Deuteronomy 29: Not Quite As Scary as The Last Chapter

One of my students asked me yesterday why I left him hanging with Wednesday’s post about Deuteronomy 28. 

Well, the chapter didn’t resolve nice and neat so neither should my post. Duh!

But fear not! Today we had a slightly less scary description of the consequences of disobedience and a hopeful promise to close the chapter.

Renewing the Covenant

Despite the nightmares chapter 28 may have caused, chapter 29 begins with God reaffirming and renewing his covenant with his people. He will be their God and they will be his people. All they need to do is worship him and keep the law.

And much to my (sarcasm waring!) surprise, the renewal begins with a . . . you guessed it! Retelling of their story! 

The Exodus.

The Journey and provision in the desert (though it makes it sound like they ate nothing for forty years).

The defeat of their enemies.

These are key moments that cannot be forgotten. You might say that there is no covenant unless there is a story.

Hat’s Off To Moses

That guy just delivered a nasty message. I hope that I never have to say something like that to anyone! But he follows it up with a reminder that God is indeed still with them and has committed himself to them.

It’s easy to forget that, isn’t it?

That’s just good leadership. I mean, I almost forgot for a second that God was still not angry with them.

Yes We Can

Here is the final verse in Deuteronomy 29:

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and to our children for ever, to observe all the words of this law.

Now, depending how you read that last clause, that “to” can probably mean something like “in order to.” That would make the revealed things there to make us and our children able to obey the law.

They have what they need.

The horrible things of chapter 28 need not happen.

This story does not have to end poorly for the nation of Israel. God has revealed to them enough for their success. The ball is in their court now.

How about you? Do you feel like you have enough to remain faithful or do you feel like you have been left hanging?

I’ll go first.

Faithfulness is a tricky thing. The longer you follow God, the more you realize the ways that you aren’t. But I am at a place in my life where I think I have been given enough to respond to whatever comes my way. Not that things aren’t hard, but I feel much more able to handle them.

Sometimes God seems distant. Sometimes he feels very close. I chose to put more stock in the latter.

I think I started rambling there. So I will hand the reins over to you.

(If you comment today, you might be my 1000th comment!)

3 responses

  1. 1000th comment? I can only hope. =)

    God definitely gives me plenty of tangible, revealed things to work with. Every time I doubt, I look to those blessings (namely, like, everything) and remember His goodness, even if it’s hard to reconcile it with the horror I see playing out in the world today.

    Great post, Ben! Thanks for making me think!

  2. When I take the time to remember all those times that God did provide, when I experienced peace that surpasses understanding, when God prodded, then poked, then hit me over the head to remind me to get back on His path… when I remember the story then I am able to hold onto my faith. It is when I forget, when I let time go by without remembering all that God has done, that my faith can wane.

  3. I am closest when I give everything to God. It feels weak in dumping it off on Him, but that means I am with him and I am the better for it.

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