Session
9
July 28, 2019

Death of Moses

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” — Deuteronomy 30:19-20

In Retrospect

  • Recite (or read if you didn’t do your homework) Exodus 34:6-7 together.  
  • What is the purpose of the design and use of the Tabernacle?

Community Reading

Deuteronomy 32

Begin Study

As the book of Deuteronomy draws to a close, the people of Israel prepare to enter the Promised Land, and Moses prepares to pass away. Israel has been rescued from slavery, preserved through the wilderness, and brought to the Promised Land, and yet there is tension. God's people have again and again demonstrated their inability and unwillingness to follow His commandments and therefore fulfill His purposes for them. Now, Moses leaves them with a somber song; a song that speaks of failure and unfaithfulness still to come. Yet it is not without hope, and we who live on the other side of the Greater Exodus can read it with eyes that have seen the fulfillment of God’s plan.  

Review Questions

  • Read Deuteronomy 30:11-13. The book of Deuteronomy is an oral retelling of the Law. It begins to come to a close with the surprising statement that Israel “can do it.” How does this statement fit with your understanding of the Old Testament law?  
  • In Deuteronomy 31:19-22, God commands Moses to teach Israel a song. What is the purpose of the song Moses is told to write? What do these verses (along with Deuteronomy 30:11-13, from the previous question) reveal about the people of Israel?  
  • Read Deuteronomy 32:12-16. How will the blessings of the Promised Land contribute to the future faithlessness of Israel? Is there a message here for our own culture, and our own lives?
  • In this otherwise bleak song, there is a note of hope sounded in Deuteronomy 32:36. Compare this verse with Deuteronomy 32:4. How do these two verses balance each other? Describe the picture of God that they paint together.
  • Read Deuteronomy 30:4-6. Surely, Israel is going to fail. And yet, God promises that He will rescue them again, and will transform their hearts. The prophets Ezekiel (Ezekiel 36:26) and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 24:7) proclaim the same hope. What do these verses tell you about Israel’s greatest need? What do you think these images of new and transformed hearts really mean?  
  • Jesus has fulfilled these prophecies, and brought the promise of new hearts to His people. Do you feel like a person with a new heart? Why or why not?  
  • Read Romans 8:1-11. How does the finished work of Jesus change the way that God’s people relate to the law? What does that mean for you? How does this make Christians today different than the Israelites about to enter the Promised Land?  

Application

We have spent the last nine weeks studying one of the most significant characters in the Bible, who was himself central to some of the most significant events in history. What stories have stood out to you during this series? What impact have these stories had on your faith? Your understanding of God? Your identity as a member of God’s people? How will these changes impact the way that you live your life?  

The same God who heard the cry of His suffering people, who called Moses from the burning bush, who toppled the gods of Egypt and led His people through the sea on dry land, who preserved Israel through the wilderness, who gave the ten commandments and dwelt among His people in the tabernacle has been fully revealed to us in Jesus Christ. The true and better Moses has rescued us from the ultimate slavery to sin and death and brought us into the Kingdom of God.  

I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. — Galatians 4:1-7
Remind yourselves of the truth of Paul’s words to the Galatians together as a group.