Brief Takeaways from Deuteronomy 10

The Ten Commandments were written . . . for the second time, then placed in the ark of the covenant (10:5). What else?

The special role of the Levites (10:8,9) – God “separated the tribe of Levi,” giving it the honor and duty of serving at the tabernacle and bearing the ark of the covenant (10:8). Rather than receive a land territory as an inheritance like the other tribes would, for the tribe of Levi, “the LORD is his inheritance” (10:9). With special privileges came responsibilities.

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you?” (10:12). Moses’ answer: to fear God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, and “to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (10:12). What does God require of humans? Every person ought to seek the Bible answer to that question, accept the Bible answer, and apply that message. God deserved Israel’s best: complete submission to Him from the heart. It is not enough to obey. Submission and service must come from a heart that wants to please the Lord in every matter. As Moses put it, Israel needed to “hold fast” to the Lord (10:20). The same is true for us (Hebrews 10:23).

A special kind of circumcision – Through Moses, the Lord charged Israel, “Therefore: circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer” (10:16). That was not literal circumcision performed on their literal heart; rather to “circumcise” the heart was a call for the Israelites to cut off sinful thoughts and keep their hearts pure. In the new covenant, we read that Christians have been circumcised in the heart (Colossians 2:11; Romans 2:28,29).

God of gods and Lord of lords – After telling Israel to circumcise their hearts (10:16), Moses gave them this description of Jehovah: “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome” (10:17). Such a statement does not imply that there are other true “gods.” Instead, it points to the God of Israel as being the one, true, original, all-powerful God. None is like Him. He is the first and the last (Isaiah 44:6). Such a Being deserves our adoration and service, too, does He not?

God as a lover and caretaker of those who face unique challenges in life – “He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing” (10:18). We often read of God’s arrangements to care for those people. God wanted the Israelites to join Him in having compassion on such folks (10:19). Today He calls on Christians to look after the needs of orphans and widows (James 1:27). Are we inclined to do so?

— Roger D. Campbell

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