christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

deuteronomy 8:1-20, remembering YHVH to our benefit

Read Deuteronomy 8:1-20 at Bible Gateway.

Previously: deuteronomy 7:12-26, because His people love YHVH

Please review the teaching tools of scripture, especially the chiastic structures. The paragraph divisions reveal the chiastic structures: which are narratives which zero in on the main point of the narrative at its center, like a bull’s eye at the center of a target. The main point is revealed, because the narrative elements before the main point (or central axis) are repeated after the central axis, in reverse order, while the central axis itself is not repeated.

This is the third section explaining the first commandment, Worship YHVH only, which we discovered was THE commandment. (The first commandment is explained in Deu 6:4-11:25, and this is my summary of it.) This section is made of two strong paragraphs, which are teaching a similar theme:

Deu 8:1-18 {p} Remember YHVH, obey Him, and live
Deu 8:19-20 {p} Forget YHVH, disobey Him, and die

Each strong paragraph forms its own chiastic structure:

Deu 8:1-18 p
1a) Deu 8:1, That Israel shall observe YHVH’s commandments;
1b) Deu 8:2a, Israel shall remember YHVH;
1c) Deu 8:2b, Wilderness humbling and testing + what was in the heart;
1d) Deu 8:3a, Manna which the fathers did not know;
1e) Deu 8:3b-4, Provision in the wilderness: the word from the mouth of YHVH;
1f) Deu 8:5, YHVH chastened Israel as a man his son;
1g) Deu 8:6-9, Remember YHVH and keep His commandments + abundant blessing;
central axis) Deu 8:10, “When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.”
2g) Deu 8:11-14, Do not forget YHVH by not keeping His commandments + abundant blessing;
2f) Deu 8:15a, Fiery serpents in the wilderness (chastening);
2e) Deu 8:15b, Provision in the wilderness: the water from the rock;
2d) Deu 8:16a, Manna which the fathers did not know;
2c) Deu 8:16b-17, Wilderness humbling and testing + what was in the heart;
2b) Deu 8:18a, Israel shall remember YHVH;
2a) Deu 8:18b, That He may establish His covenant with Israel.

Remembering YHVH God as our God (worshiping Him alone) means keeping His commandments, to Him. Look at the G pair: remember YHVH and keep His commandments; Do not forget YHVH by not keeping His commandments. The overall theme is the abundant blessing which Israel shall enjoy as the people of YHVH, when they have kept His commandments and in so doing remembered Him as their God.

Deu 8:19-20 p
1a) Deu 8:19a, If you forget the LORD your God;
1b) Deu 8:19b, You shall surely perish;
central axis) Deu 8:20a, The nations which the LORD destroys before you;
2b) Deu 8:20b, So you shall perish;
2a) Deu 8:20c, If you will not be obedient to the voice of the LORD your God.

Forgetting the LORD God is equated with not being obedient to His voice – His voice that thundered from Mt. Sinai, which the nation of Israel heard with their own ears (Deu 5). What He spoke, was the Ten Commandments. This is the only place in Scripture where the nation heard His voice audibly. Normally He speaks to His people through His prophets. Throughout the Old Testament, the phrase, “the voice of the LORD” is referring back to this instance when His voice spoke forth the Ten Commandments from Mt. Sinai. Not being obedient to the LORD’s voice, then, is a Hebraic idiom meaning not being obedient to His commandments.

The topic of these two strong paragraphs has to do with obedience to God’s commandments. Now previously we have seen:

Deu 7:12-16 {s} Obedience to YHVH’s commandments = life and blessing for Israel
Deu 7:17-26 {p} Disobedience to YHVH = death and destruction for the nations

Strong topic from Deu 7:12-26: Obedience to YHVH’s commandments means life and blessing; disobedience means death and destruction.

Deu 6:4-9 {s} Listen to YHVH’s commandments
Deu 6:10-15 {s} Pay careful heed to YHVH’s commandments
Deu 6:16-19 {s} Observe YHVH’s commandments
Deu 6:20-25 {s} Teach YHVH’s commandments to your children
Deu 7:1-11 {p} YHVH has set His love upon Israel

Strong topic from Deu 6:4-7:11: YHVH asks obedience to His commandments because He loves His people.

Obedience is the theme running through all of the paragraphs from Deu 6:4 to 8:20! This section of Scripture, remember, is explaining to us what it means to Worship YHVH Only and have no other gods before Him. In other words, Obedience to His commandments and to His voice, is central to fulfilling the command to worship YHVH only!

If we have not obeyed Him as we ought, or even if we have had a light and cavalier attitude toward obedience to Him, since Jesus has cleansed us of our sin by His blood, that is the first thing, as His people, we ought to turn from, because it is a wicked way that is defiling His people, which is bringing adversity upon us as a nation!

Continued: deuteronomy 9:1-29, the role of unbelief

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