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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

February 29, 2024

Read to Read …Again


Daily Reading:  Deuteronomy 5-6


Deuteronomy 5:1

And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them.


The second of three sermons of Moses that are recorded in Deuteronomy begins. His first sermon was largely a review of the release from Egypt and their wilderness wanderings. This second sermon seems to focus on the Law of God: the blessings associated with keeping His Laws, and the horrible results of breaking them. The third sermon will deal with various prophecies and the future of Israel leading up to their ultimate captivity and dispersal due to their disobedience.


He begins this sermon by telling them what he is going to tell them, which is a review of the statutes and judgments of God. In his introductory comments he gives them a simple four-point outline about God’s Laws: hear them, (I speak in your ears), learn them, keep them, and do them. Many hear, some learn, fewer keep them and do them. Keeping them means to remember them. Doing them means just do them. How many hear, learn, and keep them in mind, but fail to do them? That is the great internal struggle for all believers of all time. Without doing them, the first three are without benefit.


Since it is the last day of the month, how about a quick review? Over the last 29 days you have read two complete books, Leviticus, and Numbers, and started reading Deuteronomy. Sixty-nine chapters in all. Congratulations! Much has been learned about the Tabernacle, the various offerings, details of the wilderness wanderings, heroes and villains have made appearances. Moses disobeyed God in the matter of the water from the rock reminding us that before God every person is accountable no matter their standing. Miracles have taken place. Miriam and Aaron rebuked Moses and paid the price. Remember Nadab and Abihu’s immediate death because they offered strange fire to God? Balaam’s donkey spoke to him. A favorite of mine was the lesson on the laver and the faithful women who gave their mirrors (looking glasses) for its construction.


The books read this past month have been tedious at times, exciting at times, and both comforting and problematic. But, read it we did!


In passing, consider this simple review of the first five books of the Bible that are sometimes called the “books of Moses” and sometimes the Pentateuch.


In the book of Genesis, we read of the creation of the world and the fall of Adam and Eve into sin. In Exodus we read of God’s redemption of His people from bondage in Egypt. In Leviticus we read of the proper way of worship and fellowship with God. In Numbers we read of the proper way to serve and walk with God. And in Deuteronomy we have read and will read of the duty of God’s people to hear, learn, keep and do the commandments of God. True, we no longer live under the sacrificial, ceremonial, and religious laws of the Old Testament, for these have been largely fulfilled through Christ. But we do, or should, live under the spiritual laws of God. Which include holiness, righteousness, spirit, truth, and worship in and through a local church; all of which find their foundation in the physical laws of God as found in the first five books of the Old Testament.


Dr. William T. Howe

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