Tuesday, December 11, 2018

McGee and Me #9 Deuteronomy

Thru the Bible #9: Deuteronomy. J. Vernon McGee. 202 pages. [Source: Bought]

I recently bought a complete set of J. Vernon McGee's Thru the Bible commentary series. These books are loosely based on his popular radio program. I have read a handful of his commentaries in the past--including this one--but I plan on reading and/or rereading all of the commentaries (again)

Though Deuteronomy has thirty-four chapters, McGee tackles them all in one volume. This ninth volume will finish his commentary on the Pentateuch. 

Deuteronomy has always been one of my favorite books in the Old Testament to read. I have always found it to be an important foundation to understanding what follows. Grasping Deuteronomy helps with the history books, the wisdom books, and the prophetical books as well. Perhaps especially the prophetical books. Deuteronomy warns of God's judgment, the other books display God's judgment. If you read closely, you'll see Deuteronomy being fulfilled "before your eyes." 

McGee's commentary reprints the text of Scripture. He doesn't devote a great deal of time to each chapter. What he gives his readers, his friends, is a starting point, an overview. 


  • There are four Hebrew titles of Deuteronomy: (1) Debarim, meaning “The Words” or “These be the Words,” is derived from the opening expression, “These are the words which Moses spake.” (2) The Kith, or the Fifth of the Law. (3) The Book of Reproofs. (4) The Iteration of the Law.
  • The great theme is Love and Obey. You may not have realized that the love of God was mentioned that far back in the Bible, but the word love occurs twenty-two times.
  • Deuteronomy teaches that obedience is man’s response to God’s love. This is not the gospel, but the great principle of it is here.
  • Many times the Christian today finds himself confronted by giants in this life. I’m sure that as a child of God you have found yourself in giant country. Believe me, it is difficult to know how to handle a giant when you are just a pygmy yourself. God has given us the same promise that He is able to handle the giants for us. It is wonderful to know that.
  • It is not our circumstances on the outside which are our real problem. It is the circumstance on the inside of us, the unbelief in our hearts, which is the cause of our problems.
  • A great many of us today are not being blessed because we are spending too much time sitting down.
  • That is the wrong place to be if we want the blessing of God. We are to walk.
  • There is a great deal said in the Scriptures about the Christian’s walk and very little said about the Christian’s sitting down.
  • [Deut. 4:37]. This is the first time in the Bible that God tells anybody that He loves them.
  • God loves us today. But He does not save us by love; He saves us by grace. He couldn’t just open the back door of heaven and slip us in.
  • Here are the four important steps we are to take in relation to the Word of God. The first is to hear it. The second is to learn it, to become acquainted with what God is saying. The third is to keep it. That means to have the Word of God down in your heart. The fourth is to do it. Not only should the Word of God be in your head and in your heart, but it should get down there where your feet and hands are.
  • The Law is a mirror that is held up to the heart. It is a headlight on a car to show the way into the darkness and to reveal the curves ahead.
  • Man’s first sin was not to become an atheist; his sin was to become a polytheist.
  • There are only two kinds of people in the world: those who hate God and those who love Him.
  • Anything that you give yourself to, anything that stands between you and God, becomes your god.
  • The Law is a mirror held up to us. We are to look in it, and it will reveal to each of us that we are sinners. The mirror in the bathroom will show the smudge spot on the face, but the mirror won’t wash off that spot. The Law can show us our sin, but it cannot save us. In no way can the mirror remove the smudge spot.
  • The important thing is not whether you approve of the Ten Commandments or what you think of them; the important question, my friend is: Have you kept them? If you are honest, you know that you haven’t measured up. That means you need a Savior.
  • Today we live in a world, not so much of idolatry and polytheism, but of atheism.
  • The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
  • I have been saved. We already have eternal life. We already stand before God in all the righteousness and merit of our Savior. I am being saved. God is working in my life, shaping, guiding, molding me to conform me more and more to His own dear Son. I shall be saved. Don’t be discouraged with me, because God is not through with me yet. And I won’t be discouraged with you, because God is not through with you either.
  • The liberal today hates the God of the Old Testament. I heard one call God a bully.
  • Let us not have a false kind of pity for these nations. Rather, let us learn from these events. God is a God of mercy and of love in the Old Testament as well as He is in the New Testament.
  • Sometimes He puts us in the furnace and heaps it on very hot. Why? To test us and to humble us. Little man is proud, he’s cocky, he is self-confident, and, to be frank, he is an abomination!
  • Spiritual manna is the Word of God. It is a wonderful food. It will supply all your needs.
  • There is a lopsided notion that if you are a faithful Christian, God will prosper you in temporal things. My friend, that is not true.
  • He has promised us spiritual blessings. There is no verse in the New Testament which promises temporal blessing to the child of God today.
  • The hope of the child of God today is that Christ is coming to take us out of this world. The hope of Israel is in this world. That distinction is of utmost importance.
  • Too many so-called theologians use a blender. They put the whole Bible into a blender, and they really mix it up!
  • If you let the Bible stand as it is, you will see that God is very specific when He makes promises.
  • The only kind of people God is saving is bad people.
  • People can be more phony in religion than in anything else. It seems to be something that is characteristic of the human nature.
  • Moses knew that God hates sin. May I say to you that we today do not have the faintest conception of how God hates sin and how He intends to punish it.
  • The average Christian today does not seem to realize how God hates sin in his life. My friend, God never ignores a sin we commit. God will deal with sin in your life and in my life.
  • Moses also knew the mercy of God. Moses comes to God because he trusts in His mercy. God will punish sin, but, my friend, we do not comprehend how wonderful He is.
  • He is so gracious. He extends mercy to the sinner. He has extended His mercy to you, I am sure.
  • God did not hear the prayer of Moses because of who he was. God heard his prayer because He is merciful.
  • I am afraid there are many of us, even in conservative churches, who are not faithful to God for a single day. We boast that we are sound in the faith—sound all right—sound asleep!
  • Whether things come to us easily or with difficulty, He still is the Provider.
  • We are saved by grace, we are kept by grace, we grow by the grace of God. We are going to get to heaven by the grace of God. When we’ve been there ten thousand years, it will still be by the grace of God.
  • Believers do not meet in one place to worship God today; we meet around One Person and that Person is the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • The all-important question is this: do you meet around the person of Jesus Christ? Now, friends, if you don’t, that is idolatry, because then you are meeting around something that is replacing Christ.
  • Anything, anything that comes between our souls and God becomes an idol.
  • hope that I can learn more and more to hate what He hates and love what He loves.
  • There are too many Christians today who think that it is Christian to be silent. There are so many Christians who do not take a stand on important issues even when truth is at stake.
  • I thank God today that the Lord is not judging me on the basis of Law. He saves me by grace. If He were saving me by Law, I would be lost forever, because I could never, never measure up to the requirements of the Law.
  • Law is law—we have developed such a careless attitude about it today—but God enforces His Law. It was eye for eye, tooth for tooth.
  • How I thank God that Jesus Christ paid the penalty of the Law so that there is pardon for sinners.
  • I’m convinced that the men who originally drew up our constitution were men who were Bible-oriented. The problem today is that we have a society made up of people who are entirely ignorant of the Bible, and lawmakers who are actually stupid as far as the Word of God is concerned.
  • It is one thing to say that things are terrible, things are awful. It is another thing to go to God and say, “Oh, God, forgive us as a nation. God, forgive us for our sins today.”
  • We are to give out the Word of God—that is our business—but we are pilgrims and strangers here, just passing through.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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