What does it say?
The historical review of the Israelite’s journey continues with a reminder of the victory over Og of Bashan (Deu 3). This beautiful, fertile land becomes part of the inheritance of the two-and-a-half tribes that decide not to take their part in the Promised Land on the other side of Jordan. The chapter ends as Moses prepares Joshua to take the leadership.
The focus now turns forward and is the heart of Moses’ first discourse (Deu 4). Moses urges the people to hear and obey God’s word as revealed to them and to avoid being seduced into the idolatry that surrounds them, and he warns them of the consequences of disobedience.
What does it mean?
Israel feared the giants in the land and failed to move forward by faith. Here, Moses reminds them of how God gave them victory over Og and the giants when they finally believed and obeyed. Deuteronomy is focused on remembering what God has said and done. The importance of remembering is a constant theme in the Bible.
The New Testament is not focused on the rules and rituals of the Law, but the Law reminds us of God’s faithfulness to his word. Today, milestones such as baptism and the Lord’s Supper are powerful reminders of God’s love and faithfulness.
The missional significance of Deuteronomy 4 is impossible to overstate. Notice the many references to the nations. Despite their repeated failures, God is intent on blessing Israel in the sight of all the nations that all the nations might in Israel be blessed (Gen 12:1-3). We, too, are blessed to be a blessing – one of the greatest truths of missional living.
How will I respond?
How do I consistently remember God’s faithfulness to me? If I have not yet be baptized to publicly confess my faith, I should make arrangements with my church to be baptized as soon as possible to set down this important landmark in my life as a constant memory aid. Also, I should give attention to the significance of the Lord’s Supper as we assemble together as the church. The chief purpose of the Lord’s Supper is to remember what Jesus Christ has done for us.