Deuteronomy 1:1–3:22: Growing in grace by every word from God

The roller-coaster ride of ancient Israel through trust in the LORD, apathy and rebellion mirrors the turmoil that swirls around our daily lives.

This week’s Torah reading, דברים Devarim (“words,” Deut. 1:1–3:22), starts a “second telling” — deuteronomy in Greek — to the post-Exodus generation of why Israel exists and what its mission is. The parallel reading in Isaiah 1:1-27 and the Sermon on the Mount teach us how our interpretation of and living out the Ten Commandments and the rest of the Torah can go terribly wrong if we don’t learn the why behind the what of God’s instructions.