Published on
October 3, 2023

Deuteronomy 31

“Moses commanded them, ‘At the end of every seven years, at the time of debt cancellation, during the Festival of Booths, when all Israel assembles...”

Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Read Time
4 minutes
Deuteronomy 31
“Moses commanded them, ‘At the end of every seven years, at the time of debt cancellation, during the Festival of Booths, when all Israel assembles in the presence of the Lord your God at the place He chooses, you are to read this law aloud before all Israel. Gather the people – men, women, children, and foreigners living within your gates – so that they may listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and be careful to follow all the words of this law. Then their children who do not know the law will listen and fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing to possess.’” Deuteronomy 31:10-13 (HCSB)

Deuteronomy has been described as the “book of Grace.” It recalls the failings of Israel yet chooses to focus more on their restoration than their punishment. Chapter 30, the “choose life” chapter, speaks of Israel’s restoration to the land before they ever entered it the first time. That’s pretty gracious and merciful, to say the least.

Whereas Moses, as a Biblical image, represents the letter of the law, his successor Joshua is more representative of God’s grace. As a matter of fact, Jesus’ name is a variation of the name “Joshua,” meaning: “God saves” or “YHWH is my salvation.”

The law gives us God’s standard and exposes our inability to meet that standard. It basically sets up God’s Grace. The law was never intended to be the vehicle to provide mankind deliverance; hence, Moses was never able to deliver Israel into Canaan. The Law can only take you to the edge of the promised land; only Grace can lead you in.

“ For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)

Obviously, Joshua could be considered a “type” of Messiah. This is much the same way Joseph was a type of Messiah: Joseph forgave his brothers and saved his family (Israel) from certain death during the great famine in Canaan. In fact, because Yeshua’s mother, Miriam (aka Mary), was married to a man named Joseph, people would have commonly known Jesus as “Y’shua ben Yoseph”…which translates: “God saves, God removes my shame and grants me increase.”

In the year when debts were canceled, at the time when Israel was to remember God’s provision and guidance in the desert Exodus, the law was to be read to all Israelites and foreigners living within their gates. Sukkot (the Festival of Booths) reminds Israel of God’s faithful abidance, and the reading of the law recalls their transgressions. But because it is the year of canceling debts, God also reminds them of His grace, mercy, and forgiveness. (Luke 4:16-22)

As we approach the end of the Torah, be careful to listen and learn to fear the Lord so that you may prosper in the deliverance Messiah has graciously provided.

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