Deuteronomy 11 Commentary

 


Moses on Mt Nebo (Deuteronomy 34:1+)
Listen to Mt Nebo as you Ponder How Moses' May Have Felt
Deuteronomy by Irving Jensen- used by permission
deut
Source: Ryrie Study Bible

Deuteronomy

Dt 1:1-4:43 Dt 4:44-26:19 Dt 27:1-34:12

Moses'
First
Discourse

Moses'
Second
Discourse

Moses'
Third
Discourse

Historical Review Legal
Exposition
Prophetical
Promises

Looking Back

40 Years

Looking Up
What God
Expected of Israel
Looking Ahead
What God
Will Do for Israel
Recapitulation of Wanderings Rehearsal
of Israel's Law
Ratification
of Israel's Covenant
Historical Appendices
Remembrance of the past Commandments
for the Present
Dt 27:1-30:20
Blessing and Cursing
Dt 31:1-34:12
Death of Moses
Take Heed
Don't forget
Ten
Commands
Related
Commands
Two Choices Affecting
the Future
Moses' Parting Words
Dt 1:1-4:43
Looking Back
Dt 4:44-11:32
Exposition of Decalogue
Dt 12:1-16:17
Ceremonial Laws
Dt 16:18-20:20
Civil
Laws
Dt 21:1-26:19
Social
Laws
Dt 27:1-28:68
Ratification of Covenant
Dt 29:1-30:20
Terms of Covenant
Dt 31:1-34:12
Moses' Song, Blessing, Death

Plains of Moab

ca. 2 Months
Moses: Author

(Except Dt 34)

Deuteronomy 11:1  "You shall therefore love the LORD your God, and always keep His charge, His statutes, His ordinances, and His commandments.

Related Passages:

Deuteronomy 6:5  “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Deuteronomy 10:12  “Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

Deuteronomy 30:16 in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it.

1 John 5:3+ For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

KEEP THE COMMANDS OF YAHWEH
ALL THE TIME - ALWAYS! 

Moses is issuing a call to commitment in Dt 11:1-10.

Always means at all times, invariably, forever, in any event, without exception, every time, continually, repeatedly, in any case, on every occasion. 

McIntosh points out that "The first twenty-five verses of the chapter alternate between commands to love God and reasons for doing so and Verse 1 could be invoked as a summary of the entire chapter." (Holman Old Testament Commentary)

Grant - This chapter continues the message of Moses to the people as they prepare to enter Canaan. It is the final part of the review of Israel's past with the lessons that ought to have been learned by the people. It has covered their victory over Egypt, the journeys through the wilderness, and the discipline of God along the way. The final lessons, never to be forgotten, are here placed before them so that there could be no excuse for falling again into the sins that had blighted the wilderness years. It is a sad fact of the lessons of the past can soon be forgotten. As time passes the reality of His hand in the circumstances of life due to the believer's sin may no longer be viewed as chastisement, a fact that was readily accepted at the time. It is blessing indeed always to remember what has been taught and determine never to err in the same manner again. (What the Bible Teaches – Leviticus and Deuteronomy)

Kalland - In this section the Exodus and desert experiences of Moses' audience are called to remembrance (notice the recurrence of the remembrance motif). The constant repetition of ideas, words, and phrases characterizes the messages of Deuteronomy. The repetition shows the intensity of the Lord's desire to remold his people to prepare them for the conquest and settlement of Canaan. By this repetition Moses attempted to plant firmly in the minds of the people the necessity of total allegiance to the Lord. Chapter 11 is markedly illustrative of this hammerlike repetitive style. The exhortations to love, remember, observe, worship (serve), obey, teach, and walk in the Lord's ways are all here. So also are the words used to describe the basic content of the messages as requirements, decrees, laws, commands, words, and symbols. Reference is made to what God did for them and how he did it by his majesty, his mighty hand, and his outstretched arm. If they would live and obey the Lord, he would drive out the nations then in Canaan, settle the Israelites in the land, and provide for them to their satisfaction; but if not, they would be destroyed.  (The Expositor's Bible Commentary – Volume 3: Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel)

Therefore - Most versions have this term of conclusion at the beginning of this verse. What is being concluded? One writer says "This verse is the practical improvement of the conclusion of the foregoing chapter; while the next verse begins another view of the subject." This also connects nicely with the previous requirement of Yahweh in Dt 10:12-13. In Dt 10:21-22 Moses has described how God had done "great and awesome things" and had multiplied Israel from "seventy" to "as numerous as the stars." Therefore...

ESV Study Bible on therefore - The command to love is grounded in God’s gracious rescue of Israel from Egypt (Dt 10:21-22).

You shall therefore love the LORD your God, and always keep NET Bible = You must love the LORD your God and do what he requires. Moses is saying that if you say you LOVE THE LORD, you will OBEY THE LORD. Lips and life must always match! Jesus reiterates “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." (Jn 14:15). Note that this love is not a feeling or an emotion but ultimately represents submission to the will of God manifest as obedience to the will of God.  Note Moses is not calling for sporadic obedience (gulp!) but "at all times" (NET), "all the days" (Young's Literal)

Guzik on love - God commanded Israel to love Him. Love is not a matter left entirely up to our impulse or our feelings. We choose to love the Lord or not. Additionally, this reminds us of what the Lord really wants from us – our love. We could give Him a hundred other things, but none of it really matters unless we give Him our love. As Jesus said to the Ephesian church in Rev 2:4+ ‘But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. (Deuteronomy 11)

Keep (careful, guard, kept, observe, watch) (08104shamar is a keyword in Dt 11:1, 8, 22, 32 (each time translated in Lxx - phulasso) He uses shamar once in Dt 11:16 in the command to "Beware" (Lxx here is prosecho - be on the look out) The word also means “to keep” in the sense of “watching over” or giving attention to. Shamar means “to keep” in the sense of “tending” and taking care of. The first use of shamar in Ge 2:15 is instructive as Adam was placed in the garden (a perfect environment) and was commanded to "keep" it which in the Septuagint is translated with phulasso (which is used to translate many of the OT uses of shamar) which means to guard like a military sentinel would at his post. Clearly Adam did not do a good job at "keeping" the garden safe from intruders!  Shamar in Deuteronomy - Deut. 2:4; Deut. 4:2; Deut. 4:6; Deut. 4:9; Deut. 4:15; Deut. 4:23; Deut. 4:40; Deut. 5:1; Deut. 5:10; Deut. 5:12; Deut. 5:29; Deut. 6:2; Deut. 6:3; Deut. 6:12; Deut. 6:17; Deut. 6:25; Deut. 7:8; Deut. 7:9; Deut. 7:11; Deut. 7:12; Deut. 8:1; Deut. 8:2; Deut. 8:6; Deut. 8:11; Deut. 10:13; Deut. 11:1; Deut. 11:8; Deut. 11:16; Deut. 11:22; Deut. 11:32; Deut. 12:1; Deut. 12:13; Deut. 12:19; Deut. 12:28; Deut. 12:30; Deut. 12:32; Deut. 13:4; Deut. 13:18; Deut. 15:9; Deut. 16:1; Deut. 16:12; Deut. 17:10; Deut. 19:9; Deut. 23:9; Deut. 23:23; Deut. 24:8; Deut. 26:16; Deut. 26:17; Deut. 26:18; Deut. 27:1; Deut. 28:1; Deut. 28:9; Deut. 28:45; Deut. 28:58; Deut. 29:9; Deut. 30:10; Deut. 30:16; Deut. 31:12; Deut. 33:9

Moses repeatedly emphasizes one cannot separate love from obedience -see  Dt 6:5-6; Dt 7:9; Dt 10:12-13; Dt 11:13, 22; Dt 19:9; Dt 30:6, 8, 16, 20).

Jack Deere - In Hebrew the command (ED: Actually not a command here but Qal Perfect) to love the LORD means to choose Him for one's most intimate relationship and then to express that choice in obedience to His revealed will. (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

His charge (see below), His statutes, His ordinances (mishpat/mispat), and His commandments  (mitsvah) (See Utley's Term's for God's Revelation) - This list of divine requirements if relatively complete (judgments and precepts are not in the list, but surely implied). The point is don't say you obey most of them and try to rationalize it is okay to disobey some of them. They are as we commonly say "a package deal." James would affirm this basic truth (Jas 2:10). 

Pulpit Commentary on His charge - His charge; what he has appointed to be observed and done (cf. Leviticus 8:35; Numbers 1:53); more fully explained by his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments. (Deuteronomy 11 Exposition )

Keil - In Dt 11:1-12 the other feature in the divine requirements (Deut 10:12), viz., love to the Lord their God, is still more fully developed. Love was to show itself in the distinct perception of what had to be observed towards Jehovah (to "keep His charge," see at Lev 8:35), i.e., in the perpetual observance of His commandments and rights. The words, "and His statutes," etc., serve to explain the general notion, "His charge."   (Deuteronomy 11)

Statutes (chuqqah) in Deuteronomy - Deut. 6:2; Deut. 8:11; Deut. 10:13; Deut. 11:1; Deut. 28:15; Deut. 28:45; Deut. 30:10; Deut. 30:16;  Statutes are the ordinances that have to be obeyed, commandments with the authority of the Lord behind the and judgments to be honoured representing the declaration of the mind of God on issues.

Charge (duty, guard, keep, obligation)(04931mishmereth from shamar = to watch, guard, protect, observe, keep) a guard, watch, charge, function, duty. There are two main meanings - (1) an obligation or service to be performed (2) having to do with something that is to be kept or preserved (the Passover lamb = "you shall keep it"  Ex 12:6, manna = "to be kept" Ex 16:32-34; ashes of red heifer = "shall keep" = Nu 19:9) In several instances, it is used of a guard post (Isa. 21:8; Hab. 2:1). The idea of obedience (i.e., keeping the commandments) is often depicted, which leads to a translation of charge (Ge 26:5; Dt. 11:1; Zech. 3:7) or duty (Nu 3:7; 9:23; 2 Chr 8:14).

Grant says that charge "has the sense of keeping that which has to be guarded. What they have been given and that which is yet to be received must be guarded with a view to practising it. Nothing has to be added to it and from it nothing has to be taken away. (What the Bible Teaches – Leviticus and Deuteronomy)

NET Note - This collocation of technical terms for elements of the covenant text lends support to its importance and also signals a new section of paraenesis in which Moses will exhort Israel to covenant obedience. The Hebrew term מִשְׁמָרוֹת (mishmarot, “obligations”) sums up the three terms that follow—חֻקֹּת (khuqot), מִשְׁפָּטִים (mishppatim), and מִצְוֹת (mitsot).

Deuteronomy 11:2  "Know this day that I am not speaking with your sons who have not known and who have not seen the discipline of the LORD your God--His greatness, His mighty hand and His outstretched arm,

  • know: De 8:19 29:10 Pr 22:19 Ac 26:22 
  • the discipline of the LORD your God De 8:2-5 
  • his greatness: De 5:24 9:26 
  • his mighty: De 7:19 
  • Deuteronomy 11 Resources

Related Passage: 

Deuteronomy 8:2-5+ “You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 “He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD. 4 “Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. 5 Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.

APPEAL TO EYEWITNESSES
SECOND GENERATION ADULTS

Know (yada) intimately and by experience. Take note. Lay it to heart. Ponder. (NRSV, NIV - remember - Lxx has = ginosko know by experience). They could not plead ignorance! They knew the things Moses now recounts, and so the NIV is probably not a bad translation calling on them to remember. Most of our Christian experience (mine for sure) is remembering truth that I forgot! Moses puts this in front of the second generation adults so that they will have no excuse for repeating the sins of the first generation fathers! This reminds me of the old show I used to watch as kid "West Point" and one thing I still remember over 60 years later -- whenever the cadet was confronted about a misstep (real or perceived) his answer was always the same "No excuse sir!

Keil - To awaken this love (in Dt 11:1) they were now to know, i.e., to ponder and lay to heart, the discipline of the Lord their God. Moses would impress his words most strongly upon the hearts of the older generation, which had witnessed the acts of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 11)

Deere - All of Israel's history had been guided by the Lord for the purpose of motivating them to love Him unreservedly. (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

This day that I am not speaking with your sons who have not known and who have not seen the discipline (chastisement) of the LORD your God--His greatness (magnificence), His mighty hand and His outstretched arm (see Anthropomorphic Language used for God’s power Dt 4:34; 5:15; 6:21; 9:29) - The phrase not speaking with your sons indicates Moses is making a distinction between the adults (those who had been less than 20 and were not killed but were now 38 years older after the wilderness time) and the children in this group (children born in the wilderness) of second generation Israelites. Those who were now adults had witnessed the deliverance from Egypt and the subsequent discipline of Israel in their wilderness wanderings. In Dt 11:7 he says it was their "own eyes" that had "seen all the great work of the LORD which He did." In Dt 11:19 Moses says the adults must teach these things to their sons. 

Merrill on not speaking with your sons who have not known and who have not seen- These people must first be challenged because they have the advantage of learning from history. It was they who made up the leadership of their time and had the task of transmitting God's requirements to the generation to come (ED: THE THIRD GENERATION). (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary)

Moses earlier had described discipline (see passage above - see for example the use of this Hebrew word in Pr 6:23) of Israel who was like a little child who need to be guided and instructed in how to life (Lxx = paideia = child rearing which includes both correction and instruction). 

Deere explains that "The discipline of the Lord refers to God's moral education of His people. Because of the waywardness of the human heart, diligent and drastic measures were needed to quell that waywardness. So God sent Israel "to school" in Egypt so that she might learn of His majesty and power (mighty hand and outstretched arm; cf. Dt 4:34; 5:15; 7:19) and respond with grateful obedience for her deliverance from Pharaoh. (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Mighty hand - Exod. 32:11; Deut. 4:34; Deut. 5:15; Deut. 6:21; Deut. 7:8; Deut. 7:19; Deut. 9:26; Deut. 11:2; Deut. 26:8; 1 Ki. 8:42; 2 Chr. 6:32; Ezek. 20:33; Ezek. 20:34; Dan. 9:15; 1 Pet. 5:6

Outstretched Arm - Exod. 6:6; Deut. 4:34; Deut. 5:15; Deut. 7:19; Deut. 9:29; Deut. 11:2; Deut. 26:8; 1 Ki. 8:42; 2 Ki. 17:36; 2 Chr. 6:32; Ps. 136:12; Jer. 27:5; Jer. 32:17; Jer. 32:21; Ezek. 20:33; Ezek. 20:3 The “outstretched arm” is a metaphor that was used by the Egyptian Pharaohs for the extension of their power and authority. (The IVP Bible Background Commentary – OT)

HIS MIGHTY HAND
I am saved from sin, I have peace within,
And I walk with Jesus day by day;
O His hand so strong, holds me all day long,
And with Him I will not go astray.

Refrain

He will hold me with His mighty hand!
He will hold me with His mighty hand!
In temptation He will help me stand!
For He will hold me with His mighty hand.

Many passed me by, heeding not my cry,
But the Savior heard and rescued me;
I was lost and blind, Jesus was so kind,
Lo, He touched my eyes and now I see.

Refrain

There’s a promise sure, and it shall endure,
Lo, I will be with thee all the way;
And though foes assail, I shall still prevail,
For I know He helps me watch and pray.

Refrain

There is sweeter peace, there is perfect peace,
And my Father’s Word is wondrous dear;
There is mighty pow’r, for each trying hour,
There is love that casteth out all fear!

Refrain

TSK suggests that "Moses seems here to have addressed himself particularly to the elders, who had in their youth witnessed the wonderful works which Jehovah had wrought both for them and among them; and who were bound to remember them for their own warning, and testify them to the rising generation who had not been eye-witnesses."

Discipline (instruction) (04148) musar from yasar = to discipline, chasten, admonish) refers to discipline, chastening, correction. Musar is a wisdom term used most often in Proverbs. God's chastening is always for purposes of instruction, and should not be ignored or resented. (Job 5:17 cp Job 42:2). Solomon instructs us "My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof." (Pr 3:11) One of major purposes of wisdom literature is to teach wisdom and instruction (musar) (Pr 1:2) Isaiah describes the divine chastisement poured out on the Suffering Messiah (Isa 53:5).

Musar - 50v - chastening(3), chastise(1), correction(3), discipline(18), disciplines(1), instruction(20), punishment(2), reproof(1), warning(1). Deut. 11:2; Job 5:17; Job 20:3; Job 33:16; Job 36:10; Ps. 50:17; Prov. 1:2; Prov. 1:3; Prov. 1:7; Prov. 1:8; Prov. 3:11; Prov. 4:1; Prov. 4:13; Prov. 5:12; Prov. 5:23; Prov. 6:23; Prov. 7:22; Prov. 8:10; Prov. 8:33; Prov. 10:17; Prov. 12:1; Prov. 13:1; Prov. 13:18; Prov. 13:24; Prov. 15:5; Prov. 15:10; Prov. 15:32; Prov. 15:33; Prov. 16:22; Prov. 19:20; Prov. 19:27; Prov. 22:15; Prov. 23:12; Prov. 23:13; Prov. 23:23; Prov. 24:32; Isa. 26:16; Isa. 53:5; Jer. 2:30; Jer. 5:3; Jer. 7:28; Jer. 10:8; Jer. 17:23; Jer. 30:14; Jer. 32:33; Jer. 35:13; Ezek. 5:15; Hos. 5:2; Zeph. 3:2; Zeph. 3:7

Related Resources:

PASS IT ON!

The question arises "Dd the elder members of the second generation listen to Moses' words?" And I think for the most part the answer is yes (with one major omission discussed below). We read a good summation of the second generation in Josh 24:31 

 Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders (THESE WOULD BE THE SECOND GENERATION WHO ARE BEING ADDRESSED BY MOSES) who survived Joshua, and had known all the deeds of the LORD which He had done for Israel. 

But either the second generation failed to tell the third generation of the mighty hand of God or perhaps they were told and simply it faded from their memory over time. Recall there was no successor to Joshua who could warn and exhort like Moses did. And so the third generation did not know the past mighty intervention of Yahweh and in Judges 2 we read of this tragic transition from the second to the third generation...

Then Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of one hundred and ten. 9 And they buried him in the territory of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash 10 All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; (THESE WOULD BE THE SECOND GENERATION WHO HAD CROSSED OVER LED BY JOSHUA) and there arose another generation (THIRD GENERATION) after them who (1) did not know the LORD, (2) nor yet the work which He had done for Israel. 11 Then (CRITICAL EXPRESSION OF TIME IN THIS CONTEXT) the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals, 12 and they forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, Who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked the LORD to anger. 13 So they forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtaroth. 14 The anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and He gave them into the hands of plunderers who plundered them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies around them, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. 15 Wherever they went, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had spoken and as the LORD had sworn to them, so that they were severely distressed.  16 Then the LORD raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them. 17 Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed themselves down to them. They turned aside quickly from the way in which their fathers had walked in obeying the commandments of the LORD; they did not do as their fathers. (Judges 2:8-17)

In conclusion within only one generation Israel forsook Yahweh and sought the false gods of the land! Why? Because they (1) did not know God or (2) His mighty deeds in behalf of Israel. This is why it is critical to pass the baton to the next generation, making disciples who will be faithful to make disciples (Mt 28:19+, cf 2 Ti 2:2+). The application is PASS IT ON! 

Deuteronomy 11:3  and His signs and His works which He did in the midst of Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt and to all his land;

  •  Dt 4:34 Dt 7:19 Ps 78:12-13 Ps 105:27-45 Ps 135:9 Jer 32:20,21 

Related Passages:

Deuteronomy 7:17-19   If you should say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I; how can I dispossess them?’ 18you shall not be afraid of them; you shall well remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt:  19 the great trials which your eyes saw and the signs and the wonders and the mighty hand and the outstretched arm by which the LORD your God brought you out. So shall the LORD your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.

Psalm 78:12-13 He wrought wonders before their fathers In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.  13He divided the sea and caused them to pass through, And He made the waters stand up like a heap. 

EXAMPLE OF HIS MIGHTY HAND
AND OUTSTRETCHED ARM

and His signs (10 plaques) and His works which He did in the midst of Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt and to all his land - It was through these events that the mighty hand and outstretched arm of Jehovah had been "seen" by the adults now listening to Moses. In other words these events were not "second hand" from their parents who died in the wilderness but had witnessed these events with their own eyes. In the context of this section that begins with love and obey, this first hand experience made them responsible to pay heed to God's Words and to obey them faithfully as they entered the promised land. It is notable that God told Moses to lift up his staff and stretch out his hand over the Red Sea (Ex 14:6, 26) resulting in the destruction of the Egyptian army. 

Guzik makes an interesting observation of what He did - Moses called Israel to remember what God did in their history. i. Most of history – both official and personal – is simply concerned with what man has done. But God wants us to look at history and see what He did. We learn far more, and are far more benefited, by looking at what God has done, rather than looking at what man has done. -- (Deuteronomy 11)

Note the phrase HE DID (YAHWEH DID) five times in this chapter, all in this "history (HIS-story) review lesson" -- Dt 11:3, Dt 11:4, Dt 11:5, Deu 11:6, Dt 11:7

Deuteronomy 11:4  and what He did to Egypt's army, to its horses and its chariots, when He made the water of the Red Sea to engulf them while they were pursuing you, and the LORD completely destroyed them;

Related Passages:

Exodus 14:23-31+ Then the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea. 24 At the morning watch, the LORD looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion. 25 He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from Israel, for the LORD is fighting for them against the Egyptians.”  26 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal state at daybreak, while the Egyptians were fleeing right into it; then the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh’s entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained. 29 But the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.  30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 When Israel saw the great power which the LORD had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in His servant Moses.

Exodus 15:4; 9; 10; 19+  “Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; And the choicest of his officers are drowned in the Red Sea.....9 “The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; My desire shall be gratified against them; I will draw out my sword, my hand will destroy them.’ 10 “You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; They sank like lead in the mighty waters...19 For the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, and the LORD brought back the waters of the sea on them, but the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea. 

and what He did to Egypt's army, to its horses and its chariots, when He made the water of the Red Sea to engulf them while they were pursuing you, and the LORD completely destroyed them - Engulf is a great word picture as it literally means "flow over their faces" an idiom for drowning! (Septuagint = "overwhelm the face of them") See description of the miraculous deliverance and judgement of Jehovah. These events should have motivated Israel's first generation to love and obey Jehovah but sadly proved not to be the case.

Great deliverance should motivate great love.

One is reminded of the event in Luke 7:37-44 when a woman "who was a sinner" approached Jesus reclining at the table took the precious perfume from the alabaster vial and anointed His feet wiping them with her hair and kissing His feet. Jesus then went on to use the woman as an illustration of love

Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 “You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. 46“You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. 47 “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”(Lk 7:44-47+)

Deuteronomy 11:5  and what He did to you in the wilderness until you came to this place;

Related Passage:

Psalm 77:20  You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron.

ISRAEL'S DISCIPLINE IN
THE WILDERNESS SCHOOL

 and what He did to you in the wilderness until you came to this place - He guided them and He fed and watered them and He assured their shoes would not wear out. He was Israel's all in all. What more could they ask for (How about us beloved? If we have Christ, are we content?) This place would be the place of Moses' "sermon" on the plains of Moab opposite Jericho. 

Deuteronomy 11:6  and what He did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben, when the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, their households, their tents, and every living thing that followed them, among all Israel--

Related Resources:

Numbers 16:1-3+  Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took action, 2 and they rose up before Moses, together with some of the sons of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, chosen in the assembly, men of renown. 3 They assembled together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You have gone far enough, for all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is in their midst; so why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?” 

Numbers 16:31-33+ As he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open; 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions. 33 So they and all that belonged to them went down alive to Sheol; and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.

Numbers 26:9-11+ The sons of Eliab: Nemuel and Dathan and Abiram. These are the Dathan and Abiram who were called by the congregation, who contended against Moses and against Aaron in the company of Korah, when they contended against the LORD, 10 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up along with Korah, when that company died, when the fire devoured 25 0 men, so that they became a warning. 11 The sons of Korah, however, did not die. 

Ps. 106:16–18. When they became envious of Moses in the camp, And of Aaron, the holy one of the LORD,  17 The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, And engulfed the company of Abiram.  18 And a fire blazed up in their company; The flame consumed the wicked. 


God Opened the Grave!

DESTRUCTION DUE
TO KORAH'S REBELLION

and what He did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben, when the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, their households, their tents, and every living thing that followed them, among all Israel - Dathan and Abiram were co-conspirators in the rebellion headed up by Korah. See the rebellion of Korah?

Keil on why no mention of Korah the head of the rebellion suggests, "from regard to his sons, who were not swallowed up by the earth along with their father, but had lived to perpetuate the family of Korah;"  (Deuteronomy 11)

Grant makes an interesting point - The incident, found in Numbers 16, is the only historical event recorded between the refusal to enter the Land (Num 13-14) and the re-commencement of the journey (Num 20:1). It is a sad fact that the only record of thirty-eight years was one of rebellion. The point at issue was the leadership of Moses and Aaron, but behind this the rebels sought the priesthood (Num 16:10). This struck at the heart of the relationship which the Lord desired. It was His wish to dwell amongst His people and enjoy them. The priesthood as it was ordered of the Lord was vital for this.(What the Bible Teaches – Leviticus and Deuteronomy)

Deuteronomy 11:7  but your own eyes have seen all the great work of the LORD which He did.

  •  De 5:3 7:19 Ps 106:2 145:4-6,12 150:2 

Deuteronomy 11 ResourcesADULTS OF SECOND GENERATION
WERE EYE WITNESSES

But your own eyes have seen all the great work of the LORD which He did - Here Moses gives the reason for the charge in Dt 11:2 to "know this day...." They had seen it and had no excuse not to know. 

Deere - Moses exhorted the people to learn from their past, for God had constructed their history with a didactic purpose. The stress on your own eyes and the double mention of the children not seeing the events of this period (Deut. 11:2, 5) hint at the parents' responsibility to set an example of obedient living for their children and to pass on the truths learned from these experiences. (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

McIntosh - God operates on the principle that spiritual privilege creates spiritual obligation: "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked" (Luke 12:48). Knowing his power and faithfulness so directly ought to encourage them to live faithfully before him and trust him for their needs.At the very least, what they saw should keep them far from any form of rebellion....The point of this dramatic act of discipline was to produce a godly fear in the hearts of those whose eyes saw all these great things.  (Holman Old Testament Commentary)

POSB - It was you who were saved by God from Egypt, from its bondage and enslavement. It was you who personally saw the terrible judgment of God against the Egyptians. It was you who witnessed His power in destroying their pursuing army in the Red Sea. It was you who personally experienced God's guidance through the wilderness wanderings. Moreover, you witnessed the power of God's judgment against sinners and rebels when He caused an earthquake to swallow the followers of Dathan and Abiram. You have personally experienced the discipline or chastisement of God. You have personally witnessed God's majesty, His mighty hand, His outstretched arm, His awesome power. Remember what you have experienced; love and obey God. This is what the Lord God requires of you. (Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible – Deuteronomy)

THOUGHT -  What does the Lord God require of us? That we love and obey Him and that we remember what we have experienced with Him. Remembering the past will stir us to love and obey God. Just think for a moment:  God has saved us from Egypt, that is, from the world with all its enslavements and bondages: saved us from sin, condemnation, and hell to come. God has marvelously saved us.  God guides us day by day through the wilderness wanderings of this world, giving us a victorious life. He empowers us to conquer all the enemies—all the trials and temptations of life—that attempt to destroy us and to keep us out of the promised land of heaven.  God disciplines or chastises us, corrects us when we need it in order to keep us from injuring ourselves or damaging our testimony. God has done so much for us that we owe Him our allegiance. We must, therefore, love and obey Him. And we must remember the past, all the wonderful things He has done for us. Remembering the past will encourage us to love and obey Him. (POSB)

Deuteronomy 11:8  "You shall therefore keep every commandment which I am commanding you today, so that you may be strong and go in and possess the land into which you are about to cross to possess it;

  • Therefore: De 8:10,11 Dt 10:12-15 Dt 26:16-19 Dt 28:47 Ps 116:12-16 
  • so that you may: De 31:23 Jos 1:6,7 Ps 138:3 Isa 40:31 Da 10:19 2Co 12:9,10 Eph 3:16 6:10 Php 4:13 Col 1:11 
  • Deuteronomy 11 Resources

Related Passages:

Deuteronomy 6:1-3+ “Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, 2 so that (PURPOSE) you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. 3“O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that (PURPOSE) it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. 

Deuteronomy 8:10-11+   “When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you. 11 “Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today;

Deuteronomy 10:12-15+ “Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the LORD’S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good? 

Deuteronomy 31:23  Then He commissioned Joshua the son of Nun, and said, “Be strong (chazaq) and courageous, for you shall bring the sons of Israel into the land which I swore to them, and I will be with you.” 

Joshua 1:6; 7  “Be strong (chazaq) and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 “Only be strong (chazaq) and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.

OBEDIENCE IS THE KEY TO
POSSESSING PROMISED POSSESSIONS

You shall therefore - Moses is building on what he has just said in the previous section about what the older generation had seen (Dt 11:7 - describing the events of Dt 11:3-6). Now based on that truth, they should be motivate or energized to obey. 

Guzik - Remembering what God did in history (HIS-story) should lead Israel to greater obedience, and enable them to take the Promised Land.  (Deuteronomy 11)

Utley - “therefore” This refers to all preceding historical allusions of chapter 11 or possibly even farther back. Much of Deuteronomy, up to this point, has rehearsed again and again the same admonitions. (Deuteronomy 11 Commentary)

Keep (shamar; Lxx = phulasso = watch, guard, defend, keep under watch so as to keep) every commandment which I am commanding you today - Motivated by what you have witnessed. Keep is in the perfect tense meaning begin to keep with this being one's ongoing act. 

POSB - Moses knew that obedience was an absolute essential in order for God's people to live full and victorious lives. Above all else, victory was dependent upon obedience. No believer would ever be allowed to live in the land of God unless he obeyed God. For this reason, Moses exhorted the people to keep all the commandments of God. (Preacher's Outline & Sermon Bible – Deuteronomy)

Deere - Moses wanted the people to draw an important conclusion from his brief review of their history (vv. 1-7). Since God had designed Israel's past experiences to bring about her moral education, it should have been plain to the nation that their experiencing the Lord's grace or judgment depended on their moral behavior. (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

So that - Purpose clause. A good purpose links with good obedience! 

You may be strong (chazaq) and go in and possess (yarash) the land into which you are about to cross to possess  (yarash) it -  In short Moses' message is obey the LORD and possess His land. Today for believers it is obey the LORD and possess His life! (see Jn 14:21). Israel's military strength was predicated on her moral submission (aka obedience to Yahweh's the Commander in Chief's "orders" for life).

THOUGHT- A believer's spiritual strength is related to his or her degree of obedience. If we frequently disobey, we need to understand we sap our spiritual strength! And ultimately if the Spirit is the Source of supernatural power (which He is), we must be diligent to continually be filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18+), continually walk by the Spirit (Gal 5:16+), continually refrain from quenching Him (1 Th 5:19+) or grieving Him (Eph 4:30+). Continually work out your salvation (progressive sanctification) trusting in and relying on the Spirit to continually energize you giving you the desire and power to walk in a manner pleasing to your Father (Php 2:12+, Php 2:13NLT+). It's really not complicated, but it is mandatory to be strong in the Lord and the strength of His might to fight the daily spiritual struggles we all face and to enable us to possess our promised possessions (Eph 1:3+, 2 Pe 1:3-4+). Unconfessed sin is the greatest impediment to His power. Confess and repent frequently! (1 Jn 1:9+ Pr 28:13+). One cannot help but recall Samson a man of great physical strength but weak character (lacking self-control) which resulted in loss of his strength and bondage to his adversaries (until the last moments of his life).  What should we learn from the account of Samson and Delilah? | GotQuestions.org

The land occurs 10x in 9v in Dt 11 so clearly is a key phrase. Deut. 11:8; Deut. 11:9; Deut. 11:10; Deut. 11:11; Deut. 11:21; Deut. 11:25; Deut. 11:29; Deut. 11:30; Deut. 11:31.

THOUGHT - The combination of the land and possess or possession if found over 40 - this is God's great desire for Israel Deu 1:8 Deu 1:21 Deu 2:31 Deu 3:12 Deu 3:18 Deu 3:20  Deu 4:1 Deu 4:5 Deu 4:14 Deu 4:22 Deu 4:26 Deu 4:47 Deu 5:31 Deu 5:33 Deu 6:1 Deu 6:18 Deu 7:1 Deu 8:1 Deu 9:4 Deu 9:5 Deu 9:6 Deu 9:23 Deu 10:11 Deu 11:8 Deu 11:10 Deu 11:11 Deu 11:29 Deu 11:31 Deu 12:1 Deu 15:4 Deu 16:20 Deu 17:14 Deu 19:2 Deu 19:3 Deu 19:14 Deu 21:1 Deu 23:20 Deu 25:19 Deu 26:1 Deu 28:21 Deu 28:63 Deu 30:5 Deu 30:16 Deu 30:18 Deu 31:13 Deu 32:47 Deu 32:49

Deuteronomy 11:9  so that you may prolong your days on the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give to them and to their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.

  •  prolong: De 4:40 5:16 6:2 Ps 34:12-22 Pr 3:2,16 9:11 10:27 
  • swore: De 6:18 9:5 
  • a land: Ex 3:8 Eze 20:6 
  • Deuteronomy 11 Resources

Related Passages:

Deuteronomy 4:40 “So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am giving you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may live long on the land which the LORD your God is giving you for all time.” 

Deuteronomy 5:16 ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you. 

Deuteronomy 6:2 so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.

Deuteronomy 25:15 “You shall have a full and just weight; you shall have a full and just measure, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.

Deuteronomy 32:47 “For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life. And by this word you will prolong your days in the land, which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.” 

HOW TO CONTINUE TO
POSSESS THE PROMISED LAND

So that - Purpose clause. A second purpose is linked to obedience. 

You may prolong your days on the land which the LORD swore to your fathers (Abrahamic Covenant) to give to them and to their descendants (Ge 13:15, 17, 17:8, 24:7, 26:3-4, 28:4, 13, 35:12), a land flowing with milk and honey - Prolong your days speaks of a long, good life personally, but more to the point in this context to a long life (survival) in the land for the entire nation of Israel. Moses emphasizes the land was God's promise, but prolongation in the place of promise was not guaranteed if one disobeyed. On the positive side it was a good land and this truth should serve to energize and obey a desire to obey that they might prolong their days in the good land. Preservation of the land was less related to their military prowess than to their moral behavior. 


Utley- COVENANT PROMISES TO PATRIARCHS

This initial promise of a special covenant relationship was made to

  1. Abraham, Gen. 12:1-3
    1. land, Gen. 12:1,7; 13:4-15; 15:18-21 (i.e., Canaan, Gen. 15:12-21)
    2. people, Gen. 12:2, 13:16; 15:4-5; 17:2-6; 22:18 (see full list on imagery at Gen. 13:16)
    3. blessing to the world, Gen. 12:3, 18:18; 22:18 
  2. Isaac, Gen. 26:2-4
    1. land
    2. people
    3. blessing to the world
  3. Jacob, Gen. 28:2-4,13; 35:9-12; 48:3-4
    1. land
    2. people
  4. the nation of Israel (a land), Exod. 3:8,17; 6:8; 13:5; 33:1-3; Deut. 1:7-8,35; 4:31; 9:3; 11:25; 31:7; Josh. 1:2,3,6,11,13,15; 2:9,24; 18:3; 21:43; 24:13

Just an added thought. This land promise was conditional on the individual tribes occupying their allotments. They must

  1. take it militarily
  2. settle it
  3. maintain covenant faithfulness (cf. Deut. 4:40; 7:12-13; 8:1-20)

Deuteronomy 11:10  "For the land, into which you are entering to possess it, is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you used to sow your seed and water it with your foot like a vegetable garden.

Related Passages:

Deuteronomy 6:10-11 “Then it shall come about when the LORD your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, 11and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied,

Deuteronomy 8:8-10 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; 9a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10“When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you. 

THE PROMISED LAND
NOT LIKE EGYPT

Deere has an interesting observation that "Mentioning the contrasts between the Promised Land and Egypt might have been prompted by the reference to Dathan and Abiram (Dt 11:6). These men had referred to Egypt as "a land flowing with milk and honey" and complained that Moses had not given them anything better (Nu 16:12-14). (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

For the land, into which you are entering to possess it, is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you used to sow your seed and water it with your foot like a vegetable garden - Only some of the land of Egypt could be cultivated and it was labor intensive. The point is that this truth should motivate the second generation to enter and possess. The promised land Yahweh was giving His people was highly desirable and far superior to the arid land of Egypt they had left behind.

Water it with your foot - Rain seldom falls in Egypt; the land being chiefly watered by the flooding of the Nile.  In order to water the grounds where the flood did not extend, water was collected in ponds, and directed in canals in the ground to the different parts of the field providing necessary irrigation.  It is no unusual thing in the East to see a man use a small digging tool to make a trench for water to run into and, as he opens the passage, the water following, he uses his foot to raise up the mold against the side of this little channel, to prevent the water from spilling out before it reaches the place of its destination.  This is the idea of watering the ground with one's foot.

Grant - Egypt required a complex scheme of irrigation ditches, sluice gates, and pumps. It was necessary to tend and maintain this elaborate system, else the land would not provide the necessary crops. All this needed planning and engineering skills. The operation of it was heavily labour intensive. What a contrast was the Land provided by the Lord! (What the Bible Teaches – Leviticus and Deuteronomy)

Kalland - There is no archaeological evidence from this period of an apparatus for irrigation that was foot-operated. However, one would expect that an Egyptian would use his feet to clear a channel for the flow of water to where he wanted it in his garden. Irrigation by foot may also simply mean carrying buckets of water from the source of the water to the field: that is moving it on foot. The Torah translates this clause in v.10 as "watered by your own labors," which at least focuses the meaning in the right direction. In Egypt water for growing grains, vegetables, and fruits depended on the people's labors.  (The Expositor's Bible Commentary – Volume 3: Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel)

NET Note - Heb “with your foot” (so NASB, NLT). There is a two-fold significance to this phrase. First, Egypt had no rain so water supply depended on human efforts at irrigation. Second, the Nile was the source of irrigation waters but those waters sometimes had to be pumped into fields and gardens by foot-power, perhaps the kind of machinery (Arabic shaduf) still used by Egyptian farmers (see C. Aldred, The Egyptians, 181). Nevertheless, the translation uses “by hand,” since that expression is the more common English idiom for an activity performed by manual labor.

McGee - When I was in Egypt I was told that the rainfall there is less than one inch a year. Now that is not much rainfall! I've been to a place in the Hawaiian Islands where the rainfall is over 100 inches a year. That is quite a difference. Obviously, Egypt was dependent upon irrigation. (Deuteronomy 11 Mp3's)


Ray Stedman (Point of No Return - Sermon on Dt 11:10ff) (He applies the truth of Israel on the verge of entering the promised land to believers at the beginning of a new year) - Now I am perfectly aware that the Bible uses this land of Canaan as a symbolic description for us of the Spirit-filled life, the land of promise in which God expects his people to live. But to the degree that every passing year is a mirror of our whole life, this land is also symbolic of the new year to us. The first noteworthy thing about this land is that it is a land that needs to be possessed. There are many blessings but they need to be laid hold of, they need to be captured. Israel could have walked through the land of promise and seen it from end to end, but never once lived in it, never taken up residence there. And it is possible to drift through an entire year and never live in it. Life is built like that in so many ways. Time is not the only factor in living. There must also be an intelligent application of knowledge before the passing of time can be called living. There are many persons who are living in marriage, but they do not possess the joys of partnership because they are unwilling to put forth the effort in terms of courtesy, love, and thoughtfulness. There is many a student who is simply passing through his courses, but his courses are not passing through him, because he is unwilling to possess them through diligence and application. There are many who live near the land of health but who are unable to possess it because they will not accept certain forms of discipline or give up certain habits.

I will suggest quickly three things about how to possess these possibilities. I only summarize that which we have mentioned many other times:

(1) Possession must begin first with a desire to possess. If you are content with what you are today, then you will never be any better than you are now; you may become worse. Contentment with what you are has a way of deteriorating ultimately into being very distressed with what you are. If you have no urgent desire to lay hold of more, my counsel to you, as we are standing at the verge of a new year, is, pray that God will awaken in you a hunger and a thirst. Jesus said, "He that hungers and thirsts after righteousness shall be filled," {cf, Matt 5:6}. That is the first thing.

(2) Then, you must understand the principles involved in possessing the great heritage of promise. Possessing what God has to give never comes by uncrucified self-effort, religious activity, or pious deeds. Possession comes by learning to act on the basis of a fact already true! Have you learned that yet? The possession of God's blessing is not something God does when we ask for it, but, rather, faith lays hold of what already is in Jesus Christ. If you do not know what that means, then my counsel to you is, study this great principle, study these things until you understand them. There will be no truth you will ever learn that will be more vital, more transforming, more important than to learn that simple truth in experience.

(3) Then the third thing about possessing is that you must apply these principles in the present moment. Unfortunately, there are some here who well understand the principles of victory but who do not enjoy them in experience because they do not apply them in the moment in which they live, the present moment. Do not wait to begin tomorrow. Do not wait until New Year's Day. We always think that it is possible to obey God in some other situation, but not in the one in which we are right now. If we were in some other circumstance then we could do what God wants, but not now. We want to wait until after lunch, or next evening, or next week, or next month. Or else we feel that it is too late -- that the hour has passed us by, that we have gone too far down the road, that we have already entrenched ourselves in habits of thought -- that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks. " But this is the way of defeat. We must learn to live in the present tense, for, instead, we live either in the past tense, or in the future tense.

As Major Ian Thomas says, "We say 'Ebenezer, hitherto hath the Lord helped me,' or 'Maranatha, the Lord cometh,' but what we need to discover is the glory of the forgotten tense, the present tense, that God is the eternal 'I am,' the eternal present tense, and that He is adequate for every human need right now."

When we apply that, then we will discover that we are possessing what God has for us to possess. Someone has said, "Life by the yard is hard; by the inch it's a cinch." Try that in the new year.


Point Of No Return

The eyes of the Lord your God are always on [the land], from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year. —Deuteronomy 11:12

Today's Scripture: Deuteronomy 11:7-12

Longtime California pastor Ray Stedman once told his congregation: “On New Year’s Eve we realize more than at any other time in our lives that we can never go back in time. . . . We can look back and remember, but we cannot retrace a single moment of the year that is past.”

Stedman then referred to the Israelites as they stood on the edge of a new opportunity. After four decades of desert wanderings by their people, this new generation may have wondered if they had the faith and fortitude to possess the Promised Land.

Their leader, Moses, reminded them that they had seen “every great act of the Lord which He did” (Deut. 11:7) and that their destination was “a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year” (v.12).

On New Year’s Eve, we may fear the future because of events in the past. But we need not remain chained to our old memories because we can move ahead focused on God. Just as the Lord watched over the land and His people, so His eyes will be upon us.

God’s faithful care will extend to every day of the new year. We can count on that promise. By:  David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

God holds the future in His hands
With grace sufficient day by day;
Through good or ill He gently leads,
If we but let Him have His way.
—Rohrs

The “what” of our future is determined by the “Who” of eternity.


C H Spurgeon - Canaan on earth Deuteronomy 11:10–12

We have come now, beloved, to the end of another year—to the threshold of another period of time, and have marched another year’s journey through the wilderness. Come, now! In reading this verse over, can you say Amen to it? “The eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon you, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.” Some of you say, “I have had deep troubles this year.” “I have lost a friend,” says one. “Ah!” says another, “I have been impoverished this year.” “I have been slandered”, cries another. “I have been exceedingly vexed and grieved”, says another. “I have been persecuted,” says another. Well, beloved, take the year altogether—the ups and the downs, the troubles and the joys, the hills and the valleys altogether, and what have you to say about it? You may say, “Surely goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Do not pick out one day in the year, and say it was a bad day, but take all the year round, let it revolve in all its grandeur. Judge between things that differ; and then what will you say? “Ah! Bless the Lord! He hath done all things well; my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!” And you know why all things have been well. It is because the eyes of the Lord have been upon you all the year.


James Smith - Handfuls of Purpose - THE BLESSED POSSESSION Deuteronomy 11:10–17

    “Wilt thou, O Lord, me holier make?
      Wilt Thou, O Lord, me holier keep?
    The power of sin within me break,
      Behold me as I troubled weep.
    Lord, I go dimly, give me light,
      That I may not unworthy prove;
    Shield me, O shield with gentle might,
      In the long patience of Thy love.
    Purge and repurge me all within,
      In thought and word, desire and deed;
    Fain would I final conquest win,
      Help me, as Thou for me didst bleed.”

If the Lord cared for the land given to His people for a possession so much that His eyes were always upon it, “from the beginning of the year, even unto the end of the year,” surely His caretaking eye will always be upon His own inheritance and “peculiar treasure,” purchased by the blood of His own Son. Oh, how much this possession needs to “drink the rain from Heaven,” and to be cleansed and purged by the power of His own presence. How often this holy land gets defiled. Observe here—

I. A Wonderful Assurance. Concerning the inheritance reserved for them in Canaan they are assured that—

1. IT IS NOT LIKE THE OLD. “The land is not like the land of Egypt, from whence-ye came out” (v. 10). A state of liberty and plenty is never like a state of bondage and poverty. “For ye were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord” (Eph. 5:8, R.V.). Once afar off, but now made nigh by the blood of Christ.

2. IT IS NOT WATERED BY WORKS. “In the land of Egypt thou wateredst it with thy foot. But the land, whither ye go to possess it, drinketh water of the rain of Heaven” (vv. 10, 11). “Watering with the foot” of course has reference to the laborious process of irrigation by which the waters of the Nile were led from place to place, or perhaps the working of a tread mill wheel for lifting up the water from the river into a cistern for watering purposes. It is a terrible task to get our inheritance refreshed while in the house of bondage; but in Christ our possession is continually refreshed by the rain of His Holy Spirit from Heaven. No self-effort is needed to make the “things freely given us of God” spring up in living beauty and reviving power before us and in us. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass.

3. IT IS WATCHED OVER BY THE LORD. “The eyes of the Lord are always upon it, from the beginn ng of the year even unto the end of the year” (v. 12). Even in midwinter, when no sign of life is visible, and when every living thing seems to have gone back to the stillness of death, and when king frost has imprisoned the earth as in iron bands. So also in the spiritual life He hath not forsaken His own, although there be no outward tokens of abundance of fresh life within. “From the beginning of the year unto the end” surely teaches us that in every season of the Christian life His carefulness over us is the same. I am the Lord, I change not (Psa. 33:18).

II. A Simple Condition. God’s terms are always easy. “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” The condition of abiding in His possession and enjoying continual blessing is threefold—

1. HEAR HIM. “Ye shall hearken diligently” (v. 13). Hear, and your soul shall live. “Hearken diligently unto Him, and ye shall eat that which is good, and your soul shall delight itself in fatness” (Isa. 55:2).

2. LOVE HIM. “Ye shall love the Lord thy God” (v. 13). He not only seeks an opened ear, but also an opened heart. As His love for us gives us an entrance into His heart, so our love to Him gives Him an entrance into our hearts.

3. SERVE HIM. “To serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (v. 13). All the affections of the heart and all the life and energies of the soul must go into our service if it is not to be perfunctory, fruitless, and hypocritical.

III. A Solemn Warning.

1. AGAINST SELF-DECEPTION. “Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived” (v. 16). The heart is easily deceived, just because it is naturally deceitful. One of the chief devices of the devil is to make men believe that there is no devil. “Watch ye therefore, lest ye be secretly enticed” (Job 31:27).

2. AGAINST FALSE WORSHIP. “Take heed lest ye turn aside and serve other gods” (v. 16). No image was to be set up in the land (Lev. 26:1). The hearts that become deceived and turn away from God will soon have other gods set up in their own imaginations whom they will secr tly worship. When Jesus Christ is dethroned in the heart some self-made god will take His place.

3. AGAINST LOOSING THE INHERITANCE. “Take heed lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord thy God giveth thee” (v. 17). This is a solemn truth. By allowing the heart to deceive us, by setting its affections on other than God Himself, we thereby perish from out of the practical enjoyment of the gifts of God’s grace. The Lord thy God is a jealous God. Thy sin will shut up the dew of Heaven from thee (1 Kings 8:35). The rain referred to in Amos 4:7 is most suggestive of the moving of the Holy Spirit. The attitude of the heart toward God determines where the refreshing power of His presence shall come. Where His reviving Spirit does not come everything is sure to wither, so there is experimentally a perishing from off the good land.

Deuteronomy 11:11  "But the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven,

NO NEED FOR IRRIGATION
OF CROPS

But the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven - Just as Yahweh had provided manna from Heaven in the desert, here He provides water from Heaven. 


Love And Light

The land which you cross over to possess is a land . . . for which the Lord your God cares. —Deuteronomy. 11:11-12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 11:8-15

Friends are starting to plan their summer vegetable gardens. Some get an early start by planting seeds indoors where they can control the conditions and provide the best environment for sprouting. After the danger of frost has passed, they will transplant the seedlings outdoors. Once the garden is planted, the work of weeding, feeding, watering, and guarding against rodents and insects begins. Producing food is a lot of work.

Moses reminded the Israelites of this before they entered the promised land. While living in Egypt, they had to do the hard work of irrigating crops by hand (Deut. 11:10), but in the place where God was taking them He promised to ease their work by sending spring and autumn rains: “I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains” (v.14 niv). The only condition was that they “faithfully obey the commands” He gave them—“to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul” (v.13 niv). The Lord was taking His people to a place where their obedience and His blessing would make them a light to those around them.

God wants the same for us and from us: He wants our love to be displayed in our obedience so that we might be His light to people around us. The love and obedience we have to offer, though, is far less than He deserves. But He is our provider, blessing us and enabling us to be a light that the world will notice. By:  Julie Ackerman Link (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)


Streams in the Desert -   ” (Deut. 11:11, 12.)

TODAY, dear friends, we stand upon the verge of the unknown. There lies before us the new year and we are going forth to possess it. Who can tell what we shall find? What new experiences, what changes shall come, what new needs shall arise? But here is the cheering, comforting, gladdening message from our Heavenly Father, “The Lord thy God careth for it.” “His eyes are upon it away to the ending of the year.”
All our supply is to come from the Lord. Here are springs that shall never dry; here are fountains and streams that shall never be cut off. Here, anxious one, is the gracious pledge of the Heavenly Father. If He be the Source of our mercies they can never fail us. No heat, no drought can parch that river, “the streams whereof make glad the city of God.”
The land is a land of hills and valleys. It is not all smooth nor all down hill. If life were all one dead level the dull sameness would oppress us; we want the hills and the valleys. The hills collect the rain for a hundred fruitful valleys. Ah, so it is with us! It is the hill difficulty that drives us to the throne of grace and brings down the shower of blessing; the hills, the bleak hills of life that we wonder at and perhaps grumble at, bring down the showers. How many have perished in the wilderness, buried under its golden sands, who would have lived and thriven in the hill-country; how many would have been killed by the frost, blighted with winds, swept desolate of tree and fruit but for the hill—stern, hard, rugged, so steep to climb. God’s hills are a gracious protection for His people against their foes!
We cannot tell what loss and sorrow and trial are doing. Trust only. The Father comes near to take our hand and lead us on our way today. It shall be a good, a blessed new year!

  He leads us on by paths we did not know;
  Upward He leads us, though our steps be slow,
  Though oft we faint and falter on the way,
  Though storms and darkness oft obscure the day;
    Yet when the clouds are gone,
    We known He leads us on.

  He leads us on through all the unquiet years;
  Past all our dreamland hopes, and doubts and fears,
  He guides our steps, through all the tangled maze
  Of losses, sorrows, and o’erclouded days;
    We know His will is done;
    And still He leads us on.
—N. L. Zinzendorf.

Deuteronomy 11:12  a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year.

YAHWEH HELD CONSTANT
VIGIL OVER THE PROMISED LAND!

a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year - Whether summer or winter, time of sowing or time of harvesting, the omniscient eyes of Yahweh were on the Promised Land from the beginning of the year to the end. The seasons might change, but God remained the save and Israel could rest in and rely on this truth!  How encouraging would this truth be to those who have just wandered 38 years in the desert wilderness! God's eyes are everywhere (Pr 15:3) but in this context speak of His special care and special oversight of His treasured possession (Ex 19:5NIV+). See Anthropomorphic Language used of God.

THOUGHT - Beloved of the LORD, could we not substitute our name for the word "land" and read the rest as applicable and true in our lives? That's rhetorical! I think we definitely can! If you feel uncared for, put your name in this verse and ask the Spirit to speak to your heart. And then we recall the truth that if God will keep His eyes on the sparrow and his needs (see Mt. 10:29-31). we can rest assured that our Father will keep His eye on His special possession which has been purchased with the priceless blood of the Lamb! 

Keil writes it was "a land, therefore, which was dependent upon God, and in this dependence upon God peculiarly adapted to Israel, which was to live entirely to its God, and upon His grace alone."   (Deuteronomy 11)

McGee - In an affluent society such as we live in today, where things come so easily, I am afraid that people assume God has nothing in the world to do with it. I do not understand why people think that if things come easily, they have done it; if things come with difficulty, then God must be in it. Well, God is the One who provides for all our physical needs. Whether things come to us easily or with difficulty, He still is the Provider. (Deuteronomy 11 Mp3's)


Point Of No Return

The eyes of the Lord your God are always on [the land], from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year. —Deuteronomy 11:12

Today's Scripture: Deuteronomy 11:7-12

Longtime California pastor Ray Stedman once told his congregation: “On New Year’s Eve we realize more than at any other time in our lives that we can never go back in time. . . . We can look back and remember, but we cannot retrace a single moment of the year that is past.”

Stedman then referred to the Israelites as they stood on the edge of a new opportunity. After four decades of desert wanderings by their people, this new generation may have wondered if they had the faith and fortitude to possess the Promised Land.

Their leader, Moses, reminded them that they had seen “every great act of the Lord which He did” (Deut. 11:7) and that their destination was “a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year” (v.12).

On New Year’s Eve, we may fear the future because of events in the past. But we need not remain chained to our old memories because we can move ahead focused on God. Just as the Lord watched over the land and His people, so His eyes will be upon us.

God’s faithful care will extend to every day of the new year. We can count on that promise. By:  David C. McCasland

God holds the future in His hands With grace sufficient day by day; Through good or ill He gently leads, If we but let Him have His way. —Rohrs

The “what” of our future is determined by the “Who” of eternity. (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Deuteronomy 11:13  "It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul,

LISTEN, OBEY AND LOVE
CONDITIONAL CLAUSE

It shall come about, IF (cf Dt 11:22) you listen obediently to my commandments which I (MOSES) am commanding you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul - Listen obediently (KJV - hearken diligently) are a repetition of the same Hebrew word (shama) means to hear and heed/obey (not in one ear and out the other). Note the promise (continued into the next verse) begins with a condition, obedience, wholehearted, without reservations, all God's Words, all the time. This would be Israel's secret of enjoyment of their possession. 

THOUGHT- Mark this principle in Dt 11:13-17 -  The people of Israel are reminded that the only thing that can prevent them from enjoying the victory in the Promised Land is themselves. The only thing that can keep you from spiritual victory over the adversaries in your life is yourself! I am not suggesting "self" effort, but Spirit enabled effort. 

Guzik - God simply promised to provide for Israel if chose to obey Him and put Him first. As Jesus said: "Seek (present imperative  see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33+).  (Deuteronomy 11)

Grant (What the Bible Teaches – Leviticus and Deuteronomy) writes that "The same conditions are necessary for spiritual prosperity today. Paul instructs Timothy how he should be "nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine" (1 Ti 4:6) and further adds, "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all" (1 Tim 4:15). This was no instruction for the half-hearted. Whole-heartedness in the service of the Lord is what is required. The spiritual profit that would come as a result of such diligent obedience would be obvious to all....

To serve Him without loving Him is pretence, and
to love Him truly without serving Him is impossible. Love leads to action.
-- Grant

Deuteronomy 11:14  that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil.

NET  then he promises, "I will send rain for your land in its season, the autumn and the spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine, and olive oil. 

ASV  that I will give the rain of your land in its season, the former rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy grain, and thy new wine, and thine oil.

  •  De 28:12 Lev 26:4 Job 5:10,11 37:11-13 Ps 65:9-13 Jer 14:22 Eze 34:26 Joe 2:22,23 Jas 5:7 
  • Deuteronomy 11 Resources

THE CONDITIONAL
PROMISE

That He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early (autumn - "former rain" - Oct-Nov/Jan) and late (spring - "latter rain" - March-April) rain, that (purpose clause) you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil - God's gift of rain in crucial time slots was contingent upon obedience. Stated another way, Israel's annual rainfall would be a good "barometer" (pun intended) of her obedience and thus her blessing (or cursing - Dt 11:17). Note that grain and your new wine and your oil  were the staples of Israel's diet and God would provide if they obeyed. 

Utley - God is separate from nature yet is in control of it. He uses it to reveal Himself to mankind (cf. Deut. 27–28; Ps. 19:1–6; Rom. 1:19–25; 2:14–15). The late rains (for maturing crops) come in March–April (cf Jer. 3:3; Joel 2:23). At other times heavy dew is the only source of moisture. Hosea 6:3 uses this as a metaphor of end-time spiritual renewal. (Deuteronomy 11 Commentary)

Grant - The promise from the Lord is that the Land will have rain in due season. The first rain fell from late October/early November and continued for a space of about two months. (Joel 2:23; Hos 6:3; Jer 5:24). The word "former" (see ASV above) contains the thought of casting forth, shooting, sprinkling (from the root verb "yara" = to throw, cast, shoot). It was the rain that was necessary preparation for the shooting of the seed that was sown and it came before the sowing in order to prepare the ground. The latter rain fell from March into April. These spring rains brought the grain harvest to maturity making it ripe for harvesting (Zech 10:1-2; Joel 2:23-24; Hos 6:3; Jer 5:24; Prov 16:15). The harvest of fruit was also dependent on a good season of latter rain. With such conditions herds and flocks would prosper and Israel would eat to the full. It would be a fully nourished nation. There was rain at other times, but these seasons were annual evidence of the continued loving care of the Lord. (What the Bible Teaches – Leviticus and Deuteronomy)

Guzik - The promise of the blessing of rain was important, because one of the attractive of the Canaanite gods was Baal – the god who was said to control the weather and rain. Perhaps the Israelites would be tempted to think, “well, we are in Canaan, and if we want rain, we should worship the Canaanite god of rain.” But the Lord makes it clear that if they would worship and obey Him, He would supply abundant rain.  (Deuteronomy 11)

The IVP Bible Background Commentary - Israel has a rainy season (winter months) and a dry season (summer months). The rainy season begins with the autumn rains (“early rains,” October-November) and ends with the spring rains (“latter rains,” early April). These are important for what they contribute to the overall moisture levels in the earth and for softening the ground for plowing. Grain is harvested in the spring (barley in May, wheat in June), and the summer months (July and August) are for threshing and winnowing. Grapes are harvested in the fall, while the olive harvest stretches into the winter. (IVP Bible Background Commentary – Old Testament)

NET Note - The autumn and the spring rains. The “former” (יוֹרֶה, yoreh) and “latter” (מַלְקוֹשׁ, malqosh) rains come in abundance respectively in September/October and March/April. Planting of most crops takes place before the former rains fall and the harvests follow the latter rains.

Late (latter rain) (04456)(malqowsh) The Hebrew term malqôsh is always translated "latter rain" in the KJV. The noun is used similarly in Middle Hebrew, Jewish Aramaic and Samaritan. The climate of Israel was dry summer subtropical, as was the entire Mediterranean Basin. In the spring of the year, there is frequent rain throughout Palestine, but in the summer season (May through October) the earth becomes parched, and vegetation perishes. The first rains after the summer drought are referred to as the "former" or autumnal rain because it precedes seed-time and prepares the soil for cultivation. The "late rain" (i.e., "latter rain") falls in March and April, prior to harvesting. Its timing is vital, because this rain matures the fruit and grain (see Deut. 11:14).

Job 29 contains a lament, as Job recounts how others have waited with expectant silence for his words of counsel. "They waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain" (v. 23). This rain was a matter of life and death, as Job underscored the depth of his wisdom, which in turn was derived from his close relationship with God.

Elsewhere in the OT, presence of the latter rain was an indication of God's favor and faithfulness (see Hos. 6:3; Joel 2:23). Its absence indicated that his judgment had struck (Jer. 3:3) because his people had become unfaithful, the death of crops indicating the removal of the land blessing. They had stubborn and rebellious hearts and did not say to themselves, "Let us fear the Lord our God who gives rain in its season" (Jer. 5:24, NASB). Spiritual death leads to physical death in the imagery. (Complete Biblical Library - Incredible Resource)

Malqowsh - 8v -  late(1), latter rain(1), rain*(1), spring rain(6). Deut. 11:14; Job 29:23; Prov. 16:15; Jer. 3:3; Jer. 5:24; Hos. 6:3; Joel 2:23; Zech. 10:1

Related Resource:

Deuteronomy 11:15  "He will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.

  •  will: 1Ki 18:5 Ps 104:14 Jer 14:5 Joe 1:18 2:22 
  • eat and be  De 6:11 Dt 8:10 Joe 2:19 Hag 1:6 Mal 3:10,11
  • Deuteronomy 11 Resources 

Related Passages:

Dt 6:10-12+ “Then it shall come about when the LORD your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied (saba), 12 THEN watch yourself, that you do not forget the LORD Who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

Dt 8:10-14 “When you have eaten and are satisfied (saba), you shall bless the LORD (A GOOD PRACTICE TO PRACTICE!) your God for the good land which He has given you.  11 “Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; 12 otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, 14 THEN your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

CONTENTED COWS
AND PEOPLE

He will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied - This is God's blessing and it would lead to contentment but divinely supplied satisfaction sadly can lead to self-satisfaction. When we experience God's bounty, our fallen flesh is prone to begin to contribute the blessing to our ingenuity and the work of our our own hand and not to the goodness and beneficence of Jehovah! Satisfaction, physically or spiritually, is a call to be on high alert to guard against the dangers of success! 

Utley - “you shall eat and be satisfied” This is a recurrent promise in Deuteronomy (cf. Dt 6:11; 8:10; 11:15; 14:29). (Deuteronomy 11 Commentary)

Satisfied (Lxx = empiplemi)(07646)  (saba - שָׂבַע) means to be sated (implying sufficiency, though generally not speaking of excess), to be filled or be full and so to be satisfied or have enough (or too much) of something, as when Israel had enough (too much) quail (Ex 16:8, 12). Saba often expresses God’s “satisfying, supplying,” man with his material needs: (Ps. 103:5). Yahweh is the ultimate Source of physical satiety (Ps. 104:28; satisfaction with His lovingkindness - Ps 90:14) and in Micah 6:14 the Source of inability to eat enough! God would satisfy Israel in the promised land (Dt 6:11, 8:10, 12, 11:15, 14:29, 26:12). Boaz fed Ruth the Moabitess who "ate and was satisfied (Lxx = empiplemi = to fill = Lk 1:53, be satisfied = Jn 6:12, figuratively enjoy something = Ro 15:24) and had some left." (Ru 2:12) As used here in Micah 6:14, one of the ways God judged people was to not provide enough to satisfy their need (or want) (Lev. 26:26; Hos. 4:10; Amos 4:8). Figuratively, saba describes reaching a ripe (Lxx = pleres = literally containing within all that it can hold - filled full) age (2Chr 24:15). In Job saba speaks of one "saturated" (Lxx = empiplemi) with bitterness (Job 9:18). Habakkuk describes haughty men "like death, never satisfied (Lxx = empiplemi)." (Hab 2:5) Moses warns of the ever present danger (for ALL of us!) of being "satisfied" (Dt 31:20) The sword will be sated with the blood of Yahweh's enemies on the Day of Yahweh (Jer. 46:10).

Saba in Deuteronomy - Deut. 6:11; Deut. 8:10; Deut. 8:12; Deut. 11:15; Deut. 14:29; Deut. 26:12; Deut. 31:20;

Related Resource:

Deuteronomy 11:16  "Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them.

  • Beware: De 4:9,23 Lu 21:8,34,36 Heb 2:1 Heb 3:12 Heb 4:1 Heb 12:15 
  • your hearts: De 13:3 Dt 29:18 Job 31:27 Isa 44:20 Jas 1:26 1Jn 5:21 Rev 12:9 Rev 13:14 Rev 20:4 
  • and serve: De 8:19 Dt 30:17 
  • Deuteronomy 11 Resources

Related Passages:

Deuteronomy 4:9; “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.

Deuteronomy 4:23 “So watch yourselves, that you do not forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the LORD your God has commanded you.

James 1:26+  If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.

Deuteronomy 8:19 “It shall come about if you ever forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish.

Deuteronomy 30:17-18 “But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it.

1 John 5:21+ Little children, guard (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) yourselves from idols.

THE DECEPTIONS
OF PROSPERITY

Beware (shamar; Lxx = ) that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them - Don't miss the sequence. It begins in our hearts (which is why Pr 4:23+ is so vital!). Deception is in our hearts. When we are deceived we don't even know it! (That's what deceived means!) Note our heart is our control center and when deceived concerning the truth about God and what He requires and desires, we will turn away from His countenance. We will replace God with other gods. We won't just look at them or think about them but we will serve them because we become the servants of the god we chose to follow! And most sad of all we actually will worship "nothings" things that are not God. How tragic for God created us to worship Him as do the four living creatures in Revelation but we make the awful choice to worship that which are no gods. Our worship is worthless and wasted in time and eternity! 

NET Note says literal Hebrew reads “Watch yourselves lest your heart turns and you turn aside and serve other gods and bow down to them.”

Utley - Dt 11:16–17 are a warning (“beware, Niphal IMPERATIVE, cf. Dt 4:9, 15, 23; 6:12; 8:11; 11:16; 12:13, 19, 28, 30; 15:9; 24:8) about idolatry and its consequences. (Deuteronomy 11 Commentary)

Guzik - God had to warn Israel against the deceptions of prosperity. The person who turns from God in prosperity is simply deceived. They believe they are somehow responsible for the blessings received, and become proud and self-reliant.  (Deuteronomy 11)

Meredith Kline - Take heed to yourselves. For bounty can turn into drought, famine, and death at the mere word of the Lord, the impartial, almighty Judge at whose command even the earth opened its mouth to swallow the Israelites Dathan and Abiram (Dt 11:15-17; cf. Dt 11:6; 6:11-15; 8:11-20). (Wycliffe Bible Commentary on Deuteronomy)

Deere points out that the warning against worshipping other gods was "appropriately related to Dt 11:13-15, because many of the gods worshiped in Canaan were fertility deities, that is, gods of grain, oil, rain, etc. Unless the people of Israel were extremely careful (Dt 4:9) they could easily be enticed by their pagan neighbors to enter into the sensual worship of these deities. It would simply be a matter of transferring their trust in the Lord for the fertility of their land to one or more of those false gods. And this worship, which was divorced from the realm of ethics and which emphasized ritual sex, was so appealing to human hearts that careless and morally undisciplined Israelites would be drawn into its fatal web. (Bible Knowledge Commentary)


Utley - SPECIAL TOPIC: CONSEQUENCES OF IDOLATRY

A.  “hearts are not deceived”— Qal IMPERFECT, cf. Job 31:27
      1.  “turn away”— Qal PERFECT, cf. Ex 32:8; 9:12; 17:11, 16; Jer. 5:23
      2.  “serve other gods”— Qal PERFECT, cf. Dt 7:4, 16; 8:19; 11:16; 13:6, 13; 17:3; 28:14, 36, 64; 29:26; 30:17; 31:20; Josh. 23:16; 24:2, 16; Jer. 11:10; 13:10; 16:11, 13; 22:9; 25:6; 35:15
      3.  “to worship”— Hithpael (Owens, p. 805) and Hishtaphel (Parsing Guide, p. 146)
    Obviously this was a recurrent tendency on Israel’s part! The consequences for idolatry were severe.
B. “the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you”— Qal PERFECT, cf. Ex 4:14; 22:24; 32:10; Num. 11:1, 10; 12:9; 32:10; Deut. 6:15; 7:4; 11:17; 29:27; Josh. 23:11
      1.“He will shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain.” This is part of the curse for disobeying the covenant, cf. Dt 28:24; 2 Chr. 6:26–28; 7:13
      2. “the ground will not yield its fruit”—results of no rain
C. “you will perish quickly from the good land”— Qal PERFECT, cf. Dt 4:26; 7:4; 8:19, 20; 28:20, 22; 30:18; Josh. 23:13, 16
There is no middle option! God presents His covenant as fully compliant or in default. Fallen humanity cannot obtain this level of consistent or complete obedience (cf. Josh. 24:19). Therefore, there was/is a need for a new covenant based on God’s mercy and His performance (cf. Jer. 31:31–34; Ezek. 36:22–38; Rom. 3:9–18, 23; Galatians 3)!

Deuteronomy 11:17  "Or the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and He will shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its fruit; and you will perish quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you.

  • the anger of the LORD: De 6:15 Dt 30:17,18 
  • shut up: De 28:23,24 1Ki 8:35 17:1 2Ch 6:26 7:13 Jer 14:1-6 Am 4:7 Hag 1:9-11 
  • perish: De 4:26 8:19,20 30:18 Jos 23:13-16 
  • Deuteronomy 11 Resources

Related Passages: 

Deuteronomy 6:14-15 “You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you, 15 for the LORD your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; otherwise the anger of the LORD your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth. 

Deuteronomy 28:23-24+The heaven which is over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you, iron. 24“The LORD will make the rain of your land powder and dust; from heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed. 

Leviticus 26:19-20+ ‘I will also break down your pride of power; I will also make your sky like iron and your earth like bronze. 20 ‘Your strength will be spent uselessly, for your land will not yield its produce and the trees of the land will not yield their fruit. 

STIRRING UP
DIVINE ANGER

Or the anger (aph) of the LORD will be kindled (charah - become hot, flare up) against you, and He will shut up the heavens so that (PURPOSE) there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its fruit; and you will perish (abad - be destroyed) quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you - God's anger was manifest in physical drought because of their spiritual drought (turning from Him)! There is an interesting irony here for if Israel worshipped Baal, the dead, false god who was supposed to provide rain, the true and living God Who Alone could provide rain, would in fact cause the land to be without rain!  God's anger would also be manifest as Israel quickly perishing from the land, which is a prophetic warning that proved true for the 10 Northern Tribes in 722 BC (exile to Assyria) and the 2 Southern Tribes, Judah and Benjamin in 586 BC (exile to Babylon). 

Guzik on He will shut up the heavens - Just such a judgment came upon Israel in the days of Ahab, the wicked king over Israel in the time Elijah was a prophet (1 Kings 17:1). The constant need for rain kept Israel in constant dependence on the Lord. It is good for us to have things that keep us in constant dependence on the Lord. We should never despise those things and long for the day when we will no longer need to depend on God as much.  (Deuteronomy 11)

Kalland - if the Israelites were enticed to turn away from the Lord and to worship other gods, he would shut the heavens so that it would not rain (Dt 11:16-17). This enticement would be everywhere present in Canaan because of the prevailing Baalism. Baal (Hadad) was said to control the rains that brought fertility to Canaan. But Moses contended that it was the Lord who governed the incidence of rainfall; and if the people did not worship and obey him, he would shut the heavens so that no rain would fall and the ground would not produce (Dt 28:23-24; Lev 26:19-20). Conversely, Malachi 3:10 promises that the heavens would be opened when the people obeyed God.  (The Expositor's Bible Commentary – Volume 3: Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel) (See also Who was Baal? | GotQuestions.org).

Grant - The words are used now before a further solemn warning. If rain failed it was a mark of the displeasure of the Lord towards Israel (see also Jer 3:3; Amos 4:7). At times it did so. When Elijah approached Ahab and declared, "There shall not be dew nor rain these years" (1 Kings 17:1) he had considered these verses and doubtless had been before the Lord asking Him to chasten Israel in this way in order to effect their recovery. Ahab served and worshipped Baal (1 Kings 16:31) and although he should have known what the Lord had stated would happen should Israel be guilty of idolatry, he continued in this practice, ignoring the Scriptures. He would learn in the years ahead that the warnings of Scripture could not be ignored. It is possible to be guilty of sin and yet fail to appreciate that "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Gal 6:7). Israel had not given the Lord their love and service, denying Him the "fruit" of their thanksgiving, praise, and worship, and consequently the "fruit" of harvest would be denied them. Sin is not to be regarded as a light thing, for this principle continues to the present day. The enjoyment of His blessing cannot be expected when sin is wittingly practised. The Lord will chasten; part of which will be a spiritual famine gripping the soul. (What the Bible Teaches – Leviticus and Deuteronomy)

Deuteronomy 11:18  "You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.

  • impress these words of mine on your heart De 6:6-9 Dt 32:46 Ex 13:9,16 Ps 119:11 Pr 3:1 6:20-23 7:2,3 Col 3:16 Heb 2:1 2Pe 1:12 2 Pe 3:1,2 
  • a sign: Mt 23:5 
  • Deuteronomy 11 Resources

Related Passage:

Deuteronomy 6:6-9+  “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8“You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9“ You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. 

Deuteronomy 32:46+  he said to them, “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law.

IMPRESSING MOSES'
WORDS ON THE HEART

Ps 37:31 says "The law of his God is in his heart; His steps do not slip."

Note (1) it is HIS God (2) the BEST THING - law, (3) the BEST PLACE - heart, (4) the BEST RESULT - feet do not slip. 

Ps 119:9-11+ says 

Beth. How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. 10 With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments (A PRAYER I NEED TO CONTINUALLY MAKE!). 11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You. 

Therefore Term of conclusion. In light of the danger of deception and defection and destruction (Dt 11:16-17), Moses draws a conclusion maximize remembering these dangers. 

Kline - Faithfulness from generation to generation would result in the perpetuation of Israel's possession of the promised land (Wycliffe Bible Commentary on Deuteronomy)

You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul (being) - These words would include the blessings also mentioned as well as the words of warning. Note impress...on (NET - fix...into) in Lxx is emballo ( = "cast" in Lk 12:5+) meaning to cast into, to cause to be put in the heart (which takes some energy/effort). Note the first "organ" is the heart, the very place v16 says deception takes place. God's words (spoken through and by Moses) were the truth which would serve to protect from and/or correct the lies (from the the world, the flesh and the devil) which can lead our hearts into deception so that we begin to think wrongly about how we should behave toward our great and awesome God Who loves us passionately and personally. One way to impress the words on our heart is to read them daily, but the best way (in my opinion) is to memorize them diligently, daily reviewing (and meditating on) the passages we have treasured in our heart that we might not sin against our holy God (Ps 119:9-11+).

And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead - Bind and as frontals is surely symbolic and not literal as argued by the context of impressing the words on one's heart. You cannot literally stamp words on your heart. Neither does a little box with verses written on it convey any power to one's hand or one's forehead. These literal practices may look good to men and bolster one's spiritual pride but do not impress God. To "impress" God, impress His holy words on your heart and live them out in the power of His Holy Spirit! That is walking in a manner which is pleasing to the LORD! Then you will be possessing your possessions in Christ. The symbolism of the hand would speak to what we do, our actions. The symbolism on the forehead would be to how we think and what we think about. If God's Word saturates our heart what we think and do will be a reflection of His Word. "Always keep God’s word in the forefront of your thoughts. Review every action in light of them!" (Utley Deuteronomy 11 Commentary)

Guzik - God called Israel to not only read the Word of God and to know the Word of God, but to treasure it. In the same way, we should love God’s word and miss it when we are separated from the Word of God. We should call it to mind with longing, having laid it up in our heart and soul.  (Deuteronomy 11)


How does one treasure the Word?  Here is one of the most poignant and convicting illustrations of treasuring the Word I have ever read...

The first requirement for keeping that TREASURE is to recognize that it is a TREASURE. A beautiful and touching story is told of a young French girl who had been born blind. After she learned to read by touch, a friend gave her a Braille copy of Mark’s gospel. She read it so much that her fingers became calloused and insensitive. In an effort to regain her feeling, she cut the skin from the ends of her fingers. Tragically, however, her calluses were replaced by permanent and even more insensitive scars. She sobbingly gave the book a goodbye kiss, saying,

“FAREWELL, FAREWELL, SWEET WORD OF MY HEAVENLY FATHER.”

In doing so, she discovered that her lips were even more sensitive than her fingers had been, and she spent the rest of her life reading her great treasure with her lips. Would that every Christian had such an appetite for the Word of God!


God Talk

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.Deuteronomy 11:18

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 11:13–21

A study conducted by the Barna Group in 2018 found that most Americans don’t like to talk about God. Only seven percent of Americans say they talk about spiritual matters regularly—and practicing believers in Jesus in America aren’t that different. Only thirteen percent of regular churchgoers say they have a spiritual conversation about once a week.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that spiritual conversations are on the decline. Talking about God can be dangerous. Whether because of a polarized political climate, because disagreement might cause a rift in a relationship, or because a spiritual conversation might cause you to realize a change you need to make in your life—these can feel like high-stakes conversations.

But in the instructions given to God’s people, the Israelites, in the book of Deuteronomy, talking about God can be a normal, natural part of everyday life. God’s people were to memorize His words and to display them in places where they’d often be seen. The law said to talk about God’s instructions for life with your children “when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (11:19).

God calls us to conversation. Take a chance, rely on the Spirit, and try turning your small talk toward something deeper. God will bless our communities as we talk about His words and practice them. By:  Amy Peterson (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

What challenges have come to you as a result of spiritual conversations with friends? What blessings?

There’s so much about You, God, that can be shared with others in my life. Lead me as I interact with them.

To learn more about why the Bible endures, visit https://ourdailybreadfilms.org/film/the-bible-why-does-it-endure/.


Faith Investments

Teach [these words of mine] to your children. Deuteronomy 11:19

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 11:18–20

On his twelfth Christmas, the boy eagerly awaited the opening of the gifts under the tree. He was yearning for a new bike, but his hopes were dashed—the last present he received was a dictionary. On the first page, he read: “To Charles from Mother and Daddy, 1958. With love and high hopes for your best work in school.”

In the next decade, Chuck did do well in school. He graduated from college and later, aviation training. He became a pilot working overseas, fulfilling his passion to help people in need and to share Jesus with them. Now some sixty years after receiving this gift, he shared the well-worn dictionary with his grandchildren. It had become for him a symbol of his parents’ loving investment in his future, and Chuck still treasures it. But he’s even more grateful for the daily investment his parents made in building his faith by teaching him about God and the Scriptures.

Deuteronomy 11 talks about the importance of taking every opportunity to share the words of Scripture with children: “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (v. 19).

For Chuck, the eternal values planted when he was a boy bloomed into a lifetime of service for his Savior. With God’s enablement, who knows how much our investment in someone’s spiritual growth will yield. By:  Cindy Hess Kasper Sign in to track your progress!

Who invested in your spiritual life as you were growing up? How can you direct children’s hearts to the wisdom found in Scripture?

Father, help me take time to read the Bible and share it with others.

Deuteronomy 11:19  "You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.

Related Passages:

Deuteronomy 4:9; 10   “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons. 10 “Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when the LORD said to me, ‘Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’

Deuteronomy 6:7  “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

Psalm 34:11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 

PASS IT ON!

We are always only one generation from forgetting God and His Word, so this duty must be practiced persistently and passionately! How are you doing in your family? 

You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up - God's Word is to be like the atmosphere in which they live. And like a fish in a fishbowl, they would do best when they were in the environment of His Word. 

Guzik - We can fairly measure our love for God’s word by how much we will talk about it with others. God doesn’t want us to have a secret love relationship with His word.v

THOUGHT- Speaking God's Word or not speaking it says more about the condition of our heart than most anything we do! So let me ask you - are you convicted or encouraged


Little Sponges

You shall teach them to your children . . . when you lie down, and when you rise up. —Deuteronomy 11:19

Today's Scripture: Deuteronomy 11:13-21

Most household sponges that we use today are synthetic, but many people are surprised to learn that real sponges were at one time living sea animals. When a live sponge is removed from the sea and its living matter is cleaned out, it becomes useful for household purposes. The skeleton that remains, with its open-celled structure, can soak up and absorb liquid.

Children are like sponges. They soak up attitudes and ideas with which they come in contact. We must be very careful, therefore, about what is allowed to fill their minds.

What are your children absorbing in your home? What are they getting from television and from magazines? As they listen to your conversations, what kind of words and attitudes are being taken in? Are you setting a good example of love for the Lord and concern for others? Is there a warm spiritual emphasis in your home? Are you doing what you can to fill their hearts with God’s Word?

When children become adults, they will give out what they have taken in during their formative and impressionable years. Let’s make sure that those little “sponges” in our homes soak up what is pure, wholesome, and uplifting. By:  Richard DeHaan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Our children need a home where love
Provides security,
Where what we teach is not confused
By what they hear and see.
—Sper

The values children absorb now are sure to flow out later.

Deuteronomy 11:20  "You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,

Related Passage:

Deuteronomy 6:9  “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. 

REMEMBER GOD'S WORD WHEN
YOU ENTER AND LEAVE YOUR HOUSE

You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates - This passage does sound as if it could be taken literally. But I think a mezuzah hardly fulfills the intent of the passage and can become a ritual (even like a "charm" or "talisman") when rotely repeated (touching the mezuzah each time you enter and leave the house). If you want to do it literally, then place a passage like Dt 6:4-5 in bold font on your front door so all call see to Whom you have given your allegiance. Then every time you or a family member enters, you are reminded of who you are (in Christ) and Whose you are (Christ's!) Figuratively the idea would be as you go in or out of your home, be reminded of God and His Word, as His Word will guard you lips as you interact with your family and your life as you interact with the lost world. 

Utley - write” In the past some scholars (ED: "SO-CALLED") have questioned the ability of Moses and the early Israelites to write. As the archaeological evidence has grown, no one today would deny this (Deuteronomy 11 Commentary)


Interesting illustration - Do you have any Scripture verses on the walls of your house anywhere? Think about that. They did. I have told you the story in times past and I repeat it very briefly. A lady had four boys and they all went off to be sailors. She wanted them to be preachers, and she was talking to the preacher about it one day. She said, “I can't understand it. I prayed that all my boys would be preachers, and all of them are sailors.” The preacher said to her, “Have you ever noticed what is on the walls of your house?” “No.” “Come, and I will show you.” Every wall of every room in this house has a picture of the sea and ships. There is the reason your boys are sailors.”

Deuteronomy 11:21  so that your days and the days of your sons may be multiplied on the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens remain above the earth.

  •  your days: De 4:40 5:16 6:2 Pr 3:2,16 4:10 9:11 
  • as the days: Ps 72:5 89:28,29 Isa 65:20 Rev 20:6 
  • Deuteronomy 11 Resources

THE PURPOSE OF THE
WORD INTERNALIZED

So that - Purpose clause. And what an encouraging purpose Moses gives! 

Your days and the days of your sons may be multiplied on the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens remain above the earth (perpetuity) - This purpose/promise is for the parents and the children. Multiplied would speak of two aspects of life - individual life prolonged and life of one's lineage prolonged on the land (for we know disobedience brings discharge from the land). Their obedience will result in Israel possessing their promised possession for as long as the heaven is above the earth.

Deere - Only by letting God's words invade every area of their lives and homes and by diligently teaching them to their children (cf. Dt 6:7) could the nation hope to escape the seduction of false worship and find permanent prosperity in the land of promise given by the Lord on oath to their forefathers. The same principle applies to Christians today. Commitment to know and obey the Scriptures keeps believers from contemporary forms of false worship (cf. 2 Ti 3:1-9 with 2 Ti 3:14-17). Therefore Paul exhorted all Christians to "let the Word of Christ dwell (ED; NOT A SUGGESTION BUT A COMMAND - present imperative  see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) in you richly" (Col. 3:16+). (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Deuteronomy 11:22  "For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you to do, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and hold fast to Him,

Be careful to obey all these commands I am giving you. Show love to the LORD your God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him. (Deu 11:22NLT)

  • if you are careful to keep De 11:13 Dt 6:17 
  • to love: De 11:13 Mt 22:37 2Ti 4:8 1Jn 5:2,3 
  • hold fast: De 10:20 Dt 30:20 Ge 2:24 Ac 11:23 2Co 11:2,3 
  • Deuteronomy 11 Resources

Related Resource:

Deuteronomy 10:20 “You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name.

Dt 30:19-20 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, 20 by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

A CONDITIONAL
PROMISE

In Dt 11:1 Moses said keep it ALL THE TIME and here says keep  ALL THE WORDS

For - Term of explanation. He is explaining how to ensure survival on the land of milk and honey. 

If you are careful to keep (shamar - KJV = diligently keep) all this commandment which I am commanding you to do - This is the second conditional statement in chapter 11 (see Dt 11:13) Careful (shamar) is a key word in this chapter (Dt 11:1, 8, 22, 32).  Note the IF signifies the conditional nature (as in Dt 11:13-14) of the promise given in the next verse. While it may seem simplistic it is important to note that the way one shows he keeps this commandment is by doing it. James says "prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves." (James 1:22+) Disobedient hearers are deluded.

To love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways (do everything He commands) and hold fast to Him - For love and walk see what the LORD requires in comments on Dt 10:12-13. Love is linked with walk because if we love Him we will demonstrate by our obedient walk!  Holding fast to Yahweh would be evidence of one's consistent loyalty and devotion to Him. The first use of the verb hold fast (dabaq) is instructive, for it describes a man "joined to (dabaq) his wife" so that they will "be one flesh." (Ge 2:24). 

Guzik has a nice summation - All the commandments are summarized in these three phrases. Each of these speaks of more than a bare, compelled obedience; they speak of a real relationship of love between God and His people, with obedience flowing naturally from that relationship.  (Deuteronomy 11)

Hold fast (Septuagint = proskollao)(1692dabaq means to stick to, adhere to, cling to, join with, stay with, stay in close proximity to and which yields the noun form for "glue". Dabaq describes something that sticks or clings to something else (Ezek 29:4 and Ezekiel’s tongue to roof of his mouth Ezek. 3:26). Uses in Deuteronomy - ; Deut. 10:20; Deut. 11:22; Deut. 13:4  Deut. 13:17; Deut. 28:21 = "The LORD will make the pestilence cling to you until He has consumed you from the land"  Deut. 28:60 ="He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid, and they will cling to you."; Deut. 30:20; 


Deuteronomy 11:22–23  If ye shall keep all this Commandment, then will the Lord drive out. (R.V.)

We wonder why the Lord does not drive out and subdue our besetting sins. We do not possess them, but they us. The explanation is to be found in our lack of consecration. We do not keep all his commandments, or walk in all his ways.

God cannot deliver us from besetting sin unless we yield ourselves to Him entirely. — It is only when He is Judge, Lawgiver, and King, that He can save us. The great surgeon will not undertake a case unless he have its entire management. The general cannot protect a town until it has passed over its government entirely into his hands. If you would give yourself utterly and unreservedly to God, you would find how strong He is for those whose heart is perfect towards Him.

Unless we obey all his commandments; because they contain his precise direction as to what we should, or should not do. If you want your medical man to heal you, you must abstain from things he forbids, and do those he prescribes. You cannot expect God to save you unless you utterly and reverently obey all his commandments; that, for instance of not having fellowship with the world and its ways.

Unless we cleave unto Him. — There must be the daily walk with God, the abiding in Him, the holy and unbroken communion. “He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whose keepeth his word, in him truly is the love of God perfected.” “He that abideth in Him sinneth not.” The anointing of the Holy Spirit will teach us this sacred habit (1 John 2:27). But entire consecration must precede entire deliverance.


The Way We Walk

Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. —Romans 6:4

Today's Scripture: Deuteronomy 11:13-23

A television program that I enjoy watching has a segment called Ambush Makeover. Two women are chosen to undergo 3 hours of pampering to update their hair, makeup, and wardrobe. The change is often dramatic. When the women step from behind a curtain, the audience gasps. Friends and family members sometimes start to cry. After all of this, the person with the new look finally gets to see herself. Some are so shocked that they keep looking in the mirror as if to find proof that it’s really them.

As the women walk across the set to join their companions, the former self becomes evident. Most do not know how to walk in their new shoes. Although they look chic, their clumsy walk gives them away. Their transformation is incomplete.

This is true in our Christian lives as well. God does the work in us to give us a new start, but to walk in the way of the Lord (Deut. 11:22) requires time, effort, and lots of practice. If we just stand still and smile, we can pass as being transformed. But the way we walk tells how far along we are in living out that transformation. Being changed means giving up our previous way of life and learning a new way to walk (Rom. 6:4). By:  Julie Ackerman Link (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

The new life in Christ has begun—
The past with its darkness is gone;
Look closer to see what the Savior has done,
For change is beginning to dawn.
—Hess

A change in behavior begins with a change in the heart.


James Smith - Handfuls of Purpose - THE SECRET OF VICTORY Deuteronomy 11:22–25

    “Victor, yet Victim manifest,
    Love to its mighty task addressed;
    Victim, yet Victor—righteousness,
    Suffering our fallen race to bless.
    Victim, yet Victor—on the Cross,
    Redeeming our stupendous loss;
    Victim, yet Victor—sacrifice,
    By which eternally death dies.”

The Lord Jesus Christ has left us an example, how a Victim to the will of God can become the Victor in the work of God. Learn here, O soul, that there is no other way into a life of triumph in His sight. We must be vanquished by the power of the Holy Ghost before we can be overcomers in this present evil world. The battle is the Lord’s, and He conquers in us. In these Scriptures indicated above, we have again before us some old words that breathe the vital breath of life for us.

I. The Conditions.

1. A CONSECRATED LIFE. The yielded up life is here detailed in the following pointed and all-comprehensive terms (v. 22). (1) “Ye shall diligently keep all these commandments.” (2) “Ye shall love the Lord your God.” (3) “Ye shall walk in all His ways.” (4) “Ye shall cleave unto Him.” The consecrated—filled up—life is one that is daily being consumed, or eaten up, of zeal for the Lord, yet a life that is also daily replenished by the indwelling Spirit of burning. This holy fire, burning on the altar of the heart, is never to go out. Yield yourselves unto God, that your members may be instruments of righteousness.

2. AN ADVENTUROUS FAITH. “Every place where the soles of your feet shall tread upon shall be yours” (v. 24). “Faith laughs at impossibilities, and says it shall be done.” Abraham’s faith was adventurous when he went out, not knowing whither he went. Every promise claimed is a promise possessed. Believe, and thou shalt see. Those who are afraid of the deep will not catch many fishes. Have the courage to “launch out.” We need pioneers in the realms of faith as well as in the dark places of the earth, and no other field of exploration can ever yield such reward, for “every place where the sole of your feet shall tread upon shall be yours.”

II. The Promises. Every promise of God rings like a dinner bell to the hungry, believing heart. They are open doors into the superabundant fulness of God, covenant bows that stretch across the dark brow of every cloud of difficulty, crowning it with glory. They are—

1. AS GREAT AS OUR NEED. “Then the Lord will drive out all these nations from before thee” (v. 23). “Then shall no man be able to stand before thee,” etc. (v. 25). Emphasis should be put on the first word, “then.” When they are in heart right with God, then He will magnify His Name in them by working miracles for them. This is a law in the kingdom of grace that is unalterable. Sanctify yourselves, and the Lord will do wonders. It is God’s little children that are said to be overcomers (1 John 4:4). It does not matter how strong the man is who would rob us of our goods the Lord is stronger than he. Let your trust be in Him (Luke 11:21).

2. AS SURE AS HIS WORD. “The Lord your God shall lay the fear of you upon all the land, as He hath said unto you” (v. 25). “Prove Me, and see if I will not do it for you.” “God is not a man that He should lie” (Num. 23:19), as if no man is worthy of our trust. What are adverse circumstances in the face of His Word? (Gen. 17:15). Faith will always find it even as He hath said (Mark 14:16). Hath God not also pledged that He will not alter the thing that has gone out of His lips? (Psa. 89:34). All His promises are seasoned with the salt of eternal faithfulness. Yes, we have a sure word wherein we do well to take heed. The words that I speak unto you they are spirit and life. Believest thou this?

Deuteronomy 11:23  then the LORD will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than you.

Related Passages:

Deuteronomy 4:37-38+  (“Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them. And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power, 38 driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in and to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is today.

THE CONDITIONAL
PROMISE

Then the LORD (1) will drive out all these nations from before you - (cf. Ex. 34:24; Nu 32:21; Dt. 4:37–38; Dt 9:4–5; Josh. 23:5, 13) Observe that this is the first of 6 promises for obedience in this section (vv 23-25) The first promise is that Israel would experience supernatural success against her enemies. They would drive out military powers not because of their military prowess but because of their passion and practice of God's Word. One is reminded of the words in Zechariah 4:6 "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts." 

Guzik - God promised to fight the battles for an obedient Israel. Many desire God to fight their battles, but have little interest in obeying Him – or cultivating the deep relationship of love which obedience grows from.  (Deuteronomy 11)

And (2) you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than you - (Dt 7:17; 9:3; Nu 33:52) Israel would supernaturally possess the promised land.

Deuteronomy 9:1-2+  (NOTE REPETITION OF GREAT) “Hear, O Israel! You are crossing over the Jordan today to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, great cities fortified to heaven, 2 a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know and of whom you have heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the sons of Anak?’

Deuteronomy 11:24  "Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours; your border will be from the wilderness to Lebanon, and from the river, the river Euphrates, as far as the western sea.

Related Passages:

Genesis 15:18+ On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates: 

Exodus 23:31+  “I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you.

2 Chronicles 9:26  He (SOLOMON) was the ruler over all the kings from the Euphrates River (NOTE HE RULED OVER THE KINGS BUT DOES NOT SAY HE ACTUALLY POSSESSED THE LAND) even to the land of the Philistines, and as far as the border of Egypt.

WALKING FORTH TO 
POSSESS POSSESSIONS

(3) Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours - This continues the promise conditioned on obedience. Think about this statement for a moment. What if you don't tread? The promised land is there but it must be possessed by faith, faith that obeys, faith that walk forth believing God's promise of the gift of land.

God repeated this promise to Joshua just before Israel crossed the Jordan River...

Joshua 1:3   “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses.

Kalland - The land that the people would acquire by obedience to the Lord (vv.22-23) under the covenant was limited in two ways: (1) by "every place where you set your foot" (v.24a) and (2) by geographic boundaries (v.24b). The Lord confirmed this promise to Joshua (Josh 1:3). He also had made a particular promise of this sort to Caleb (1:36), a promise that was fulfilled (Josh 14:9-13).  (The Expositor's Bible Commentary – Volume 3: Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel)

(4) your border will be from the wilderness to Lebanon (from south to north), and from the river, the river Euphrates, as far as the western sea (from east to west) - Israel's failure to obey resulted in their failure to fully inherit the land God had promised. 

Utley - Their borders are described in Ge 15:18; Ex 23:31; Dt. 1:7; 3:12–17; Josh 1:1–4; 13:8–12. (Deuteronomy 11 Commentary)

Kalland - The land that the people would acquire by obedience to the Lord (Dt 11:22-23) under the covenant was limited in two ways: (1) by "every place where you set your foot" (Dt 11:24a) and (2) by geographic boundaries (Dt 11:24b). The Lord confirmed this promise to Joshua (Josh 1:3). He also had made a particular promise of this sort to Caleb (Dt 1:36), a promise that was fulfilled (Josh 14:9-13). The geographical boundaries of the desert to Lebanon are on the south and the north, while the Euphrates and the Mediterranean ("the western sea") are east and west. These are generalized boundaries in harmony with other such promises and prophecies (Dt 1:7; Ge 15:18).

McGee - You will notice that the land is a gift from God. He has given to them a land which is much greater than anything they have ever occupied. It was from the river Euphrates to the Mediterranean Sea, and from Lebanon all the way south into the desert that they had come through. This was approximately 300,000 square miles. They have never occupied more than about 30,000 square miles of it, even at the time when the kingdom reached its zenith under David and Solomon. "Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours." It had been given to them by God and it was theirs, but they failed to walk upon it, claim it, and enjoy it. God told Joshua the same thing. He told him that the land was right there before them and that it belonged to Israel. But He told them they had to go in and walk up and down in the land (ED: THIS REQUIRE FAITH AND THEY HAD TO EXERCISE THAT FAITH BY ACTION. IN SHORT THEY HAD TO OBEY GOD. THEY COULD POSSESS THEIR POSSESSIONS IF THEY OBEYED GOD.). Israel had to possess it. Why is there such a difference in believers today? Some Christians are sitting on the side lines and are poverty stricken spiritually. Others are fabulously rich spiritually. God makes it clear that He has blessed all believers with spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus. Some believers claim those blessings; some do not. Some believers enjoy those blessings; some do not. It is a matter of appropriating that which we already possess. (Deuteronomy 11 Mp3's)

Deuteronomy 11:25  "No man will be able to stand before you; the LORD your God will lay the dread of you and the fear of you on all the land on which you set foot, as He has spoken to you.

  • will be able to stand before you: De 2:25 7:24 Jos 1:5 2:9 5:1 
  • as He has spoken to you: Ex 23:27 
  • Deuteronomy 11 Resources

Related Passages:

Exodus 15:15-16 “Then the chiefs of Edom were dismayed; The leaders of Moab, trembling grips them; All the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away.  16“Terror and dread fall upon them; By the greatness of Your arm they are motionless as stone; Until Your people pass over, O LORD, Until the people pass over whom You have purchased. 

Deuteronomy 2:25 ‘This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the peoples everywhere under the heavens, who, when they hear the report of you, will tremble and be in anguish because of you.’ 

Deuteronomy 28:10 “So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will be afraid of you.

Exodus 23:27  “I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you.

Joshua 2:9-11, (RAHAB THE HARLOT) said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. 10 “For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 “When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.

Joshua 2:24 They said to Joshua, “Surely the LORD has given all the land into our hands; moreover, all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before us.”

Joshua 5:1 Now it came about when all the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan to the west, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard how the LORD had dried up the waters of the Jordan before the sons of Israel until they had crossed, that their hearts melted, and there was no spirit in them any longer because of the sons of Israel

INVINCIBLE ISRAEL

(5) No man will be able to stand before you - (Dt 7:24; Josh. 1:5; Josh 10:8; Josh 23:9) - Because the omnipotent God would stand with them. God plus one is a majority. And note again that this promise of divine enablement of Israel is conditioned on Israel's obedience.

(6) The LORD your God will lay the dread (pachad) of you and the fear of you on all the land on which you set foot - We see this in Rahab the harlot's declaration who said to the Israeli spies, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you." (Josh. 2:9)

As He has spoken to you - This recalls Yahweh's earlier words in Exodus 23:27 “I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you.


Norman Geisler -   DEUTERONOMY 11:25—Isn’t this a false prophecy?

PROBLEM: Moses told the children of Israel that “No man shall be able to stand against you; the Lord your God will put the dread of you and the fear of you upon all the land where you tread, just as He has said to you.” But this seems clearly false both in the short view and in the long run. Even under Joshua, Israel lost some battles (Josh 7:4). And in the long run, they were overrun by the Assyrians (2 Kings 16:9) and the Babylonians (2 Kings 25:22).

SOLUTION: This was not a false prophecy—it was a conditional promise. Notice it is prefaced by the condition “if you diligently obey My commandments which I command you” (v. 13), and “if you carefully keep all these commandments” (v. 22). In short, these were not categorical predictions, but conditional projections. When the people of Israel obeyed God, they were invincible against the most formidable foe (cf. Josh. 6). But when they did not obey Him, they fled in the face of the tiniest adversary (cf. Josh. 7). (When Critics Ask)

Deuteronomy 11:26  "See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse:

PRESENTATION OF 
BLESSING AND CURSE

Grant - The remainder of this chapter consists of the conclusion of the section that commenced with ch. 5. The principles of the covenant have been clearly expounded so that the Children of Israel could fully understand the issues involved. Now follows the challenge to the nation. As with all teaching in the Word of God the challenge is to obey, and Israel must face up to the consequences of their response (What the Bible Teaches – Leviticus and Deuteronomy)

Utley has an interesting statement (bold font) - 11:26–28 These verses continue the consequences of the conditional covenant between YHWH and His people. They are expanded in Deuteronomy 27–29. These verses explain much of the history of the Jews. (Deuteronomy 11 Commentary)

See (Behold) - Moses uses this command to stimulate their attention to what follows. It must be heard and understood! Moses uses the command See to call for attention, multiple times in this book - Dt 1:8, 21; 2:24; 4:5; 11:26; 30:15; Dt 32:39.

I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse - Note the time phrase TODAY. It's like our old saying don't put off tomorrow what you should do TODAY! They are presented two choices. These choices are polar opposites. No neutrality is allowed. One is either all in or all out. Ignorance is not bliss! To ignore is to disobey. 

Similarly there is no neutrality with Jesus. Don't think you can be okay if you say He was a great teacher, a kind man, etc. Jesus was clear in John 8:24 declaring “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He (FULLY GOD, FULLY MAN), you will die in your sins.”

Grant - Blessing and cursing are the two sides of the government of God, a feature that dominates Deuteronomy. This government did not end with the day of grace, and Christians today are still subject to it. Too often it is felt that the grace of God has changed the way in which God deals with men and women. The grace of God, however, does not annul the government of God. When Paul writes, "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep" (1 Cor 11:30), he is noting the government of God at work. Most dramatically it is seen in the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11). This sad incident took place early in the history of the Church as a lesson to succeeding ages that God still does not tolerate sin. His government may not always act in such a public way, but it still does act. (What the Bible Teaches – Leviticus and Deuteronomy)

NET NoteA blessing and a curse. Every extant treaty text of the late Bronze Age attests to a section known as the “blessings and curses,” the former for covenant loyalty and the latter for covenant breach. Blessings were promised rewards for obedience; curses were threatened judgments for disobedience. In the Book of Deuteronomy these are fully developed in Dt 27:1–28:68. Here Moses adumbrates (reports in outline) the whole by way of anticipation.


Deuteronomy 11:26–28. - D L Moody Yearbook

TAKE the two Sauls. They lived about one thousand years apart. One started out well and ended poorly, and the other started out poorly and ended well.

The first Saul got a kingdom and a crown; he had a lovely family, (no father ever had a better son than Saul had in Jonathan); he had the friendship of Samuel, the best prophet there was on the face of the earth; and yet he lost the friendship of Samuel, lost his crown, his kingdom and his life, all through an act of disobedience.

Now take the Saul of the New Testament. When God called him he was obedient to the heavenly vision, and he was given a heavenly kingdom.
One act of obedience, one act of disobedience. The act of obedience gained all, and the act of disobedience lost everything. I believe the wretchedness and misery and woe in this country to-day comes from disobedience to God. If they won’t obey God as a nation, let us begin individually. Let us make up our minds that we will do it, cost us what it will; and we will have peace and joy.

Deuteronomy 11:27  the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today;

  •  De 28:1-14 Lev 26:3-13 Ps 19:11 Isa 1:19 3:10 Mt 5:3-12 25:31-46 Lu 11:28 Joh 13:17 14:21-23 Ro 2:7 Jas 1:25 Rev 22:14 
  • Deuteronomy 11 Resources

THE BLESSING
CONDITIONED ON OBEDIENCE

 the blessing, IF you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today - Note that listen does not just mean to hear but to hear and obey.  Listen means to heard so as to do, not just hear sound waves! This is clearly shown by the use of listen in the following passage where not to listen is paralleled with turn aside, another way of saying not obeying. In short, the blessing is conditioned on Israel's obedience.

Utley summarizes listen in this verse “if you listen”—Qal IMPERFECT, “hear so as to do,” cf. commanded in Dt 4:1; 5:1; 6:3, 4; 9:1; 20:3; 27:10; 33:7; conditioned in Dt 7:12; Dt 11:13 (twice); Dt 15:5 (twice); Dt 28:1 (twice), Dt 28:13; 30:10, 17 (Deuteronomy 11 Commentary)

McGee - Obedience is something which has been dropped into the background today. I believe in the grace of God. I preach the grace of God. We are saved by grace, we are kept by grace, we grow by the grace of God. We are going to get to heaven by the grace of God. When we've been there ten thousand years, it will still be by the grace of God. But, my friend, there are great spiritual blessings today which you are going to miss if you are not obedient to Him. Jesus told us, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). Obedience offers a personal, wonderful, glorious relationship with God. (Deuteronomy 11 Mp3's)

Deuteronomy 11:28  and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known.

THE CURSE
CONDITIONED ON DISOBEDIENCE

And the curse, IF you do not listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known - Notice that to not follow God is paired with following other gods. The point is clear. Israel's heart (and every human heart) can not be spiritually empty, and this includes those who deceive their own heart into thinking there is no God and so they do not believe in a god (with a little g). Their god may not be wood or stone, but it is an idol nonetheless. Anything (money, ambition, love of self, etc) in place of God is an idol, a false god!

I like the way God says it to Ezekiel "Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and have put right before their faces the stumbling block of their iniquity. Should I be consulted by them at all?(Ezek 14:3)

Where do we place our idols?
On a "shelf" in our heart! 

The curse is especially for violation of the first commandment "‘I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  ‘You shall have no other gods before Me." (Dt 5:6-7+)

Utley on following other gods— literally, “walking,” cf. Dt 6:14; 8:19; 11:28; 13:2; 28:14; Jdg 2:12; Jer. 7:6, 9; 11:10; 13:10 This contrast of destinies is often called “the two ways” (cf. Dt 28 and Dt 30:1, 15–20; Ps 1:1-6; Jer. 21:8; Mt 7:13–14). (Deuteronomy 11 Commentary)

Guzik - Inherent in Israel’s disobedience was idolatry. Whenever we walk in disobedience, we exalt ourselves against God – and declaring that our rules, our standards, our desires, are all more important than His. This is idolatry in its most base – and common – form.  (Deuteronomy 11)

Deuteronomy 11:29  "It shall come about, when the LORD your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, that you shall place the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal.

Related Passages:

Deuteronomy 27:11-26 Moses also charged the people on that day, saying, 12 “When you cross the Jordan, these shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. 13 “For the curse, these shall stand on Mount Ebal: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. 14 “The Levites shall then answer and say to all the men of Israel with a loud voice,  15 ‘Cursed is the man who makes an idol or a molten image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen.’  16 ‘Cursed is he who dishonors his father or mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’  17 ‘Cursed is he who moves his neighbor’s boundary mark.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’  18‘Cursed is he who misleads a blind person on the road.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’  19 ‘Cursed is he who distorts the justice due an alien, orphan, and widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’  20 ‘Cursed is he who lies with his father’s wife, because he has uncovered his father’s skirt.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’  21 ‘Cursed is he who lies with any animal.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’  22‘Cursed is he who lies with his sister, the daughter of his father or of his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’  23 ‘Cursed is he who lies with his mother-in-law.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’  24‘Cursed is he who strikes his neighbor in secret.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’  25 ‘Cursed is he who accepts a bribe to strike down an innocent person.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’  26 ‘Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

Joshua 8:30-35 Then Joshua built an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal, 31 just as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the sons of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of uncut stones on which no man had wielded an iron tool; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings. 32 He wrote there on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written, in the presence of the sons of Israel. 33 All Israel with their elders and officers and their judges were standing on both sides of the ark before the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, the stranger as well as the native. Half of them stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the LORD had given command at first to bless the people of Israel. 34 Then afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the book of the law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel with the women and the little ones and the strangers who were living among them.

MOUNTAIN
MEMORY AIDS

Experts in the field of communications say that our learning is 89% visual, 10% auditory, and 1%. through the other senses. "Use a memorable visual image to represent that item. Images are important because they connect directly to your brain’s visuospatial centers. Images help you remember difficult concepts by tapping into visual areas. But you don’t just have to use images—the more of the five senses you can use, the easier it will be for you to recall information. Rather than just visualizing an image, try to smellfeel, and hear the image as well." (Learning Center)

It shall come about, when the LORD your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, that you shall place the blessing on Mount Gerizim (pixand the curse on Mount Ebal (pix) - These two mountains would be stable, visual, immutable memory aids for Israel. Every time an Israelite saw these mountains, their presence would/should serve to stir memories of the blessings and curses read from each mountain as described in De 27:12-26 which Joshua obeyed (See passages above). Note that these mountains were on either side of the route Israel would take after crossing the Jordan and entering the promised land. Clearly God wanted this motivation (blessings) and warning (curses) to be seen graphically and immediately. Chronologically this blessing/cursing ritual would follow Israel's defeat of Jericho (Joshua 6:1-27) and the defeat of Israel at Ai and Achan's act of disobedience (Josh 7:1-26)

Utley - blessing...curse - Apparently two groups of Levitical singers sang or chanted the blessing from Mt. Gerezim and the curses from Mr. Ebal. These two mountains flank Shechem (i.e., meaning shoulder blades, BDB 1014). Archaeology has found a large stone altar on Mt. Ebal which matches the description of this altar in the Talmud. (Deuteronomy 11 Commentary)

NET Note - These two mountains are near the ancient site of Shechem and the modern city of Nablus. The valley between them is like a great amphitheater with the mountain slopes as seating sections. The place was sacred because it was there that Abraham pitched his camp and built his first altar after coming to Canaan (Ge 12:6). Jacob also settled at Shechem for a time and dug a well from which Jesus once requested a drink of water (Gen 33:18–20; John 4:5–7). When Joshua and the Israelites finally brought Canaan under control they assembled at Shechem as Moses commanded and undertook a ritual of covenant reaffirmation (Josh 8:30–35; 24:1, 25). Half the tribes stood on Mt. Gerizim and half on Mt. Ebal and in antiphonal chorus pledged their loyalty to the LORD before Joshua and the Levites who stood in the valley below (Josh 8:33; cf. Deut 27:11–13).

Guzik - The name Gerizim is supposed to be associated with fruitful harvests, and the name Ebal is supposed to be associated with barrenness.  (Deuteronomy 11)

Related Resources:


ISBE describes the area of Mt Gerizim and Mt Ebal: "The two mountains mentioned were selected for this act, no doubt because they were opposite to one another, and stood, each about 2,500 feet high, in the very centre of the land. Ebal stands upon the north side, Gerizim upon the south. Ebal ... rises north of the vale of Shechem, over against Mt. Gerizim on the south. The mountain ... reaches a height of 1,402 feet above the floor of the valley, and 3,077 feet above the level of the Mediterranean ... These two mountains overhang the pass through which runs the main artery of intercourse between east and west, the city of Nablus lying in the throat of the valley to the west".


Holman Bible DictionaryGerizim and Ebal - Closely related place names meaning, “cut off ones” and “stripped one” or “baldy.” Two mountains which form the sides of an important east-west pass in central Israel known as the valley of Shechem. Ancient Shechem lies at the east entrance of this valley, and modern Nablus stands in the narrow valley between the two mountains. Shechem is located some 40 miles north of Jerusalem and, because of the mountainous terrain, controls all roads through the central hill country of Israel.

Gerizim (modern Jebel et-Tor) stands 2,849 feet above the Mediterranean and 700 feet above the valley. Ebal (modern Jebel Eslamiyeh) was located directly opposite Gerizim and Isaiah 2,950 feet above sea level. Both of the mountains are steep and rocky and perhaps gave reason to the probable meaning of Shechem: “shoulder(s).” The mountains, standing like two sentinels, could be fortified and assure control of this important valley. Excavations have shown architectural features which imply its commercial and military importance in the area.

When the Israelites conquered central Israel, Joshua carried out the directive given by Moses, and placed half of the tribes on Mount Gerizim to pronounce the blessing (Deuteronomy 27:12 ) and the other half on Mount Ebal to pronounce the curses (Deuteronomy 11:29; Joshua 8:30-35 ). Joshua built an altar on Ebal (Joshua 8:30 ).

Jotham proclaimed his famous kingship fable to the citizens of Shechem from Mount Gerizim (Judges 9:7 ), thus using its sacred tradition to reinforce the authority of his message. After the Assyrians captured the Northern Kingdom, the mixed race of people began mixing pagan worship and worship of Yahweh (2 Kings 17:33 ).

Gerizim disappears from biblical history until after the Babylonian Exile and the Persian restoration. The Jewish historian Josephus reported that Alexander the Great gave permission to the Samaritans to build a temple on Mount Gerizim. Archaeologists think they have found remains of this temple, 66 x 66 feet and 30 feet high, built of uncut rocks without cement. Josephus also reported that John Hyrcanus destroyed the temple in 128 B.C. Archaeologists have also found remains of the temple to Zeus Hypsistos which Hadrian, the Roman emperor, built after A.D. 100. Over 1500 marble steps led to the pagan temple. The small Samaritan community continues to worship on Gerizim today, just as they did in Jesus' lifetime when He met the Samaritan woman drawing water from Jacob's well. She pointed to traditional worship on the mountain (John 4:20 ).


Gerizim: Gerizim and Ebal, mountains west of Jordan, and in the tribe of Ephraim, are opposite, or parallel to each other, extending from east to west; mount Gerizim being on the south, and mount Ebal on the north.  They are separated by the beautiful valley in which Shechem or Nablous is situated, which is only about 200 paces in width.  Both mountains are much alike in length, height, and figure; being about a league in length, in the form of a semicircle, and so steep, on the side of Shechem, that there is scarcely any shelving:  their altitude appeared to Mr. Buckingham nearly equal, not exceeding 700 or 800 feet from the level of the valley, which is itself elevated.  But though they resemble each other in these particulars, yet in another they are very dissimilar; for, says Maundrell, "though neither of the mountains has much to boast of as to its pleasantness, yet, as one passes between them, Gerizim seems to discover a somewhat more verdant, fruitful aspect then Ebal:  the reason of which may be, because fronting towards the north, it is sheltered from the heat of the sun by its own shade; whereas Ebal, looking southward, and receiving the sun that comes directly upon it, must by consequence be rendered more scorched and unfruitful."


A LIST OF THE MOST FAMOUS MOUNTAINS NAMED IN SCRIPTURE

        Amalek, in the tribe of Ephraim.  Jud 12:15.
        Calvary, near Jerusalem.  Lu 23:33.
        Carmel, near the Mediterranean.  Jos 19:26 
        Ebal, near to Gerizim.  Jos 8:30.
        En-gedi, near the Dead Sea.  Jos 15:62.
        Gaash, in the tribe of Ephraim.  Jos 24:30.
        Gilboa, south of the valley of Israel.  2 Sa 1:21.
        Gilead, beyond Jordan.  Ge 31:21-25 
        Gerizim, on which afterwards stood a temple of the Samaritans.  Jud 9:7.
        Hermon, beyond Jordan.  Jos 11:3.
        Hor, in Idumea.  Nu 20:22.
        Horeb, in Arabia Petrea, near to Sinai.  De 1:2.
        Lebanon, separates Syria from Palestine.  De 3:25.
        Moriah, where the temple was built.  2 Ch 3:1.
        Nebo, part of the mountains of Abarim.  Nu 32:3.
        Olives, east of Jerusalem, divided only by brook Kidron.  1 Ki 11:1, 7.  2 Ki 23:13.  Ac 1:12.
        Paran, in Arabia Petrea.  Ge 14:6.  De 1:1.
        Pisgah, beyond Jordan.  Nu 21:20.  De 34:1.
        Seir, in Idume.  Ge 14:6.
        Sinai, in Arabia Petrea.  Ex 19:2.  De 33:2.
        Sion, near to mount Moriah.  2 Sa 5:7.
        Tabor, in the Lower Galilee.  Jud 4:6.


QUESTION - What is the significance of Mount Gerizim in the Bible?

ANSWER - Mount Gerizim is a mountain located in the central Samaritan highlands. Its summit is about 2,800 feet above sea level. Mount Gerizim sits directly opposite Mount Ebal with the biblical city of Shechem (What is the importance of Shechem?) resting in the pass between the two elevations. Mount Gerizim on the south side of the valley and Mount Ebal to the north played significant roles in a ceremony renewing Israel’s covenant with the Lord upon entering the Promised Land.

Mount Gerizim, situated about 30 miles north of Jerusalem, is known as Jabal at Tur today. Mount Ebal (modern Jabal Ibal) and Mount Gerizim are the two highest mountains in this region of the Holy Land. Shechem, at the base of Mount Gerizim, was a well-traveled trade intersection in ancient times. It was also one of the most frequently referenced cities of the Old Testament.

Through Moses, God gave detailed instructions for a ceremony of “blessings and cursings” to take place when the people of Israel entered Canaan (Deuteronomy 27:1–26). The ceremony would symbolize the renewal of Israel’s covenant commitment to the Lord. Once they had crossed the Jordan, the Israelites were to build a monument of stones containing the words of the law, as well as an altar for offering sacrifices to the Lord (verses 1–8). Worshiping the Lord and obeying God’s Word were to be essentials for Israel’s existence in the Promised Land.

After the law of Moses was written on the stones, the people were to divide into two groups. Half of Israel’s tribes were to gather on Mount Gerizim and the other half on Mount Ebal, while the priests with the Ark of the Covenant were to stand in the valley between. As the Levites read the blessings for obeying the law, the six tribes on Mount Gerizim were to pronounce a resounding “Amen!” When the Levites recited the curses for disobeying the law, the other six tribes on Mount Ebal were to give a great cry of “Amen!” (Deuteronomy 27:9–26).

Joshua, successor to Moses, faithfully and precisely carried out these instructions, as recorded in Joshua 8:30–35. Through the solemn ceremony, Israel was reminded of the importance of loyal obedience to God and the foolishness of disobedience. In this way, Mount Gerizim came to be known as the “mount of blessing.”

Mount Gerizim also served as the stage of a pivotal event in the period of the judges. Gideon’s son Abimelech convinced the people of Shechem to make him king by conspiring with his mother’s relatives there. He had his half-brothers, the 70 sons of Gideon, slaughtered. Only Jotham survived. From atop Mount Gerizim, which overlooks Shechem, Jotham delivered his “Fable of the Bramble King,” a story damning Abimelech and cursing the townspeople (Judges 9:5–20). His words had no immediate impact, but within three years Abimelech lost favor with his supporters in Shechem. Eventually, he was killed while fighting against them when a woman dropped a millstone from a tower, crushing his skull (Judges 9:22–57).

The New Testament does not mention Mount Gerizim by name, but it figures notably in the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, who called it the mountain where “our fathers worshiped” (John 4:20–23). According to Genesis 12:6–7, Abraham built an altar there, and in Genesis 33:18–20 Jacob constructed an altar there as well. For the Samaritans, Mount Gerizim had been a sacred site for the worship of God for centuries. On this mountain the Samaritans had built a temple to rival the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. But Jesus told the Samaritan woman that the physical location of our worship is not important. Temples and tabernacles, cities and mountains: these were only fading symbols that pointed to the spiritual reality—Jesus Christ—who was standing in front of her. True worshipers must worship the Lord their God in spirit and in truth.GotQuestions.org


QUESTION -  What is the significance of Mount Ebal in the Bible?

ANSWER - Mount Ebal is located in the Promised Land of Israel, near the middle of Samaria. It is one of a pair of twin peaks, the other being Mount Gerizim. Both mountains were designated by God for the reading of His blessings and curses Israel would incur for obeying or disobeying His law. Deuteronomy 11:26–29 records the Lord’s words to Israel: ”See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse—the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God. . . . When the Lord your God has brought you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim on Mount Gerizim the blessings, and on Mount Ebal the curses.” The Bible identifies Mount Ebal as “near the great trees of Moreh, in the territory of those Canaanites living in the Arabah in the vicinity of Gilgal” (verse 30).

Today Mount Ebal is known as Sitti Salamiyah, so named for a female Islamic saint whose tomb stands on the eastern side of the ridge, just before the highest point. Tradition holds that the location of the twin peaks is such that people beneath the mountains could hear words being read on either. Over the centuries various groups have experimented with that claim.

God instructed Moses to build an altar of rough stones, covered with plaster, on Mount Ebal (Deuteronomy 27:2–3). The Israelites were to write the words of the law on this altar. However, God forbade Moses himself to enter the Promised Land because of his rebellion, so it was Joshua, his successor, who actually built the altar on Ebal (Joshua 8:30). God chose the tribes of Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali to stand on Mount Ebal as the curses were pronounced as a warning to all Israel (Deuteronomy 27:13). The tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin were to stand on Mount Gerizim as the blessings on the people were pronounced (Deuteronomy 27:12).

After the battles of Jericho and Ai, Joshua led the people to Mount Ebal and did all that God had commanded Moses. He gathered the people together to read the law: “Half of the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the LORD had formerly commanded when he gave instructions to bless the people of Israel” (Joshua 8:33). With the children of Israel divided on the foothills of the two mountains, the Levites stood in the valley between them and read the words of the law. The reading was thorough: “Every word of every command that Moses had ever given was read to the entire assembly of Israel, including the women and children and the foreigners who lived among them” (verse 35, NLT).

The formal reading of the law in the people’s presence and with their participation represented a renewal of the covenant. The curses that were read toward Mount Ebal as a warning to the Israelites in the Promised Land were a reminder that the Mosaic Covenant was conditional. Built in to the law were punishments for disobedience. Curses at Ebal were leveled against those who practiced idolatry, dishonored their parents, took advantage of the vulnerable, withheld justice, committed murder, took bribes, or committed various sexual sins. After each curse, the people were all to say, “Amen!” (Deuteronomy 27:15–26). This response showed that the people heard, understood, and agreed.

It is unknown why the Lord chose those particular mountains as symbols of His blessing and curses. Perhaps it was because they stood so close together that the people could hear all at once. God also wanted His people to understand that His blessings and curses were separate. He did not even want them to be pronounced together. The Israelites were to be a holy people, set apart from the heathen nations around them (Exodus 19:622:31Leviticus 19:2). Mount Ebal stood as a warning that God takes sin seriously and that harsh consequences follow the breaking of His laws. GotQuestions.org

Deuteronomy 11:30  "Are they not across the Jordan, west of the way toward the sunset, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Arabah, opposite Gilgal, beside the oaks of Moreh?

THE LOCATION OF MOUNTAINS OF 
BLESSING AND CURSING

 Are they not across the Jordan, west of the way toward the sunset, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Arabah, opposite Gilgal, beside the oaks of Moreh? - The Arabah is the Jordan Valley south of the Dead Sea. 

Utley on Gilgal - Gilgal” This means a “circle of stones” (BDB 166 II), which was the name of the Israelites’ first camp site in Canaan (cf. Josh. 4:19). However, this one may be farther north near Shechem  oaks of Moreh” This was a sacred tree or grove. We know this was a sacred site near Shechem because of Ge 12:6 and Ge 35:4. Moreh means “teacher”. (Deuteronomy 11 Commentary)

Deuteronomy 11:31  "For you are about to cross the Jordan to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you, and you shall possess it and live in it,

For you are about to cross the Jordan to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you, and you shall possess it and live in it - Note the juxtaposition of God's sovereignty (giving the land) and man's responsibility to possess the land (repeated). 

Deuteronomy 11:32  and you shall be careful to do all the statutes and the judgments which I am setting before you today.

Related Passages:

Deuteronomy 5:32-33+ “So you shall observe to do just as the LORD your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right or to the left. 33“You shall walk in all the way which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you will possess.

REITERATION
BE CAREFUL TO DO

and you shall be careful (shamar) to do all the statutes and the judgments which I am setting before you today - These are rules not to enter the land, but are rules that would enable Israel to remain in the land. And while Moses says "all" clearly no human can perfectly keep all of the statutes and the judgments. He is however speaking of the "general direction" of their life which should always be moving toward greater and greater degrees of holiness.