This is Episode #59 and today we’ll read Deuteronomy chapters 3-4 together. Moses continues the history lesson for the Israelites, including their first battles. He also warns them about not following God’s statutes and gives instructions for Cities of Refuge.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #59 and today we’ll read Deuteronomy chapters 3-4 together. Moses continues the history lesson for the Israelites, including their first battles. He also warns them about not following God’s statutes and gives instructions for Cities of Refuge.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Deuteronomy Chapter 3
Defeat of Og of Bashan
“Then we turned and went up the road to Bashan, and King Og of Bashan came out against us with his whole army to do battle at Edrei. But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not fear him, for I have handed him over to you along with his whole army and his land. Do to him as you did to King Sihon of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon.’
So the Lord our God also handed over King Og of Bashan and his whole army to us. We struck him until there was no survivor left. We captured all his cities at that time. There wasn’t a city that we didn’t take from them: sixty cities, the entire region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All these were fortified with high walls, gates, and bars, besides a large number of rural villages. We completely destroyed them, as we had done to King Sihon of Heshbon, destroying the men, women, and children of every city. But we took all the livestock and the spoil from the cities as plunder for ourselves.
The Land of the Transjordan Tribes
“At that time we took the land from the two Amorite kings across the Jordan, from the Arnon Valley as far as Mount Hermon, which the Sidonians call Sirion, but the Amorites call Senir, all the cities of the plateau, Gilead, and Bashan as far as Salecah and Edrei, cities of Og’s kingdom in Bashan. (Only King Og of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. His bed was made of iron. Isn’t it in Rabbah of the Ammonites? It is 13½ feet long and 6 feet wide by a standard measure.)
“At that time we took possession of this land. I gave to the Reubenites and Gadites the area extending from Aroer by the Arnon Valley, and half the hill country of Gilead along with its cities. I gave to half the tribe of Manasseh the rest of Gilead and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og. The entire region of Argob, the whole territory of Bashan, used to be called the land of the Rephaim. Jair, a descendant of Manasseh, took over the entire region of Argob as far as the border of the Geshurites and Maacathites. He called Bashan by his own name, Jair’s Villages, as it is today.
“I gave Gilead to Machir, and I gave to the Reubenites and Gadites the area extending from Gilead to the Arnon Valley (the middle of the valley was the border) and up to the Jabbok River, the border of the Ammonites. The Arabah and Jordan are also borders from Chinnereth as far as the Sea of the Arabah, the Dead Sea, under the slopes of Pisgah on the east.
Then You May Return
“I commanded you at that time: The Lord your God has given you this land to possess. All your valiant men will cross over in battle formation ahead of your brothers the Israelites. But your wives, dependents, and livestock — I know that you have a lot of livestock — will remain in the cities I have given you until the Lord gives rest to your brothers as he has to you, and they also take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving them across the Jordan. Then each of you may return to his possession that I have given you.
The Transfer of Israel’s Leadership
“I commanded Joshua at that time: Your own eyes have seen everything the Lord your God has done to these two kings. The Lord will do the same to all the kingdoms you are about to enter. Don’t be afraid of them, for the Lord your God fights for you.
“At that time I begged the Lord: Lord God, you have begun to show your greatness and your strong hand to your servant, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can perform deeds and mighty acts like yours? Please let me cross over and see the beautiful land on the other side of the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.
“But the Lord was angry with me because of you and would not listen to me. The Lord said to me, ‘That’s enough! Do not speak to me again about this matter. Go to the top of Pisgah and look to the west, north, south, and east, and see it with your own eyes, for you will not cross the Jordan. But commission Joshua and encourage and strengthen him, for he will cross over ahead of the people and enable them to inherit this land that you will see.’ So we stayed in the valley facing Beth-peor.
Deuteronomy Chapter 4
Call to Obedience
“Now, Israel, listen to the statutes and ordinances I am teaching you to follow, so that you may live, enter, and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. You must not add anything to what I command you or take anything away from it, so that you may keep the commands of the Lord your God I am giving you. Your eyes have seen what the Lord did at Baal-peor, for the Lord your God destroyed every one of you who followed Baal of Peor. But you who have remained faithful to the Lord your God are all alive today.
“Look, I have taught you statutes and ordinances as the Lord my God has commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to possess. Carefully follow them, for this will show your wisdom and understanding in the eyes of the peoples. When they hear about all these statutes, they will say, ‘This great nation is indeed a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god near to it as the Lord our God is to us whenever we call to him? And what great nation has righteous statutes and ordinances like this entire law I set before you today?
Be On Your Guard
“Only be on your guard and diligently watch yourselves, so that you don’t forget the things your eyes have seen and so that they don’t slip from your mind as long as you live. Teach them to your children and your grandchildren. The day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Assemble the people before me, and I will let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days they live on the earth and may instruct their children.’
“You came near and stood at the base of the mountain, a mountain blazing with fire into the heavens and enveloped in a totally black cloud. Then the Lord spoke to you from the fire. You kept hearing the sound of the words, but didn’t see a form; there was only a voice. He declared his covenant to you. He commanded you to follow the Ten Commandments, which he wrote on two stone tablets. At that time the Lord commanded me to teach you statutes and ordinances for you to follow in the land you are about to cross into and possess.
Worshiping the True God
“Diligently watch yourselves — because you did not see any form on the day the Lord spoke to you out of the fire at Horeb — so you don’t act corruptly and make an idol for yourselves in the shape of any figure: a male or female form, or the form of any animal on the earth, any winged creature that flies in the sky, any creature that crawls on the ground, or any fish in the waters under the earth. When you look to the heavens and see the sun, moon, and stars — all the stars in the sky — do not be led astray to bow in worship to them and serve them. The Lord your God has provided them for all people everywhere under heaven. But the Lord selected you and brought you out of Egypt’s iron furnace to be a people for his inheritance, as you are today.
You Are About to Cross Over
“The Lord was angry with me on your account. He swore that I would not cross the Jordan and enter the good land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. I won’t be crossing the Jordan because I am going to die in this land. But you are about to cross over and take possession of this good land. Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you, and make an idol for yourselves in the shape of anything he has forbidden you. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
“When you have children and grandchildren and have been in the land a long time, and if you act corruptly, make an idol in the form of anything, and do what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, angering him, I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that you will quickly perish from the land you are about to cross the Jordan to possess. You will not live long there, but you will certainly be destroyed. The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be reduced to a few survivors among the nations where the Lord your God will drive you. There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see, hear, eat, or smell.
With All Your Heart and Soul
“But from there, you will search for the Lord your God, and you will find him when you seek him with all your heart and all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, in the future you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. He will not leave you, destroy you, or forget the covenant with your ancestors that he swore to them by oath, because the Lord your God is a compassionate God.
“Indeed, ask about the earlier days that preceded you, from the day God created mankind on the earth and from one end of the heavens to the other: Has anything like this great event ever happened, or has anything like it been heard of? Has a people heard God’s voice speaking from the fire as you have, and lived? Or has a god attempted to go and take a nation as his own out of another nation, by trials, signs, wonders, and war, by a strong hand and an outstretched arm, by great terrors, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? You were shown these things so that you would know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him.
For All Time
“He let you hear his voice from heaven to instruct you. He showed you his great fire on earth, and you heard his words from the fire. Because he loved your ancestors, he chose their descendants after them and brought you out of Egypt by his presence and great power, to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you in and give you their land as an inheritance, as is now taking place. Today, recognize and keep in mind that the Lord is God in heaven above and on earth below; there is no other. Keep his statutes and commands, which I am giving you today, so that you and your children after you may prosper and so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”
Cities of Refuge
Then Moses set apart three cities across the Jordan to the east. Someone could flee there who committed manslaughter, killing his neighbor accidentally without previously hating him. He could flee to one of these cities and stay alive: Bezer in the wilderness on the plateau land, belonging to the Reubenites; Ramoth in Gilead, belonging to the Gadites; or Golan in Bashan, belonging to the Manassites.
Introduction to the Law
This is the law Moses gave the Israelites. These are the decrees, statutes, and ordinances Moses proclaimed to them after they came out of Egypt, across the Jordan in the valley facing Beth-peor in the land of King Sihon of the Amorites. He lived in Heshbon, and Moses and the Israelites defeated him after they came out of Egypt. They took possession of his land and the land of Og king of Bashan, the two Amorite kings who were across the Jordan to the east, from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Valley as far as Mount Sion (that is, Hermon) and all the Arabah on the east side of the Jordan as far as the Dead Sea below the slopes of Pisgah.
Have you noticed that Moses says ‘you’ a lot as he is speaking to the Israelites, even though most of them would have been so young that they could not have taken responsibility for any situation. For instance, ‘the Lord was angry because of you’. Well, of course, it was because of their parents. I have to keep reminding myself that technically, it was the previous generation that was responsible for the wilderness wandering, angering God, and for most of Moses’ frustration. If I make sure that I’m remembering that this is the new generation, it adds an element of hope as they get ready to take possession of the land. Hope that perhaps this generation will get it right. What are your thoughts? Let me know at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will by changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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