Deuteronomy 8:1-31NIV New International Version Translations
1 Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. 2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
There are differing opinions about who wrote the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy says that Moses wrote it. In Deuteronomy 1:5 it says, ‘Moses began to explain God’s law.’ In Deuteronomy 31:9 it says, ‘Moses wrote down this law.’ In Deuteronomy 31:24 it says, ‘Moses wrote in a book all the words of God’s laws.’ 2 Kings 14:6 refers to ‘the Book of the Law of Moses’. Then it refers to Deuteronomy 24:16. Jesus said that Moses wrote the book. (See Matthew 19:7-8 and John 5:46-47.) In Mark 12:19, the Sadducees said that Moses wrote the book. In Acts 3:22, Peter says that Moses wrote the book. Also, Paul says that in Romans 10:5, 19. The devil tempted Jesus when he was in the desert. And Jesus used the book of Deuteronomy to answer the devil.
Assuming Moses was the author, the date of the book was probably about 1406 B.C. We read this in 1 Kings 6:1. The 4th year of King Solomon’s rule was 480 years after the Israelites escaped from Egypt. We know that Solomon began to rule in 970 B.C. Therefore they escaped from Egypt in 1446 B.C. The Israelites went into the country called Canaan 40 years later. Moses wrote Deuteronomy just before then. So, the date is about 1406 B.C.
The word Deuteronomy means ‘the second law in Greek. The title in the Hebrew language is ‘these are the words’. It is a record of the covenant relationship between God and the Israelites. The book teaches people how to love God and their neighbors. There are 100 references from Deuteronomy in the New Testament. Deuteronomy is still important for Christians today, although the culture is different. The book is sometimes called ‘The Book of Covenant Life’.
Moses reminded the Israelites about what God had done in the past. Then he told them what God would do in the future. When they were in the desert, God taught them to trust him. He wanted to take away their pride, so he allowed them to have difficulties. He wanted to see if they would really trust him. God gave that food to them every day. Without it, they had nothing to eat. But God taught them that they needed more than food in order to live.
Items for Discussion
- What do we learn when we reflect back and put things in context?
- Why is it important for Christians today to reflect back on their God?
- Man needs food, the soul needs God – In what way can we use the Word of God, the Bible, to feed the soul?
- What are the benefits we receive by studying the history of our God?
- Why do you believe that the Bible is the inspired work of God?
2 Peter 1:1-14
1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.
The Apostle Peter, the fisherman, wrote this letter. His name used to be Simon, but Jesus changed it to Peter (John 1:42). He was in Rome when he wrote this letter and expected to die soon. Peter did not say where he was sending the letter. In 3:1, he referred to this letter as his ‘second letter’. We believe that 1 Peter was his first letter to these readers. So, the readers of both letters were probably the same people. They were Christians who lived in the country that we now call Turkey. Peter probably wrote this letter to both Jews and Gentiles who had become Christians.
Peter wrote this letter for three reasons:
- He wanted the people to be stronger Christians.
- He wanted to warn them about false teachers. He also wanted to remind them about the true Christian beliefs.
- He emphasized that Jesus Christ will return. Then God will judge wicked people. So, Christians must be ready for that day.
Though the way of error is a hurtful way, many are always ready to walk there. Let us be careful that we never our actions to Satan by speak poorly of the way of salvation by Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. These seducers used fictitious words, they deceived the hearts of their followers. Such are condemned already, and the wrath of God will fall upon them. God’s usual method of proceeding is shown by examples. Angels were cast down from all their glory and dignity, for their disobedience. If creatures sin, even in heaven, must suffer in hell, it surely applies to us. Sin is the work of darkness, and darkness is the wages of sin. See how God dealt with the old world.
If the sin is universal, the punishment will likewise extend to all. If in a fruitful soil the people abound in sin, God can at once turn a fruitful land into barrenness, and a well-watered country into ashes. No plans or politics can keep off judgments from a sinful people. He who keeps fire and water from hurting his people, Isaiah 43:2, can make either destroy his enemies; they are never safe. When God sends destruction on the ungodly, he commands deliverance for the righteous. In bad company we cannot but get either guilt or grief. Let the sins of others be troubles to us.
Yet it is possible for the children of the Lord, living among the most profane, to retain their integrity; there being more power in the grace of Christ, and his dwelling in them, than in the temptations of Satan, or the example of the wicked, with all their terrors or allurements. In our intentions and inclinations to commit sin, we often meet with strange hindrances. When we intend mischief, God sends many stops to hinder us, as if to say, Take heed what you do. His wisdom and power will surely effect the purposes of his love, and the engagements of his truth; while wicked men often escape suffering here, because they are kept to the day of judgment, to be punished with the devil and his angels.
Outward temporal good things are the wages sinners expect and promise themselves. And none have more cause to tremble, than those who boldly gratify their sinful lusts, by depending on the Divine grace and mercy of our great God. There are who speak lightly of the restraints of God’s law, and deem themselves freed from its obligations to obey it. Let Christians stand at a distance from them.
Items for Discussion
- So what are Paul’s tips on remaining strong in a corrupt world?
- What “strange hindrances” have you experienced that have protected you from a sinful world?
- How does a relationship with Christ help us when those around us are sinful?
- How do we confirm our “calling and election” in a corrupt world?
- Why is it dangerous to think that because we have nice things, an easy life, that we must be doing God’s will?
- How do you make the Church a sanctuary for the children of God?
- 1NIV New International Version Translations