Turn and Take Your Journey
Pastor Tony Chute
Overview: The Book of Deuteronomy is both a historical narrative and collection of final speeches by Moses as Israel prepares to enter the Promised Land. In the first chapter, Moses announces that the time has come to leave Mount Horeb and begin the journey to Palestine in order to fulfill God’s promise to the patriarchs. Moses recounts God’s faithfulness in multiplying the people of Israel, consequently requiring various levels of leadership to guide them. Despite the promise of God and encouragement from their leaders, the people of Israel refused to go forward, thus incurring the wrath of God and resulting in decades of wilderness wanderings. Moses then recalls how Israel made their way to the present location, cooperating with others when they could and conquering those who opposed them. Their experiences together, both good and bad, heightened their desire to enter the Promised Land, thereby providing a pattern of bonding for the church to follow.
01. Like the people of God in the Old Testament, the church is bound together by a covenant promise, a shared experience, a structured gathering, success and failures, and a future hope.
02. Like the people of God in the wilderness, the church is called to move forward together, choose leaders wisely, walk by faith and not by sight, pick our battles carefully, and support one another lovingly.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. Have you read through Deuteronomy in its entirety? If not, take time to do so during this sermon series. If you have, what parts of Deuteronomy stand out most to you?
2. What was the covenant promise that united the people of Israel? How much time transpired between the promise of land to Abraham and the fulfillment of that promise in the Book of Joshua? What does this time frame suggest to us about the nature of God’s promises and the importance of faith?
3. Why did Moses need assistance in leading Israel to the Promised Land? See Exodus 18 for further insight. What qualities did he require for those who would lead? How might these qualities apply to church leaders today? See 1Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9 for further insight.
4. What initially prevented Israel from going into the Promised Land? How did Israel seek to resolve this matter after discovering they had displeased the Lord? What does their aversion towards risk and walking by faith suggest to us today? Are there any areas in your life that are closed off to walking by faith?
5. Read chapters 2-3 and note how the Lord gave instruction to Israel regarding their encounters with others. What determined their cooperation with or conquering other peoples? How does the church determine which battles are worth fighting and which situations are opportunities for cooperation today?
For Further Reading: Gregg Allison, Sojourners and Strangers (Crossway, 2012)