This chapter introduces the third division of the book of Deuteronomy.  This division is from chapter 12-26, a code of laws to be observed in Canaan.

It should be noted that Moses makes this list and preaches these things for Israel to obey from the heart.  He did intend for Israel to obey, regardless of whether they thought they ought to or not.  They were to do these things because God said so, and that was enough.      The Pharisees, however, took these scriptural things outlined by Moses and used them as a foundation for many unnecessary rules.  By the time Christ came to the earth, the Jews religion was so complicated the common people were largely discouraged from listening and trying to obey.  Jesus taught such a simple gospel and way of life that the common people not only understood, but were encouraged to follow.  Thus arose the great debate between Christ and the Pharisees concerning the law.


Chapter 12 - The right place to worship.

Chapter 13 - Stopping false religious leaders.

Chapter 14 - (1) Clean and unclean animals, and (2) Vacations to the Lord.

Chapter 15 - The scriptural use of debts, both to the lender and borrower.

Chapter 16 - Observing religious holidays.

Chapter 17 - (1) Settling disputes, and (2) the requirements of a king.

Chapter 18 - (1) Abominations to avoid, and (2) Christ the Prophet.

Chapter 19 - Proper treatment of criminals and witnesses.

Chapter 20 - Proper treatment during a war.

Chapter 21 - The answer to hard problems Verse 1-9 - an unknown murder.  Verse 10-14 - A captured wife.  Verse 15-17 - Two wives.  Verse 18-23 - Stubborn sons.

Chapter 22 - How to be a good neighbor and friend.

Chapter 23-26 - How to handle many miscellaneous things that will happen because of sin.




I.   Verse 1-16 - Proper worship.

A.     Verse 1 - This verse is the introduction to this third division of Deuteronomy, chapters 12-26.

B.     Verse 2-4 - What to do to the false religions of Canaan.

1.       Note: These instructions are for Israel, they do not concern us today.  We have no business tearing down other religions houses of worship.  Israel is God's chosen nation, we are God's chosen people.  Even if we are a member of God's church, we shouldn't deny anybody the right to worship God as they so choose.  We ought to stay away from them because they will influence our worshipping God in Spirit and Truth.

2.       Israel is to completely destroy all the places and symbols of false religion.

3.       This is so future generations won't get to digging around in the ruins and decide to study how the ancient heathens worshipped their god.

4.       Verse 4 - This verse is talking about the false religious worship and how the places of worship are scattered throughout the land.  God doesn't intend His people to worship in different places, but to come together to worship.

5.       This verse does not mean that local churches can't worship in their separate locations.  It means that the nation of Israel should worship together in the same place.

C.     Verse 5-7, 10-14 - Instructions for joint worship in Canaan.

1.       Israel's worship of God is to be different from all other forms of worship.

2.       The worshippers of false gods would have many different places to worship.  Some would worship on the high hills, some in the valleys, some in groves, some in un-planted places, some in private homes, some in public places.

3.       God wants all nations to see that Israel is worshipping only one God, not different gods.

4.       This teaches us there is something special about public worship.  This is not to say that God cannot be worshipped privately, or in a family worship hour.

5.       When all the world sees our faithful attendance to public worship services, it is a witness to the unity of the church in love and fellowship.

6.       Those people that say they can worship just as well at home are mistaken.  They can worship at home, but they can't worship as well.

D.     Verse 8,9 - There is supposed to be a change in habits when Israel enters the promised land.

1.       There ought to be a change of habits when people enter the promises of God.

2.       Before the promises of God were secured, every man did that which was right in their own eyes.  Now they do that which is good in the eyes of God.

3.       Heb.  4:1-10 - When we are truly entered into the rest of God we cease our labors and trust completely in God for all our needs.

E.      Verse 15,16 - Israel may eat any clean animal they wish.

1.       They are not required to bring the animal to Jerusalem to kill it, but may kill it and eat it where they live.

2.       God puts no undue hardship on our lives for those things He knows are necessary to our living.

3.       There is a restriction to not eat the blood.  The life is in the blood, therefore, life is not to be eaten.


II.   Verse 17-19 - Enjoying God's blessings.  (This is something like a "vacation to the Lord".)

A.     The tithe to the Lord shall not be eaten at home.

1.       This is especially given to the Lord, and is His and His alone.

2.       In order to really enjoy the blessings of God, one must get away from the everyday necessities of work.  This would be done by leaving home, going to Jerusalem, and enjoying a time of totally giving ones attention to the things of God.

3.       Be careful to remember those working for you.

a.      Most employers today forget their employees.

b.      Stores will open from 12:30-5:00 Sundays, so people can go to church, then go shopping, then go back to the evening services.

c.      This seems fine to the shoppers, but they forget that the employer expects his employees to miss church so they can get the store ready for business.

B.     Verse 19 - A special reminder not to forget the Levite as long as they shall live.

1.       The Levite depends on the people of Israel for their support.  If Israel forgets to support them, or thinks somebody else will do it, the Levite must find some outside work to support his family, and the religion of Israel will suffer.

2.       The same thing is true of churches and pastors today  Pastors must depend on their church to support them, or they must seek outside work to support their family.  If the church don't support their pastor so he can devote his time to the work of the church, much of the work will not be done, because most people are simply too busy to give very much time to the Lord's work.

3.       Many times, people think somebody else will take care of the pastor and the things he needs.  But since everybody expects somebody else to take care of it, nobody winds up doing it.


III.   Verse 20-28 - Proper worship when the borders of Israel are enlarged.

A.     The worship of Israel will be the same when their borders are established, except that God will bless them more and more.

B.     They are again warned to not eat the blood for the blood is the life and it is sacred to God.

1.       Note: Israel will have only one command - Don't eat the blood.  Adam had only one command - don't eat the forbidden fruit.

2.       The command of "love" will still be in effect, for this command will ensure the obedience of abstaining from blood.

3.       God is saying that if Israel obeys His commands, there will be a return to the conditions of the Garden of Eden, except that Israel will see that the blood of Jesus Christ is very sacred and will cleanse them from their sinfulness.

C.     Israel will still be required to worship at Jerusalem.

1.       During the millennium reign, people will be required to worship at Jerusalem.

2.       During eternity, people will be required to worship at the New Jerusalem.


IV.   Verse 29-32 - Do not get involved in other religions.

A.     Don't ever let down.

1.       It's very easy to let down our standards when we have had a great victory.

2.       Satan makes us think we can handle a let down of standards because we have just had a great victory.

a.      This isn't so.

b.      Think of Elijah, who had a great victory, then ran from Jezebel.

c.      The same thing will happen to us.  If we fail to trust God after we have had a victory, we will run for our lives.

B.     Don't study other religions.

1.       The time you spend studying other religions is time lost in studying the true religion.

2.       The best way to discover the true religion is to read your Bible, not books written by false teachers.

3.       Somehow, we think the way to win people to our religion is to know what they believe and how it is wrong.  God says the way to win someone to the true belief is to show them you have the true belief.  Everybody is looking for somebody that has the truth, and they will be glad to see you have the truth.

C.     Verse 32 - There is no substitute for obedience.

1.       God desires His people to totally trust Him.

2.       They are not to add or subtract from His Word because they totally trust Him.