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The Law is Not a Vain Thing (Daily Portion 10403)

Content Author: 
Reagan, David
Scripture Passage: 
Deuteronomy 32:28-52

In this last section of the song of Moses, Moses contrasted the Rock of Israel with the rock of the other nations. God also promised to revenge His people. Moses closed the song with a plea to observe God’s commandments. The law is not a vain thing. It is your life by which you prolong your days in the land. The same day, the Lord told Moses to ascend Mount Nebo where he would see the Promised Land before he died.

What Does It Say?

  1. For their rock is not as our _________, even our enemies themselves being __________.
  2. Their wine is the poison of _________, and the cruel venom of _________.
  3. God will render vengeance to his ____________, and will be merciful unto his ________, and to his people.
  4. The law is not a ________ thing for you because it is your ________.
  5. Moses was told to get up into mount Abarim, unto mount ________, which is in the land of __________.

What Does It Mean?

  1. Verse 40 states, “For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever.” Who is speaking? What is the significance of the lifting up of the hand (see Genesis 14:22)? How can this speaker declare, “I live for ever?” How does this verse fit in with verse 39?
  2. In verse 50, the Lord told Moses that he will “die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people.” Several times in the Old Testament, the Bible refers to someone who died and was gathered unto his people (Genesis 25:8, 17; Genesis 35:29; Genesis 49:33; Numbers 20:24; Numbers 27:13). Many people think this phrase simply refers to the burial of the body in the family graveside. However, this cannot be. Of Moses, the Bible says that the Lord “buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day” (Deuteronomy 34:6). Genesis 49:10 speaks of the coming of Shiloh (another name for the Messiah) and then states, “unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” In light of these verses, what does it mean to be gathered unto the people. To what is Genesis 49:10 referring?
  3. Moses is reminded again why he and Aaron were not allowed to enter the Promised Land: “because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel” (v.51). To sanctify means to set apart as sacred or holy. This passage refers to the disobedience of Moses and Aaron in bringing water from the rock by smiting it when God told them to speak to it (Numbers 20:7-13). Their sins include unbelief (Numbers 20:12), rebellion against God’s word (Numbers 20:24), speaking unadvisedly (Psalm 106:32-33), and not sanctifying God (Deuteronomy 32:51). Compare this with Leviticus 10:3 where God said, “I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified.” Consider these passages and tell what you think it means to not sanctify the Lord in the midst of Israel. Can people commit this sin today? How?

What Does It Mean to Me?

  1. In verse 29, the Lord laments concerning Israel, “O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!” Evidently, one part of wisdom is to consider the latter end of something. What does this mean? How can people show wisdom by considering their latter end? Try to give a personal application.
  2. The Lord declared, “To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence” (v.35; see also v.43). This lines up with the teaching of Paul: “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19). What is vengeance? How do people try to avenge themselves? What does God want us to do? Give an example of how we can apply this principle to our lives.

Suggested Memory Verses

Deuteronomy 32:29, 31, 39, 40, 46, 47

David Reagan
Daily Proverb

Proverbs 25:18

A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.