Sabbath School Lesson for December 4-10, 2021

See an extra blogpost about Deuteronomy at

Overview of Lesson 11

Several authors of the Old Testament used Moses’ writings in Deuteronomy for guidance in their ministry and service for God. Here’s the ones we studied this week:

  • King Josiah reformed the nation by drawing attention to “the Book of the Law”, thought to be Deuteronomy. (2 Kings 22–Sunday)
  • Nehemiah used the phrase “heaven of heavens” to describe the Lord’s majestic domain. (Nehemiah 9–Monday)
  • Jeremiah consistently pleaded for loving obedience to God, in order to have His blessing, just like Moses did. (Jeremiah 7–Tuesday)
  • Micah invited reform by encouraging more justice and mercy in their lives, using the same language as Moses. (Micah 6–Wednesday)
  • Daniel understood and prayed about them becoming a “reproach” to the nations that God had intended for them to bless. (Daniel 9–Thursday)

Genesis and Deuteronomy, the first and last of Moses’ books, were studied and used frequently by later prophets in the Old Testament. Knowing their origin and their purpose as a nation was important to God’s people back then, and should be important to us now.

God still has a covenant people, who have been commissioned to spread the gospel to all the world. How can we not be interested in how others have used Moses’ message in Deuteronomy to bring them into and keep them in a close, covenant relationship with God?

Memory Text: ” ‘The Lord delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all people, as it is this day.’ ” Deuteronomy 10:15 NKJV

There was no doubt of God’s love and pleasure in the relationship He had with their  forefathers: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Moses uplifted those about to enter Canaan, reminding them of their status of also being chosen by God.

It is wonderful to know that God loves us today; He chose us, and we, too, can count on His promise of a future home with Him in that heavenly Canaan.

Sunday: The Book of the Law

Everyone is thrilled by the story of the 8-year-old, boy-king Josiah. Reigning for 31 years, much longer than his predecessors, Josiah seemed to have brought the country closer to living up to their covenant obligations than any other king in their history.

In the eighteenth year of his reign, the “Book of the Law”, thought by scholars to be Deuteronomy, was accidentally discovered by a priest in the temple, as they were making efforts to clean and refurbish God’s house.

After hearing it read, Josiah embraced its message and set about to reform himself and the nation. Their covenant with God was restored, and Judah prospered under Josiah’s loving dedication to the task of following God’s directions with all his heart.

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

2 Kings 22:11, 13

  • Why was Josiah so emotionally distraught that he tore his clothes after hearing Deuteronomy read to him?

2 Kings 22:14, 16, 17

  • Why was God especially concerned about their idolatry?
  • How depraved would societies become when under the influence of pagan religions?

2 Kings 22:18-20

  • Why was Josiah spared seeing the later consequences of their forsaking God?

Monday: The Heaven of Heavens

Nehemiah, cupbearer to the king of Persia who became involved with the rebuilding of Jerusalem, borrowed from Deuteronomy when he used the phrase “heaven of heavens” in Nehemiah 9:6. Moses had used this mysterious phrase in reference to God’s ownership of all heaven and earth (Deuteronomy 10:14).

Although the meaning of “heaven of heavens” isn’t quite clear, in context it seems to refer simply to the complete sovereignty of God. His creative power and majesty touches the whole universe.

Psalm 148:4 indicated that the “heaven of heavens”, in other words, everything in the sky above, should praise the Creator. Later, King Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the temple included a reminder that even the “heaven of heavens” could not contain God, let alone their earthly temple (1 Kings 8:27).

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

Deuteronomy 10:12-14

  • What message was Moses giving in this passage? What kind of obedience is recommended?
  • What did Moses mean by the phrase “heaven of heavens”?

Nehemiah 9:6 and Genesis 2:1

  • Why did God’s people need to be reminded of God’s majestic power at that time?

1 Kings 8:27

  • Why was the “heaven of heavens” an important concept for Solomon and those at the dedication to consider that day?
  • How would it benefit us to remember the God of the universe in this way?

Tuesday: Deuteronomy in Jeremiah

Jeremiah, who is known as the weeping prophet, had a steady stream of heartbreaking messages for God’s people. He lived during some disastrous years in Israel’s history. His ministry spanned several kings, starting with Josiah, the last good king, and ending with the fall of Judah when Daniel was taken captive.

Like Moses in Deuteronomy, Jeremiah at one point gave a plea that sounded almost identical to what we find in Deuteronomy 4:23-29. Jeremiah 7:1-7 called for them to mend their idolatrous ways, and stop their oppression of strangers, orphans, widows, and anyone experiencing hardships.

Jeremiah even told them they needed to seek the Lord and that they would find Him when they searched for Him with all their heart (Jeremiah 29:13), a direct reference to Deuteronomy 30:2.

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

Deuteronomy 4:23-29 and Jeremiah 7:1-7

  • What similarities are found in these passages?

Deuteronomy 30:2 and Jeremiah 29:13

  • How do we search for God with our whole heart and return to Him? What kind of actions or changes are required to do this?

Wednesday: What Does the Lord Require?

Both Moses and Micah asked the question: What does the Lord require of us? Moses in Deuteronomy 10:12, 13 stated plainly that God required keeping ALL the law and serving Him with ALL our heart. There seems to be some emphasis in keeping “the letter of the law” in Moses’ writings. But, over time, they had largely forgotten what “the spirit of the law” entailed. But, Micah 6:8 leaves no doubt about how to keep the spirit of the law with our hearts.

Keeping God’s Ten Commandment Law must include justice and mercy on our part, two outstanding qualities of God Himself. Moses supported this idea, and revealed his feelings about what God requires us to do. Deuteronomy 10:17-19 promotes taking care of widows, orphans, and foreigners–anyone who is in need of our assistance. It also describes justice as not showing partiality or taking bribes. The Israelites had often failed miserably in the area of social justice.

Micah seized on this concept and articulated it beautifully in Micah 6:8. God expects three things from us, he said:

  1. to be fair and just in all our interactions with others
  2. to show mercy and love to everyone 
  3. to walk humbly with God

These requirements call for a level of love most of us have forgotten. Thank you, Moses and Micah, for giving us this further guidance for what God expects of His followers.

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

Deuteronomy 10:12, 13, 17-19 and Micah 6:8

  • What is the essence of the law to Moses and Micah?
  • How are these areas of concern still a problem in today’s society, and how might they be overcome?

Thursday: Daniel’s Prayer

The selfless intervention of Daniel reminds us of Moses, as Daniel expressed himself in prayer in chapter 9 of his book. Daniel also identified with God’s children (Daniel 9:5, 6) and longed for them to once again be a blessing to other nations, rather than a reproach to God’s cause (Daniel 9:16).

Daniel recognized from the book of Deuteronomy that they had drifted away from God through their disobedience and careless, thoughtless behaviors, just as Moses had predicted would happen (Deuteronomy 31:29). He was very adamant in their need to turn back to God and mend their ways, if God’s blessing were ever to be felt again.

The result of Daniel’s prayer, definitely one of the most famous ones in the Old Testament, was the Lord giving Daniel a pivotal prophecy that foretold that 70 weeks (or 490 prophetic years) would be how long they would wait for the Messiah. This prophecy in Daniel 9 gave them hope and a longing for God’s life-giving Messianic promise to become a reality.

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

Daniel 9:5, 6 and Exodus 34:9

  • Why is it important to identify with those you are praying for?
  • How does Jesus identify with us?

Deuteronomy 4:6 and Daniel 9:16

  • How had Israel failed to fulfill God’s purpose for them?
  • Why is it important to keep the spirit of the law, as well as the letter of the law?

Friday: Final Thoughts

All of the Old Testament characters studied this week were men of prayer, but also men of action. Their warnings were usually followed by corporate reforms that allowed them to flourish as a people and accomplish the particular tasks God had for them. It was obvious that these reforms would not have been as successful without the cautions and pleas of Moses in his final book of Deuteronomy.

Idolatry was a heinous sin that was constantly plaguing God’s people back then. Worshipping other gods could not be tolerated, if they were to maintain their special, covenant relationship with their Creator.

It’s easy for us to see the depravity that accompanied those pagan worship practices, but it was no doubt easy for the Hebrews to be lulled in their desire to be like other nations around them.  After all, they just wanted to fit in and be accepted by their neighbors.

Isn’t this acceptance what we all crave? Satan has more sophisticated ways to lull us in modern times, but his ways are still successful in drawing us away from worshipping God today.

It’s time the Christian world took Moses’ book of Deuteronomy as seriously as they did in the Old Testament. Getting back to true worship of God is also essential for our survival as a people of God.

Next Week: Deuteronomy in the New Testament

To read the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly or see more resources for its study, go to