Read verses 29-32
Q: What is similar about the opening and closing of this chapter?
A: It begins and ends with the warning not to employ false things in the pursuit and worship of the One True God.
Q: How are both the opening and closing sections characterized? What are we actually doing when we employ the false things of the world in the course of our life and worship of God?
A: in v.4 is stated, “You shall not act like this toward the Lord your God”, and again here in v.31, “You shall not behave thus toward the Lord your God”.
Q: While the opening section largely addressed the need to destroy all false influences, what is the emphasis provided here?
A: It is embodied in the command, “do not inquire”. (v.30) Whereas in the previous instance the issue was the things and places, here it is the accompanying beliefs and practices. One can “inquire” even after a thing or place is destroyed.
Q: What stands out in God’s explanation of His hatred for these practices?
A: Whereas these false practices of worship lead to the destruction of one’s children, God had just promised in v.28 that right worship and obedience bring blessing and life to one’s children.
Application: The false always works contrary to the biblically true.
Q: How does v.32 not only summarize this section on right worship, but as a transition to all that will be stipulated by the Lord from this point on in Deuteronomy?
A: “Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do”. It is always about our personal behavior in conformance to His Word and ways.
Q: What is the powerful warning accompanying this final admonition?
A: “…you shall not add to nor take away from it”.
“You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
— Deuteronomy 4:2
Do not add to His words
Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.
— Proverbs 30:6
Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.
— 1 Corinthians 4:6
I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.
— Revelation 22:18-19
Application: There is no right worship of God without strict adherence to His Word as it stands, never needing additional alterations.