Now it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spoke to the children of Israel according to all that the Lord had given him as commandments to them. (Deuteronomy 1:3)
In addition to the points we have made thus far about the purpose of Deuteronomy — i.e. God presenting His Word through ambassadors such as Moses — I want to highlight the fact that, in particular, Deuteronomy is a book where Moses speaks to the people those things God had spoken to him. In fact, on multiple occasions throughout Deuteronomy he says, “the LORD spoke to me….” Compare that to the other sections of the Torah when it is written, “The LORD spoke to Moses.” The point is, Moses conveyed to the people his understanding of what God had spoken directly to him. And though the message was delivered “face to face,” it was still necessary for Moses to relay those words, and interpretation of those words, as they attempted to walk things out.
Rabbinical sources go so far as to consider Deuteronomy to be the beginning of the Oral Torah — i.e. instructions handed down orally through the ensuing generations. According to their tradition, Moses’ implementation of God’s Word was so important that God instructed Moses to write down his own words as part of the Written Torah. Thus it is that, to this day, Judaism considers Moses as rabbenu – “our teacher.” As far as they are concerned, Moses was the vehicle by which God spoke to Israel then and now. Frankly, to a certain point, I would agree — that is, until we get to Messiah. That being said, Yeshua didn’t contradict Moses but actually echoed the words of rebbenu and, more importantly, fulfilled them — a fact that makes Him greater than Moses.
So then, as Moses authentically relayed and interpreted the words God spoke to him, it is important that we authentically relay and interpret the words of our Messiah. We need to be full of the Spirit of Truth that we may accurately disseminate the Word of Truth. By the way, to accurately do so will not contradict Moses, the Prophets or any other portion of Scripture. And so, let us conclude with the words of another esteemed teacher, the Apostle Paul who said, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Let us rightly divide and accurately share that others may benefit from the liberating power of God’s Word.
Blessings and Shalom,