Dave Burnette's Commentary

Deuteronomy Chapter 31

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses 
Date Penned: (1407 BC)
Overview: To Remind and Rededicate Israel to the Lord (c 1-34)
Theme: The Change in Leadership (c 31-34)
Message: Moses Commissions Joshua (v 1-30)

Deuteronomy 31 Commentary

(31:10-13) The Law is Passed Down - The law was to be read to the whole assembly so that everyone, including the children, could hear it. Every seven years the entire nation would gather together and listen as a priest read the law that Moses had written down. There were no Bibles or websites to spread God's Word, so everyone had to rely on word of mouth and an accurate memory. Memorization was an important part of worship, because if everyone knew the law, ignorance would be no excuse for breaking it. To fulfill God's purpose and will in our lives, we need the content and substance of his Word in our hearts and minds. For the Israelites, this process began in childhood. Teaching children and new believers should be one of our top priorities. Our finest teachers, best resources, and most careful thought should be directed toward showing young believers how to follow God in all of life's situations.

(31:23) Joshua is Appointed - Joshua had been appointed to take over the leadership of Israel and guide the people into the Promised Land (Moses could not enter the land due to his disobedience-~-see Numbers 20:12). Joshua, first mentioned in Exodus 17-9, had been Moses' assistant for many years, and he would soon be commissioned as Israel's new leader (see Joshua 1:1-2). One of his key qualifications was his faith. As one of the 12 spies to first enter Canaan, only he and Caleb believed that God could help Israel conquer the land (Numbers 13-14). Moses told Joshua to be strong and of good courage twice in this chapter (Deuteronomy, 31-7, 23). Indeed, this was a frightening task with three million people to care for, settle disputes for, and lead into battle. Finding courage would be Joshua's greatest test. He was strong and courageous because he knew God was with him and because he had faith that God would do all he had promised Israel.

(31:27-29) A Heart of Rebellion - Moses knew that the Israelites, in spite of all they had seen of God's work, were rebellious at heart. They deserved God's punishment, although they often received his mercy instead. We, too, are stubborn and rebellious by nature. Throughout our lives we struggle with sin. Repentance once a month or once a week is not enough. We must constantly turn from our sins to God and let him, in his mercy, save us.



Dave Burnette's Life Application

Be Courageous

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Deuteronomy with Chapter 31 and we see a new and final address to the people of Israel as he prepares for a change in leadership and his last days. Moses commissions Joshua and records the laws. What catches my eye is the reoccurring statement of being strong and of a good courage in the midst of change. In making application we are in a changing world with the need to have faith, be courageous, be strong, and make a stand. It reminds me of the recent controversy of Many Christian Owned Businesses as they have taken a stand and are being courageous in the midst of a changing world. It might not be politically correct but is a Biblical Stand which causes people to think about what the Bible says. How about you? Are you willing to take a stand in a lost world? Let us learn from today's text and be strong and of good courage. 


Deuteronomy 31

Deuteronomy 31

 1And Moses went and spake these words unto all Israel.

 2And he said unto them, I am an hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also the LORD hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.

 3The LORD thy God, he will go over before thee, and he will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt possess them: and Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the LORD hath said.

 4And the LORD shall do unto them as he did to Sihon and to Og, kings of the Amorites, and unto the land of them, whom he destroyed.

 5And the LORD shall give them up before your face, that ye may do unto them according unto all the commandments which I have commanded you.

 6Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

 7And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.

 8And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

 9And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel.

 10And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles,

 11When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing.

 12Gather the people together, men and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:

 13And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.

 14And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thy days approach that thou must die: call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge. And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tabernacle of the congregation.

 15And the LORD appeared in the tabernacle in a pillar of a cloud: and the pillar of the cloud stood over the door of the tabernacle.

 16And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.

 17Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?

 18And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.

 19Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.

 20For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant.

 21And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware.

 22Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.

 23And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.

 24And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished,

 25That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying,

 26Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.

 27For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death?

 28Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them.

 29For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.

 30And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended.