Studies in Torah

Deuteronomy 4:1–11: Keep your soul diligently

Scripture tells us that man’s heart is “deceitful above all things.” This chapter gives us some guidelines on how a believer is to train his/her heart so it is inclined towards God rather than towards the cares of this world. Deut. 4 teaches us to follow God’s statutes, judgements and commands. We are also called to understand that giving our heart to God is not a one time decision but as it says in Deut. 4:9, “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life…”

Thought questions

  • Is Moshe comparing YHWH with the other deities in Deut. 4:34?
  • What is meant in Deut. 4:1 by “statutes” and “judgments”?
    • How do the English translations rendered as “statutes” and “judgments” compare with the New International Version renderings of the same Hebrew words as “decrees” and “laws”?
      • Statutes = “cut in stone”
      • Judgments = mitzvot
      • Command = enjoin or impose a course of action
    • What is meant in Deut. 4:4 by “you who hold fast to the LORD are alive today”?
      • What are we to “be careful to observe” (Deut. 4:6)?
      • Do people around us see wisdom in us when we “observe carefully” God’s instructions?
  • Why do we pray?
    • How does Deut. 4:7 explain prayer?
    • Does God hear sinners?
    • When does God start listening again?
  • Why are anniversaries, memorials and festivals so important?
    • How does Deut. 4:9 speak to the heart situation involved?
    • When you see the word “assembly” in the Torah, Prophets and Writings, as in Deut. 4:10, what festival is referred to?
  • Did God create the mind or heart evil?
    • How can the heart be “deceitful above all things”?
  • How does this expose the chasm between God’s wisdom and the world’s?
    • What makes the New Covenant worthless?
  • How is the “fear of the LORD” the key of knowledge and wisdom?
  • What is this knowledge that comes with the “fear of the LORD”?
  • What is it that truly matters in life?


  • Deut. 18:18
    • Why is it important to hear the “words of Moshe”?
    • How does Deut. 18:15-19 explain this?
    • Wouldn’t it be better to hear it directly from God?
  • What did the people hear when the Messiah was speaking?
    • What did Yeshua say about how much He could do without the Father?
  • How does the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus explain the need to hear both “the song of Moshe” and “the song of the Lamb”?


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