Themes in Deuteronomy


Moses reviewed the mighty acts of God whereby he liberated Israel from slavery in Egypt. He recounted how God had helped them and how the people had disobeyed.

By reviewing God’s promises and mighty acts in history, we can learn about his character. We come to know God more intimately through understanding how he has acted in the past. We can also avoid mistakes in our own lives through learning from Israel’s past failures.


God reviewed his laws for the people. The legal contract between God and his people had to be renewed by the new generation about to enter the Promised Land.

Commitment to God and his truth cannot be taken for granted. Each generation and each person must respond afresh to God’s call for obedience.


God’s faithful and patient love is portrayed more often than his punishment. God shows his love by being faithful to his people and his promises. In response, God desires love from the heart, not merely a legalistic keeping of his law.

God’s love forms the foundation for our trust in him. We trust him because he loves us. Because God loves us, we should maintain justice and respect.


God reminded his people that in order to ratify his agreement, they must choose the path of obedience. A personal decision to obey would bring benefits to their lives; rebellion would bring severe calamity.

Our choices make a difference. Choosing to follow God benefits us and improves our relationships with others. Choosing to abandon God’s ways brings harm to ourselves and others.


God commanded the Israelites to teach their children his ways. They were to use ritual, instruction, and memorization to make sure their children understood God’s principles and passed them on to the next generation.

Quality teaching for our children must be a priority. It is important to pass on God’s truth to future generations in our traditions. But God desires that his truth be in our hearts and minds and not merely in our traditions.