April 3, 2022 – Deuteronomy 7 – 11

Lesson Date: April 3, 2022

Focal Scripture Passage: Deuteronomy 7:1-6; 8:18-20; 9:4-6; 10:12-17; 11:22-28

AIM: To lead students to discover some requirements God placed on the ancient Israelites and discuss the relevance of those requirements to modern Christians, and to accept those requirements and commit to trying to fulfill them.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Deuteronomy 7 – 11 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.  Write the following words (in random order) on the marker board or chalkboard: “Separation,” “Memory,” “Understanding,” “Devotion,” and “Wise Choices.”  Leave space across the top of the board for a heading.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Share one or more of the following case studies (or a similar one from your own experience):

A college student tells a friend he is taking only the courses he wants, and having a great time.  He’s not bothering to take any of those “core” courses that require a lot of studying and tests.  The friend confronts him with the fact that he won’t graduate if he doesn’t take the required courses.

Someone tells a co-worker that she never files a tax return.  She considers herself exempt from taxes because she doesn’t believe in them. The friend tells her that taxes are required, whether she likes them or not.

A baseball player hits a homerun and trots around the bases, but accidentally fails to step on third base.  He may have hit the ball out of the park, but he did not fulfill all the requirements to earn his team a run.

Write the word “Requirement” as a heading across the top of the board.  Ask the students to suggest definitions for the word “requirement” (something that is not optional, and for which there are no alternatives).

Tell the class that as we study portions of chapters 7 – 11 of Deuteronomy, we will discover that God placed certain requirements upon the ancient Israelites.  As we examine those requirements, we will discuss how they relate to us today.  The title of today’s lesson is What God Requires.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Briefly review the setting and purpose of the book of Deuteronomy by asking the following questions:
      • “Why did the Israelites stay in the wilderness 40 years?”
      • “Who was preaching to the Israelites throughout the book of Deuteronomy?”
      • “Where were the Israelites when these sermons were preached?”
      • “Can you name the Ten Commandments?”
      • “What was the ‘heart’ of the Law?”
    • Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verses (Deut. 6:4-7).
  2. Requirement # 1 – Separation.
    • Read Deuteronomy 7:1-6.
    • Ask: “Which of the requirements listed on the board is contained in those verses?” (Separation).
    • Ask: “Why did God place such a strong and seemingly harsh requirement on the Israelites?” (so they would not be turned away to follow and worship false gods).
    • Tell the students God knew if the Israelites intermixed and intermarried with pagan idol worshippers, they would be drawn away from Him and into false religion (sadly, the history of ancient Israel reveals that is exactly what eventually happened).
    • Ask: “How does this requirement relate to modern Christians?” (if we become too closely yoked together with unbelievers, they will turn us away from God; we must be separate from sin).
    • Tell the class the Bible says it this way: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14).
    • Tell the class God also says, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9).
    • Ask: “Are you separate from sin or have you ‘intermarried’ with the world? Do you have any relationships or associations that are drawing you away from God?”
    • Summarize: God requires us to be separate from sin so we can be His special holy people.
  3. Requirement # 2 – Memory.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Deuteronomy 8:18-20.
    • Ask: “Which of the requirements listed on the board is contained in those verses?” (Memory).
    • Ask: “Why was it important for the Israelites to remember the Lord?” (so they wouldn’t think they had earned their material blessings on their own and become cocky; if they forgot the Lord they would perish).
    • Explain the following:
      • God knows that success breeds pride in the human heart.
      • We must remember that all our successes are actually blessings from God.
      • He enables us to live, function, work, and succeed.
      • Without God’s blessing and enablement, we literally could do nothing.
    • Ask: “How does this requirement relate to modern Christians?” (we must not forget what God has done for us or we will turn from Him to follow false gods).
    • Tell the class God’s Word clearly warns us, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18).
    • Tell them Jesus also taught us, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).
    • Ask: “Have you grown cocky or proud because of your achievements? Are you taking personal credit for things God has done?  Have you forgotten that God enables you to do everything?”
    • Summarize: God requires us to remember that without Him we could do nothing.
  4. Requirement # 3 – Understanding.
    • Explain the following:
      • God repeatedly told the Israelites that He would give them the land He had promised to their ancestors.
      • He promised them military victories when they entered the Promised Land.
      • He promised to enable them to drive out the inhabitants of the land.
    • Read Deuteronomy 9:4-6.
    • Ask: “Which of the requirements listed on the board is contained in those verses?” (Understanding).
    • Tell the class God required the Israelites to understand that their promised military victories weren’t because they were good; instead, God enabled the Israelites to defeat the Canaanites because the Canaanites were evil.
    • Ask: “How does this requirement relate to modern Christians?” (we must remember that we are still stubborn, stiff-necked, and sinful; any blessings we enjoy are not because we are good but because God is gracious).
    • Tell the students the Bible says, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal. 6:14).
    • Ask: “Do you think God owes you blessings because you are such a good person? Do you understand that God’s blessings upon you are the result of His mercy and grace, not your inherent goodness?”
    • Summarize: God requires us to understand that He gives us blessings not because we are good, but because He is good.
  5. Requirement # 4 – Devotion.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Deuteronomy 10:12-17.
    • Ask: “Which of the requirements listed on the board is found in these verses?” (Devotion).
    • Tell the students verses 12-13 are a succinct statement of what God requires of His people.
    • Ask them to locate and name the five verbs found in those two verses (fear, walk, love, serve, and keep).
    • Stress the fact that these are actions that reveal complete devotion.
    • Explain the following:
      • Verses 14 and 17 tell us that God is the Almighty Lord of the universe, who deserves our complete devotion.
      • Concerning verse 16, explain that just as skin is physically cut away during circumcision, the sin that was in their hearts needed to be cut away so they could be right with God and stop rebelling.
      • Romans 2:29 states it this way: “But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”
    • Ask: “How does this requirement relate to modern Christians?” (God still expects complete, not half-hearted, devotion from His people).
    • Tell the class that we, like the ancient Israelites, must turn from our stubbornness and be completely devoted to the Lord.
    • Repeat the five verbs found in verses 12-13.
    • Ask: “Are those things part of your daily lifestyle? Are you completely devoted to the Lord Jesus?  What is standing in the way of you being completely devoted to God?”
    • Summarize: God requires us to be completely devoted to Him.
  6. Requirement # 5 – Wise Choices.
    • Read Deuteronomy 11:22-28.
    • Tell the students the last requirement God placed upon the Israelites was to make Wise Choices.
    • Ask: “What choice did God place before the Israelites?” (they could choose obedience that would lead to blessing, or disobedience that would result in God’s curse).
    • Explain the following:
      • The choice God gave the ancient Israelites was clear and obvious.
      • Hold up a copy of the Sunday School Member Quarterly.
      • Direct the class’ attention to the title and picture on the cover.
      • We face choices every day; life is made up of choices and decisions.
      • We must seek God’s guidance to choose wisely.
    • Ask: “How does this requirement relate to modern Christians?” (we still face the same choice every day we live: obedience still brings God’s blessings and disobedience still brings trouble).
    • Tell the class the Bible says, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise” (Eph. 5:15).
    • Ask: “Has your life been marked by wise choices or unwise choices? Are you facing any choices right now for which you need God’s wisdom?”
    • Tell the students the Bible also says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).
    • Summarize: God requires us to make wise choices, which bring His blessings.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Review the lesson by naming the requirements listed on the board.  Remind the class that in today’s lesson they have determined that each one of these requirements is still relevant to modern Christians.

Stress the fact that these aren’t requirements for salvation; the only requirement for salvation is a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  The requirements the Lord gave Israel were requirements for staying in proper fellowship with Him.

Note that these are requirements; they are not optional.  Just as the people described in the opening case studies missed the mark by not fulfilling the necessary requirements, we will not be able to maintain proper fellowship with God if we don’t fulfill these requirements.

Ask: “Will you accept these requirements as coming from the Lord and being requirements He has placed upon you?  Will you personally make a commitment to God to fulfill these requirements?  What do you need to change to be able to fulfill God’s requirements?”

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes.  Urge them to tell God they will strive to fulfill His requirements.  Allow a moment of silence for students to make their personal commitments, and then voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Deuteronomy 10:12-13.  Offer to meet privately with any of your students who might need help or guidance fulfilling God’s requirements.

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