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This small group Deuteronomy 10 Bible study guide contains commentary, discussion questions, cross-references, and application to encourage life change. Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Deuteronomy 10 Bible Study And Questions – Circumcise Your Heart

Outline

I. Moses receives new tablets of stone (1-11)
II. Circumcise your heart (12-22)

I. Moses receives new tablets of stone (1-11)

Discussion Questions

• What is the key event in this passage?
• What does God giving new stones show about His character?
• How might this have encouraged the people who sinned against Him?
• How can this passage encourage you if you have stumbled?
• Did God change His rules to accommodate their weakness?
• What does the fact that God gave the same Ten Commandments again show about His character?
• How does this passage challenge us if we have stumbled?

Cross-References

2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

2 Chronicles 7:14 – If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. He wrote on the tablets the same writing as before –

Here we learn two key lessons.

A. God is gracious and forgives – After their sin, God did not cast them out. He did not abandon them or forsake them.

Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

God is not just waiting for us to mess up so that He can judge us. The people had committed a serious national sin by creating and worshiping an idol. He would have been completely within His rights to say, “You have broken the covenant. You failed. I’m done.”

He did not do this. Instead, He gave them another chance. Giving another set of stones with the Ten Commandments is a clear picture of God’s faithfulness. God would still fulfill His promises. He was willing to restore and forgive them. He would keep His side of the covenant and give them another chance to do the same.

Application – The Lord compassionately seeks to pick up those who have fallen. You may have committed an egregious sin in God’s sight. It might have left you filled with shame, guilt, and regret. You may think that it has permanently cut you off from God. Others may tell you the same thing. This passage should encourage you. God is willing to restore you. You can be filled with joy and peace again. He can pick up the pieces of your broken life and put it together again.

That does not mean that all consequences of your sin will be erased. It does mean that you can have fellowship with God again.

If you have committed sin, do not despair. Confess it to the Lord and be restored.

Psalms 32:5 – I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

B. God does not change or lower His standards in response to our failures –

While God was willing to forgive and restore them, He did not adjust His standard. The Ten Commandments were given again, exactly the same as they were before. They were not watered down. They were not adjusted in order to accommodate the weakness of the people.

God’s character was unchanged. His requirements for His people were unchanged.

Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Modern-day culture and churches often water down the commandments in Scripture in order to be more “relevant” to less committed Christians. That goes against the very nature of God, which does not change.

Neither does it help. It creates a race to the bottom. When the church compromises with the world to win people from the world, what it wins them to is not different from the world. That type of religion does not transform people. It only creates false security and makes people feel good about themselves without changing their hearts.

The way Jesus dealt with the woman caught in adultery is a very good model for us today. It also reflects what we see of God’s character here in Deuteronomy 10.

Jesus offered grace to the woman. He did not condemn her as the crowds did, instead offering her a way back to Himself. At the same time, He still maintained God’s righteous standard. He clearly said her actions were sin and told her not to do it anymore.

John 8:10-11 – Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

Application – Do not lower God’s standards to alleviate guilt or in an attempt to make the Bible more relevant to culture. God’s standards come from His pure and righteous character. We cannot alter them. The Ten Commandments are set in stone. One reason for that is so that they won’t be erased and changed as society changes. Stand on the clear truth of God’s Word and don’t be swayed by modern criticism of it.

Here are some examples of sins that are against God’s standard but accepted in modern-day culture.

• Premarital sex.
• Divorce and remarriage (with a specific exception).
• Homosexuality.

Reflect – What are other examples of areas where the church has compromised with the world?

2. The Lord set apart the tribe of Levi – The tribe of Levi responded quickly to Moses’ appeal after the golden calf incident. They were chosen as the priestly tribe as a result of their quick repentance and spiritual zeal.

They did not receive a tribal allotment of land as the others did for “the Lord is his inheritance.” They were blessed with something far greater than earthly possessions. It was their privilege to serve the Lord, teach the people, and mediate for them.

Reflect – Would you rather have material possessions or opportunities to serve God?

Serving God sometimes comes with a financial cost. It might mean giving up on a promotion or career. It likely does mean spending time and energy for things that don’t give a physical reward (James 1:27) when you could be in the office earning an overtime paycheck. It definitely does mean holding our finances to God with an open hand and giving Him tithes and offerings, money that could have been used to buy something we want. All of this is worth it.

John 6:27 – Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.

II. Circumcise your heart (12-22)

Discussion Questions

• Moving forward from their failure, what did God want from the people? (12)
• Why did God give them these commandments?
• How is it helpful to know that God’s commandments are “for your good?”
• What does Satan want to tell us about God’s commandments?
• What is the connection between verses 14 and 15?
• What does it mean that the Lord “set His heart in love” on their fathers?
• What does it mean to circumcise your heart?
• What do verses 17 and 18 tell us of God’s character?
• What are some practical ways that the church can apply the principles in verse 18 today?
• Why is the command “love the sojourner” especially important for Israel to follow?
• What can we learn about providence from verse 22?
• Compare your life now to the past. What blessings from the Lord have you experienced?

Cross-References

Proverbs 14:27 – The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.

Psalms 111:10 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

Romans 2:28-29 -For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

1 Corinthians 7:19 – For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.

Galatians 5:6 – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. Fear the Lord your God and walk in His ways –

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 – And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord.

The people expressed repentance. God’s standard had not changed. What were they supposed to do after confessing their sin?

They were supposed to do the same thing that God had called them to do already. They were to fear, love, serve, and obey God.

Though God was gracious, they should not take that grace for granted. They should not presume upon His mercy. They should fear God. That respect of God’s holy and righteous nature would be a foundation to build off of.

The fear of God is the death of every other fear; like a mighty lion, it chases all other fears before it. – Charles Spurgeon

2. God owns everything but still loves you –

Deuteronomy 10:14-15 – Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day.

Verse 14 emphasizes God’s sovereign position over the entire universe, which is His creation. It was important for Israel to understand that God’s forgiveness did not mean that He was somehow a peer who was like them. They needed to be reminded of His transcendence.

At the same time, this amazing God purposed to love and choose them. It was not something they deserved. It was purely His sovereign purpose.

These verses are similar to David’s in Psalm 8.

Psalms 8:1, 3-5 – O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

People are literally made from dust. Without God, we are nothing. Yet He gives us value. He loves and cares for us.

Application – The world is obsessed with self-esteem. There are countless books, articles, and videos on how to think more highly of yourselves. This psychological mumbo-jumbo is dangerous because it generally puts man at the center of the universe. It inflates peoples’ ego and