Years ago, a young man, an agnostic, was a passionate seeker for truth — whatever that truth was and wherever it led him. Eventually he came, not only to believe in God the Father and in Jesus, but he also accepted the Seventh-day Adventist message. His favorite verse in the Bible was Jeremiah 29:13, which reads: “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Years later, however, studying his Bible, he found that verse again, but way back in the book of Deuteronomy. That is, Jeremiah got it from Moses.
Read Deuteronomy 4:23-29. What is the context of this promise to Israel, and how could it relate to us today?
As we have already seen, the book of Deuteronomy had been re-discovered during the reign of King Josiah, and it was under Josiah’s rule that Jeremiah began his ministry. No wonder, then, that the influence of Deuteronomy can be seen in the writing of Jeremiah.
Read Jeremiah 7:1-7. What is Jeremiah telling the people to do, and how does it relate to what had been written in the book of Deuteronomy?
Over and over in Deuteronomy, Moses stressed how their existence in the land of Canaan was conditional, and that if they disobeyed, they would not remain in the place that God had chosen for them. Look at the particular warning in Jeremiah 7:4, the implication being that, yes, this was God’s temple and, yes, they were the chosen people, but none of that mattered if they weren’t obedient.
And that obedience included how they treated strangers, orphans, widows — an idea that goes directly back to Deuteronomy and some of the covenant stipulations incumbent upon them to follow: “You shall not pervert justice due the stranger or the fatherless, nor take a widow’s garment as a pledge” (Deuteronomy 24:17; see also Deuteronomy 24:21; Deuteronomy 10.18-19; Deuteronomy 27:19).
|Read Jeremiah 4:4 and compare it to Deuteronomy 30:6. What is the message there to the people, and how does the principle equally apply to God’s people today?|