Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Deuteronomy- Chapter 29

Deuteronomy 29

-God makes His revelation known to His people in a third address to the people of Israel through the prophet Moses at Moab. This was a call for commitment to the LORD of the covenant, which had been previously given at Horeb (Mt. Sinai). The children of Israel had seen with their own eyes and heard with their own ears the greatness of this Living God as He brought them out of slavery in Egypt to the brink of this new destiny in the Promised Land. Yet to that time, the LORD had not given them a heart to KNOW, eyes to see, nor ears to hear (Deuteronomy 29:1-3). Their clothes had not worn out even to their sandals through the wilderness journey of 40 years. They had not eaten bread nor had they had strong drink in that period in order for them to get to KNOW that the LORD was actually their God. Kings had been defeated before them as long as they followed the commands of God and walked in His ways. They had already taken some of their inheritance east of the Jordan River (Deuteronomy 29:4-8). Therefore, the admonition to keep the words of this covenant to do them is once again reiterated in the presence of God in order for them to prosper in all that they do. They stood before the LORD as chiefs, tribes, elders, officers, even all the men of Israel along with their wives and children and aliens within their camp to hear the prophetic word as they entered this covenant agreement. Not only was the pact for these in attendance, but for those who were not there that particular day (Deuteronomy 29:9-16). Israel had witnessed the abominations of idols made of wood, stone, silver, and gold, which the nations they were dispossessing worshiped. They were never to turn in their heart to any of these false pagan gods. Otherwise, the curse would come upon them. It would be a dangerous root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood (la`anah- bitterness, from an unused root supposed to mean to curse, Hebrews 12:15). Should they be stubborn in their own selfish-heartfelt pride in regards to this denouncing the curse, the LORD guaranteed He would never be willing to forgive them. In His justice, He would be angry and jealous in burning passion against that kind of man. Every curse which was written in the book of the Law would rest on this, or these, persons, and the LORD would blot out their name under heaven. They would be singled out for adversity from all the tribes of Israel, according to the curses. It would be a testimony against them for future generations and foreigners who would observe the land and their plagues and diseases with which the LORD afflicted them. These will say, “All its land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in His anger and in His wrath.” They will wonder why the LORD has done this devastation, and the answer will be simply this, “Because they forsook the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they have not known and whom He had not allotted to them. Therefore, the anger of the LORD burned against that land, to bring upon it every curse which is written in this book; and the LORD uprooted them from their land in anger and in fury and in great wrath, and cast them into another land, as it is this day (Deuteronomy 29:17-28).”

-The final verse of this passage purposefully makes one stop to ponder. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this Law (Deuteronomy 29:29).”

-*Application* The LORD in His wisdom knows that our finite minds cannot handle His infinite aspects and nature (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Perhaps too, there are many things that are unnecessary for us to know until we come more and more into His fullness (Ephesians 3:17-21). A final consideration is that we were not created to be gods ourselves, and therefore we will always have limited understanding with respect to the Sovereign (Psalm 100:3). Although God has not told us everything there is to know about following His commands, He has told us enough to believe in Him and surrender our will to solely His purposes. God’s Word is enough to save us and lead us into the benefits of His Kingdom as we serve and honor Him exclusively. We should be diligent to pass this on to future generations that they too might see the grace and good pleasure of the LORD (thoughts taken in part from NASB Life Application Study Bible, Zondervan: Grand Rapids, MI, 2000, pg. 324).

Verse to Memorize: Deuteronomy 29:29

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