This fifth and final book of the Pentateuch is Moses’s farewell address to the second generation of Israelites, those whose once enslaved parents came out of Egypt on their way to the promised land of Canaan. Deuteronomy is structured like the treaties of that day, in which a king would spell out the laws, standards, and stipulations by which he would rule the vassals, or servants, who made up his nation. God was (in a very real sense) Israel’s King, the people of Israel were his servants, and the standards of his kingdom had been spelled out in the covenant he made with them at Sinai.
Moses’s message to this new generation of Israelites was that their choice to obey or disobey God’s law—to submit to their King or not—would determine the kind of life they would have once they entered Canaan. In fact, the people’s obedience to God would be the very thing to bring them the blessings of the covenant that stretched all the way back to Abraham—land, national identity, and a promise of bringing blessing to the other nations. But tied to the choice they faced were curses for disobedience, too. Deuteronomy is thus a covenantal book. Through it, God tells his people that he will bond with them based on their adherence to the covenant of his kingdom.
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Dr. Tony Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative and author of over 100 books, booklets and Bible studies. The first African American to earn a doctorate of theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, he has been named one of the 12 Most Effective Preachers in the English-Speaking World by Baylor University. Dr. Evans holds the honor of writing and publishing the first full-Bible commentary and study Bible by an African American. His radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on over 1,400 radio outlets daily and in more than 130 countries. Dr. Evans’ sermons are also streamed and downloaded over 20,000,000 times annually.