The class lessons are based upon the book Living as the Community of God: Moses Speaks to the Church in Deuteronomy by Phillip G. Camp.
Lesson 13 – May 31, 2015
1. Why is it significant that Deuteronomy ends on blessing?
2. In what ways is Moses unlike the prophets after him?
3. What does Moses’ death outside the land teach us about God and God’s use of individuals?
4. How does Deuteronomy ending on an “open note” inform our own faith journeys? How does the ending point us to Christ?
Lesson 12 – May 24, 2015
1. How do the blessings and curses relate to God’s covenant and purposes for Israel?
2. What in these chapters indicates that God’s ultimate purpose is the blessing and restoration of his people?
3. Why does God give his people a choice between life and death, blessing and curse?
4. How can we hear these promises and warnings, blessing and curses, as a word to God’s people today? How does God’s work in Christ inform our understanding of these?
Lesson 11 – May 10, 2015
1. Why is concern for family relationships so important for community life in Israel and for their witness to the nations?
2. Why is it important to keep historical and cultural context in mind when dealing with laws on family in Deuteronomy (and the Bible in general)?
3. Why is God concerned about proper family relationships?
4. How can the family model God’s commitment to covenant and justice?
5. What concrete steps can Christian families take to insure they are God-honoring in their relationships and that they are offering a positive witness to the larger world?
Lesson 10 – May 3, 2015
1. How do the various leadership roles (priest, judge, king, and prophet) compare and contrast with those roles in the larger world around ancient Israel?
2. Why does power become seductive and often abusive? What are some biblical examples of this tendency for those with power, and what are some biblical examples of proper use of power?
3. Why is it important to recognize the God was Lord and King over Israel and that God in Christ is Lord and King over the church?
4. When we find ourselves in positions of power or influence over others (e.g., elders, managers, parents, officers, etc.), how should we exercise our power in keeping with the picture in Deuteronomy 16:18-18:22 and with the picture of how Jesus exercises his power?
Lesson 9 – April 26, 2015
1. What kinds of slavery and oppression threaten the freedom God gave Israel by delivering them from Egypt, and how was Israel to prevent such slaveries?
2. How does the modern view of freedom differ from the biblical view?
3. Why is the reminder that God brought Israel out of slavery in Egypt a primary motivation for Israel’s ethics? Why or how is freedom in Christ a primary motivation for our ethics?
4. How can we become God’s agents of liberation today to those under oppression and slavery of various sorts in our contexts?
5. What does Deuteronomy teach us about our own ministry to the poor, and what practical steps can we take to help those in need?
Lesson 8 – April 19, 2015
1. Why would a single place of worship, chosen by God, be important for Israel?
2. What is the relationship between family and community loyalties and loyalty to God for the community of faith (then and now)?
3. For the church, how do meals properly become both a place to distinguish ourselves from the larger culture and a place to bear witness to God?
4. What are specific steps the church can take to maintain distinctiveness from the world while, at the same time, welcoming others into the fellowship of Jesus Christ?
Lesson 7 – April 12, 2015
1. What were ways that Israel might “forget” God, and what can help them “remember”?
2. What does it mean that we do not live on bread alone but every word that comes from God’s mouth? In what ways can we understand “word”?
3. What are the dangers of emphasizing either God’s transcendence or immanence? What is the value in fully affirming each?
4. What characteristics of God are evident in Deuteronomy 7-11? What are ones that we can and should imitate?
5. In what ways do we find pride, trust in prosperity, and self-righteousness in the church today? How does this section of Deuteronomy help us respond?
Lesson 6 – April 5, 2015
Lesson 5 – March 29, 2015
1. What values and virtues are implied in the fourth through tenth commandments?
2. For the negatively stated commandments (“You shall not…”), how might we phrase these in a positive way that still gets at the heart of the commandment (“You shall…”)?
3. How do the fourth through ninth commandments reveal God’s concern for community? How do they reveal God’s character?
4. How would observing the fourth through tenth commandments build community among God’s people and further our witness today?
5. Give specific examples of how we can apply each of these commandments today.
Lesson 4 – March 22, 2015
1. How does keeping the “vertical commandments” (commandments 1-3) relate to keeping the “horizontal commandments” (commandments 4-10) and vice-versa?
2. Why is it important to see the commandments in the context of a covenantal relationship with God rather than simply as abstract principles?
3. What does it mean to make God the priority of your life rather than a priority (even if top priority among others)?
4. Where can we see idolatry in our lives today? Where can we see it in the church?
4. How can we who wear the name of Christ avoid taking that name in vain by what we say and do?
Lesson 3 – March 15, 2015
1. For Israel, how did keeping the commands of God bear witness to the nations?
2. In Deuteronomy 4, what makes Yahweh, Israel’s God, distinct from the God’s of the nations?
3. What is the relationship between keeping God’s commands and “life”? What is the relationship between God’s jealousy and judgment, on one hand, and his mercy on the other?
4. What should the world today see in Christians that would draw them to Jesus Christ? What often stands in the way of what they should see?
Lesson 2 – March 8, 2015
1. What is the relationship between receiving the promises of God and taking the promises of God?
2. Given all that Moses had done in obedience to God, do you think his exclusion from the land is just? Why or why not? What does his exclusion suggest about those who lead God’s people?
3. What does this section teach us about God’s relationship those who are not his chosen people?
4. In what ways do we enjoy “rest” now? In what ways is “rest” still not a full reality?
Lesson 1 – March 1, 2015
Written by Phillip Camp: “Deuteronomy begins on what might be considered a low note: a rehearsal of the failings of the previous generation of Israelites. The new generation of Israelites hears from Moses something that few people would care to hear: an attack cataloging the spiritual and moral failings of their parents and grandparents. However, as this new generation prepares to cross the Jordan into the promised Land, Moses reminds them of what prevented their parents from entering forty years earlier.”
1. As you read this section, what do you see as the causes for Israel’s failure to trust God?
2. Why are sin and rebellion against God’s will such a waste and tragedy in the lives of God’s people?
3. According to Deuteronomy 1:1-2:1, in what ways has God shown himself faithful to his people?
4. What steps can we take for ourselves and our children to continue to build trust in God?