Purpose: To remind the people of what God has done and encourage them to rededicate their lives to him.
Author: Moses (except for the final summary which was probably written by Joshua after Moses’ death)
To Whom Written: Israel (the new generation entering the Promised Land)
Date Written: About 1407/6 BC
Setting: The east side of the Jordan River, in view of the Promised Land
Key People: Moses, Joshua
Key Place: The valley of Arabah in Moab, east of the Jordan River
*History: Moses reviews God’s efforts to set Israel free from slavery in Egypt. By reviewing God’s promises and might acts, we can learn about his character and grow in faith.
*Laws: The legal contract between God and his people had to be renewed for the new generation entering the Promised Land. Commitment to God and his truth cannot be taken for granted. Every person in each generation must respond anew to God’s call.
*Love: God’s faithful and patient love is portrayed more often than his punishment. His love forms the foundation for our trust in him. We can be confident that the one who loves us perfectly can be trusted with our lives.
*Choices: God reminded his people that in order to enjoy the blessings of his will for them, they would have to continue in obedience. Our choices make a difference. Choosing to follow God produces good results in our lives and in our relationships with others. Choosing to abandon God’s ways brings harmful results to us and to others.
*Teaching: God commanded the Israelites to teach their children his ways. God’s truth must be passed on to future generations. It is not, however, just the traditions or commands that are to be passed on. Rather, we are to teach each new generation to know and love God personally.