14 April 2015

BSF 2014-2015: Deuteronomy 27-30

As the Israelites are about to enter the Promised Land, God asks Moses and the elders to gather all of the people. In unity, Moses and his fellow leaders share God’s instructions about two ceremonies after they enter the Promised Land.

For the first ceremony, God commands the people to cover stones with plaster, to write His commands on the stones and to put the stones on Mount Ebal. God also commands the people to build an altar using field stones. The people could not use tools to make this altar.

The law revealed the Israelites’ need for a Savior. It does the same for us today. The altar demonstrated God’s way to forgiveness and Jesus’ perfect sacrifice for us.

For the second ceremony, God commands the people to sit on Mount Gerizim – six tribes on one side and six on the other. God commands the Levites to speak twelve consequences for the people’s sins, and He commands that the people should say “Amen” to agree with these God-given consequences.

Then God explains a conditional covenant. If the people obey God, He will bless them with:

  • God’s protection
  • Numerous offspring
  • Abundant food
  • Abundant livestock
  • Everything they do will be blessed.

If the people disobey God, He will curse them with the opposites of the blessings:

  • No protection from enemies
  • Few offspring
  • Very little food
  • Confusion
  • Plagues, droughts and diseases
  • Cannibalism
  • Captivity to other nations
  • Utter destruction of their nation.

This conditional covenant will show the other nations that God’s hand is on Israel.

Next God renews His unconditional covenant with the Israelites. This covenant shows that the Israelites are God’s chosen people. And this covenant is passed down to subsequent generations (29:14-15).

Finally, Moses stands before the people and gives them a choice – choose between life, obedience, blessings and death, disobedience, curses. When we choose life, we choose to love God and others. Then He will be with us and help us live this life.

Things to Think About

  • God blesses us when we obey Him, and He gives us consequences when we sin.
  • Loving, trusting and obeying God bring blessings now and eternally.
  • God promises restoration when we take responsibility for our sins and return to Him.
  • From which sin(s) do I need to repent today?
  • Choosing the Lord and His ways is living life to its fullest.
  • How do I respond to the choices God gives me? Can people recognize me as God’s child based on the choices I make?