Skip to main content
24th February

Deuteronomy 7-9; Psalm 55

Bible in a Year
5 minutes
In this article
24th February

Deuteronomy 7-9; Psalm 55

Bible in a Year
5 minutes


So far in Deuteronomy we’ve read through the beginning of Moses’ sermons to the new generation of Israelites. We noted how the perspective shifts, so now it seems like the narrator is looking back at this time in Israel’s history from their future and from the other side of the river.

We read as Moses recapped how the Israelites got here from Egypt. In particular we zoomed in on how this retelling showed us that the collective term of descendants of nephilim was Rephaim. Moses pointed out that everywhere their neighbouring nations had settled they had first driven out and killed all the Rephaim there.

In the same way, the Israelites will need to drive out and kill all the Rephaim in the land they enter. They are a sign of spiritual rebellion and must be removed.

The we read through the as Moses challenged the Israelites to avoid idolatry, and to follow the Lord's command. We saw how Moses repeatedly used the call to hear the Lord's commandments, which culminated in the Shema "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might."

Deuteronomy 7-9

Moses spends some time reinforcing the covenant relationship they have with God. Remember, the word covenant has been overly spiritualised a lot, and just means a legal contract. But that doesn’t lessen the fact that God has entered into this legal contract with his people. He will remain loyal and show them love. They too are to remain loyal and show him love.

Because of this Moses warns the people about mixing with the foreign nations they're meant to be driving out. In fact, he forbids and encourages them do everything they can to not only remove the people from the land, but also anything to do with them, so that there is no risk of being influenced by them.

If this was a marriage, Moses is encouraging the Israelites to not indulge in any sort of flirting with other nations and their foreign gods.

During this bit Moses does something very interesting. He first reminds the Israelites that they are small and that these foreign nations are much bigger, with large, well defended cities. But then he reminds them that God never chose them because they were a bigger or powerful nation.

He chose them because he is faithful to the promises he made their ancestors, and because he loves them. Because of this, despite these nations being so large and so many, God is going to go ahead and help the Israelites remove them from the land. They need not fear because God is on their side.

Having warned the people of external threats to their faith, Moses then warns them of internal threats to their faith. He highlights two key areas. When the Israelites enter the land promised to them if they're not careful they can believe that this has happened because of they're own strength (Deuteronomy 8) or that God chose them because they're super righteous and important (Deuteronomy 9). In both cases Moses appeals to their history.

This is why the must remind themselves of where they have been so they don’t forget.

As Moses points out to them they never did any of this in their own strength. God led them out of Egypt. God gave them food to eat. God kept the clothes on their back from falling apart. God chased out the enemies larger than them.

So when they received the blessing that God is going to give them they have to remember they did’t get this themselves.

And that God isn't doing this because of their righteousness. Moses reminds them of all their failures. Remember how many time they complained about God? Remember how they built that Golden Calf and worshipped it, while Moses was up a mountain getting all the rules from God himself?

God has not blessed them because they’re a righteous people. He blessed them because he is a faithful God.

Psalm 55

This psalm is attributed to king David and falls into the category of lament psalm.

Psalm 55:1-2a - A request to God to listen

Psalm 55:2-8 - Overwhelmed by fear

Psalm 55:9-15 - The betrayal of a close friend

Psalm 55:16-19 - The psalmist calls to God

Psalm 55:20-21 - The betrayal of close friends

Psalm 55:22-23 - Confidence and trust in God

The psalmist starts by turning to God and asking him to listen. From there he alternates between share his complaint and asking God to intervene, before finally ending in trust.

The psalmist is overcome with fear. Everything in them wants to run away and hide from their problems. They would much rather be in the wilderness, the realm of chaos, then in the city. And then comes the first request, destroy and divide the tongue of the enemy. Presumably the tongue is the source of their power as they whip up lies and conflict.

The psalmist then turns back to their complaint. Their enemies are causing strife in the city. They are spreading oppression and fraud. But worse than that, this is someone who the psalmist once counted a friend. They used to support one another.

And so the psalmist makes their second request. May their enemy die. May they take their wickedness down with them.

Next the psalmist encourages themselves. They call to God and know that he will save them. That from morning to evening God hears them. He is a faithful God that humbles the wicked.

Then we’re back to the complaint. The psalmists friends has broken the boundaries of their friendship. He was pleasant but inwardly waged war.

And so the psalmist ends with confidence. He can cast his burdens on the Lord for God will sustain him. God will deal with the wicked. In all this the psalmist can trust in God.

Once again we see the unique journey each person can take through lament. Each person, in their own way, works through the steps of turning to God, bringing their complaint, making a request of God, and then declaring their trust in God.

Anything you think I've missed? Maybe you've got a question that still needs answering. Send me a message over on my Instagram (@brynjoslin). I'd love to talk it through with you some more.

Share this article