Praise the Lord! Today begins our corporate pursuit based on the Life-study of Deuteronomy (see introductory post).
In the first three messages of the Life-study of Deuteronomy we have an introductory word (message 1), 9 crucial points in the book of Deuteronomy (message 2), and part 1 of a review of the past of the children of Israel (message 3).
The book of Deuteronomy is, as the name indicates, a re-speaking of God’s word to His people. But this book should not just be doctrine or history to us – every time we come to the Bible we should have a respeaking from God. We need His written word to become our daily, instant speaking every day (John 6:63)! God’s word is His breath, His breathing out (2 Tim. 3:16). When we come to the Word we should come to inhale what God has breathed out. The psalmist enjoyed this in Psalms 119:103 which says, “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Sweeter than honey to my mouth!” The Lord Jesus Himself also enjoyed God’s word: when He was tempted in the wilderness by Satan, three times He rejected the enemy by quoting from the book of Deuteronomy, beginning with Deut. 8:3 – “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.”
Actually, the word is the incarnated, crucified, and resurrected Christ Himself. Paul takes Deuteronomy 30:11-14, which speaks of the commandment that Moses has just spoken to the children of Israel as recorded in the book of Deuteronomy, and directly applies that to Christ in Romans 10:6-8. Since Christ has already been incarnated, there is no need for us to ascend to heaven to bring Him down. Since He has already resurrected, we do not need to descend into the abyss to bring Him up. Today He is so near to us – even in our mouth and in our heart!
Three parties are revealed in the book of Deuteronomy. The first party is God, who is full of love, righteousness, faithfulness and blessing. Deuteronomy reveals both the love of God and the governmental administration of God in righteousness. As a God of love, He is all-embracing and broad, but as a God of righteousness, He is strict and narrow. On the one hand, He loves us; on the other hand, He disciplines us. The second party is man, who has nothing to offer to God in himself. How could such a God use such a man? The answer is by the third party, who is Christ! Although we cannot do anything for God out of ourselves, we can receive Christ, the word, as our life and life supply and thereby be enabled to cooperate with God to fulfill His purpose (John 6:63; Phil. 4:13). Only by Christ can we be those qualified to enter and inherit the good land – those who love God, fear God, subject themselves to God’s ruling, mind His inner feelings, and live in His presence.
In our journey with the Lord, we are firstly equipped with a vision of Christ and the church, as typified by the ark and the tabernacle. We then go on to build and be built into the tabernacle (the church), and at the same time, we are built up into a priesthood to serve God and are formed into an army to fight for God’s interest on the earth. As God’s dwelling place, priesthood, and army, we are led by Christ as the Captain of Jehovah’s army (Joshua 5:14) to enter into Christ Himself and enjoy Him as the good land (Deut. 8:7-10; Eph. 3:8). Deuteronomy shows us, through the history of the children of Israel, that our obedience and faithfulness to God invite His blessing whereas our turning our hearts away from the Lord results in a serious tragedy – the loss of all the blessings and the suffering of the curse. By trusting in God’s loving heart as we pass through His righteous governmental dealings, our self and flesh can be dealt with and we will be led into the enjoyment of the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Please use the Comment section below to share your enjoyment from this week’s reading, or ask a question.
18 thoughts on “Corporate Pursuit of Deuteronomy: Week 1 – Introduction”
Beginning our salvation, He is near us in our mouth and in our health. After we believe into Him and receive Him as life, He is our life supply nourishing us. Thank you Lord You are our breathing.
Praise the Lord for the Word of God. Hallelujah, the Word is the incarnated, crucified and resurrected Christ! How wonderful that we have a mouth. With our mouth we confess Jesus as Lord, and with our mouth we take in the Word as Spirit and Life to be our daily nourishment to enjoy the riches of Christ. With our heart, we believe that God has raised Christ from the dead. Believing is receiving. So, with our heart we also continue to receive the Word, the rich supply of grace. We are so blessed by the Triune God! We can take the land, that is possess the all inclusive Christ as our reality and become His corporate dwelling place!
How does Paul apply Deuteronomy 30:11-14 to Christ in Romans 10:6-9 and why is this significant?
In John 1:1 and 14 we see the Christ is the incarnated Word. Paul applies this fact to the commandment given by Moses. Moses says the commandment is not distant – it is not in the heavens or across the sea, but near the children of Israel, even in their heart and in their mouth. Paul essentially replaces the word ‘commandment’ with Christ. Christ is not in the heavens, because He was incarnated to become flesh on the earth! He is not in the abyss, because He has resurrected! He is now the life-giving Spirit, who is near us, and even in our heart. With this in view, we can see that every word in Deuteronomy is Christ, and not just a doctrinal Christ, but Christ as our food (Matt. 4:4)!
Christ as the Word of God has been made ready for us to receive into our mouth and our heart that He can be our life supply (Mat 4:4). This is the way that enables us to possess the goodland.
Deut 30:11-20 is the concluding word of everything Moses just spoke to the children of Israel as “the commandment”, or the respeaking of the law. This word was given to mainly the second generation of the children of Israel in order to prepare and equip them to take the land of Canaan and possess it for God’s purpose on earth. Paul interprets this commandment (or the book of Deuteronomy) as Christ, the word, in Romans 10, and basically shows that the reason Christ can be near to us, in our mouth and in our heart, is because He had come down from heaven (incarnation), passed through death, and returned from across the sea (abyss) in resurrection! Today this Christ is the word which we can preach to unbelievers and whom we can enjoy by calling on His name (Rom. 10:12-13). This is also significant because this is the way we should read and receive the book of Deuteronomy and by so doing be prepared and perfected as an army to enter the good land (who is also Christ) in order to fulfill God’s purpose on the earth today.
“When we put together Deuteronomy 30:11-14 and Romans 10:6-8, we have a full picture concerning Christ. In this picture we see that Christ was incarnated, that He was crucified and buried, that He went to the abyss, that He arose from among the dead, and that in His resurrection He became the breath, the life-giving Spirit. Since Christ is now the breath, He, like the air, is everywhere. When we speak to unbelievers about Christ, we can tell them that Christ is in their mouth and in their heart.”
What a revelation that Matt 4:4 and Romans 10 are pointed out to show us the entire Bible is contained in the book of Deuteronomy. Matt 4:4 shows Christ is the Word of God that is recorded in Deut. Romans 10 shows us that Christ is made ready for us to receive. He is the incarnated, crucified and resurrected Christ who is now in our mouth and in our heart! What a view for us to read the book of Deut.
Question: Why is the book of Deuteronomy so crucial with respect to God’s purpose and how should we read and receive this book?
“With a view of the future, this book expects that, on the one hand, man may know the love and government of God and that, on the other hand, man may know his real condition, so that he will not trust himself.”
“Ultimately this book shows us that the love of God consummately works for His people that they may enjoy His full blessing according to His will and foreknowledge.”
“In spite of our failure in loving God and fearing Him and in spite of our unfaithfulness, God will be successful. No matter what the situation of His people may be, God will be faithful to the end, and eventually He will accomplish His intention that we enjoy His full blessing.”
When we read and receive this book, we should love Him, be opened to Him, believe and have faith in Him, be obedience to His Word.
Deuteronomy reveals God, how God deals with man, man’s real condition, and Christ as the one who can fulfill God’s purpose. God is loving, righteous, and faithful to fulfill His word and accomplish His intention. As a loving Father, He does not spoil His children but perfects them through governmental dealings. Man, through repeated failures, is exposed as one who cannot trust in himself to do anything for the loving, righteous and faithful God. But praise the Lord, man is not left in a poor and helpless state. Instead, we also see Christ as our life and our daily supply. Now we can contact Him in the Word, breath Him in as the Spirit, and allow Him to do in us what we cannot do in ourselves.
I enjoyed that despite of all of our unfaithfulness, defeat and failure…it mentions, “God will still enable His chosen people to enter into the rich Christ to posses Him, enjoy Him, experience Him, and even to live Him.” Hallelujah He will accomplish His intention that we enjoy His full blessing!
The failure of the children of Israel at Kadesh-Barnea due to their unbelief offended God. God had lovely carried His people, but the children of Israel did not believe God nor His promises. The Children of Israel’s failure is a reminder to us that we must be careful concerning unbelief because, as chapter three points out, unbelief causes disobedience to God. Also, the message pointed in our believing God we should forget our past, but (and this is what was so revealing to me), in knowing God and ourselves, we should remember failures, missteps, and errors. Therefore by allowing this process, we learn the lesson of not trusting in ourselves. Furthermore, in allowing this process to take place, we should never allow it to consume us, allowing the enemy an opportunity to delve us into introspection, but turning to our spirit and agree with the Spirit, trust in God, who is faithful, knowing that “all things” work for the good of those that love God and war called according to His purpose.
According to Deuteronomy 30:11-14 and Romans 10:6-8 The commandment is not too difficult to hear it and do it because it is very near us even in our mouth and in our heart. The hearing and doing it is as easy as breathing and eating. This is Christ as the Word and as the Life-giving Spirit always ready and available to be receive by us for our constant and instant life supply. I realised that as long as I have His written word become my daily, instant speaking every day, entering in, fully possessing and inhering the God promised land really becomes much easier not by myself but by the Christ being received, enjoyed and experience.
By watching the life study videos and then getting the summaries here, I feel like I’m being richly fed. Pretty much like God said in Deuteronomy 8:9 A land in which you will eat bread without scarcity; you will not lack anything in it.
Lord we thank You for You are a speaking God and we love Your speaking because Your word nourishes us by dispensing Your being into us.