Guess what?! We’re almost done trudging through Deuteronomy! This is the next to the last part! You may be wondering why God wanted Moses to be so repetitive. Or maybe… why did it have to be so detailed? So, comprehensive? Clearly, God loved the Israelites — just as He loves each and every one of us. He doesn’t want to see us go the wrong way or choose evil over good.
God had to show the Israelites that they had to unlearn all the bad habits they picked up living for so many years in Egypt. Let’s play with some numbers. (Pun kind of intended!) Back in Numbers, God asked Moses to take inventory of all the men 20 years or older who were able to go to war. Why? He was sending them into the Promised Land, but it was inhabited by pagans, whom God was going to remove. Consequently, these people were not going to go quietly. The Hebrews had to be prepared for war.
The problem was that when they reached the border, the people were afraid. They didn’t trust God. Subsequently, God punished that generation by having them wander in the wilderness for 40 years. Everyone who was in that first census, except for Caleb and Joshua, died in the desert. So, figure those two were in their 20s. They are in their 60s now. The oldest of the survivors not counted (19 and younger), would be 59, down to those born during the 40 years. Figure anyone who was a teenager when they left Egypt would still remember what it was like living there, as slaves, among idol worshipers. Consequently, you have only the people who are 52 – 59 years old who may vaguely remember Egypt.
Nonetheless, the habits we form while growing up stick with us. They weren’t taught that worshiping statues and images of animals and people was wrong. That’s why God said over and over again not to worship man-made things.
Let’s think about it this way — a parent warns a child over and over again not to touch a hot stove or an open flame. Yet, a curious child must touch it for themselves and learn the hard way. Ouch!
Then the parent says, “I told you not to touch it!”
Likewise, the Hebrew people will not learn and God knows it. Even after going through all the blessings and curses, they will disobey. Unfortunately, many will pay the consequences and we’ll read about their adventures in due time.
The message in these next two chapters is vital for us to understand today. Let’s dig in…..
These are the terms of the covenant the Lord commanded Moses to make with the Israelites while they were in the land of Moab, in addition to the covenant he had made with them at Mount Sinai.
Moses Reviews the Covenant
2 Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them, “You have seen with your own eyes everything the Lord did in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to his whole country— 3 all the great tests of strength, the miraculous signs, and the amazing wonders. 4 But to this day the Lord has not given you minds that understand, nor eyes that see, nor ears that hear! 5 For forty years I led you through the wilderness, yet your clothes and sandals did not wear out. 6 You ate no bread and drank no wine or other alcoholic drink, but he provided for you so you would know that he is the Lord your God.
7 “When we came here, King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan came out to fight against us, but we defeated them. 8 We took their land and gave it to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and to the half-tribe of Manasseh as their grant of land.
9 “Therefore, obey the terms of this covenant so that you will prosper in everything you do. 10 All of you—tribal leaders, elders, officers, all the men of Israel—are standing today in the presence of the Lord your God. 11 Your little ones and your wives are with you, as well as the foreigners living among you who chop your wood and carry your water. 12 You are standing here today to enter into the covenant of the Lord your God. The Lord is making this covenant, including the curses. 13 By entering into the covenant today, he will establish you as his people and confirm that he is your God, just as he promised you and as he swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
14 “But you are not the only ones with whom I am making this covenant with its curses. 15 I am making this covenant both with you who stand here today in the presence of the Lord our God, and also with the future generations who are not standing here today.
16 “You remember how we lived in the land of Egypt and how we traveled through the lands of enemy nations as we left. 17 You have seen their detestable practices and their idols made of wood, stone, silver, and gold. 18 I am making this covenant with you so that no one among you—no man, woman, clan, or tribe—will turn away from the Lord our God to worship these gods of other nations, and so that no root among you bears bitter and poisonous fruit.
19 “Those who hear the warnings of this curse should not congratulate themselves, thinking, ‘I am safe, even though I am following the desires of my own stubborn heart.’ This would lead to utter ruin! 20 The Lord will never pardon such people. Instead his anger and jealousy will burn against them. All the curses written in this book will come down on them, and the Lord will erase their names from under heaven. 21 The Lord will separate them from all the tribes of Israel, to pour out on them all the curses of the covenant recorded in this Book of Instruction.
22 “Then the generations to come, both your own descendants and the foreigners who come from distant lands, will see the devastation of the land and the diseases the Lord inflicts on it. 23 They will exclaim, ‘The whole land is devastated by sulfur and salt. It is a wasteland with nothing planted and nothing growing, not even a blade of grass. It is like the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord destroyed in his intense anger.’
24 “And all the surrounding nations will ask, ‘Why has the Lord done this to this land? Why was he so angry?’
25 “And the answer will be, ‘This happened because the people of the land abandoned the covenant that the Lord, the God of their ancestors, made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt. 26 Instead, they turned away to serve and worship gods they had not known before, gods that were not from the Lord. 27 That is why the Lord’s anger has burned against this land, bringing down on it every curse recorded in this book. 28 In great anger and fury the Lord uprooted his people from their land and banished them to another land, where they still live today!’
29 “The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions.Deuteronomy 29 NLT
Idolatry is Poison!
Here are some other articles and studies that confirm this…
- How Paganism got into the Church
- The History and Truth of Mary Worship Part 1
- The History and Truth of Mary Worship Part 2
- What Jesus thinks about Idolatry and Immorality
- So Many gods – How patron saints resemble Roman and Greek gods
- Worshiping Idols is Wrong!
Deuteronomy 30 – A Call to Return to God
“In the future, when you experience all these blessings and curses I have listed for you, and when you are living among the nations to which the Lord your God has exiled you, take to heart all these instructions. 2 If at that time you and your children return to the Lord your God, and if you obey with all your heart and all your soul all the commands I have given you today, 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes. He will have mercy on you and gather you back from all the nations where he has scattered you. 4 Even though you are banished to the ends of the earth, the Lord your God will gather you from there and bring you back again. 5 The Lord your God will return you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will possess that land again. Then he will make you even more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors!
6 “The Lord your God will change your heart and the hearts of all your descendants, so that you will love him with all your heart and soul and so you may live! 7 The Lord your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate and persecute you. 8 Then you will again obey the Lord and keep all his commands that I am giving you today.
9 “The Lord your God will then make you successful in everything you do. He will give you many children and numerous livestock, and he will cause your fields to produce abundant harvests, for the Lord will again delight in being good to you as he was to your ancestors. 10 The Lord your God will delight in you if you obey his voice and keep the commands and decrees written in this Book of Instruction, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.
The Choice of Life or Death
11 “This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you, and it is not beyond your reach. 12 It is not kept in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven and bring it down so we can hear it and obey?’ 13 It is not kept beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear it and obey?’ 14 No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it.
15 “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. 16 For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.
17 “But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, 18 then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy.
19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”Deuteronomy 30 NLT
It’s YOUR Choice!
God gave us humans free will. Then He gave us the Bible to teach us right from wrong. It’s the choice between Life and Death, Heaven or Hell. You can go with the culture or go with God. If you choose to turn your life around and follow God instead of the world, you must…
- Love God
- Obey God
- Commit yourself completely and firmly to Him
This is the KEY TO LIFE! He will NEVER force you to obey. He will NEVER force Himself into your life. YOU must welcome Him in and allow Him to change your heart of stone.
Jesus Earns the Blessings for Us
Think about the command, “Don’t lie.” It’s not hard. Yet we all lie. We too are hard hearted. So what’s the solution?
Jesus earns the blessing of the law for everyone who believes in him. It is not for us to climb our way up to heaven – Jesus has come down from heaven to us (Romans 10:6). It is not for us to earn our way out of death – Jesus has already beaten the grave for us (Romans 10:7).
We keep the law by trusting Jesus.
And when we trust him, Jesus gives us the new heart Moses said we needed. We actually can obey the law’s commands because we walk by the Spirit of Jesus within us (Romans 8:5).
Now it is not the law that is near us so that we can choose to obey it (Deuteronomy 30:14). Instead, the Holy Spirit is even nearer, and he causes us to obey it (Romans 8:13).“Jesus in all of Deuteronomy” by Spoken Gospel