Many people believe that Deuteronomy is just a boring rule book for an ancient civilization. The truth is, the book of Deuteronomy was vitally important to many leaders of Israel, such as Joshua and Jesus Christ.
Today, Christians believe in a promise much like that of the Israelites: the promise of eternal life and the return of Jesus Christ. Many other Christians have been promised something by God and are waiting for the promise to be fulfilled. Deuteronomy not only concerns laws for an ancient group of people but also contains rules and promises for many Christians living today.
In This Article:
- Deuteronomy Is About Obeying God
- Deuteronomy Is About Growing Faith
- Deuteronomy Is About Fulfilled Promises, and Our Part in Them
- Growing Faith at GCU
Deuteronomy Is About Obeying God
Jesus responded, ‘The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’ – Matthew 4:7 NLT
The time period that this verse refers to is as much about obeying God as it is about having faith in him. The Israelites tested God in the wilderness for years, disobeying him, grumbling against him and rebelling at every turn. In Deuteronomy, God warned them, saying, “You must not test the Lord your God as you did when you complained at Massah. You must diligently obey the commands of the Lord your God — all the laws and decrees he has given you,” (Deuteronomy 6:15-17).
Faith is nothing without obedience. Christians who want to grow their faith and live in accordance with God’s will need to obey his commands. This may include reading parts of the Bible that may seem drab or too old to be useful, as these books can teach Christians how to have radical faith and obedience as they wait on God’s promises to be fulfilled.
Deuteronomy Is About Growing Faith
’Get out of here, Satan,’ Jesus told him. 'For the Scriptures say, You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.' Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus. – Matthew 4:10-11 NLT
This is a reference to Deuteronomy 6:13, which says, “You must fear the Lord your God and serve him. When you take an oath, you must use only his name.”
Obedience to a command like this takes faith, as it means that we must admit that God is the only god who exists and remain loyal to him only. This kind of faith is something that can only grow through obeying God’s will, spending time in his Word and worshipping him at church and at home.
Christians often see Deuteronomy as boring or unnecessary to read due to its age and context — after all, such an old book can’t be important in the life of a Christian. This isn’t the case. Deuteronomy is a book so important that Christ himself used it to defend himself against the devil. It can teach us faith and obedience, as well as having victory through God through God’s grace alone.
Deuteronomy Is About Fulfilled Promises, and Our Part in Them
But Jesus told him, ‘No! The Scriptures say, People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ – Matthew 4:4 NLT
Contrary to what many Christians may believe, God gives us promises not just because he plans to bless us, but because he wants to also prepare us for the blessings he gives. This is so we can enjoy God’s blessings without carrying the same burdens we did before he blessed us.
Job is an excellent example of a godly man who was tested and prepared by God for the blessings God had in mind. Job had everything: wealth, children, servants and more. God had something better planned for him than his wealth, so he allowed the devil to torture Job as a test of his faith. This torture included the deaths of Job’s family, servants and livestock. God fully planned to restore everything the devil had taken and more, but he wasn’t going to do that before teaching Job a lesson in humility.
In the same way, we tend to get arrogant before God. We think that our blessings came from us alone, and so we choose to serve God only until life takes a turn for the worse. When it does, we lose our faith almost immediately. However, if we can keep our faith throughout the struggle, God will restore us.
Deuteronomy illustrates this same point. The Israelites spent the time of the Book of Deuteronomy standing at the threshold of the promised land. Their promise from God was about to be fulfilled. However, the Israelites weren’t ready for the promised land. They needed to receive rules for life first. This book taught the Israelites patience as they waited on God to fulfill his promises and deliver them to the promised land.
Many Christians today have been called to wait for God to fulfill a promise. They may feel that the waiting just keeps going on with no end in sight. However, Deuteronomy teaches us that there is an end in sight, but it operates on God’s timing, not our own. For now, there’s something to learn in the waiting, and oftentimes, the best way to learn how to handle yourself in a waiting period is by learning from those who have already learned to do it God’s way.
Growing Faith at GCU
Eager to learn more about God’s promises and the Book of Deuteronomy? You can explore this at Grand Canyon University (GCU). Fill out the form on this page to learn more about degree programs available at GCU.
Approved by the local outreach coordinator of the Office of Spiritual Life on May 5, 2023.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.