Deuteronomy 29-30

Sunday Evening Bible Study

January 10, 1999

Introduction

The name Deuteronomy means "second law". It is Mosesí final address to the people. It covers the last 1 Ĺ months of Mosesí life. Heís 120 years old. Itís Godís "review" for the people to make sure they understand His ways before they go into the land.

Deuteronomy 29

:1 These are the words of the covenant, which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb.

Some feel this verse belongs at the end of the last chapter, referring to everything up to this point. Others feel that it belongs to the next couple of chapters.

Basically, itís just a reminder that the book of Deuteronomy is a second giving of the law, the first giving being done at Mount Horeb, also known as Mount Sinai.

:4 Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.

(Psa 106:7-8 KJV) Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea. {8} Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.

For all thatís happened to them, the people somehow didnít really grasp all that God had done.

:5 And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot.

waxen Ė grow

Imagine going for forty years without having your shoes or clothes wearing out or having to change them. I know for some gals this doesnít sound like a blessing, but it is.

:7 And when ye came unto this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, came out against us unto battle, and we smote them:

This refers to the specific place where they were camped at the time that Moses was giving them this "second law", on the "plains of Moab". They were camped on the eastern side of the Jordan, just north of the Dead Sea. The kingdoms of Sihon and Og were the area on the eastern side of Jordan, from the Dead Sea up past Galilee. These are the kings that they have already conquered.

:8 And we took their land, and gave it for an inheritance unto the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to the half tribe of Manasseh.

The two and a half tribes had already begun to settle on the eastern side of Jordan.

:12 That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the LORD thy God, and into his oath, which the LORD thy God maketh with thee this day:

They are here this day to make a contract with God, a covenant.

:13 That he may establish thee to day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

This is specifically a covenant that God had with the nation of Israel. Itís not really a new covenant, just a renewing with this new generation the covenant that God made with Israel on Mount Sinai. This is the Mosaic Covenant.

:15 But with him that standeth here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day:

The covenant isnít just with this generation of people, but also with the future generations of Israelites.

:17 And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:)

Lesson

The danger at the eye-gate.

The Israelites would be facing all kinds of temptations because they had and will be exposed to the different perversions of the surrounding nations.

Over and over God warns them not to go after the gods of the other nations, nor to do the things that they did.

But part of the temptation comes simply from the fact that theyíve seen what goes on.

Sin is birthed when we are carried away by our own inner lusts:

(James 1:13-15 KJV) Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: {14} But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. {15} Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

But sometimes the lusts are started by the very things we allow ourselves to be exposed to:

(Gen 3:6 KJV) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Sometimes you canít avoid what you see. Sometimes you just canít avoid the things in the world.

But sometimes you can.

Donít expose yourself to more of the world than you need to be exposed to. It doesnít mean that youíre going to stop sinning, but you can at least cheat your flesh from finding more ways to sin.

:18 Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations;

God doesnít want us following the examples of the world around us.

:18 lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;

gall Ė ro'sh Ė a poisonous plant, prob. the poppy (from its conspicuous head); gen. poison (even of serpents):--gall, hemlock, poison, and venom.

wormwood Ė la'anah; from an unused root supposed to mean to curse; wormwood (regarded as poisonous, and therefore accursed):--hemlock, wormwood. A plant known for its bitter pulp and often associated with poison.

The warning is that a person or a group could infect the entire nation with the poison of idolatry.

I believe that this is what the writer to the Hebrews is referring to in:

(Heb 12:11-15 KJV) Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. {12} Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; {13} And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. {14} Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: {15} Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

When we allow sin to go unchecked, it can cause a "root of bitterness" to spring up, and cause many people to sin.

Your sin doesnít just affect you, it can cause a plant with seeds to spring up and spread.

:19 And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:

(Deu 29:19 NLT) Let none of those who hear the warnings of this curse consider themselves immune, thinking, 'I am safe, even though I am walking in my own stubborn way.' This would lead to utter ruin!

Donít be thinking that you are the one person that is going to get away with it.

:24 Even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger?

When the people see the destruction upon Israel, theyíll say, "Why did their God cause all this to happen?"

:29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God:

God doesnít choose to tell us everything. He doesnít have to tell us everything.

His ways are far beyond ours.

:29 but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

We are responsible for what has been revealed to us.

Deuteronomy 30

:3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.

Lesson

Just come back to Jesus.

This morning we talked about the "chastisement" of the Lord, and how there are times when specifically because of our sin, God allows us to go through hard times. He does this not to punish us, but to get us to come back to Him, to get us to turn away from our sin.

Here with Israel, God promises to "turn thy captivity" if they would only turn around.

We see this actually happened. When the nation had been taken captive to Babylon and had been there for seventy years, Daniel turned to pray:

(Dan 9:1-19 KJV) In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; {2} In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. {3} And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: {4} And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments; {5} We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments: {6} Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. {7} O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee. {8} O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. {9} To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; {10} Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. {11} Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. {12} And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. {13} As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. {14} Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice. {15} And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly. {16} O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. {17} Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. {18} O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. {19} O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

It was shortly after this time that Cyrus made his decree to free the Jews and to rebuild the temple.

:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed,

Circumcision was always intended to be a picture of this very thing, a circumcision of the heart. Some people have gotten all caught up in the ritual of circumcision, when God has always been after the circumcision of the heart, not just the foreskin.

Circumcision represents a cutting away of the flesh. Itís a choice of living after the Spirit instead of after the flesh.

This new heart is essentially a mark of the "New Covenant"

(Ezek 36:24-27 KJV) For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. {25} Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. {26} A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. {27} And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

(Jer 31:31-34 KJV) Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: {32} Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: {33} But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. {34} And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

:6 to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

This is all that God has been after all along.

Jesus called this the "greatest commandment", loving God.

But for us to have a true love for God, we have to be able to have a choice to not love Him. You canít have true love if thereís no choice, otherwise youíre just a robot programmed to say "I love you".

But because God has given us a choice, weíve often chosen the wrong way, choosing to sin.

Godís desire is that we come back to Him and learn to choose to love Him.

:7 And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.

All the things that had been on Israel because of their disobedience, gets dumped on their enemies when they turn back to the Lord.

:11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.

God doesnít ask us to do some mysterious thing that we have to guess at. His words arenít hidden from us.

Ironically though, for many it is as good as "hidden" because we simply donít take the time to read what it says.

:13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?

You donít have to go on some quest around the world to discover Godís will for your life. Itís not in an impossible place to reach.

:14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

Godís Word is right here. We have it right in front of us.

Paul used this passage to apply the gospel to us:

(Rom 10:4-9 KJV) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. {5} For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. {6} But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) {7} Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) {8} But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; {9} That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Godís Word is right here. Just do it.

:15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;

We have a clear cut choice to make. Follow Him and follow life, reject Him and choose death.