Deuteronomy: Loving Obedience to a Loving God


The book of Deuteronomy is a call to obedience—the proper response to God’s faithfulness and love. Consisting primarily of speeches that Moses gave to the Israelites shortly before they entered the Promised Land, Moses’ words proclaimed God’s covenant faithfulness in hopes of motivating the Israelites to obey God despite the coming temptation to conform to the Canaanite culture.

The challenges they faced then are remarkably parallel to those facing Christians today as we grapple...

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Deuteronomy: Loving Obedience to a Loving God

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The book of Deuteronomy is a call to obedience—the proper response to God’s faithfulness and love. Consisting primarily of speeches that Moses gave to the Israelites shortly before they entered the Promised Land, Moses’ words proclaimed God’s covenant faithfulness in hopes of motivating the Israelites to obey God despite the coming temptation to conform to the Canaanite culture.

The challenges they faced then are remarkably parallel to those facing Christians today as we grapple with the issue of obedience in a world that offers other attractive ways of life. We wonder: How can we be faithful to God? And how do we help our children and the people we lead to be faithful? This book tells us how Moses tackled these challenges and, as Paul confirms in the New Testament, Deuteronomy serves “as an example…written down for our instruction” (1 Cor. 10:11).

Ajith Fernando unpacks the relevance of Deuteronomy and captivates us with rich anecdotes from his thirty-five years of ministry to first-generation Christians in Sri Lanka. He offers concrete examples of how the truths contained in Deuteronomy can be applied, and he teaches us that obedience is the necessary response to the God who loves and saves us.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
“Out of his broad experience of expounding the Scriptures, Dr. Fernando has given us a commentary that will appeal to all those who preach the Word. The work breathes a love for God, a deep understanding of Biblical theology, and a warmly poignant grasp of human nature—with its failings and its potentials. His applications of Deuteronomy’s teaching are both perceptive and relevant. While showing an awareness of scholarly treatments, the work is very accessible to those who do not have scholarly training. It is highly recommended.”
John Oswalt, Distinguished Professor of Old Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary

“Vintage Fernando. Like all of his preaching, this book is a model of the wonderful gift that God has given to Ajith Fernando for simple, clear, and challenging exposition of the Word of God. Without evading the more difficult questions and problems that scholars have wrestled with in the book of Deuteronomy, he does not allow them to dominate but stays close to the thrust of the text, patiently explaining and applying it step by step. The rich infusion of illustrations that are mostly drawn from the challenges and stresses, joys and sorrows of his own experience in ministry add a wonderful earthy texture to the whole book as we constantly weave between the Biblical world and today’s world in a way that listens to and engages with both. This book is a deep well of Biblical study, ethical challenge, practical advice, pastoral wisdom, and spiritual warmth. It breathes love for God, God’s Word, God’s world, and God’s people.”
Christopher J. H. Wright, International Director, Langham Partnership International; author, The Mission of God

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433531002
  • Publisher: Crossway Books
  • Publication date: 5/15/2012
  • Series: Preaching the Word Series
  • Pages: 768
  • Sales rank: 474,666
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 2.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Ajith Fernando is the Teaching Director of Youth for Christ in war-torn Sri Lanka after serving as the ministry's National Director for 35 years. He and his wife, Nelun, are active in a church ministering primarily to the urban poor. His ministry includes mentoring younger staff and counseling Christian workers. He is the author of fifteen books published in eighteen languages.

R. Kent Hughes (DMin, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is senior pastor emeritus of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois. He has authored numerous books for Crossway, including Disciplines of a Godly Man, and is the series editor and a contributor to the popular Preaching the Word series. Hughes is also a founder of the Charles Simeon Trust, which conducts expository preaching conferences throughout North America and worldwide. He now lives on the West Coast with his wife, Barbara, and is the father of four and grandfather of an ever-increasing number of grandchildren.

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Table of Contents

Frequently Used Reference Materials 13

Acknowledgments 17

A Word to Those Who Preach the Word 19

Preface: Why I Am Excited about Deuteronomy 21

1 Deuteronomy: Highly Relevant History (1:1-3, 5) 25

2 Keys to Launching out into Fresh Exploits (1:4-8) 37

3 Leadership and Growth (1:9-15) 45

4 Basic Training for Judges (1:16-18) 55

5 Faith versus Fear (1:19-33) 63

6 The Seriousness of God's Severity (1:34-46) 75

7 Provision in the Wilderness (2:1-23) 85

8 Doing Battle with God's Help (2:24-3:11) 93

9 Preparing a Community to Live Harmoniously (3:12-29) 103

10 Nurturing People Who Cling to God and His Word (4:1-14) 115

11 How to Prevent Idolatry (4:15-28) 127

12 Returning to God after Disobedience (4:29-31) 139

13 Believing and Obeying the Bible (4:32-43) 147

14 How to Think about the Law (4:44-5:6) 155

15 Exclusive Loyalty to God (5:7-10) 165

16 Honoring God's Name (5:11) 175

17 Sabbath-Keeping (5:12-15) 185

18 Honoring Parents (5:16) 195

19 The Sanctity of Life (5:17) 207

20 The Sanctity of Marriage (5:18) 215

21 Respect for Property and Truth (5:19, 20) 225

22 Covetousness versus Contentment (5:21) 235

23 A Conversation between God, Moses, and the People (5:22-33) 243

24 How Fear and Love Can Make Us Holy (6:1-5) 253

25 How the Word Can Make Us Holy (6:6-9) 263

26 How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Prosperity (6:10-25) 273

27 Show Them No Mercy (7:1-26) 285

28 How Not to Forget God (8:1-20) 297

29 God Wins in Spite of Us (9:1-8) 307

30 A Rebellious People and a Praying Leader (9:9-24) 315

31 Powerful Prayer (9:25-10:11) 327

32 A Vision of God Fosters Heart Religion (10:12-22) 339

33 Seven Motivations to Obedience (11:1-32) 351

34 Worshipping God's Way (12:1-32) 365

35 Encountering Occult Power (13:1-18) 377

36 We Will Be Different from Others (14:1-21) 387

37 Giving to God (14:22-29; 15:19-23) 397

38 Special Consideration for the Poor (15:1-18) 407

39 Pilgrimage Festivals (16:1-17) 421

40 Principles of Leadership and Justice (16:18-17:13) 435

41 How to Be a Good King (17:14-20) 447

42 Priests and Prophets: The Good, the Bad, the Best, and the False (18:1-22) 457

43 Legal Protection for the Vulnerable (19:1-21) 471

44 Rules for Warfare (20:1-20) 483

45 Respect for Life and Land (21:1-23) 495

46 Rules for an Orderly and Healthy Society (22:1-12) 505

47 Upholding the High Value of Sex (22:13-30) 513

48 Rules for a Holy Society (23:1-14) 523

49 Rules for a Considerate Society (23:15-25; 24:19-22) 533

50 Generous Justice (24:1-22) 543

51 Concern for Humans and Animals and Honesty (25:1-19) 555

52 The Heart of a Biblical Giver (26:1-19) 565

53 Acts That Help Refresh Commitment (27:1-10) 575

54 Can We Curse People Today? (27:11-26) 583

55 Kinds of Blessings and Curses (28:1-68) 591

56 Keys to Renewal (29:1-29) 601

57 The Path of Repentance (30:1-20) 615

58 How to Handle Leadership Succession (31:1-29) 629

59 Moses' Song I: Scandalous Disobedience (31:30-32:18) 645

60 Moses' Song II: Judgment and Restoration (32:19-47) 659

61 The Art of Blessing People (32:48-33:25) 671

62 Moses' Last Outburst of Praise (33:26-29) 685

63 The Death of a Great Leader (34:1-12) 693

Notes 705

Scripture Index 733

General Index 752

Index of Sermon Illustrations 761

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