Last Instructions from a Faithful Leader

Discovery for Teachers

Last Instructions from a Faithful Leader

OVERVIEW
DAYBREAK

SOURCE FOR QUESTIONS

Deuteronomy 29:1 through 31:30

KEY VERSE FOR MEMORIZATION
“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Deuteronomy. 31:6)

BACKGROUND

Moses addressed the people by relating the Covenant between God and the Children of Israel that had been made forty years earlier at Mount Sinai. Though the Covenant had been extensive, it could be summed up with the promise by God to bless the Children of Israel and make of them a great nation if Israel would honor, love, and obey God.

Moses reviewed how God had already blessed and protected Israel, but observed that the Children of Israel had turned from the Lord and had not kept their part of the Covenant. Moses warned the people that it would not be well with them if they continued to turn from God’s commandments, but assured them that God would be waiting to receive them back and would restore their blessings if they would turn back to Him.

Moses then presented a challenge to the Children of Israel. He said they had the choice of good or evil, life or death, before them. They must decide either to love and serve God or to be drawn away by false gods and worldly sins.

Moses told the assembled people that he was old and would not enter the Promised Land with them, but that God would go before them and conquer the enemies of Israel. Moses admonished them to have courage and to trust God at this time, for God would not fail them.

Every seven years, the entire nation, including the children, were admonished to gather together to hear the Law read. By doing so, they would know how to obey and please the Lord.

God gave Joshua the commission to lead the Children of Israel after Moses’ death, which was imminent. Along with the charge for Joshua to have courage, God promised to be with him.

SUGGESTED RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS

  1. What were some of the miracles Moses reiterated to remind the Children of Israel that God would take care of them and bless them? (Deuteronomy 29:1-8)

    Moses recounted several miracles including the great signs in Egypt before Pharaoh, the trek in the wilderness when their shoes and garments did not wear out, the victory over Kings Sihon and Og, and the yielding of the land of Heshbon and Bashan to certain tribes of Israel.
  2. God’s covenant of blessing was conditional. What would happen if the Children of Israel refused to keep their side of the covenant? (Deuteronomy 29:14-28)

    God’s promised punishment included: God would not spare the man who disobeyed; all God’s curses written in the Book would afflict him; God would blot out his name; God would give him evil; the land would become burning brimstone and salt, with no plants growing; God would take the land away from Israel and the people would be cast adrift into other lands.
  3. Moses spoke of secret things belonging to God. Why do you think God does not always share His reasons or reveal His complete plan for our lives?

    One reason that God does not always reveal His complete plan to us could be so we can learn to walk by faith. Also, our earthly minds cannot understand the infinite reasoning of God and we must trust Him to do the right things. There may be some things we will understand more as we mature in the Gospel, which may not be good for us to understand earlier, just as we do not reveal every bit of information to children.
  4. What do the verses in Deuteronomy 30:1-10 reveal about the character of God?

    These verses reveal a God of great mercy. Even in God’s foreknowledge that the people would forget and rebel against Him, He already was offering a place of repentance, restoration, and blessing. This shows a God of great compassion, patience, and love.
  5. While we may not know God’s long-term plan for our lives, how can we be sure we can know God’s expectations for us today as we seek His will? (Deuteronomy 30:14)

    Deuteronomy 30:14 assures us that God will not keep us in the dark regarding what steps we should take for today. We may need to spend time in prayer, and maybe fast with our praying, but God will always be faithful to show us the way to go in time.
  6. Verses 15-20 of Deuteronomy 30 offer a choice between good and evil, and between life and death. Do you think this was a one-time choice or a daily choice? Parallel your answer to the choice(s) we face regarding serving the Lord.

    Your students will likely respond that, after an initial determination to serve God, the Children of Israel faced a daily choice. We must make a choice to serve the Lord at the time He calls us and we feel conviction for our sins. However, after our salvation we have daily and often hourly choices to make concerning things that could draw us closer or pull us away from God. What we choose in those little decisions will influence greatly the ultimate result of life or death.
  7. God told the Children of Israel to go in and possess the land of Canaan (Deuteronomy 31:3-8), and He promised that He would secure victory for them from the inhabitants of the land. How does this compare to us as we approach the promises of God?

    God has many promises for us in His Word. In most cases we must reach out and take hold of the promise. Sometimes, we must seek and wage warfare against the enemy to secure the fulfillment of the promise. However, God has all power over our enemy Satan, and as we persevere and claim the promise, the victory will be won.
  8. God commanded the Children of Israel to have courage and not be afraid as they faced the Canaanites. Israel had proved God before, so why might they be tempted to fear now?

    God had performed many miracles for Israel in the past, but this time something was different-Moses would not be there to guide the people to victory; a new leader, Joshua, would be in charge. It was a time for the people to make sure their trust was truly in God rather than in a man.
  9. God emphasized the importance of teaching the children the commandments and precepts of His Word (Deuteronomy 31:10-13). What are ways we can do this today?

    In this ungodly world, it is imperative that our children learn about God and the Gospel. A family altar is very important, and the class may have suggestions for interesting ways to conduct this. Bedtime Bible stories are loved by children. Regular Sunday school and church attendance teach by content as well as example. Talking about the Lord often on nature walks, or in everyday conversation, reminds children of how present and important God is.
  10. God lamented the fact that when Israel was blessed and prosperous, the people would forget Him (Deuteronomy 31:20). How does that relate to us today? What can we do to reverse this tendency in our own lives?

    To those of us who are blessed with abundance, it is so easy to let the cares and pleasures of life rob us of our spiritual vision. We need to make time for God and be willing to deny ourselves those things that would take up too much time, energy, or passion in our lives. The class likely could give personal examples.
  11. Moses was soon to die and God appointed Joshua to take his place (Deuteronomy 31:23). Why do you think Joshua was the man chosen?

    Joshua was chosen because he had proved to be a man of faith. He was among the twelve spies who had scouted throughout the land of Canaan forty years before and he had been one of two to bring back a good report. Joshua had also proved to be a faithful follower of Moses in the years since then.
  12. Moses drew this chapter to a close with a warning for the Children of Israel to keep their covenant with God or suffer severe consequences. Why do you think God pled with them even though He knew they would continue to be rebellious?

    God doesn’t want anyone to perish and He will do everything He can to prevent such a thing. Israel could never say they didn’t have enough chances. And perhaps there was a remnant — a soul here or there — who did heed the warnings and were saved. God will “go the extra mile” for even one soul.

CONCLUSION

The basic message of these chapters is that God will punish those who forget and disobey Him, but He will greatly bless those who love, honor, and obey Him. The same choice is ours today!