Deuteronomy: Looking Back, Moving Forward

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Knowing God

Deuteronomy 5  

The Bible Teacher's Commentary

Paul J. Bucknell

This is part 2 of 4 of 'Knowing God' from Deuteronomy 5 which discusses God's gracious and consistent call to His people to return to Him (Deuteronomy 5:1-5).

A) Our Gracious Call (Deuteronomy 5:1-5)

God cares for us. This is why He so consistently has made creation proclaim the glory of God. This is precisely the same reason He speaks His Word to men (cf. Ps 19). He has a broad invitation and specific ones. Jesus said, ”Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Why are we so resistant to respond to God?

Moses many a year ago came to the generation that survived the forty years of wilderness wanderings and told them that God had extended His grace to them and invited them to join Him in the covenant that He had made with their fathers. This is absolutely kind.

The Call of God“Then Moses summoned all Israel, and said to them, “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I am speaking today in your hearing, that you may learn them and observe them carefully. “The LORD our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. “The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today. “The LORD spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire, while I was standing between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain.” (Deuteronomy 5:1-5).

Although you believe you are mature and strong enough to hear the truth about life, are you? Have you met up with a person who can’t handle hearing that her boyfriend broke up with her? Or a spouse who can’t deal with a dying spouse? Or tell a parent of a child in the womb who is not moving? If you are the one telling the other person, you have a lot of things going through your mind at the moment. You want to protect your relationship with the person–you ask if I should avoid mentioning it. But you must tell them. But what if he or she responds poorly?

There are the two sides everywhere we go even in theological circles. There are those who do not think we should tell the facts about God. Sometimes they are motivated by a genuine concern. They seem to be so concerned on the feelings of others that they actually start believing God is different than the Bible says. How people respond is more important than the need to present Him the way He reveals Himself in the Bible.

Moses had a rough time here as the mediator between God and the people. On the one hand there is a God who causes the people (and himself) have great fear and then there are the people who you fear will rebel (they have done it many times already) if you are too strict with them.

As we go through Deuteronomy, we might ask some of these same questions. Ask yourself, “Would you rather know the truth about God or not?” God Himself could have hidden behind the plethora of idols and gods and just let the people believe in who they wanted and do what came most natural. Were these people really ready to know Him? But He broke through and pursued a relationship with a people whom He wanted to call His own. Remember at this point they proved themselves to be quite rebellious. They rather go back to Egypt than follow God.Moses and Jesus

Moses was willing to speak forth those things which God spoke to him.

Despite God's faithfulness, one generation spilled their dislike upon Moses. Now Moses faithfully again presents God and His covenant. Moses got squeezed by God and the people. In verse 5 he says, “I was standing between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain.”

Moses was a type of Jesus Christ. Moses was a mediator of the Old Covenant, Jesus the New Covenant. Moses addressed the people regarding the covenant; Jesus addressed the people the terms of the Covenant. In both cases God the Father was being extremely gracious and kind to make any offer at all. He did not have to.

It is true, God is a God of fire and judgment, but through His covenants, He has revealed a way that His people can draw close to Him and avoid His wrath. When everyone seems too busy to care, God is there seeking a relationship with us. You might want to fault God on this or that, but make sure you never say He does not care. He today is welcoming us into His family. He sent Jesus to make the way to Him; Christ died in our place.

Truly we all ought to put our fears and pride aside and say to Him, “If you so love me, I will also love you.” “If you put so much into this relationship, then it is only appropriate that I affirm that love with my own love and obedience to you.”

HeadingApplication for those needing to come

There is only one God. He is calling us to enter His loving covenant today. Are we more concerned with what people will think of us than our response to Him and His love? Are we so occupied to the temporary things of the world than willing to allow the Eternal One to pass His love into our needy lives? Jesus says, ”Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Will you not go to Him now?

Application for the churched

You might have been brought up in the church. Maybe your father is a pastor or elder. The scripture here finds Moses addressing not just the fathers but the children, the youth or grown up youth. It is insufficient for our fathers to believe. We must believe. Even if our fathers rejected the Lord, we still need to believer. We ourselves must repent, believe and be baptized. No one can do it for us. Through obedience you confirm our end of the covenant. Obedience does not make one righteous, but it does establish God’s covenant with us. Through obedience we show our faith.


Please continue by reading Our Loving Standard - The Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 5:6-21).


Introduction | Call (5:1-5) | Standard (5:6-21) | Relationship (5:22-33) | pdf

    BFF Articles to Deuteronomy

    Deuteronomy Introduction: Outline, index, Overview

    Deuteronomy 2-3 Gaining Perpspective

    Deuteronomy 5:1-23 Knowing God

    Deuteronomy 5:1-5 Our Gracious Calling

    Deuteronomy 5:6-21 Our Loving Standard

    Deuteronomy 5:22-23 Our Special Relationship

    Deuteronomy 8:1-20 Developing Strong Christian Lives 1 2 3 Podcast

    Deuteronomy 21:15-21 Reformation 1 2 3 | Podcast | ppt | pdf Podcast

    Deuteronomy 22:5 Gender Culture Sins

    Deuteronomy26:1-19 Reaching into our Hearts and Pockets | Podcast


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