9 July 2013

Deuteronomy 10:12-22

"For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribes." (v.17)


The word 'Deuteronomy' means 'repetition of the law' and it was traditionally thought that the main part of it was written by Moses just before his death around 1406 BC. Most scholars today, however, believe that Deuteronomy was composed by a number of authors in the late 7th century BC, during the religious reform carried out under King Josiah.

This passage places Moses and the Israelites in the territory of Moab, in the area where the river Jordan flows into the Dead Sea. Moses was involved in transferring his leadership to Joshua, and so he gave a number of farewell addresses so as to prepare the people for this change and for their move into Canaan (the 'Promised Land').

These addresses allowed the people to renew their commitment to God. In them, Moses highlighted the laws that were especially important at such a time, and he did so in a way that was appropriate to each situation. Today's passage is one such address.

The emphasis in Deuteronomy is on the love relationship between God and God's people. The book calls for total commitment to the Lord in obedience and worship, and references to its message are found throughout the rest of the Bible.

To Ponder

  • How far is it possible for Christians to honour God and to keep their hands clean when working in the areas of politics, the police, business and commerce?
  • Which groups of people do you consider to be outsiders in your society today?
  • Do you believe that they can challenge and inspire you in your Christian faith? How?

Bible notes author

The Revd Sue Jansen

Sue Jansen is a Methodist minister working as a mission partner in Argentina. Before training for the ministry she worked as a teacher for many years and was a local preacher in the Methodist Church.