The book of Deuteronomy could be seen as the consitution of Israel, and it shows us what an ideal Israel would look like.
One of it's themes is oneness - one people, in one land, under one God.
How did Moses promote this unity? Was it by pleading that everyone would just get along with one another? Was it through a prayer meeting? Was it through 2 services, one for the older folks and another for the youth? Was it through suggesting that everyone avoid discussing the fine points of the law?
No! It was through 3 sermons that he preached which emphasised the stipulations of the covenant God had brought them into.
This makes sense because if everyone is told the rules, and subsequently plays by the rules, then everyone can have unity as one people under one God.
The application for today is obvious, but sadly has been clouded by the many aforementioned 'unity' efforts that we have become accustomed to. If we as Christians devoted ourselves to reading and studying God's word, we would find a common ground that has been lacking for so long. If we devoted our lives to living out the Bible's teachings we would be players on the same team playing by the same rules.
Unfortunately the message that if often promoted today by us Christians is, "Unity at any cost!" "Leave out the doctrine that divides!"
- but none of us are wise enough to choose what to leave out, as Moses made clear:
Deuteronomy 4:2 'Do not add a thing to what I command you nor subtract from it, so that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I am delivering to you.'
Furthermore when we throw out doctrine we throw out the very means by which we can obey God.
Last week some of us met to play monopoly, as soon as the game had started we realised that we all had different ways of playing the game. We had a choice, to either argue about it, or to get the rule book out and read it.
Some people would argue for a 3rd option which is to ignore the fact that we have different rules, and to just try and have unity.
If that's you, then why don't you try that next time you play monopoly!