God’s Word of Promise
Deuteronomy 29:1-29: In this summary of his earlier speeches, Moses reminds the people how God delivered them from the Egyptians and led them through the desert. God has promised to be their God, and the people are to show that they belong to God by keeping the covenant he made with them. The concluding verses point to God’s judgment for disregarding the warnings that God has given under the terms of the agreement.
The Lord‘s Covenant with Israel in the Land of Moab
1These are the terms of the covenant that the Lord commanded Moses to make with the people of Israel in the land of Moab; all this was in addition to the covenant which the Lord had made with them at Mount Sinai.
2Moses called together all the people of Israel and said to them, “You saw for yourselves what the Lord did to the king of Egypt, to his officials, and to his entire country. 3You saw the terrible plagues, the miracles, and the great wonders that the Lord performed. 4But to this very day he has not let you understand what you have experienced. 5For forty years the Lord led you through the desert, and your clothes and sandals never wore out. 6You did not have bread to eat or wine or beer to drink, but the Lord provided for your needs in order to teach you that he is your God. 7 And when we came to this place, King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan came out to fight against us. But we defeated them, 8 took their land, and divided it among the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh. 9Obey faithfully all the terms of this covenant, so that you will be successful in everything you do.
10“Today you are standing in the presence of the Lord your God, all of you—your leaders and officials, your men, 11women, and children, and the foreigners who live among you and cut wood and carry water for you. 12You are here today to enter into this covenant that the Lord your God is making with you and to accept its obligations, 13so that the Lord may now confirm you as his people and be your God, as he promised you and your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 14You are not the only ones with whom the Lord is making this covenant with its obligations. 15He is making it with all of us who stand here in his presence today and also with our descendants who are not yet born.
16“You remember what life was like in Egypt and what it was like to travel through the territory of other nations. 17You saw their disgusting idols made of wood, stone, silver, and gold. 18 Make sure that no man, woman, family, or tribe standing here today turns from the Lord our God to worship the gods of other nations. This would be like a root that grows to be a bitter and poisonous plant. 19Make sure that there is no one here today who hears these solemn demands and yet convinces himself that all will be well with him, even if he stubbornly goes his own way. That would destroy all of you, good and evil alike. 20The Lord will not forgive such a man. Instead, the Lord‘s burning anger will flame up against him, and all the disasters written in this book will fall on him until the Lord has destroyed him completely. 21The Lord will make an example of him before all the tribes of Israel and will bring disaster on him in accordance with all the curses listed in the covenant that is written in this book of the Lord‘s teachings.
22“In future generations your descendants and foreigners from distant lands will see the disasters and sufferings that the Lord has brought on your land. 23 The fields will be a barren waste, covered with sulfur and salt; nothing will be planted, and not even weeds will grow there. Your land will be like the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, of Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord destroyed when he was furiously angry. 24Then the whole world will ask, ‘Why did the Lord do this to their land? What was the reason for his fierce anger?’ 25And the answer will be, ‘It is because the Lord‘s people broke the covenant they had made with him, the God of their ancestors, when he brought them out of Egypt. 26They served other gods that they had never worshiped before, gods that the Lord had forbidden them to worship. 27And so the Lord became angry with his people and brought on their land all the disasters written in this book. 28The Lord became furiously angry, and in his great anger he uprooted them from their land and threw them into a foreign land, and there they are today.’
29“There are some things that the Lord our God has kept secret; but he has revealed his Law, and we and our descendants are to obey it forever.
Today’s Key Verse: Deuteronomy 29:12
[Moses said to the people:] “You are here today to enter into this covenant that the LORD your God is making with you and to accept its obligations.”
As noted in yesterday’s reading, the consequences for disobedience are outlined in Deuteronomy 28:15-68; acts of disobedience will incur the LORD’s punishment. Verses 22-28 seem to point to a time, years later, when the Assyrian and Babylonian armies will invade the land. Why would Moses have given such a warning to the people? In what ways do you show your faithfulness to God?
Lord God, you are faithful and your love is everlasting. Teach me to heed your voice and to obey your commands. Amen.
Deuteronomy 30:1-20: Moses reminds the Israelites of the consequences of their decisions.