-God’s righteousness verses man’s depravity is the theme of this chapter’s historical narrative for the purpose of remembrance, devotion, and salvation. The LORD wants Israel to “hear” all that He has to say through His prophet Moses in this time before they go in to possess the land He has graciously given to them because of His oath with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Deuteronomy 9:1, 5). He plainly tells them that they have no chance of victory without Him as they face the “great and tall” people of the sons of the Anakim. Their reputation precedes them, but God promises to subdue them and destroy them before the children of Israel, just as He had spoken. He would cross over in advance as a consuming fire so that they could drive them out quickly (Deuteronomy 9:2-3).
-Then God gives warning. When the LORD has driven them out of the land before them, the children of Israel were NOT to say in their heart, “Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land.” God emphatically tells them that it is only because of these nations wickedness that He, and only He, is dispossessing them, for Israel is “a stubborn people.” God is just simply fulfilling His promise, nothing more really. The Hebrews did not deserve His blessing, and He will go on to speak why that is (Deuteronomy 9:4-6).
-They were to remember, and not forget, how they had provoked the LORD to anger (righteous indignation) and wrath in the wilderness from the day they left Egypt up until the present time because of their rebellion. God was at the point of destroying them and raising up another nation through Moses at Horeb (Mount Sinai), but the great prophet interceded for them (Deuteronomy 9:7-8, 14, 18-20, 24-29). He had gone up to get the tablets of stone spoken and written by the finger of God for their covenant commandments. Through fire, 40 days and nights of not eating nor even drinking water (a supernatural occurrence to say the least), and cloud cover, Moses ventured with the Almighty in a dazzling array (Exodus 24:15-18, Deuteronomy 9:9-11). Moses had seen their debauchery when he came down the mountain with the two stone tablets. The people had quickly turned away from their God and acted corruptly disobeying everything He had commanded them to do. They made a molten image of worship in their stubbornness causing Moses to throw the tablets from his hands smashing them before the people’s eyes (Deuteronomy 9:12-13, 15-17). The mediator and servant of the Most High God then took their sinful thing, the molten calf which they had made with their own hands, and “burned it with fire and crushed it, grinding it very small until it was as fine as dust.” Then Moses threw the dust fragments into the brook of water that came down from the mountain (Deuteronomy 9:21). Moses related other instances where the children of Israel by their sin, doubt, and rebellion provoked the LORD to wrath at Taberah (Numbers 11:1-3), at Massah (Exodus 17:1-7), at Kibroth-hattaavah (Numbers 11:31-34), and at Kadesh-barnea (Numbers 13-14; 32:8-10, Deuteronomy 9:22-23). They had been recalcitrant against the LORD from the day He knew them (Deuteronomy 9:24). Moses’ intercession and rational conversation with the LORD at the end of the chapter puts everything back into perspective. Yes, they had been bad, but the LORD had chosen them, and they were His instruments. To destroy them would break the covenant, and God would never do that. They were His inheritance, He had redeemed them (purchased them) through His greatness, He had delivered them, and He would surely have to remember them now. Moses fought for his people because he knew his God. He simply appealed to His reputation, glory, and nature to overlook even abominable sin. His final summation says so much, “Yet they are Your people…(Deuteronomy 9:25-29).”
-*Application* For us, we know that it is only the righteousness of Christ Jesus that makes us holy and purchased in the sight of Almighty God (Romans 3:21-26, Revelation 5:9). Faith is the only thing that this salvation requires (Romans 10:4, Philippians 3:9, 2 Peter 1:1). We cannot work, or merit, redemption before a perfect Creator. It is only by His grace and mercy (Ephesians 2:8-9). We have no room to boast in our own goodness (Romans 3:26-28). We like sheep have gone astray and He has laid the iniquity of us all on His Messiah (Isaiah 53:6). Just like the Israelites were nothing without their God, we are nothing without our Christ. We don’t deserved His blessings, but the beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair (see https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=be%20my%20escape%20lyric%20video&qs=n&form=QBVR&pq=be%20my%20escape%20lyric%20video&sc=0-20&sp=-1&sk=#view=detail&mid=138AEA86DC1CF72B6B43138AEA86DC1CF72B6B43 for one of my personal favorites by Relient K)
Verses to Memorize: Deuteronomy 9:4, 7, 29