July 9, 2017
As you work through these studies, keep Deuteronomy 4:1-5:33 open in you bible.
1. There doesn’t seem to be any reason not to follow a command which says: “If you do …. then you will live and be victorious!” yet the children of Israel didn’t. Why do you think some people like commandments or rules while others hate them and will try to find ways around them? What are the issues here?
2. Why does God forbid idolatry? What is the real issue behind idolatry? Consider Deut. 4:11-12, 15-28, 32-35,39; 5:6-11. What are the idols that confront us today?
3. What does it mean that God is both jealous (4:24) and merciful (4:31)? What evidence supports both these claims?
4. In what ways is God incomparable, unique, like no other god? (See 4:32-39; see also Deut. 10:14-22; 2 Chron. 6:14-40; Pss. 95 & 97).
5. Deut. 4:41-43 mentions the cities of refuge. Read the following passages to find out more about them: Num. 35:6-34; Deut. 19:1-14; Josh. 20:1-14. What were they for and why were they located where they were? Why do you think they are mentioned where they are in Deuteronomy chapter 4.
6. What are the ‘Ten’ Commandments (there are actually 14-15 major statements)? See Ex. 20:1-17 and; Deut. 54-21 but see also Ex. 34!; It may surprise you to know that the commandments are divided and counted differently by Jews, Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics and Lutherans, and most other Christians, though all end up with a final count of 10! Do some research to find out the differences.
7. One of the most debated issues in the Ten Commandments is whether the commandment to keep the Sabbath still applies to Christians today. Jesus said that people can come to him and find rest (Mt. 11:28) and there is no commandment in the NT to keep the Sabbath, so should Christians observe a sabbath? Why or why not? You might like to look at some of: Rom. 6:14-15; 1 Cor. 9:19-23; Gal. 3:23-29; 5:13-18.