances) and ended their stubbornness. To have a circumcised heart means to remove all things that might restrict or interfere with our total devotion to God.

Second, the great and awesome God is concerned about those who are weak, defenseless, hungry, and homeless (10:17-18). God cares about the helpless and oppressed. The proper response to an understanding of the sympathy of God for the weak is to follow His example. The Israelites were commanded to show “love for the alien” because they too, were once aliens in Egypt (10:19). They knew what it was like to be treated harshly and unjustly by personal experience.

Past personal trials should make us more sympathetic to others. | The person who remembers the pain of past trials and hardships can sympathize with others and should be the first to offer a helping hand to those undergoing trials and hardships.

Third, God is personal and powerful. He enabled the seventy persons who went to Egypt to multiply into a nation of people in less than two hundred and fifty years (10:22). God’s faithfulness to His people should inspire them to obey and serve Him willingly and cheerfully.

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