Deuteronomy 4:1-14 Moses teaches the Israelites the statutes that God had given their parents forty years earlier. They shall not add or take away from the Word that the Lord God commands them. Moses reminded them of their witness to God destroying from among their fathers those that followed Baal. These statutes were to be obeyed once they entered and established themselves in the land of Canaan. They were to be the envy of the world and the world should praise them for their wisdom. Moses warned them to pass these statutes on to their children’s children.
Notes: that you may live, and go in and take possession. Land possession is not linked to military strategy or strength but to comprehensive obedience of the statutes and the rules that govern all aspects of life.
Deuteronomy 4:15-28 Moses warned them not to make carved images that would cause them to worship the work of their hands. Moses warned them not to worship the sun, moon, and stars. God took them out of slavery from Egypt to be His own special people. Moses reminded them that he could not enter the land, but must die before they possess it. God warned them that if they made images and worshiped them and did evil, He would kick them out the land they were to possess and scatter them among the nations.
Notes: Israel is the Lord’s inheritance; the land is Israel’s inheritance, though the landless tribe of Levi has the Lord as their inheritance.
Deuteronomy 4:29-49 Moses speaks now as if these things will come to pass when he says that they would again seek the Lord from the lands that they will be scattered with all their hearts. God will return to them and save them for He will not forget the covenant He made with their fathers. Moses reminded them how special they were that they heard the voice of God above all the other peoples of the earth. The were privileged that God selected them to know the only true God and it was their responsibility to be a light to the world. Obey the Lord, and He will let you live long in the land that God was to give them.
Notes: merciful. God’s mercy does not compromise his jealous anger. In Deuteronomy, mercy is grounded in the Lord’s faithfulness to the Abrahamic promises. God will maintain his covenant with Abraham, even if Israel forgets it. God also swore those promises under oath.