Deuteronomy
1-3 Obedience Gives Blessing 4-5 The Core of Judaism 6-9 Scope of the Commandments 10-11 The Blessing of the Land 12-15 Do Not Forget the LORD 16-19 Do Not Put the Lord to the Test 20-25 Testimony of the Father
Obedience Gives Blessing

1“Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded [me] to teach you, that you might do [them] in the land where you are going over to possess it, 2so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. 3O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do [it], that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, [in] a land flowing with milk and honey.

After the mention in the previous chapter of the ten commandments and the necessity of a mediator, Moses now gives a more detailed description of the commandments. He only passes on what the LORD has commanded him, as befits every good servant (cf. Mt 28:19b19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,). These are commandments to which the people of God are subject in order to go over into the land and inherit the blessings there (Deu 5:3333You shall walk in all the way which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong [your] days in the land which you will possess.).

The blessing is presented in “flowing with milk and honey”. It represents abundance and fertility. The expression appears almost twenty times in the Bible (Exo 3:8,178So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.17So I said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey.”’; Lev 20:2424Hence I have said to you, “You are to possess their land, and I Myself will give it to you to possess it, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the LORD your God, who has separated you from the peoples.; Num 13:2727Thus they told him, and said, “We went in to the land where you sent us; and it certainly does flow with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.; 14:88If the LORD is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us—a land which flows with milk and honey.; 16:13-1413Is it not enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to have us die in the wilderness, but you would also lord it over us?14Indeed, you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor have you given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Would you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up!”; Deu 6:33O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do [it], that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, [in] a land flowing with milk and honey.; 11:99so that you may prolong [your] days on the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give to them and to their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.; 26:9,159and He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.15Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel, and the ground which You have given us, a land flowing with milk and honey, as You swore to our fathers.’; 27:33and write on them all the words of this law, when you cross over, so that you may enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you.; 31:2020For when I bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and are satisfied and become prosperous, then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and spurn Me and break My covenant.; Jos 5:66For the sons of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, [that is], the men of war who came out of Egypt, perished because they did not listen to the voice of the LORD, to whom the LORD had sworn that He would not let them see the land which the LORD had sworn to their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.; Jer 11:55in order to confirm the oath which I swore to your forefathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as [it is] this day.”‘“ Then I said, “Amen, O LORD.”; 32:2222and gave them this land, which You swore to their forefathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey.; Eze 20:6,156on that day I swore to them, to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had selected for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands.15Also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands,). One time the expression is used by the rebellious and unbelieving people for the land of slavery, Egypt (Num 16:1313Is it not enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to have us die in the wilderness, but you would also lord it over us?). Furthermore, the expression always applies to the promised land.

Milk is a picture of the Word of God as a nutritious and healthy growth means for spiritual life (1Pet 2:22like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,). Just as a baby depends on its mother’s milk, so the believer is constantly dependent on God’s Word. This is indispensable for life in the land, but it is present in abundance. Honey represents the sweetness of natural relationships. If there is dependence on God, the mutual relationships will also be enjoyed. The living together of God’s children on that basis is beneficial to every member of God’s people.

In that atmosphere all the other blessings and benefits of the LORD can be fully enjoyed. Sharing blessings increases joy.


The Core of Judaism

4“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

After the fearing of the LORD in verse 22so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. as a result of the teaching of the commandments now follows the loving of the LORD as the One and Only (Zec 14:99And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be [the only] one, and His name [the only] one.). The religion of Israel is monotheistic. That gives certainty about God. That certainty is lacking in polytheistic religions. If there are more gods, someone can feel to be in the favor of one god, but live in fear for the other god. Those gods never act in harmony in the thinking of their worshippers.

For Israel there is no such thing as a god of Sinai and a god of Hermon, a god for Reuben and a god for Levi. The unity of God guarantees perfect certainty about His will, as He reveals it in His statutes and ordinances. There is no other deity that proclaims something else.

The commandment to love was never given by an earthly ruler. In the face of God, fearing Him and loving Him belong together. To fear God is to have respect for Him.

Knowing God as the LORD Who is One is the core of the Old Testament, in which God’s earthly people take the central place. It is also, but there according to God’s complete revelation in Christ, the core of the New Testament (1Tim 2:55For there is one God, [and] one mediator also between God and men, [the] man Christ Jesus,; 1Cor 8:66yet for us there is [but] one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we [exist] for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we [exist] through Him.).

The core of Christendom consists of a completed work of redemption, a Mediator Who is glorified as Man in heaven and God the Holy Spirit who, since the day of Pentecost, lives in the church as a whole and in each individual believer on earth. The believers bear witness to this in their worship, both in their daily lives and in the meetings of the church.

In the Lord Jesus we have come to know God as the triune God: the Father, shown by the Son and revealed by the Spirit. We may know God as Father. Three Persons, yet one God. Because there is only one God, there can be nothing else that divides the heart that is entirely claimed by the LORD for Himself.

To love Him with all the heart and all the soul and all the power is added by the Lord Jesus the ‘mind’ (Mk 12:3030AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’). Understanding is ‘mind’. To be able to satisfy this love with devotion, “the mind of Christ” (1Cor 2:1616For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.) is necessary. The thinking of Christ is as Christ thinks, it is His mind, in which the power of the Holy Spirit can be active. “And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding” (1Jn 5:2020And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.). Through this thinking, this understanding, we gain insight into Who God is. For Israel this will become true in the future, when the law will be given and written in their hearts and minds (Heb 8:1010“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, And I will write them on their hearts. And I will be their God, And they shall be My people.; 10:1616“This is the covenant that I will make with them After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart, And on their mind I will write them,” [He then says,]).

This love and service of God gives man the greatest possible satisfaction. To this end he is created and equipped by His Creator with qualities that are aimed at serving and honoring Him. When he does this, he finds true rest and peace. Through sin, however, man has become a sinner and an enemy and hater of God. Man does not serve Him and does not love Him. But by grace the believer is reconciled to God (2Cor 5:1818Now all [these] things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,) and has received new life, the “divine nature” (2Pet 1:44For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of [the] divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.). This life wants and can love and serve God.


Scope of the Commandments

6These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

The truth about God should not be preserved purely as theory, but the people should know that truth as fact and live up to it in practice. In orthodox churches this truth is incorporated in creeds. It is known as dogma, but where is it worked out in daily life? If the core of Christendom is a reality for everyday life, it will result in the Holy Spirit being given the guidance of personal and church life. God and His Word should be the normal themes of conversation for every member of God’s people, everywhere and at any time.

In the families parents will imprint, engrave, their children the core of the faith, and train them according to the requirement of their way (Pro 3:1:31My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;
; 22:66Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
). This also applies to the family of God. In the local churches, older believers, the fathers in Christ, will throw imprint the youth these things. This teaching will only have an effect if it can be seen in the lives of those older believers.

It has been noted that Moses considers his law so simple and easy to understand that every father must be able to teach it to his children. There is no excuse for being negligent in this. It is not a matter of intellect, but of mind, of heart. It is about the careful handing down of the Word of God entrusted to us, to those who come after us, so that they too may be confirmed and blessed in obedience to it.

Love of God is expressed in features that can be seen in us. God's words determine not only our speaking to our children, but also our actions, which is indicated by “bind them as a sign on your hand”. It is visible to everyone, which is indicated by “frontals on your forehead”. The forehead speaks of the open testimony (Rev 13:1616And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead,; 14:11Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb [was] standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.) that we give of our love for God. When we “set the LORD continually before” us (Psa 16:88I have set the LORD continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
), this is manifested throughout our lives. God wants to be involved in every detail of our lives. There is nothing in the lives of His children of which He says: “That does not interest Me.’

Family life takes place in our houses. Family life is influenced by what enters our homes. We can apply the writing on the doorposts to the testing of everything we allow in our house against God’s Word. Are they things that build up or break down family life according to God’s thoughts? Does the relationship with each other, man and woman, parents and children and children among each other, bear the stamp of God’s Word as a property feature? Parental authority, which should always be respected, will certainly be respected when children see that the starting point is love for the Lord and the desire to obey Him.

Because the LORD is One, He is entitled to our undivided devotion. All His features are in perfect harmony with each other. There is no feature that conflicts with any of His other features. He is perfect in love and perfect in righteousness. Never is His love in conflict with His righteousness or the other way around. When He shows love, it never is at the expense of His righteousness. When He exercises righteousness, it never sets His love aside. In all His actions every feature of Him is answered perfectly.


The Blessing of the Land

10“Then it shall come about when the LORD your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, 11and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied,

After the previous conditions, the land opens up to us, as it were. Here is the first time out of three times in this chapter which talks about entering the land. And every time it is added that God has sworn it (verses 10,18,2310“Then it shall come about when the LORD your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build,18You shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may be well with you and that you may go in and possess the good land which the LORD swore to [give] your fathers,23He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land which He had sworn to our fathers.’). When God affirms His own words with an oath, He does so to meet us in our weakness and thereby provide additional confirmation of His promise (Heb 6:17-1817In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath,18so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.). The oath makes it clear that no matter what happens, God will give His people the land and thereby give them the full enjoyment of its blessing. The foundation is the work of Christ. If God has sworn like this, why should we still doubt?

We always find an oath of God under special circumstances. God swears by four occasions, each time in connection with the land:
1. God promises to Abraham on the basis of the sacrifice of the son of the promise a rich seed in the land of the promise and in his seed a blessing to the whole world (Gen 22:16-1816and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son,17indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.18In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”).
2. If the people apostates from God, He swears that the people will not enter the promised land (Psa 95:1111“Therefore I swore in My anger,
Truly they shall not enter into My rest.”
).
3. If the people are unfaithful, God will fulfill His promises in the Man of His right hand (Psa 110:1,41A Psalm of David.
The LORD says to my Lord:
“Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
4The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind,
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”
).
4. If Christ reigns in the land, every knee will bow before Him, and the repented remnant of His people, who will then be all Israel because all the wicked are cut off, will be in the land (Isa 45:2323“I have sworn by Myself,
The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness
And will not turn back,
That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear [allegiance].
).

The blessings are ready for us, there is nothing of us in it, God has prepared them. In the land are in the first place “great and splendid cities”. The church is compared to a city (Rev 21:2,102And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.10And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,). Cities can be seen as a picture of local churches, as representations of one church. The cities here find themselves in the land. It proposes local churches that have their permanent foundation in the land, where they live in the riches of the heavenly blessing.

Secondly, there are “houses, full of all good things”. A city consists of houses. A church consists of families. In the letters that especially speak about the heavenly blessings –the letter to the Ephesians and the letter to the Colossians –, Paul also explicitly discusses the family (Eph 5:22-3322Wives, [be subject] to your own husbands, as to the Lord.23For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself [being] the Savior of the body.24But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives [ought to be] to their husbands in everything.25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,26so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,27that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.28So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;29for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also [does] the church,30because we are members of His body.31For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.32This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.33Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must [see to it] that she respects her husband.; 6:1-41Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.2Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise),3so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.4Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.; Col 3:18-2218Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.19Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.20Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.21Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.22Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who [merely] please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.). That is the place where the riches of Christ are shared with each other.

Thirdly, the “hewn cisterns”. These are water basins where the water is collected and from which it can be drawn. It represents ministry through the Lord’s gifts to perfect the saints (Eph 4:11-1311And He gave some [as] apostles, and some [as] prophets, and some [as] evangelists, and some [as] pastors and teachers,12for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;13until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.).

Fourthly, we find in the land the “vineyards and olive trees”. The vineyards show us that the land is an area of joy. Wine is a picture of joy (Jdg 9:1313But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my new wine, which cheers God and men, and go to wave over the trees?’; Psa 104:15a15And wine which makes man’s heart glad,
So that he may make [his] face glisten with oil,
And food which sustains man’s heart.
). Fellowship with the Father and the Son and with each other gives a “joy” that is “complete” (1Jn 1:3-43what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.4These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.). The olive trees represent the rich fruit and blessing of the Spirit (Gal 5:2222But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,). Oil is a picture of the Holy Spirit (1Jn 2:2020But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.; 1Jn 2:2727As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.).

In between it is pointed out time and again that God’s people did nothing for these blessings. By free grace God has given them His people. So it is with our heavenly blessings. There is no contribution from us. We have received them out of free favor on the basis of the work of the Lord Jesus, only because God has had it in His heart to give them to us. Three times we are reminded that we were slaves of sin, but God has delivered us from it (verses 12,21,2312then watch yourself, that you do not forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.21then you shall say to your son, ‘We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and the LORD brought us from Egypt with a mighty hand.23He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land which He had sworn to our fathers.’).


Do Not Forget the LORD

12then watch yourself, that you do not forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 13You shall fear [only] the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name. 14You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you, 15for the LORD your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; otherwise the anger of the LORD your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth.

Sometimes we can be so busy with what we got, that we forget the Giver. Therefore the warning sounds that we should watch ourselves that if we have an eye for the blessings, we then do not forget Who gave us them.

The fall from the highest level is the most terrible fall. If we do not walk according to the truth that has been given to us, it will be to great harm. Then we are driven out of the land, we lose light on the things of the land. The worst is for Him Who has sworn to bring us into those blessings.

It is about a land that the people will inherit. They are the heirs and as such they may take possession of it. This brings into view the sonship of the believers. The view of sonship and thus its enjoyment has been lost because Christians have given in to satan’s temptation to seek their happiness in the visible world. Not standing before God, but being in an environment that is attractive to the flesh, has seized the hearts. The Lord Jesus did not give in to that temptation. He is the example of how we can stand to the temptation of the devil.

The word of verse 1313You shall fear [only] the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name. is the first quotation of the three quotations from this book by the Lord Jesus during the forty days He is tempted by the devil in the wilderness (Deu 6:13,1613You shall fear [only] the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name.16“You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested [Him] at Massah.; 8:33He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.; Mt 4:1-101Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.2And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.3And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”4But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’”5Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple,6and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,
‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU’;
and
‘ON [their] HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP,
SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’”
7Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’”8Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory;9and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”10Then Jesus *said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”
). The Lord uses this word in response to the devil’s temptation to give Him all the kingdoms of the world and their lordship when He falls down before him and worships him (Mt 4:8-108Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory;9and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”10Then Jesus *said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”). The devil also has countless means of asking us to kneel down. God has made man able to worship and has given him the need to do so. The only question is: to whom and what does he give his worship.

No man on earth has ever been so desiring to receive the heavenly blessings as Man from God’s hand as the Lord Jesus. Therefore, during the temptation He bases Himself on the book of Deuteronomy. He puts himself on the true ground of responsibility and faithfulness, on which the people of God must place themselves in order to take possession of and preserve the heavenly land. He is forty days tried in the wilderness, as Deuteronomy 1-11 look back on the forty years of Israel in the wilderness. Israel has failed there, but He doesn’t fail. The way in which He remained standing, we can follow and is the only way.


Do Not Put the Lord to the Test

16“You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested [Him] at Massah. 17You should diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and His testimonies and His statutes which He has commanded you. 18You shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may be well with you and that you may go in and possess the good land which the LORD swore to [give] your fathers, 19by driving out all your enemies from before you, as the LORD has spoken.

Verse 1616“You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested [Him] at Massah. gives the second text quoted by the Lord Jesus during the temptation by the devil in the wilderness (Mt 4:5-75Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple,6and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,
‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU’;
and
‘ON [their] HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP,
SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’”
7Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’”
). The temptation to which the people are subjected is their doubt as to whether the LORD is among them (Exo 17:77He named the place Massah and Meribah because of the quarrel of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us, or not?”). If there is mistrust of the goodness and faithfulness of God, when there are so many undeniable proofs of it, the temptation arises to test Him to see if He still wants bless His people. It is not about doubting oneself, but about doubting God, and that is unbelief. Can He forget His people or leave them?

The Lord Jesus cannot made to doubt about this. In his temptation, the devil cites a few verses from Psalm 91 about God’s safekeeping (Psa 91:11-1211For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
12They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
). If the Lord Jesus would put God to the test whether it is indeed as it says, that would prove unbelief. The devil always quotes partially, he always extracts texts from his context. Thus he does not mention here that it is about walking in the ways of the LORD.

Whosoever walks in the ways of the LORD knows the LORD, and may count on his keeping. Such a man has no need of proof that God is still with His faithfulness and blessing with His people. A lively relationship with Him saves us from putting Him to the test. The Lord Jesus also enjoyed this fellowship uninterruptedly during the forty days of temptation.

Israel will reach the land. As already mentioned, this chapter reminds us no less than three times that the LORD has sworn this (verses 10,18,2310“Then it shall come about when the LORD your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build,18You shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may be well with you and that you may go in and possess the good land which the LORD swore to [give] your fathers,23He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land which He had sworn to our fathers.’). What, then, is there still to be put to the test? It is not for nothing that God confirms His promise with an oath.

This chapter is about inheriting or taking possession (verses 1,181“Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded [me] to teach you, that you might do [them] in the land where you are going over to possess it,18You shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may be well with you and that you may go in and possess the good land which the LORD swore to [give] your fathers,) of the inheritance. It is in this light that the temptations must be seen, for the quotations to resist the devil come from this chapter. The quotation the Lord makes from Deuteronomy 8 is in connection with sonship. Inheritance and sonship belong together (Gal 4:77Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.). The sonship of the believer is closely linked to knowing and enjoying the inheritance that God has given us, which are the blessings in the heavenly places (Eph 1:3-63Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly [places] in Christ,4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love.5He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,6to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.).

Taking possession or inheriting does not mean getting something when the testator has died, but that God entrusts a certain property to someone. He can do that now or later. In the New Testament to inherit has to do with sharing with the Lord Jesus in His reign (Eph 1:10-1110with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, [that is,] the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him11also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,). To inherit is used for every blessing that God has given us and that we will receive in the heavens.

We are sons and therefore heirs. Through the Spirit of sonship, we are able to get to know the heart of the Father. We are children of God by birth, because we are born of God. This means that we have received His nature, which is light and love. We are also sons, which speaks more of maturity, of understanding God’s thoughts and intentions, and of fellowship.

The highest part of the inheritance is the spiritual blessing in the heavenly land, which is our property and which we are already allowed to take possession of. We have received the divine nature that makes us suitable to be in heaven. We are in the Beloved, chosen for the sonship before God. God wants sons for Himself. He wants to have spiritual contact with them to talk about the things in His heart.


Testimony of the Father

20“When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What [do] the testimonies and the statutes and the judgments [mean] which the LORD our God commanded you?’ 21then you shall say to your son, ‘We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and the LORD brought us from Egypt with a mighty hand. 22Moreover, the LORD showed great and distressing signs and wonders before our eyes against Egypt, Pharaoh and all his household; 23He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land which He had sworn to our fathers.’ 24So the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God for our good always and for our survival, as [it is] today. 25It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the LORD our God, just as He commanded us.

In verse 77You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. the parents are commanded to speak to their children about the commandments of the LORD. Here, in verse 2020“When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What [do] the testimonies and the statutes and the judgments [mean] which the LORD our God commanded you?’, the children come with their questions. We find four times questions from children:
1. The question concerning the Passover; this question is, in pictures, about the redemption (Exo 12:2626And when your children say to you, ‘What does this rite mean to you?’).
2. The question about the redemption of the firstborn; here it is, in pictures, about the separation for and devotion to the LORD (Exo 13:1414And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ then you shall say to him, ‘With a powerful hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery.).
3. The question about the passage through the Jordan, what, in picture, represents the conquest of the heavenly position by the church through her connection with a died, risen and glorified Man (Jos 4:66Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’).
4. The question of the meaning of the Word of God (Deu 6:2020“When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What [do] the testimonies and the statutes and the judgments [mean] which the LORD our God commanded you?’).

The testimony of the parents is about the redemption from Egypt. But that’s not all. The LORD has redeemed his people from Egypt to bring them into the land which he promised the fathers.

That is also God’s purpose with our redemption. He did not only want to save us from the power of satan, sin and the world, so that we could have forgiveness of sins and peace with God. His goal with us is also that we will enjoy the blessings of the land. This means that as His own sons we would be “holy and blameless before Him in love” (Eph 1:4-54just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love.5He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,).


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