Lesson 11

Deuteronomy in the Later Writings

(2 Kings 22, Micah 6)
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Introduction: Do you like to be quoted? I’m assuming this in a positive way, as opposed to being reported for something you should not have said! Generally, when you are quoted it shows that what you said was important. It could be used to benefit the lives of others. Many professionals write articles for professional or public interest journals. If your article gets quoted by some other source, that shows the value of your original article. Did you know that the Old Testament does the same thing?  Later writers sometimes quote from earlier writers of the Bible.  This week we turn our attention to statements made in Deuteronomy that are quoted elsewhere in the Old Testament. If something in Deuteronomy is worthy of a second appearance in the Bible, it must be important!  Let’s plunge into our study of the Bible to explore some of these quotations from Deuteronomy!

  1.         The Discovery

  1.         Read 2 Kings 22:3-5. What is being done to the “house of the Lord” (the temple)? (It is being repaired.)

  1.         Read 2 Kings 22:6. Are they just updating the temple?  Making minor repairs? (This is not minor. The repairs require new timber and stone. This sounds like a major renovation.)

  1.         Read 2 Kings 22:8-10. What was found when the workmen made their repairs? (The “Book of the Law.”)

  1.         Do you think the finders of the book thought it was important? (Yes. Not only does the High Priest have it, but it is given to both the King’s secretary and the King - who learn what it says.)

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 31:24-26. What does this say is the Book of the Law? (Deuteronomy!)

  1.         How could the Book of the Law get lost in the temple? (Rather than being lost due to carelessness, some commentators believe that when God’s people where lead by wicked kings who rejected God some priests hid Deuteronomy to keep it safe.)

  1.         Do you think they found the original copy of Deuteronomy? (This suggests that it might have been the original that was kept by the side of the ark of the covenant.)

  1.         Read 2 Kings 22:11-13. Why is the King Josiah so upset? Isn’t it a great joy to find the lost book of Deuteronomy? (Two weeks ago we discussed the promises and threats contained in Deuteronomy chapters 28-30.  King Josiah no doubt read this and realized that they had not been obeying. Notice verse 13 refers to “great” “wrath” for not obeying God.)

  1.         Read 2 Kings 23:1-2 and compare Deuteronomy 31:10-12. What was Josiah making right? (Deuteronomy was to be publicly read every seven years. King Josiah was making up for lost readings!)

  1.         Read 2 Kings 23:3-5. What resulted from reading Deuteronomy? (King Josiah and the people pledged to be obedient. They cleared the idols out of the temple and fired the priests who made offerings to idols.)

  1.         How could God’s people stray so far that they thought that having idols in the temple was the right thing to do?

  1.         What does this story teach us about the importance of Deuteronomy for our lives?  Do you read it at least once every seven years?

  1.         What does it tell us about the importance of reading and studying the entire Bible?

  1.         You’ve Been Sued

  1.         Read Micah 6:1-2. Have you heard of a person being “indicted?” What does that mean? (In the American legal system it means criminal charges have been brought against someone.)

  1.         Who is being indicted here? And by whom are they being indicted? (God’s people are being indicted by God.)

  1.         Who will hear this case of God v. The People? (The mountains and hills!)

  1.         How can piled up dirt be a judge? (It cannot. The idea is that mountains are things of substance that do not change.)

  1.         Read Micah 6:3. What kind of an indictment is this? It consists of two questions?

  1.         What do you think God is saying with these questions? What kind of complaint is He voicing? (The first question asks about God harming the people. The second question asks about God annoying or pestering the people. The indictment is that the people treat God like He was a harmful pest.)

  1.         Is God saying that the people have a bad attitude towards Him?

  1.         Read Micah 6:4-5. What answer does God think is appropriate for His questions? (He has not done them harm. He has only done them good. God saved them from slavery. He gave them great leaders. He protected them against spiritual warfare.)

  1.         Assume that you are a mountain. What is your judgment on the indictment brought by God? (If we think back about what God did for His people, He can hardly be considered a harmful pest. Instead, He is a constant blessing.)

  1.         Re-read the last part of Micah 6:3. What is God demanding in response to His indictment? (He demands an answer. He wants His people to consider their attitude.)        

  1.         Read Micah 6:6-7. Let’s assume this is the answer of the people and that God is not doing all of the talking. How do you understand this answer? (You can understand this as the people saying that they will do anything to please God, or you can understand it as the people saying “You are impossible to please!” “We could do everything you want and you would still not be happy.”)

  1.         Do the people really know God? (They would not talk about sacrificing their “firstborn” if they were interested in pleasing God. This reference makes me think that the people are more likely giving a sarcastic answer - we can never please you God.)

  1.         Read Micah 6:8. What does God ask of His people? What does He want to settle the case against His people?

  1.         What fundamental difference do you see between the people’s offer and God’s request? (The people are talking about sacrifice. God is talking about actions.)

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 10:12-13. Is Micah paraphrasing Deuteronomy? (This sounds very much like Deuteronomy.)

  1.         Does Deuteronomy include any additional requirement? (It speaks of obeying the commandments. But, note that it says that the commandments are given for the good of the people. The idea being that this is not something that you give to God, but rather you give to yourself.)

  1.         Look again at Micah 6:8. Is this hard to do? How does it compare to what the people were saying in Micah 6:6-8? (It is much easier and more reasonable.)

  1.         Let’s look at each of these obligations. What does it mean “to do justice?” (Be fair to people.)

  1.         What does it mean to “love kindness?” (Enjoy doing good things for others. Be sympathetic.)

  1.         What does it mean to “walk humbly with your God?” (This may be the most challenging. Your life direction is in accord with God’s will. Although Deuteronomy promises a blessing for doing this, you are called to be humble about your blessings.)

  1.         Let’s look at this from the “big picture” point of view. If you are out of accord with God’s will, what should you do? Should you sacrifice? Should you beat yourself up over past sins? Or, should you decide to do better in the future?

  1.         Friend, the quoted parts of Deuteronomy that we have studied this week have to do with having a positive relationship with God. God wants that kind of relationship with you. What God wants will bless your life. Why not commit, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to have that kind of relationship in the future?

  1.         Next week: Deuteronomy in the New Testament.        

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Lessons on Deuteronomy

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