I once heard an experienced pastor say that before every sermon, he always prays, “God help me preach with strength and boldness like this is the last sermon of my life.” In the book of Deuteronomy, that’s what we find. It contains the written transcripts of the last sermon series Moses preached to the congregation of Israel.
Deuteronomy 1:1; 3 sets the stage, “These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel in the wilderness east of the Jordan…In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them.” We find two important pieces of information on location and time. He spoke these words “east of the Jordan.” East of the Jordan River, on the plains of Moab, on the doorsteps of the Promised Land. Also, this message took place “in the fortieth year.” Forty years before, their parents had arrived at this same place and refused to go in. Instead of believing, they shrunk back in fear and rebelled against God. Moses had already been there and bought the t-shirt. He doesn’t want the new generation to repeat the sins of the past. Knowing his leaf is brown and about to fall off the tree, he calls the people together to get them fired up and ready to step into God’s future.
Keep in mind, Moses is 120 years old. While his skin was wrinkled and saggy, and his hair thin and grey, his mind and spirit were vibrant and tuned in to the voice of God. Sober minded and aware of the moment, he delivered the most memorable and passionate message of his life.
We know at some point our hair is going to turn grey and turn loose. As we age, we will ultimately have furniture problems. Our chest will fall into our drawers. There are two certainties in life, death and taxes. We can not stop the aging process any more than we can stop a heard of stampeding buffalo. But wherever you are in your journey, let’s hold fast to the promise of 2 Corinthians 4:16, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
Looking at the flow of the book, Deuteronomy can be divided up into three sermons…