Believers today can sometimes feel uneasy when they read through books like Leviticus or Deuteronomy, because so much of what we read applies to us in different ways than it did to the original audience. But does this mean these books of the law have no value to us? Of course not! In Matthew 5:17, we see that Jesus himself says that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Paul also shows us what value the law has in Romans 7, where he makes the case that the law is not bad in and of itself, but that it reveals how sinful we truly are. In thinking about how we should think of the law today, a helpful general principle is to see that the moral aspects of the law (think the Ten Commandments) can still give us direction, but Jesus has fulfilled for us the ritualistic aspects of the law (think sacrifices, eating unclean animals, etc.)
So my encouragement to you as you read through the book of Deuteronomy is twofold:
- Take note of the different ways that it talks about loving God and loving neighbor throughout.
- Thank God for sending Jesus who fulfilled all of the law so that we could have a right relationship with God.
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Associate