Bible Cartoon: <-- Numbers : Deuteronomy -->

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Book type: The Law (History. The Pentateuch: the First 5 books of the Old Testament)
Author: Moses
No. of chapters: 34
Key character(s): God, Moses, Joshua. [1]
Brief description: Deuteronomy – God’ design for his people living in the Promised Land.
Theological outline:
01) Introduction: God protects his people (1:1-5)
02) First Sermon: Learn from God’s mighty acts (1:6-4:43)
03) Second Sermon: God has given his law to guide & set apart his people (4:44-28:68)
04) Third Sermon: God seeks to renew the covenant relationship (29:1-30:20)
05) God’s design is for continuity of leadership for his people (31:1-34:12)

Deuteronomy means “these are the words”, “and he shall write out for himself a copy of this law” in Hebrew.

How do the people of God respond when God fulfils His promises?
Deuteronomy centres on the loyal love of God for people by recounting his wondrous, mighty acts. It draws us to a deeper understanding of our relationship to the Lord & his word. We learn what God is like, what hge has done for his people, & what he requires of his servants.
[Source: NIV Disciple’s Study Bible]

Numbers might be a bleak account of the Israelites’ stubbornness, if it were not outweighed by God’s faithfulness and protection. This is the fourth book in the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible. It’s an historical account but also teaches important lessons about God fulfilling his promises.

Themes in the Book of Deuteronomy:
01) History of God’s Help – Moses reviewed God’s miraculous help in freeing the Israelite people from slavery in Egypt, and the people’s repeated disobedience. Looking back, the people were able to see how rejecting God always brought calamity upon them.

02) Review of the Law – The people entering Canaan were bound by the same laws of God as their parents. They had to renew this contract, or covenant with God before entering the Promised Land. Scholars note that Deuteronomy is structured as a treaty between a king and his vassals, or subjects, in that time period. It represents a formal agreement between God and his people Israel.

03) God’s Love Motivates Him – God loves his people as a father loves his children, but he also disciplines them when they disobey. God does not want a nation of spoiled brats! God’s love is an emotional, heart-love, not just a legalistic, conditional love.

04) God Gives Freedom of Choice – People are free to obey or disobey God, but they should also know they are responsible for the consequences. A contract, or covenant, requires obedience, and God expects nothing less.

05) Children Must be Taught – To keep the covenant, the people must instruct their children in God’s ways and be sure they follow them. This responsibility continues through every generation. When this teaching becomes lax, trouble begins.

Fuller list of major characters in the book of Deuteronomy:

Name Notes
MosesLed Hebrew slaves out of Egypt; parted Red Sea; gave Law and 10 commandments at Mt. Sinai.
JoshuaSon of Nun, assistant to Moses, who eventually leads the Hebrew people into the Promise Land after Moses dies.