Deuteronomy 4 Commentary

Deuteronomy 4 Commentary

Hidden in the opening lines of this chapter are references to the original mandate for Israel. It should stand out as a nation to be admired. The LORD wants to have a model nation, a people whose shape and appearance reflects or has an appearance of the purposes of God. Moses points to this concept by projecting a positive tone about Israel’s prospects. It’s what Jehovah wants.

But we have cracks in the implementation of the grand plan. Moses warns the people of the consequences of failure. It has happened before. It will happen again, should the surviving nation ignore the wonderful laws and regulations. Of first importance is Israel’s worship of the one and only true God that they experienced at Horeb. Moses uses his own situation to remind Israel of the LORD’S fury.

Moses is very much aware of Israel’s potential to sin. He looks to the future and knows the consequences of sin. The LORD who scattered mankind at Shinar (at Babel) will scatter Israel. The LORD who is punishing Canaan will wipe out Israel. What is important for Israel is faithfulness. This message must be passed on to future generations. They should know about God’s high standards.

Israel is going to overthrow stronger nations. It’s a fact that Moses wants the people to know. But importantly this fact should serve as a constant reminder that the battle is the LORD’S. It should bring humility and a sense of dependency.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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