God's Love Letter to Israel
| Further Commentary on Chapter 7 |
We come to the last book of the Pentateuch and surprisingly - this is the
most revealing of Jehovah's Love for Israel. We like to think of Deuteronomy as the
book of the law and so it is. But the main theme not to be lost is Jehovah's longing
to be loved by Israel.
Moses was about to die and he was instructed by Jehovah to once, again sit
down and teach Israel. The first time he did this (to the first generation) Israel
was steeped in self-absorption. All Israel could think of was the Egypt of old -
mostly the Egypt of story that their parents had told them for certainly the Egypt the
they had left was no pleasant experience. In fact, they were so self-absorbed that
when Moses came down from the mount having been instructed from Jehovah his face was
shining from the glory of the Lord and he had to cover it because Israel was afraid. Paul said that it was
because of Israel's dullness of mind that only could be taken away by Salvation's
experience when the heart is regenerated.
The Love of God - the first of the dual themes of Deuteronomy.
But this was the second generation - a generation that trusted in Jehovah
and His appointed leaders - Israel was ready to hear once again from Jehovah of His Love
for them. That God Loves Israel (and us) and that He expects love in return is the
general theme of Deuteronomy may be a surprise to many. Actually, according to Dr.
McGee, love occurs twenty two times in Deuteronomy. The fact that God loves
Israel is brought to light particularly in chapters 7 and 10. We as gentiles were
included in that Love even back in Moses' time as shown in Deut. 10:18-19; He
doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving
him food and raiment.  Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were
strangers in the land of Egypt. The stranger here is the gentile - Israel
was to love the gentile as Jehovah did.
The believer is return his love for Jehovah by obeying His Word.
This dual theme resonates so much with the writing of John the apostle and Jesus
Himself. Jesus said; "If you love me keep my commandments." John the apostle said this:
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his
commandments.  For this is the love of God, that we keep his
commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. So all these commands given
by Moses in his last days were actually a love letter from Jehovah to His people because
He did not want them to wander anymore in sin - rather He longed to encircle them as a hen
would its chicks in protecting them and loving them. 
This is the emphasis I wish to take in this lesson - there certainly are
plenty of references to the various commandments that Jehovah wished His people to obey in
order to protect them from injury and from His disapproval - to foster a relationship with
Him. But, if I may, let us look at this theme of His Love for us and our
responsibility to return that love in obedience to His commandments.
First here is an outline of Deuteronomy - again, permit me to use Dr.
McGee's excellent grasp of outlining God's word.
Outline of Deuteronomy.
Reviewing the Journeys, Chapters 1 - 4
Restating the Law - Love and Obedience, Chapters 5 - 26
Regarding the Future in the Land (blessings and cursings), Chapters 27
Requiem to Moses, Chapters 31 - 34.
Worksheet on Love and Obey Passages.
Instead of text, this lesson will have most of the 22 verses that appear
with the word "Love" in them with some "white" space for your notes.
All passages are in the NIV translation.
Jehovah is Wants Our Love Exclusively.
You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a
jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth
generation of those who hate me,  but showing love to a thousand
generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  Love the
LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
God's Love is Faithful - Enduring Forever.
The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more
numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.  But
it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he
brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the
power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.  Know therefore that the LORD your God
is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of
those who love him and keep his commands.
God's Love Results in Blessings for a Nation that Obeys His
If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD
your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your forefathers.
 He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the
fruit of your womb, the crops of your land--your grain, new wine and oil--the calves of
your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land that he swore to your forefathers to
give you.  You will be blessed more than any other people; none of
your men or women will be childless, nor any of your livestock without young.
 The LORD will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you
the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all who hate you.
Loving God Develops a Deep Reverence for Him.
And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD
your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your
heart and with all your soul,  and to observe the LORD'S commands and
decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
 To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth
and everything in it.  Yet the LORD set his affection on your
forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as
it is today.  Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be
stiff-necked any longer.
God Loves Those who are Suffering Misfortune.
He Loves the Gentile.
He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving
him food and clothing.  And you are to love those who are aliens, for
you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.
God's Faithful Love Demands our Faithful Love in Return.
Love the LORD your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his
Obeying God's Commandments as a Nation Results in Economic Prosperity.
So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today--to love the LORD
your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul-- then
I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may
gather in your grain, new wine and oil.  I will provide grass in the
fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.
Observing God's Commandments as a Nation results in National Security.
If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow--to love the
LORD your God, to walk in all his ways and to hold fast to him-- then the LORD will drive
out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than
you.  Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your
territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the
If we Love God We must Shun Idolatry and the Occult.
you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is
testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.
If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your
closest friend secretly entices you, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods"
(gods that neither you nor your fathers have known,
Loving God is Possible only from a heart that has been Regenerated
through the Salvation Experience.
The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants,
so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.
Loving God is a Choice that results in Life.
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before
you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children
may live  and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his
voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in
the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Moses Final Blessing on the Nation Israel.
This is the blessing that Moses the man of God pronounced on the Israelites before
his death.  He said:
"The LORD came from Sinai and dawned over them from Seir; he shone forth from
Mount Paran. He came with myriads of holy ones from the south, from his mountain slopes. 
Surely it is you who love the people; all the holy ones are in your hand. At your
feet they all bow down, and from you receive instruction,
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1. Read 2 Cor 3:13 - 16; Ex. 34:29 - 35.
2. Love occurs 22 times in Deuteronomy using NIV, NAS, and KJV as reference
3. John 14:15.
4. 1 John 5:2-3.
5. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest
them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even
as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!