Deuteronomy 28-29 It is not with you alone that I am making this sworn covenant

From Deuteronomy 28-29

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In today’s passage Israel is called to renew the covenant. To rededicate herself to the LORD. Deuteronomy not only recalls the covenant, but is itself a document of covenant-renewal. No generation can ever take the covenant with the Lord for granted, but must always make it its own, by a fresh commitment. How can you renew your commitment to Jesus today?

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

In the last chapter Moses finishes describing the curses that will be upon Israel if she is not faithful to her end of the covenant. In today’s passage Moses reminds Israel of what the LORD has done and renews the covenant.

29  These are the words of the covenant that the LORD commanded Moses to make with the people of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant that he had made with them at Horeb.

2  And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: “You have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, 3 the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders. (Dt 29.1-3)

Moses calls all the people of Israel together and reminds them of the LORD’s mighty works in delivering them from slavery in Egypt.

What great works has the LORD done for you?

4 But to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear. (Dt 29.4)

Unfortunately Israel has been hard hearted towards the LORD. In part this is because the LORD has not worked in the hearts and minds to understand and hear.

God’s people depend on the LORD to reveal himself to them.

5 I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet. 6 You have not eaten bread, and you have not drunk wine or strong drink, that you may know that I am the LORD your God. (Dt 29.5-6)

None the less, the LORD has been faithful and has preserved the people during their wanderings in the wilderness.

7 And when you came to this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon and Og the king of Bashan came out against us to battle, but we defeated them. 8 We took their land and gave it for an inheritance to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of the Manassites. 9 Therefore keep the words of this covenant and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do. (Dt 29.7-9)

On the way the LORD has continued to protect them from their neighbouring enemies. They have won several battles because the LORD was fighting for them.

In response to what the LORD has done Israel is called to keep the covenant so they may prosper.

10 “You are standing today all of you before the LORD your God: the heads of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, all the men of Israel, 11 your little ones, your wives, and the sojourner who is in your camp, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water,

12 so that you may enter into the sworn covenant of the LORD your God, which the LORD your God is making with you today,

13 that he may establish you today as his people, and that he may be your God, as he promised you, and as he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. (Dt 29.10-13)

All of them stand before Moses as he reminds them of what the LORD has done and of the covenant. Regardless of their position in Israel’s society and the jobs they do, all are called to remember and keep.

If they do this the LORD will establish them as his people. This is what he promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is the LORD’s obligation under the covenant. To fulfill his promises to their forefathers.

14 It is not with you alone that I am making this sworn covenant, 15 but with whoever is standing here with us today before the LORD our God, and with whoever is not here with us today. (Dt 29.14-15)

All Israel had to come to the place of the LORD’s choosing and hear the law read out to them every seven years (Dt 31.10-13). Every generation of Israel would hear these words.

Story of Israel

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

Faithfulness to God is the proper response by his covenant people. It is seen in a steadfast commitment which reflects God’s own faithfulness to the covenant. Encouraged in all believers, it is especially important in leaders.

Faithfulness to God seen as marital fidelity (Is 54:5; Je 2:2; Eze 16:8). Faithfulness is seen as steadfast commitment to God in unwavering devotion (Jos 24:14–15), in obedience (Dt 11:13; Eze 18:9), in service (1 Sa 12:24; 2 Ch 19:9; 2 Ch 34:10–12; Eze 44:15; Eze 48:11), in giving, in prayer, in patient endurance and in fulfilling vows (Nu 30:2; Dt 23:21–23; Ps 22:25; Ps 61:8; Ec 5:4; Jon 2:9)

In Deuteronomy, we read the people of Israel were continually reminded of what the LORD had done for them and what their proper response should be.

Story of Jesus

We can do the same by continuous exposure to the gospel. Its a great idea to make a regular practice of reading the gospels. In them we read all Jesus our LORD has said and done for us. From him he gives us a new way of life.

14 And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. (Lk 22.14-20)

Remind yourself of all Jesus has done for you and rededicate yourself to following him in the way you live.

Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2016. All Rights Reserved.