God Sends Israel “to school”

Archibald Rutledge wrote that one day he met a man who worked out-of-doors and he often took his dog with him. That morning, he left the dog in a clearing and gave him a command to stay and watch his lunch bucket while he went into the forest. His faithful friend understood … More


This chapter begins with an emphasis on the mighty acts of God on behalf of His people Israel (vv. 1-2). When they became slaves in Egypt, He cared for them and multiplied them greatly. When Jacob and his family journeyed to Egypt to join Joseph (Gen. 46) there were 70 people and they multiplied to a nation of perhaps 2 million. Israel had many reasons they should believe in God and obey His commands. Moses reminds them of the Red Sea experience (v.v. 3-4). He goes on to talk about what the Lord did for them in the dessert (v. 5) and the rebellion of Korah, even though he only mentions the names of Korah’s followers (v. 6) and not Korah himself.

Moses wanted the people to draw an important conclusion from his brief review of their history (vv. 7-9). Since God had shared Israel’s past experiences, it should have been plain to them that their experiencing the Lord’s grace or judgment depended on their moral behavior. Therefore, they could prosper in the new land only by obeying all of God’s commands. The contrasts between the Promised Land and Egypt included the fact Canaan had far more potential for agriculture. The people in Egypt had to depend on irrigation while God’s people would have rain from heaven (vv. 10-15). God sent Israel “to school” in Egypt so that she might learn to trust in Him and not in her own strength. After that he sent Israel “to school” in the desert for 40 years where they had to depend totally on Him for all their needs. Moses exhorted the people to learn from their past.


The lessons from the past, the instructions for the present and the glimpses into the future give me many opportunities to strengthen my faith in God.

Deuteronomy 11:1-15 (English Standard Version)

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