If you have an opportunity to teach, whether it is in your home or in church, and whether to children or adults, don’t be afraid to repeat, repeat, repeat the teachings of the Word of God. People need to hear the law, they need to hear the Gospel, and they need to hear both of them again and again and again. It is significant that in the middle of this repeated law, we find the greatest of all the commandments: love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength. As we learn to love Him, by the grace of the Lord we also learn to obey.

The second thing the people are encouraged to do is to impress these laws—above all, the duty to love God wholly—upon their children. After Moses tells the Israelites to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, and strength, he then says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deut. 6:6-9).

The second address is a much longer one, amounting to twenty-two chapters and making up the substance of Deuteronomy. The first part (Deut. 5-11) reiterates the law of God as it bears on the people’s relationship to God. The second part (Deut. 12-26) reiterates the law of God as it bears on the people’s relationship to the land and to other people. This division concerning God on the one hand, and people on the other, should ring a bell because that’s exactly what you have in the Ten Commandments. The first table of the Ten Commandments has to do with our relationship to God. We are to remember Him, worship Him only, have no other gods before Him, and remember to keep the Sabbath day holy. And then the second table begins with the family and the need to honor your father and mother, and then concludes with the commandment not to covet. Those two parts of the Ten Commandments are reflected in a dynamic way in Moses’ second address. 

Now let me give you an outline for Deuteronomy. You have a preamble in the first five verses of chapter 1. Then you have three addresses by Moses. Now scholars break them up in different ways, but generally we can divide them up like this: Moses’ first address (Deut. 1:6-4:43) gives a review of the people’s past journey from Mount Sinai to the borders of Canaan; Moses’ second address (Deut. 4:44-26:19) summarizes, restates, and applies God’s law and urges it on the people; and Moses’ third address (Deut. 27-30) is an enactment of the covenant between God and the people, according to which they are going to be blessed for their obedience and cursed for their disobedience. Following this is a short historical section, and then what I have called the second song of Moses (Deut. 31-32). And in the final chapters, Moses blesses the tribes, and his death is recorded (Deut. 33-34).

What is Deuteronomy about? Deuteronomy is a book containing Moses’ last words to the people, passionately pleading with the people on the basis of God’s law that they not forget what He has done for them in the past but that they remain faithful to Him, love Him, and obey Him in order that they might be blessed in the land. Deuteronomy really is a sermon, and if I could put it in other words, it’s actually a second sermon or a series of sermons. The word Deuteronomy is a Latin term, composed of two separate parts: deutero, which means second, and nomos, which means law. So it literally means a second law or a restatement of the law. But it is more than a simple restatement. It is actually a vigorous homiletical application of the law.