Richard Agee

Deuteronomy 9-10: Israel must remember her rebellious acts before ridding the Land of its rebellious peoples

Moses spoke this discourse in the 11th month of the 40th year of the wilderness wanderings. Moses reminded the children of Israel that the reason that God was granting them power and favor to conquer the land of promise is of the great iniquity of the peoples already in the land, not because of the righteousness of the children of Israel. God also says that He is leading the children of Israel into the land to “confirm the word (הָקִים אֶת־הַדָּבָר haqim et-ha-davar, Strong’s lexicon Nos. H6965 and H1697) which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” (Deut. 9:5).

Other texts: Acts 3, Numbers 11, Exodus 17, Exodus 32, Mark 13

Moses told Israel not to be afraid of the people who are already there. God would be with the people to evict the evil people currently possessing the land, even though the inhabitants were more numerous, bigger and stronger. They were not fighting against the people who were in the land. They were to fight to make themselves a unified nation who can lead other nations. He refuses to allow the children of Israel to recoil in cowardice. He calls on them to clean up the land so it will be a fit habitation for Him to dwell with them. (Deut. 9:1–5)

Moses went to great pains to remind the children of Israel of at least four different incidents the children of Israel had committed over the previous 40 years — from the sin of the Golden Calf and in other places such as תַבְעֵרָה Taberah, מַסָּה Massah, קִבְרֹת הַתַּאֲוָה Kibroth-hattaavah and קָּדֵשׁ בַּרְנֵעַ Kadesh-barnea. Those were acts of extreme rebellion against the LORD. (Deut. 9:22–24)

Moses reminded the people how he had to receive the 10 commandments twice because of their sin. The 10 commandments are all about the duties of the people towards God and to each other. These were placed in the Ark of the Covenant, which they will carry with them into the Land, which Aaron, Miriam and Moses will not enter with them. (Deut. 9:15–21)

Moses reminded them repeatedly of their stubbornness and how they need to diligently keep all of God’s commandments. God tells them to love the less fortunate: the stranger, the poor, the widow and the fatherless because He loves them. 

The words of Torah are not unknown to us. But just as we have to be reminded of some of the important events of our past, the children of Israel needed to be reminded too. 

God told the sons of Israel again that He is a consuming fire (Deut. 4:24). He reiterated His prior warning of the consequences of going after idolatry. When God becomes an all-consuming fire, He shows His awesome power, which inspires fear and trembling. When Aaron’s two son’s sinned against the Tabernacle, they were not consumed with a physical fire but with His word. 

The Book of Acts tells us that God came down as a fire a second time on the Shavuot (Pentecost) after Yeshua’s resurrection. Three thousand Jews responded to Peter’s call to Yeshua and were baptized. The imagery back to Sinai did not escape their comprehension and they responded by vowing to follow the Lord all the way.

God has put within us a desire to respect leaders who have a strong inner strength, so that we would also give that towards Him. 

God says that he gave them manna in the wildness not because it was a wonderful thing but it was a simple bread. They did not live by manna alone because the manna was barely enough for subsistence. They were sustained by God’s power. Their clothes did not wear out, their feet did not swell from the repeated walking and hiking. When Yeshua said that we can not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God, He was referring back to the manna, which provided bare subsistence but did not completely fill their bellies. 

The Torah is the one thing that gives us understanding about God. We know the Lord when we read what He says, act on it and understand that is true. Chapter 9 ends with the admonition to believe God and have faith that He will give them whatever they need to be victorious. 

When we read the New Testament and we review the life of Yeshua, he tells them there are certain things He did not want them to forget, including His death and suffering on the cross. Many Christians only want to remember the resurrection but they don’t want to remember what came before it. Yeshua was taking on the sins, transgressions and iniquities of the world. God had to separate Himself from Yeshua at that point. That is great suffering. God brought about the death of His own Son for mankind. It’s hard to accept. Yeshua tells His disciples at the last Passover feast that He longed to spend that final time with them. 

God required Israel to fear Him, walk with Him, love Him and serve Him with all their hearts and souls. Notice we have to fear Him first, then walk in His ways, then we love Him and serve Him and others. Many Christians teach that the first thing we need to do to respond to God is to love Him, but that is not what God tells us. Our first response to Him should be fear (just from the Apostolic Writings: Acts 9:31; 13:16, 26; Rom. 3:18; 2 Cor. 5:11; 7:1; 1 Pet. 2:17; Rev. 14:7; 15:4; 19:5). Loving God comes later, after we have cultivated an appropriate fear of Him and have learned to walk in the ways He calls us to walk. 

Reader: Dave DeFever. Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy.


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