Deuteronomy 10


‘At that time the LORD said to me, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones and come up to me on the mountain. Also make a wooden ark. I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Then you are to put them in the ark.” So I made the ark out of acacia wood and chiselled out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hands. The LORD wrote on these tablets what he had written before, the Ten Commandments he had proclaimed to you on the mountain, out of the fire, on the day of the assembly. And the LORD gave them to me. Then I came back down the mountain and put the tablets in the ark I had made, as the LORD commanded me, and they are there now. (The Israelites travelled from the wells of Bene Jaakan to Moserah. There Aaron died and was buried, and Eleazar his son succeeded him as priest. From there they travelled to Gudgodah and on to Jotbathah, a land with streams of water. At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name, as they still do today. That is why the Levites have no share or inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the LORD is their inheritance, as the LORD your God told them.) Now I had stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights, as I did the first time, and the LORD listened to me at this time also. It was not his will to destroy you. “Go,” the LORD said to me, “and lead the people on their way, so that they may enter and possess the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.” Deuteronomy 10:1-11

Tablets Like The First Ones

Moses begins by saying ‘at that time’, that is, the time Israel remained at Sinai and it appears that Moses made a temporary ark to store the two new tables in until the Ark of the Covenant could be constructed and the testimony could be placed inside it, Exodus 40:20.

The final ark was made by Bezaleel which was the permanent structure that contained the tablets when the tabernacle and its furnishings were completed, Exodus 37:1.

God’s word is very important in the life of Christians, they are ‘God-breathed’, 2 Timothy 3:16, that is, inspired by God Himself. His word should be at the centre of our whole life, 2 Kings 22:8-23:25.

Moses communicated with God a second time upon Mount Sinai as he received the second set of tablets with the law written on them.

God cut out the first tablets of stone on which the commandments were written, but after the Israelites rebelled, Moses broke the original set of stones, signifying Israel’s breaking of the conditions of the covenant, Exodus 32:19.

After their repentance, God called on them to cut out their own tablets of stone on which He would again write the commandments. Moses then comes down and puts the tables into the ark and prepares the people to go into Canaan and possess the land which God had ‘swore to their ancestors to give them’.

Because the priesthood were to remain in the seed of Aaron, is proof that God forgave Aaron for his sin at Sinai. Aaron died at Mount Hor, Numbers 20:28, for an entirely different sin, He didn’t trust or honour God, Numbers 20:6-13.

While Israel were still at the foot of Mount Sinai, Israel again rebelled. It was ‘at that time’ while they were at Mount Sinai that the Levites were separated from the people to be priests on behalf of the people, Numbers 3:5-37.

The Levites would receive no inheritance of land in Canaan, Joshua 18:7, and so, weren’t responsible for cultivating the land. The Lord Himself was their inheritance, which meant that they were to be supported by the other tribes.

The Levites received cities throughout the land, and the pasture lands around the cities, Numbers 35:1-8. The people could then come to these cities with their offerings for the spiritual ministry that was provided by the Levites.

Israel is once again, are reminded that they must obey God’s commands to go and take possession of the land.

Fear The LORD

‘And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Yet the LORD set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today. Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. Your ancestors who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.’ Deuteronomy 10:12-22

Moses asks Israel, ‘what does the LORD your God ask of you’, which is the same question that Micah would ask many years later, Micah 6:8. Solomon wrote that this was the whole duty of man, Ecclesiastes 12:12-14.

Moses earlier said the same thing, Deuteronomy 6:4-5, and will go on to say it a multitude of other times in this book, Deuteronomy 10:20 / Deuteronomy 11:1 / Deuteronomy 11:3 / Deuteronomy 11:22, etc.

Moses tells them if Israel wants to receive the Promised Land they must do four things.

1. Israel must fear God.

If anyone truly fears the Lord, this will be seen in their obedience to God and His will, Deuteronomy 5:29 / Deuteronomy 6:1-3. To fear God is to be aware of His anger and wrath, which would be the result of breaking His laws. This is the kind of fear Moses had towards the Lord, Deuteronomy 9:19.

2. Israel must walk in all of God’s ways.

This means they have to walk differently, that is, they must live differently from any other people.

Those around should know they are different because of the way they live. Their lives must be one of service for His glory, Philippians 3:20.

3. Israel must return love toward God.

The only way to demonstrate if they truly loved God was by obeying His commandments, Deuteronomy 7:9 / John 14:15. God earnestly desired the people’s affection and He didn’t want Israel to break His heart by being disobedient.

4. Israel must serve the LORD their God with everything they’ve got and observe His commands.

Israel had to learn to trust God and remove any sinlessness from their lives, Romans 6:12-13.

Israel were no longer servants in Egypt but rather servants of God because it was God who had redeemed them from Egyptian slavery and so they now belonged to Him. They didn’t deserve to receive God’s blessings but Moses helped Israel understand that even though they were sinners, God still loved them.

When we understand that all the galaxies of the heavens, to the minute particles of existence on earth, originated from God, and that He is overall, then our response to Him in obedience to His will, Colossians 1:16-18.

He is the creator of all things and exercises His sovereign will over creation. He chooses one person to favour over another and makes His promises to all humanity.

The Lord shows preference to no man but rather makes the distinction between good and evil. The Lord of all is the God of love and care, even for the fatherless, the widow, and the foreigner.

Circumcision should be the response of Israel but this circumcision wasn’t only of the flesh, Genesis 17:10, but of the heart, in that the Israelites were to change their personality from being stiff-necked to being obedient, Leviticus 26:41 / Deuteronomy 30:6 / Jeremiah 4:4 / Jeremiah 9:26 / Ezekiel 44:7 / Ezekiel 44:9 / Romans 2:28-29 / Colossians 2:11-12.

Loving foreigners was basically Israel’s great commission. They were to be a nation that reached out to those who were not Israelites, those who had been deceived by the false religions of men.

As a nation of priests, Israel were to be a national priesthood to the world, Exodus 19:5-6 / 1 Peter 2:9. They were to behave as God does, that is, He doesn’t want any to perish but come to repentance, 2 Peter 3:9.

Because of who God is, that is because He is the ‘God of gods and Lord of lords, 1 Timothy 6:15 / Revelation 17:14 / Revelation 19:16, He and He alone is worthy of our praise.

Seventy people went into Egypt, Exodus 1:5, and now they are a nation, as God had promised Abraham, Genesis 12:1-3.

Go To Deuteronomy 11