It is all about our choices

Deuteronomy 1

Jerry A Collins




Ø      What does God expect me to do with my position in life?

Ø      What can I expect to happen when I choose to rebel?

Ø      Why do I make it so difficult to obey the Lord?


The book of Deuteronomy is quoted nearly 40 times in the NT. Some of it’s most famous passages include: I will never desert you nor will I ever forsake you Heb 13:5; Vengeance is mine I will repay Rom 12:19; You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing 1 Cor 9:9. Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts Romans, 1 & 2 Cor, Gal, Eph, 1 Tim, James and Hebrews all quote Deut. Jesus, Luke, Paul and James all quote the book. The NT writers viewed Deuteronomy as a word from God with authority from God. Clearly this book was and is inspired revelation from God. The author is Moses—Jesus said so. It contains speeches of Moses given during final months of his life. This is a fresh generation gathered around him—one poised to take possession of the promised land that their parents and grandparents failed to do because of sin and rebellion and unbelief. However, this sinful corruption had not died out with the older generation but was germinating still in the existing one even tho deeply hidden in their hearts it could and would break out into the open again. So they needed to be reminded of God’s law. Many of these had not experienced deliverance of red sea or giving of the law. So the theme is choose life in order that you may live 30:19. Everyone hearing Moses’ speeches is 60 yrs or younger except Joshua and Caleb. ‘Remember’ is dominant word of the book and they will have to do that about God’s Word and Moses helps them with his speeches so as they enter into newness they will not become culpable and deserving of blame because they too rebel and do not believe God.


Preparing the way 1-8  This is what God wanted for this generation in vs 8 & 21. They have completed their journey to it—a journey that was 11 days vs 2 but turned into 40 years because of sin and unbelief vs 3. The death of the kings Sihon and Og vs 4 signaled that God had now begun with this new generation to fulfill His promises He made to their fathers, Abe, Isaac and Jacob vs 8. It was at this point and in this place—across the Jordan—that Moses undertook the task of ‘expounding the law’ vs 5. This is where Joshua crossed the Jordan, where David crossed escaping for his life, where Elijah was taken up into the clouds, where Jesus was baptized by John. Moses reiterated, made clear the application of the law—to remember it and apply it as they enter this land. The dimensions of this land in vs 7 include the Euphrates river. So this is a specific location and they know the boundaries. This is what they are to take possession of.  

Fulfilling the promise 9-18 God is not only fulfilling the promise of the land but Moses reminds them that God is already fulfilling other aspects of His promise to them—the multiplied descendents vs 9. This is given in context of burden these numbers became for Moses alone to manage so he asked for help vs 12ff. This was a way of reminding the people that God was already at work in every aspect of His promise to bring it to fulfillment. The increase in the nation is another reminder of God being at work among them to bring it’s reality about. They can have all of the confidence that God is doing His part as He promised to do for them. Their numbers in fact pressed in on Moses with all of he affairs and transactions alone on his shoulders vs 12. So qualified leaders were needed vs 13 (1) wise (2) discerning (3) experienced who would help judge. The Bible is always concerned with qualified leadership not just any leadership-here, the kings of Israel, the disciples, the deacons and leaders in the church today. God takes seriously the qualifications he demands for His leaders. These men were judges over different groups vs 15 and responsible (1) to hear he cases (2) judge righteously (3) don’t show partiality (4) don’t fear men for it is God’s judgment (5) if is is too hard to make judgment ask Moses 16-17.

Time to choose 19-25 Twice ‘hill country of amorites’ mentioned 19-20. Their timing for arrival coincided with destruction of these Amorites. Gen 15:16 God told Abe 400 yrs people in bondage in foreign land then come back when iniquity of Amorites complete. God would have Israelites wipe them out and take possession of their land—that time is now. Everything always in God’s timing. These people had time to repent. So basic instructions vs 21-take possession of the land. God gave it to them but they have to take possession of want God gave hem.   There is something God does (sovereignty) and something the people do (free will).   Like these we have command to take possession of position God has given us. We’ve al been given certain life situation we have nothing to do with—country born in, parents, talents, gifts. God never asked our opinion he just gave it to us as our territory. Now up to us to take possession of it—if includes ability to teach from God I still need to take possession of that by learning how to teach developing that skill. This book s a free will book about taking possession of what God has given to us and shaping it developing it and using it. No one can ever say that God hampered them with what He gave to them. Take that cross, life situation—I can do all things thru him. A judgment seat Christ question is what you did with what he gave you but we do not want to do it—here drive our Canaanites—because it is too much work and requires faith. Just to make sure they wanted to send spies who returned with good report. All is ready and prepared but not all okay.


Unwilling to go To take possession would mean to have to trust God and vs 32 said they were unwilling to do that. God’s faithfulness, the survey of the land—all of it motivation enough to go and take possession. God is not going to do that for them. God demands that we believe Him as we step out and take possession. Forefathers unbelief leads to rebellion because (1) accused God with ulterior motives 27. Unbelief says God does not have my best interest at heart. (2) they focused on difficulty of taking possession 28. Whenever you do that you discourage yourself and deceived (bigger, taller, larger, fortified). First, don’t ever assume that taking possession of what God wants for you will be easy. World, flesh, devil war against you. Second, Don’t fixate on difficulty but God. Your faith is weak because you knowledge of God is small. Here Moses repeats God’s presence and power will show the way 29-32. To take possession of your position God given you always means going up against giants, people, situations which we can see no way to overcome. Same God who gave you the position will help you take possession but they were not willing to take that risk 43. Unwilling to believe So vs 34-35 story of Bible—group does not trust God except caleb an individual. Majority reject God except ones who believe Joseph, Noah, Daniel, John. Today we emphasize community but community must constantly be evaluated since it can persuade. Being part f community caused Israel to wander 40 yrs, to go into exile, to build golden calf, to build tower of babel, to practice hypocrisy of Pharisees. But God says ‘he who overcomes’ individuals like Caleb, Moses, Joshua. Heroes of Bible stand apart from community. Even Moses angered God and not allowed to enter the land. All of this—their forefathers unbelief and Moses rash decisions—should reveal a dread of sin for them as they enter the land. God did not spare these people and this should prevent them from same fate 34-46. There are consequences to sin that are not wiped out even when repenting 41, 43-45. (1) Take possession of whatever position you have in life understanding that it will require trust in God to overcome people and situations (teens at campfire testimony)

(2) Follow God not community around you. May be a support but can support doing right and wrong.