Pastoral Commentary for Deuteronomy 1
Author: Pastor Bob Nordlie
The name of the book of Deuteronomy, which means "second law", is as the name implies, a retelling by Moses of the giving of the Law as was first communicated in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. The admonition to "remember" and "forget not" the Law (torah) of God is repeated 200 times in this book. What we have in this book is a renewal of the covenant between God and His chosen people. God reminded Israel that He had increased their numbers so that they were as numerous as the stars in the sky, a fulfillment of His promise given to Abraham (Genesis 15:5). Moses reiterated the Jethro principle for sharing the burden of judging the people that was given in Exodus 18. He also reminded them of the sending of the spies and the rebellion of the people who refused to go in and take the land for fear of the inhabitants there. He explained that the first generation could not enter the Promised Land because of their rebellion, and the he too would be unable to enter the land, but only Joshua. Moses also reminded them of their failed excursion against the Amorites when they tried to take the land after God said that they could not enter it. It was a sad recounting of unbelief and rebellion that led to an extended period of wandering in the wilderness.