KEY VERSE FOR MEMORIZATION
“And the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments.” (Deuteronomy 26:18)
It had been forty years since God had given the first covenant to Moses at Mount Sinai. In this portion of Deuteronomy, Moses reiterated the Covenant between God and Israel to a new generation of Israelites. He explained the Passover, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles. He then commanded the appointment of officers and judges, and explained the procedure of judgment.
Moses went on to give rules for future kings of Israel, outlined the offerings for the priest, and emphasized the importance of shunning wicked pagan ways. Next came the prophecy of a prophet to come who would speak the words of God, and then a warning was given about false prophets.
In chapter 19, Moses established cities of refuge for those who had shed a man’s blood, and he gave more rules regarding courts of law. Chapter 20 deals with rules for the military. Chapter 21 deals with unsolved murders and laws concerning captive wives and laws about rebellious sons. Chapters 22-25 explain miscellaneous laws including sexual conduct and marriage. Chapter 26 explains offerings of first fruits and tithes.
It was important that the Israelites completely knew and understood the law because not only did adherence to the law assure respect and harmony among the people, but also God’s blessing or judgment depended on the people’s obedience to the law. It dealt with life or death matters, physically as well as spiritually.
The precepts and direction given in these chapters are not only important from a historical perspective, but also contain valuable and essential advice for us today. Essentially, if we want to be one of God’s people, we too, have to follow all His commandments.