The book of Deuteronomy is one of the books of the Bible mostly less understood. Though the Crowning portion of the pentateuch, it’s one book whose purpose has not been understood by many. This could be because of its nature of ‘blessings and curses, life or death’. So if someone asks you a simple question, like,”‘why is the Bible incomplete without the book of Deuteronomy?” How could you respond. What does the Word ‘Deuteronomy’ mean? Of what significance is the fifth book of the Bible?
When limited to English and English only, it could be difficult to understand even the title of the book itself. I have the privilege of a good command of two other translations whose naming suggests that this book is all about remembrance of the Law. By reading this book, people are to be reminded of God’s law which He had given before- the transcript of His character. Moses wrote it in the plains of Moab after the Baal Peor ordeal in which about 23000 men lost their fidelity to God and subsequently their lives, due to the whoredom at Peor. They were a tested and tried lot in their 40 years journey in the wilderness. The Jordan Valley was their next big thing and after crossing the river, they were going to be in the promised land. Moses himself was preparing to die. Because of the constant quibbling and caviling of Israelites, he had attracted a displeasure of God. To him a terrible sentence was pronounced. Moses must die before reaching Canaan. It was a non negotiable judgement and it only demanded obedience.
Having a great knowledge of the Israelites, how rebellious they could be, Moses took it his duty to remind them of the law. He began with an account of how they had been rebellious while giving a chronology of events hitherto. Theirs had been a life of constant forgetfulness and doubt. It’s due to their stubbornness that Moses had lost the privilege of getting to the land of milk and honey. He could only admire it from afar, but eating it was to him a wild impossible dream. He then reminded them of the power of obedience, mighty to exalt nations and individuals. To them was presented blessings and curses, life and death, from whence, they were to choose. They had the power of choice, but they were not to forget the fact that they couldn’t choose the consequences of their actions. God who qualifies actions, based on the motives which prompts them, could give a true judgement on their behaviour. After this, It was time for Moses to go. He had been nurturing Joshua to replace him and it worked well. He gave them Counsels and warned them against not cooperating with his prospective successor. He then anointed Joshua, blessed them and went up mount Nebo to die. While he was with them, they pushed his patience to the wall by their constant murmurs. But now they wished to have him more and were very ready to obey him, but it was too late. They could not be permitted to even see his deathbed, for they could have been idolatrous.
God speaks to His people in blessings bestowed; and when these are not appreciated, He speaks to them in blessings removed, that they may be led to see their sins, and return to Him with all the heart.– Patriarchs and Prophets 470.2
So What is There for the Investors?
The Israelites had been used to a life of slavery but now they were at the brink of prosperity. They were reminded of the law because prosperity needs discipline. They were going to enjoy freedom, and the resources of Canaan. Any tendency to vacillate between lawful and lawlessness was farcical and potentially catastrophic. They must be kept in the power of obedience, to avoid the perils of prosperity. Success is dangerous to undisciplined individuals.
An investor traditionally refers to a person who invests money in a particular activity with intentions of making profits. But in this respect it will go beyond that. Instead of profits I will focus on returns. So an investor is not only a business owner but anyone who engages in an activity that should bring returns. A student is an investor. All students must learn to be reminded of the law of success and excellence. They must learn to conscientiously attend their lectures and private studies in order to graduate magna cum laude, and be useful in problem solving. What about romance? This is an emotional investment. It requires great discipline, or else it will be a little jail. You must learn that love thrives in expression and simple words of care and endearment. Learn their love language and cut their coats according to their sizes. Any investment be it emotional, business, academic, pleasure etc, requires discipline.
There’s a principle of cause and effect. The effects or results of our actions do not depend on our tastes and preferences, but on the inherent laws. Our greatest need is a preparation for the things we need that when opportunities come our way, we are found so prepared that our efforts must be noticed. Most people are less successful because they are undisciplined and vacillating in moral principles. They are too abrupt and uncultured that they are always making mistakes and they pay dearly through discomfiture and defeat. Before we get to the land of Canaan, we should be reminded of the law, it will keep us from the snares and dream killers. Success and a space with the great and the mighty, requires a discipline that many people are slow to learn and ready to forget. But the law of cause and effect has never been, and will never be merciful to slothfulness and revelry. We must get this right.
There are divinely appointed rules which, if observed, will keep human beings from disease and premature death….– Medical Ministry 49.2