April 28, 2019: Day 1 – Deuteronomy 1

Welcome to  Deuteronomy.  We begin the book of Deuteronomy with Moses who gives an account of what has already taken place in Exodus.  There is a common  misconception that Moses was  the author of the first five books of the Bible, what we call the Pentateuch.  The first verse of Deuteronomy tells us that these are the words of Moses.  He picks the story up about the Israelites from the time that the people asked for leaders who could decide disputes among them.  We find in Exodus that it was Moses' father-in-law, Jethro, who made the suggestion, but here Moses gives credit to the people for coming up with that idea.  You can see that scene play itself out in Exodus 18. Moses also retells the story of how they sent spies into the land and they came back with stories of plenty, but the people were terrified of the "giants" who lived in the land.  As a result they refused to follow God's command to go into the land and take it over.  So God punished them and only chose Joshua, all the children, and Caleb who was faithful to the Lord, to be the ones to enter the promised land after 40 years.   It is interesting how in this account Moses is depicted as being punished not for his own sin, a sin which he did commit as we find in Numbers 20:9-13 where God tells Moses that he will not bring the people into the land because he embellished the commands of the Lord.  Moses here in Deuteronomy presents himself as a bit of a martyr who is being punished as a direct result of the sins of Israel, not his own.  You see in vs.37 where Moses after recounting the sins of the people of Israel says: "even with me the Lord was angry".  Basically, on account of your sin, I somehow inherited your sin and I was punished by osmosis.  Okay, those are my words, but that is pretty much what he said.  
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