TODAYS READING: DEUTERONOMY 27-30
The altar to be built; Blessing and cursing; the new covenant; Return to the Lord; The choice set before the children of Israel.
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
As chapter 27 begins, Moses instructs the children of Israel to set up an altar with the words of the Law written on them. This instruction will actually be carried out by Joshua in Joshua 8:30-35. The stones of the altar are to be built on two mountains. One is the mountain of blessing; the other is the mountain of cursing. The Levites will then speak to all of the people. It is interesting that all that is spoken are curses; there are no blessings. God is screaming out the message that the Law can only bring a curse! Romans 3:20 says there is no justification by the deeds of the law!
Chapter 28 is the chapter of blessing and cursing. If the children of Israel will diligently hearken to the Lord and do His commandments, the Lord will set them on high (verse 1). The Lord will bless them in their home, their work, their nation, and everything that pertains to their lives. But, if they will not hearken (verse 15), curses will come on them and overtake them. They will be cursed in their body, their work, their home, their land and their nation. The rain will be dust. In verse 30, the three military exemptions (Deuteronomy 20:5-7) are turned into curses. Without the Lord fighting for them, they will be conquered.
This chapter is a prophecy of the future of Israel. The blessings of the Lord will be seen repeatedly in the kingdom as they obey the Lord. The curses will be seen in the conquests, captivities and the famines throughout the rest of the Old Testament and beyond. Jeremiah cries in the book of Lamentations as he looks out his window and sees the people and the city destroyed as these very curses have unfolded.
What are we to learn from these things?
God does what He says He will do!
The Lord works and moves in the physical realm of our world.
The Lord can bring rain and stop rain.
The Lord can physically heal.
The Lord can cause a battle to be won.
Our Lord does answer prayer!
Also, verses 47 and 48 (likewise Romans 6:16) remind us that we
will serve someone. Will it be the Lord or the enemy?
Chapters 29 and 30 complete the third message from Moses. The covenant and their inability to keep it begins the chapter. Moses reminds them of the provision and protection of the Lord, the wrath of the Lord, and their unique relationship with the Lord. God has revealed secret things to them (verse 29). Chapter 30 looks forward to a time of renewal for the children of Israel; they shall return unto the Lord and obey His voice. The Lord is full of compassion (Psalm 111:4), and will turn their captivity, and will bless them again.
In Deuteronomy 30 verses 11 through 20, Moses extends the invitation to the children of Israel. The words have been plain, not hidden. The choice is upon them. Verse 14 says the choice is in their heart. Life and good, or death and evil are their choice. Dont miss the fact that it is our choice as well. We choose whether or not to obey. Moses closes with: I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life. (See John 5:40)
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
As THE PEACE OFFERING Deut. 27:7 (John 14:27; Romans 5:1; Colossians 1:20) As THE BLESSING OF GOD Deut. 28:1, 2 (Ephesians 1:3; I Peter 1:3) As LIFE Deut. 30:15 (John 11:25; 6:40)
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
As THE UNBLEMISHED SACRIFICE Deut. 15:21 (I Peter 1:19; II Corinthians 5:21) As THE PASSOVER LAMB Deut. 16:1 (John 1:29, 36; Revelation 5:12) As THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE Deut. 16:18; 17:8 (Revelation 19:11; Romans 14:10)