Deuteronomy Chapter 5

So far, the book of Deuteronomy has been a review of the journey of Israel to the point where they are about to enter the promised land. Moses was going to be removed from the people, and was commanded to teach the people again of the workings and teachings of the Lord. This chapter continues the discussion of the laws of the Lord, which the people were bound to keep by the covenants they had made.

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.
2 The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.
3 The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.
4 The Lord talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire,
5 (I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to shew you the word of the Lord: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying,

We cannot keep a covenant unless we know how. So, Moses called the people together, to teach them of the laws and ordinances that God expected them to keep. He told them that there was a covenant made while their fathers were in Horeb, or around mount Sinai. This covenant may have been initially established while their fathers were alive, but it was also the covenant of those who were the children of that time. They had grown to become the leaders and adults in Israel, and this covenant was their covenant. Moses had been the mouthpiece for the Lord, at the time when He spoke with the people out of the fire.

6 I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
7 Thou shalt have none other gods before me.
8 Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:
9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,
10 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
11 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
12 Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee.
13 Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work:
14 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.
15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.

Moses, as commanded by the Lord, begins to review the Ten Commandments. These are the same commandments received in Sinai. The Lord promised that those who choose to worship idols would be punished, but those who kept the commandments and loved the Lord, would have mercy. The punishment would be to suffer the consequences of that sin. Many souls, of multiple generations, would live with those consequences. Those who chose to take the name of the Lord in vain, which I think mostly means to make covenants and then rebel against the promises they make in the name of the Lord, would be held accountable for their choices. The people are reminded that they are bound to keep the Sabbath holy, because not only was it God’s law to rest and reverence the Lord on that day in remembrance of the creation, but it was to be held in remembrance of when God had delivered them from bondage in Egypt. I am pretty sure that while in Egypt, the Israelites were not given the sabbath off to worship, but were most likely made to work everyday of their lives.

16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
17 Thou shalt not kill.
18 Neither shalt thou commit adultery.
19 Neither shalt thou steal.
20 Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.
21 Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Moses continues with the Ten Commandments.

22 These words the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me.
23 And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders;
24 And ye said, Behold, the Lord our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.
25 Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, then we shall die.
26 For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
27 Go thou near, and hear all that the Lord our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.
28 And the Lord heard the voice of your words, when ye spake unto me; and the Lord said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken.
29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!
30 Go say to them, Get you into your tents again.
31 But as for thee, stand thou here by me, and I will speak unto thee all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it.
32 Ye shall observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

Moses teaches them that all these commandments were given to the people by the Lord and written by the Lord on two tablets, which Moses had been given. Moses reminds them, that in that day, the Lord manifested himself to the elders of Israel and the people. The children of Israel had witnessed that God lives and talks to men on earth. I believe that God lives. I believe that God still speaks to men on earth. I don’t think that God would let us live without some kind of loving guidance and direction. I believe that it is the nature of God, to prepare and call prophets even today. I believe that the priesthood which Moses once held, has been restored to the earth in modern times and that, because of its restoration, we can have the blessings of receiving personal revelation from the Lord. I have felt this revelation in my life and I am grateful every day for it.

In the days near Mount Sinai, the Israelites had been concerned that they would be destroyed if they were to hear the Lord any longer. I am guessing that they felt they were unworthy to be spoken to by God. They knew that mortal men had been consumed by His glory, so they asked that Moses speak with the Lord on their behalf. They promised to hearken to the words of Moses, as commandments from the Lord. The Lord confirmed their concerns to Moses. They would not have lived worthy to abide His presence, because they could not respect Him enough to keep all the commandments. The people were sent back to their homes and Moses was told then, to return and receive all the laws, ordinances, and judgments from the Lord. Moses was commanded to teach the people the law of Moses, which they were to follow in the land of inheritance. The Lord commanded Moses and the people to live worthily, by obeying all that the Lord had and would command them. They were to do their duty and not to deviate from the will of God. If they could be obedient, all would be well with them and they would receive the blessings of the Lord.

We, like the Israelites, are also indebted to God for the countless blessings He has provided to us. Our debt is eternal. God has every right to ask everything of us. In his eternal love and mercy, He allows us freedom and agency, but as our spiritual parent, He expects us to follow His commandments. I know that when we obey the laws of the Lord, we receive great blessings. I believe that all things will work for our good, if we can remain faithfully obedient. I know that His commandments are not so difficult to follow, if we align ourselves with Him. We owe it to Him, to choose to do His will.

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