Read Deuteronomy 29 -- 31
The Creator had chosen the small Israelite nation as the people through whom He would reveal Himself as the One True Self-Existent God, who desires to bless all mankind. Therefore keep the words of this covenant and do them, that you may prosper (do wisely) in all that you do. . . . That He may establish you today as a people for Himself, and that He may be your God (Deuteronomy 29:9,13). Moses continued to warn the people of the consequences of disregarding their covenant responsibilities, saying: Lest there should be among you a man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turns away this day from the Lord our God . . . when he hears the words of this curse, that he bless (flatter and congratulate) himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace (and safety), though I walk (live a sinful life) in the imagination (stubbornness) of my heart (29:18-19).
A covenant is a mutual agreement between two or more parties to do or refrain from doing certain acts in which they voluntarily accept the terms of the agreement. History records how the Israelites ignored their covenant relationship with the Lord and consequently suffered the loss of their land.
The Israelites had experienced the care of God, who had directed their 40-year journey through the wilderness. When they entered the Promised Land, they were surrounded by influences that would test their loyalty to the One True God. They were faced with people who seemed to have "advantages" such as chariots for war and an "attractive" religious system with images they could see and feel. The Israelites would be tempted to depart from the simplicity of their loyalty to the One True God. Moses warned: The Lord will not spare him, but . . . shall blot out his name from under Heaven (29:20). Perhaps 30 years had passed since they first entered the land of Canaan and the Promised Land was under the control of Israel. In Joshua's last message, he left no room for doubt as he proclaimed: When you have transgressed the covenant of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, and have . . . served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and you shall perish from off the good land which he has given you (Joshua 23:16).
Christians today possess far more than the Israelites did under the Law, inasmuch as we are born again and possess the nature of God and the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. As the nations of the world become our near neighbors, some will be tempted to believe that the Christian faith is but one of many ways to worship the One True God. The Apostle Paul reminds us of the Israelites who were delivered from Egypt, how . . . they were all baptized . . . did all drink . . . of that . . . spiritual Rock . . . and that Rock was Christ. But . . . many of them . . . were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. . . . Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed. . . . Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the Destroyer. . . . Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry (I Corinthians 10:2-6,8-10,14).
Christ Revealed: As Life (Deuteronomy 30:15). Jesus is the Resurrection, and the Life (John 11:25).
Word Studies: 29:7 smote means defeated; 29:19 bless himself means congratulate himself; 31:10 solemnity means appointed time.
Government Officials: Gov. Roy Barnes (GA), Rep. Brad Carson (OK), Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL), and Justice Antonin Scalia · Pray for the Bill Rice Ranch, Ministry to the Deaf · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by Bett Brown · Country: Australia (19 million) an island continent between the Indian and Pacific Oceans · Major languages: English and native languages · Religious freedom · 40% Protestant; 27% Roman Catholic; 3% Orthodox; 2% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Trust the Lord for deliverance in times of trouble (Psalms 51:15).
Optional Reading: John 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Colossians 2:9