I.   Verse 1-9 - Reasons for serving God.

A.     Verse 1 - "Therefore"

1.       This is referring to the final verses of Chapter 10.

2.       Moses wants Israel to look back at all the blessings they have received from God.

3.       If past blessings won't cause us to love God and want to serve Him more and more, we are hard hearted indeed.

B.     Israel is commanded to keep:

1.       His charge - "a thing to be watched" - This is referring to the whole of those things God has commanded Israel to observe and refrain from.

2.       His statutes - "decreed limit" - This is referring to the "limits of sin" God will allow before He judges them.  Note: there are no limits on serving God or being righteous.

3.       His judgments - This is referring to the decision God makes toward His blessings or punishing Israel.

4.       His commandments - "Precept" or decrees.

C.     Verse 2-7 - Moses reminds Israel of God's miracles.

1.       Verse 2 - Israel saw the miracles of God with their own eyes.

2.       They saw the power of God in three ways, his greatness, his mighty hand, and his stretched out arm.  These three ways speak of the progression of God's power in blessing and chastisement.

a.      They saw the miracles, and acts, against Egypt while Israel was in Israel.  Note: Israel didn't see the ways of God.

b.      They saw Egypt destroyed in the Red Sea.

c.      They saw all the blessings and chastisement upon their fathers in the wilderness.

d.      They saw the destruction of Dathan and Abiram, Numbers 16.

3.       Verse 8,9 - This ought to be reason enough to serve the Lord.

a.      Knowing that God has done all these things in the past ought to put a "fear of God" on Israel.

b.      If Israel fears God and obeys His commandments, they will live in the land and be prosperous.  If not, they will soon perish from off the land.

c.      Note: The first motivation (verse 1) should be love because of all the things God has done for them in the past.  But if Israel has no love for God to motivate them to faithfulness, then they ought to let their fear of God motivate them (verse 8,9).


II.   Verse 10-12 - A comparison of Egypt with Canaan.

A.     The land of Egypt.

1.       The land of Egypt is a land where only hard work would produce results.

2.       There was very little of value that grew by itself.

3.       The entire land had to be treated like a small herb garden, which would be cared for in a very painstaking manner.

4.       "wateredst it with thy foot" - This is referring to the irrigation system which was operated by foot power.

B.     The land of Canaan.

1.       This land would bring forth fruit without cultivation.

2.       This land didn't have to be watered, for God send rain.

3.       God looked on this land from the start of the year until the end of the year.

a.      In Egypt, the Nile River would overflow each year, irrigating the land and providing valuable fertilizer.

b.      When this happened, the Egyptians would say their gods had looked favorably on the land.

c.      If things went bad and the Nile didn't overflow, the Egyptians would say their gods was looking unfavorably on the land.

d.      In Canaan, God would always look favorably on the land because there would be no need for irrigation.  God would give rain from heaven.


III.   Verse 13-17 - The conditional promises (those things God will do if we do what He says.) of God in Canaan.

A.     Notice that there is nothing external God requires of Israel.

1.       All the commands of God have to do with loving Him and serving Him with all the heart and soul.

2.       Most people then and now believe the only way to serve God is by doing things externally, in their bodies.

3.       God says the only way to serve Him is by worshipping Him in the heart.

4.       When a person worships God in their heart, they will worship Him in their bodies.  But people can put forth a show of worshipping God in their bodies, when their heart is far from Him.

B.     The promises of God are given in verse 14,15.

1.       God will send the spring and summer rains and will cause it to stop raining long enough to harvest.

2.       God doesn't want His people to go hungry, or to be poor.  He wants them to have the best this earth has to offer for He has made them the best this earth has.

3.       But we cannot work toward that prosperity.  We must work toward loving and serving God with all our heart, soul and mind.  Then, and only then, God will supply the riches of this world to us.


IV.   Verse 18-21 - The result of obedience on Israel.

A.     Obedience to God comes from the heart, and has nothing to do with outward obedience.

1.       In the "age of the law", God requires obedience just like He does during the "age of grace".

2.       In reality, there is no "age of the law".  God requires obedience from the heart in all ages.

3.       It is always the "age of grace" as long as men are alive.

B.     Types of Obedience.  See the notes on Deut.  6:6-9.

1.       Lay these words up in your heart and soul.  Only the Word of God can discern between the heart and soul, Heb.  4:12.

2.       "Bind them for a sign upon your hand".  This does not mean a visible sign or tattoo.  It means that everything the hand finds to do, do it as a means of worshipping God, and do it with all your might.

3.       "let them be as frontlets before your eyes".  This does not mean that a person is to wear "blinders" or be unaware of what is going on around him.  It means that the person is to see the will of God in everything that is happening, and glorify God for every event, whether he considers it to be good or bad.

4.       "teach your children".  This does not mean in a classroom setting, or in a formal manner.  The best way to teach anybody, especially children, is to live before them in a Godly manner.  Children, and everybody else, learn by observing.  So speak about the things of God all day, every day.      When you sit in your house, or walk by the way, when you lie down and when you get up.

5.       "write them upon the door posts of your house".  This does not mean to write scripture verses on your door post.  This would be an outward show of religion like the Pharisees.  God wants us to so live that people passing by our homes would know that the people living in that home are following God's Word in their daily lives.  God will get the glory for that, not us.

C.     Verse 21 - The conditional promise.

1.       "that your days may be multiplied".  Not added, but multiplied.  This is speaking about the individual lives of the people.

2.       "and the days of your children".  Parents can help their children live long lives by instructing them in the Word of God.

3.       Israel shall live a long time in the land of Canaan.  If they are disobedient to God's commands, He will see to it that they don't stay in the land very long.

V.   Verse 22-25 - The result of obedience on others.

A.     Notice that once again, Moses puts the emphasis on heart obedience, not on outward obedience.

1.       The main command is not to keep the sacrifices or tabernacle pure.

2.       The main command is to keep the heart pure with the love of God.

3.       What amazes me is that people today really believe that the Jews had to give sacrifices and such to be saved.      This is called the "age of law".  But, please note,      in that so called "age of law", God required obedience from the heart, just like He requires today, in the "age of grace".

B.     The conditional promises of God.

1.       God, not Israel, will drive out these nations.  Israel must go to battle, but God will do the fighting.  This is exactly like it is today.

2.       Israel shall possess greater nations than they are.      This same conditional promise holds true for the individual Christian today.  If we diligently love the Lord and serve Him, He will allow us victory over those that are physically stronger than we are.

3.       God would put the fear and dread of Israel upon other nations, just like He put the fear and dread of mankind upon animals, Gen.  9:2.  God will cause other people to know He is with us if we will put Him first.


VI.   Verse 26-32 - The blessing and the curse.

A.     Now it seems God is leaving the choice to Israel.

1.       We have those "hard-shell" brethren that would not know what to do with this scripture.

2.       Verse 27 - God will give Israel all these blessings if they obey Him from the heart.

3.       Verse 28 - God will give Israel all these judgments if they don't obey Him from the heart.

B.     The placement of the blessing and the curse.

1.       The placement will be done after Israel enters the promised land.

a.      This will be to remind this generation that God has given them this land.

b.      This will also serve to remind future generations of these blessings and curses.

2.       Deut.  27:4,11-13 - Moses giving commandment to the people to build the altar and for half of the tribes to stand on Mt.  Gerizim and the other half on Mt.  Ebal.

3.       Joshua 8:30-35 - After Israel had conquered Jericho and Ai, (remember that Israel failed at the first to conquer Ai), Joshua build the altar as God had commanded.  It was at this point that Israel divided herself as God commanded and blessed Israel, after they had read the commandments again.

4.       The significance is that God blessed Israel when they were obedient to Him and allowed them to conquer Jericho, a town much larger than they were.  When Israel disobeyed, (Achan, Joshua 7:6-26) God cursed them so they could not have the victory over Ai, a town much smaller than they were.  When Israel took care of their sinfulness, then God was once more with them, and allowed them to overtake Ai, and all the other towns of the land of Canaan.  Note that it was after Israel captured Ai that they obeyed the commandment of God at Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Ebal.