III. THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL
AS THE AUDIENCE WERE EXPERIENCED
IN GOD’S DEALING WITH THEM
The children of Israel as the audience were also experienced in God’s dealing with them. Both the spokesman and the audience were experienced; hence, this book begins with a review of the past.
Those who heard Moses’ respeaking in Deuteronomy were the second generation, the new generation. No doubt they had heard from their fathers about God’s dealing with the people in the previous forty years. Through what they heard, they learned very much. As a result, they became the right audience to receive Moses’ speaking. Moses, who was experienced, was the right speaker, and those of the new generation, who also were experienced, were the right audience to hear and understand what Moses spoke to them.
IV. THIS BOOK IS A SPEAKING
SUPPLEMENTARY TO THE BOOK OF NUMBERS,
CONCERNING WHAT KIND OF MAN ONE SHOULD BE
TO INHERIT THE PROMISED LAND AS THE GOOD LAND
This book is a speaking supplementary to the book of Numbers, concerning what kind of man one should be to inherit the promised land as the good land. He should be one who loves God, fears God, subjects himself to God’s ruling, minds the bowels of God, and lives in the presence of God. The principle of the New Testament is the same: God’s salvation is unconditional, whereas the enjoyment of the riches in Christ is conditional, depending on man’s loving Christ solely. Hence, the teaching in Deuteronomy is exactly the same as that in the New Testament. The expressions used in the teaching are different, but the essence of the teaching is the same.
When we hear about the kind of persons we must be to inherit the good land, we may feel that we cannot make it. If this is our feeling, we need to be reminded that the book of Deuteronomy is a book full of the word which is Christ. As the word, Christ is the One who sustains us and makes us those who love God, fear God, subject ourselves to God’s ruling, mind the tender feelings of God, and live in God’s presence. As long as we have a morning revival through the holy Word and have daily victory also through the Word, we will become those who are qualified to inherit the good land.
V. THIS BOOK SPEAKS OF GOD
AS A GOD OF LOVE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
This book speaks of God as a God of love and righteousness. This is proved by God’s past leading and His future dealing with the children of Israel in His love and government. The love of God administrates among His beloved according to their faithfulness. The principle is the same with us today.
As a God of love, He is all-embracing, but as a God of righteousness, He is very strict and narrow. In His love He is broad; in His righteousness He is narrow. In His right-eousness, He often says "No" when we want to do a certain thing.
Some saints, even in the Lord’s recovery, are too free and do not fear God. Once we have touched God’s dealing hand, we will fear Him. He deals with us righteously that we may be perfected to be righteous also. All those who intend to enter into the good land and to inherit, possess, and enjoy the good land must learn how to be righteous in every way in their daily living.
(Life-Study of Deuteronomy, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)