Deuteronomy 29:10-19 (That He May Establish You Today)

Deuteronomy 29:10-19
That He May Establish You Today

In this passage, we will once again talk about the status of Israel in the world today. People can go too far in one direction or another very easily when considering them and their status before the Lord.

John Hagee says they are saved through adherence to the Mosaic Covenant, and he finds no reason to either evangelize them or otherwise tell them about their need for Christ.

Other preachers say that the church has replaced Israel and that there is no further purpose in the redemptive narrative for them as a people. In other words, Jews – who collectively are Israel – are just like anyone else. They are saved by faith in Christ and that’s it.

There are those that say what Jesus did for individual Jews is different than what He has done for the Gentiles. This means that Jews are saved in one way and by one gospel, and that Gentiles are saved in another way, by another gospel.

There are those Gentiles who think that unless they follow the culture, customs, and law of Israel, they cannot be saved. And, of course, there are those who think the Jews should just be exterminated and that will take care of the world’s problems.

Text Verse: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’” Romans 1:16, 17

From our text verse, you could immediately eliminate one or more of the incorrect ideas about the state of Jews in the world today. In fact, if you went to the book of Romans and studied only the verses that include the word “Jew” in them, you could probably resolve almost every wrong doctrine that arises in regard to them that I mentioned, and several others as well.

The problem is that we (meaning we in the church) run ahead with presuppositions about things without knowing – or at least without checking out – the entire story that God has laid before us. Those presuppositions may come from any of countless places. We hear them, we accept them, and we go with what we heard.

From that point on, our minds are made up, and we’d rather jump into the Lake of Fire than admit we are wrong. And this is certainly the case with countless other doctrines as well. It’s just that the sermon today deals with Israel, the Law of Moses, and – inevitably – with the New Covenant.

As such, in looking at the broader picture – but based on the words of the passage for a starting point – we can make correct interpretations that we might be unable to make without studying this passage. This is the beauty of going through the law. We can reinforce correct doctrine, recalibrate our incorrect doctrine, and learn to reject teachers who have faulty doctrine.

So, let’s get into it. Great things are to be found in His superior word. And so, let us turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I. That He May Establish You Today (verses 10-19)

10 “All of you stand today before the Lord your God:

All of the coming words of this verse are in the plural, and Moses highlights the scope of his words carefully: atem nitsavim ha’yom kulekem liphne Yehovah elohekem – “You stand the-day, all of you, before Yehovah your God.”

By saying everything in the plural, it is more than just “you Israel” being addressed, but “each of you in Israel” is being individually addressed. Each is accountable for what is to occur, and none can say, “I am not a party to this event.”

Further, Cambridge says the verb is probably reflexive, and this certainly seems to be correct – “You (each of you) have taken your stand today.” As such, it is a way of confirming that the action is voluntary and without coercion. With that understood, Moses continues his words, ensuring that absolutely nobody is left out of them…

10 (con’t) your leaders and your tribes and your elders and your officers,

rashekem shivtekem ziqnekem v’shoterekem – “your heads, your tribes, your elders, and your officers.” The translation of these words varies. The KJV and some others make it three categories, saying, “your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers.” The NKJV makes it four categories, but it adds in a bunch of “ands” that are not in the Hebrew.

The words clearly specify four categories, saying, “Your leaders, your tribes, your elders, and your officers.” This may seem like niggling, but it is important to understand the all-inclusive nature of what is being conveyed. It is not merely the heads who are being addressed, but rather the heads and also all of those in the tribes along with the elders and officers. This is then explained by the words…

10 (con’t) all the men of Israel,

Moses is speaking to the entire congregation of men. Not a single person is excluded from what is being conveyed. All are of Israel, and Israel is comprised of all. To further confirm this, and to also continue to express the all-encompassing nature of who is being referred to, Moses continues, saying…

11 your little ones and your wives—

As the heads of the households, the males speak on behalf of these. The little ones and the wives are present, and they are – by default – spoken for because of the stand taken by the men. In entering into the covenant, none are excluded.

This is actually referred to by Peter in Acts 2. The Mosaic Covenant now being ratified is inclusive of all that occurs in it. As it includes the promise of a New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31), then what Peter says in Acts 2 can reasonably be said to be spoken of by him in reference to Moses’ words now –

“For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:39

As for the Mosaic Covenant now initially being expressed, the rights and the privileges, and the blessings and the curses will apply to all, without exception. That was clearly defined in Chapter 28, but it is noted again now by Moses. But this extends yet further…

11 (con’t) also the stranger who is in your camp,

The words now go to the singular for the rest of the verse, speaking of Israel as a whole: v’gerekha asher b’qerev makhanekha – “and your (sg. Israel) stranger who in midst your camp.” It may be that not every Israelite would have a stranger who performed a menial task, but any in Israel would be included.

When the blessings come, these will participate in Israel’s blessing. When troubled times come, these will not be exempt from what occurs. This is inclusive of those…

11 (con’t) from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water—

mekhotev etsekha ad shoev memekha – “from cutter your trees to drawer your water.” The idea is that of the lowliest in the land. They are the bearers of burden, and yet the covenant applies to them. This then is the reason for Joshua’s inclusion of these categories concerning the Gibeonites –

“And that day Joshua made them woodcutters and water carriers for the congregation and for the altar of the Lord, in the place which He would choose, even to this day.” Joshua 9:27

A covenant had been cut between Israel and Gibeon. As such Israel was obligated to perform the words of it, but they set the conditions for that by subordinating the Gibeonites to these lowly services henceforth. This is clearly and poignantly highlighted later at the time of Saul –

“Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David inquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, ‘It is because of Saul and his bloodthirsty house, because he killed the Gibeonites.’ So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; the children of Israel had sworn protection to them, but Saul had sought to kill them in his zeal for the children of Israel and Judah.” 2 Samuel 21:1, 2

The covenant now being set forth by Moses protects the rights of all who come under its auspices. Saul violated those rights of the Gibeonites, and atonement had to be made for what occurred. That process of atonement continues to be described in that chapter. For now, Moses continues with his words…

12 that you may enter into covenant with the Lord your God,

The wording is very precise, and it carries a sort of pun on the word “Hebrew:” l’averekha bivrit Yehovah elohekha – “to your passing over in covenant Yehovah your God.” The word avar, to pass over (or through), is close in spelling to ivrim, or Hebrew, meaning Passer Over.

The idea here is that the Lord’s covenant is set forth and the people must pass over (or through) it. It is as if the covenant is a passage that is taken. These words logically fit with the first clause of verse 10, “All of you stand today before the Lord your God…that you may enter into covenant with the Lord your God.”

In essence, “You have made your stand in order that you may now pass through.” The Aramaic Bible inserts the word “not” into their translation –

“That you will not pass over the covenant of LORD JEHOVAH your God and over the oath of LORD JEHOVAH your God which He covenanted with you today:” Aramaic Bible

The reason they have done this is that when a covenant is made, crossing over it implies a violation of it. This has been seen several times already, such as –

“then you shall say before the Lord your God: ‘I have removed the holy tithe from my house, and also have given them to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed [lit: crossed over] Your commandments, nor have I forgotten them.” Deuteronomy 26:13

However, the Aramaic does not convey the intent at all. One must first cross over (into) the covenant before he can cross over (transgress) the covenant. The Aramaic Bible failed to make this distinction.

The idea is that sin is not imputed without a law. Moses is expanding the laws of the covenant made at Horeb (Mount Sinai) now in Deuteronomy. Therefore, they must first be apprised of the terms before they can be blessed by, or held guilty of, the terms.

12 (con’t) and into His oath,

The word is alah. It signifies a curse, an execration, or an oath. This is the first time it is used in Deuteronomy, and yet it will be seen five times in this chapter and once again in the next chapter. Ellicott defines it as an “imprecation in the name of God.” In this, it will bring a curse upon the party who does not fulfill what is agreed to.

12 (con’t) which the Lord your God makes with you today,

asher Yehovah elohekha koret imekha ha’yom – “which Yehovah your God cuts with you the-day.” The idea of cutting a covenant conveys that of the death of a sacrificial victim. Adam Clarke explains the process well, saying –

  1. The parties about to contract were considered as being hitherto separated.
  2. They now agree to enter into a state of close and permanent amity.
  3. They meet together in a solemn manner for this purpose.
  4. A sacrifice is offered to God on the occasion, for the whole is a religious act.
  5. The victim is separated exactly into two equal parts, the separation being in the direction of the spine; and those parts are laid opposite to each other, sufficient room being allowed for the contracting parties to pass between them.
  6. The contracting parties meet in the victim, and the conditions of the covenant by which they are to be mutually bound are recited.
  7. An oath is taken by these parties that they shall punctually and faithfully perform their respective conditions, and thus the covenant is made and ratified.

If one thinks the symbolism through properly, what Christ has done is quite evident. The New Covenant was cut in His death. The idea is that God and man meet in the Victim, meaning Christ.

He is the God/Man and therefore we come to God passing through His humanity. At the same time, He is fully God, and so God passes through Christ’s deity. Both meet at His cross where reconciliation between the two contracting parties have come together.

The Mosaic Covenant is not itself a means to an end. It is given to show God’s standard. Christ came to live out that standard and then to serve as the greater point of meeting with God because of the failure of Israel to “punctually and faithfully perform their respective conditions.” For now, Moses continues with his purposes concerning the giving of the law. It is…

13 that He may establish you today as a people for Himself,

l’maan haqim otekha ha’yom lo l’am – “to end purpose may stand you the-day to Himself to people.” The idea is that there is an end purpose in the cutting of this covenant which is to establish Israel as His own people.

One must question the thinking of people that say that the Lord is through with Israel. If anyone with even a modicum of biblical sense in him is asked if Israel has been under a curse for the past two thousand years, he will answer, “Of course they have.”

Every evil thing that was promised in the previous chapter, saying that it would come upon Israel, has come upon them during that time. Does anyone here today disagree with that? What does that imply? If Israel is under the curse of the covenant, it – by default – means that they are under the covenant, bound to it by obligation.

As this is so, it means that the Lord is also bound to it. That is why He has brought the curse of the covenant upon them. God has no more rejected Israel than He has rejected His promise to Abraham. The covenant stands, and it must be removed from them, or it remains binding upon them.

The words of this verse are all in the singular – “You Israel.” The Lord has established a New Covenant with Israel (again, Jeremiah 31:31). Until they enter into that covenant, they remain bound to the Old. Despite the controversy, this is… without controversy. This is clearly seen in the next words…

13 (con’t) and that He may be God to you, just as He has spoken to you,

The words are closely repeated by the Lord in Jeremiah 31:33 –

“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

Of this, Charles Ellicott marvelously explains what people to this day cannot seem to understand –

“It must be carefully observed that this is the aspect of the covenant which makes Jehovah responsible for the fulfilment of the whole. ‘He takes all this trouble for the sake of establishing thee in His presence for a people’ (Rashi). The people’s part, as described in this verse, is only to accept the position. And thus the covenant of Deuteronomy 29 is brought into the closest similarity with that which is called the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31, Hebrews 8:8; the form of which is “‘I will’ be to them a God, and ‘they shall’ be to me a people.” God undertakes for the people’s part of the covenant as well as His own. In Deuteronomy the first half of the New Covenant appears here in Deuteronomy 29, ‘that He may be unto thee a God.’ The second part appears in Deuteronomy 30:6-8, ‘The Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart . . . to love the Lord thy God.’” Charles Ellicott

The onus is on the Lord in regard to what is stated here. The onus on Israel is to do what the Lord has stated in the law. If they fail, they will suffer the consequences of the covenant, but the Lord’s responsibly goes beyond administering the blessings and the curses to the full performance of Israel in getting through the covenant as a people and entering into the New Covenant as a people.

As this has never happened, the onus is still on the Lord for that to come about. That is the purpose of the predictive prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled. They are to remind Israel, and they are to remind replacement theologians, that there is still a plan and a purpose for Israel in the world. This is, again, seen in the next words…

13 (con’t) and just as He has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are all mentioned together seven times in Deuteronomy. In all six of the other times, they are mentioned in relation to the land of promise. For example –

“See, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—to give to them and their descendants after them.” Deuteronomy 1:8

In Chapter 9, the land grant must be inferred from the surrounding context. But that is even the case in this chapter where Israel’s grant of the land is referred to half a dozen times in verses 22-28.

If the land is the promise, and if Israel is still under the covenant, as is testified to in them being under the curses of the covenant, then it must be that the people will be brought back into the land in order to be brought into the New Covenant.

And this is exactly what the prophets testify to time and again as the Old Testament progresses and even as the book of Revelation confirms as well. Understanding this, Moses continues…

14 “I make this covenant and this oath, not with you alone,

The words now return to the plural: “with you (all).” In other words, Israel is the collective, but it is not only with those individuals who are standing before Moses at this time. If that were so, then the covenant would end when the last person there died…

15 but with him who stands here with us today before the Lord our God, as well as with him who is not here with us today

Of this, the John Lange commentary incorrectly states –

“The covenant was to embrace not merely the descendants of those now living, Israel in its generations, but in its true idea and apprehension, all nations—those far off.—A. G.”

This is entirely wrong. The Mosaic Covenant is given to Israel, and to Israel alone. That will be seen more clearly in a moment. For now, almost all of the translations say “but” at the beginning of this verse.

Unless all the clauses are taken together, the word “but” confuses the thought that is being presented. Hence, translators must paraphrase the words of the final clause, saying, “as well as,” “also,” or something like that –

“I make this covenant and this oath, not with you alone, 15 but with him who stands here with us today before the Lord our God, as well as with him who is not here with us today.”

The word ki is used. It means “for.” Translating it that way brings the proper sense to what is being said –

“And not with you alone I cut this covenant and this oath: for whom being here with us standing today before Yehovah our God, and whom no here with us today.” (CG)

Though my translation is cumbersome because it is more literal, you can see that it is referring to one act. The covenant is cut with Israel, regardless as to when an Israelite enters into the stream of existence. That is why the plural began the words in verse 14.

If you think this through, it shows you the joy, the severity, and the hope of being born into this group. They will be blessed or judged with this group under this covenant, but they also possess the promises granted by it of Messiah and final restoration when they – as a nation – enter into the New Covenant.

Throughout all of the ages, the words of Moses are binding upon those who are born into Israel until they come into the New Covenant. Again, the doctrine of replacement theology fails entirely when the words of Moses are properly considered.

What he is saying has absolutely nothing to do with the inclusion of Gentiles into the New Covenant. It is solely addressed to this group of people and in regard to the covenant now being established. Hence, the New Covenant, which comes forth from the Mosaic Covenant, belongs – first and foremost – to Israel. Again, Jeremiah 31:31 absolutely confirms that.

Having said that, the inclusion of Gentiles into the New Covenant is clearly presented in both the Old Testament as well as the New –

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; For He will avenge the blood of His servants, And render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement for His land and His people.” Deuteronomy 32:43

“Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’” Isaiah 49:6

“Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:11-13

Admittedly, this type of theology can be mentally taxing and difficult to sort through, but in carefully following Moses’ words of Deuteronomy, you will avoid numerous poor or heretical doctrines that have flooded the church.

Replacement theology, Hebrew Roots, and hyperdispensationalism are all addressed and refuted by what we have looked at today alone. For now, Moses continues forward by looking back…

16 (for you know that we dwelt in the land of Egypt and that we came through the nations which you passed by,

The word avar, or “passed through” is used twice. It is very specific, “for you know which we dwelt in land Egypt, and which we passed through in midst of the nations – which you passed through.”

Cambridge claims this is an idem per idem, or tautology, where one expression defines the other with the same thought. This is incorrect. Moses is not defining one thing with the other. He first says, “which we passed through,” and then “which you passed through.”

He is saying that he, along with Israel passed through in the midst of the nations, signifying that they saw how those nations lived, but they – Israel – continued to pass through. The lesson isn’t for Moses, it is for Israel. He will continue to explain this…

17 and you saw their abominations

Moses doesn’t say, “and we saw their abominations.” Rather, he is instructing Israel who will live under this law, and who would be obligated to it. Also, this is a new word, shiquts, meaning a detested thing. Also…

17 (con’t) and their idols which were among them

Moses next mentions the gilul. The word comes from galal, meaning “to roll.” As such they are logs or circular stones that are round. However, it could be that they are idols that are placed on carts and rolled around. Either way, they are…

17 (con’t) —wood and stone and silver and gold);

As such, they are just things. They were laying in the ground and had to be dug up and fashioned, or they were standing as trees and had to be cut down and fashioned. Wherever the materials came from, they had to be worked and fashioned by the hands of man.

Thus, they are not gods are all. They are just worthless, detestable idols that can accomplish nothing and that can save nobody. Moses is contrasting them to the Lord who, in fact, delivered them from Egypt and who then safely brought them through the nations and to the shores of the Jordan.

They had defeated the nations that came against them, and they were ready to enter the land of promise. The Lord had done all of this for Israel. Moses has reminded them of these things…

18 so that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations,

Some translations, like the NKJV, make verses 16 & 17 parenthetical. If that is correct, it would read –

“I make this covenant and this oath, not with you alone, but with him who stands here with us today before the Lord our God, as well as with him who is not here with us today … so that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations, and that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood.”

This is possible. The same word, “oath,” will be used again in verse 19 (translated as “curse”). Thus, it is a warning from having their hearts turn away from the Lord. If they do, the curses will come upon them. Despite this, Moses’ words in Deuteronomy presuppose that the people will turn away from the Lord.

If there is a full stop after 15, with no parenthesis to follow, it would look like this –

“For you know that we dwelt in the land of Egypt and that we came through the nations which you passed by, and you saw their abominations and their idols which were among them—wood and stone and silver and gold—so that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations, and that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood…”

In this, Moses’ is saying that in dwelling in Egypt and in being brought through the nations, they were to learn not to turn away from the Lord who led them and performed wonders among them. That is what the author of Hebrews relays, using the same thought as now. The people saw the works of the Lord, and yet they turned away anyway –

“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:12, 13

Without being dogmatic either way, Moses says…

18 (con’t) and that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood;

Here, three new words are introduced. The first is shoresh, or root. In this case, it is a figurative root. The next word is rosh, or poison. That comes from rosh, meaning a head. Hence, it is a plant with a poisonous head, like the poppy. And thirdly is the word laanah, signifying wormwood, like the hemlock.

In this, the Hebrew reads “bitterness and wormwood,” not “bitterness or wormwood.” The one root is doubly poisonous. There is first the turning away from the Lord God, and there is then going to serve the gods of the nations. The same root produces both poisons. This verse is used again by the author of Hebrews when he says…

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.” Hebrews 12:14, 15

This is just what Moses is now warning of, meaning the defiling of others when the root comes forth. In verses 19-21, he will refer to the man who so turns from the Lord. And then suddenly in verses 22-28, it will speak of all of the people being uprooted and the land being cursed.

In other words, the actions of one could – and will eventually – affect the entire nation. Though neither of these words is used to describe Manasseh, the effects of his life are exactly the outcome that Moses is now describing –

“Nevertheless the Lord did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath, with which His anger was aroused against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked Him. 27 And the Lord said, ‘I will also remove Judah from My sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, ‘My name shall be there.’” 2 Kings 23:26, 27

The Lord said this even after the coming of good King Josiah. The good that he did could not overcome the evil of his grandfather, Manasseh. To describe such a person, Moses says…

19 and so it may not happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he blesses himself in his heart,

It is the same word translated as “oath” in verse 14. The oath is that which will bring an imprecation upon the person if it is not adhered to. He hears the words of the oath and ignores the warning. Instead, this person goes on…

19 (con’t) saying, ‘I shall have peace, even though I follow the dictates of my heart’—

Here is a new word, sheriruth, meaning “stubbornness.” It comes from sharar, meaning an enemy. In other words, the heart senses what is going on in it is wrong (as if facing an enemy). It is the dilemma that Paul writes about in Romans 7 –

“I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” Romans 7:21-23

Paul at least acknowledges the battle being faced, but this person, though knowing what is going on, still follows after that wrong sense in his heart without a care. With such a corrupt thought in mind, Moses uses an idiom to describe this warped soul…

*19 (fin) as though the drunkard could be included with the sober.

l’maan sepot ha’ravah eth ha’tsemeah – “to end purpose join the watered with the thirsty.” It is a set of words that is widely translated. “This will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry.” (BSB). “This will lead to the sweeping away of moist and dry alike” (ESV). “To add drunkenness to thirst” (KJV). “In order that the watered land dwindles away along with the dry [destroying everything].” (Amplified). “Lest the sinner destroy the guiltless with him:” (BST). “You will cause the rest of Israel to be punished along with you” (CEV). “And the drunken may consume the thirsty” (Douay-Rheims).

The general idea is that disaster will come upon all alike when such occurs. Israel is a corporate body, and they will suffer corporate punishment. That was seen in the first verses today. The entire nation, and all who issue from them, and all those who are joined to them, are entered into the covenant.

It is the same general idea expressed by the Lord when He prophesied of the coming destruction upon Israel –

“And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. 28 But Jesus, turning to them, said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, “Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!” 30 Then they will begin “to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’” 31 For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?’” Luke 23:27-31

Being a corporate body, the innocent would be swept away with the guilty.

We now stand before the Lord our God
To enter with Him into the covenant and the oath too
We shall pass through with our feet shod
Prepared to meet Him; so, we are set to do

O Lord, righteousness belongs to You
This covenant can only bring to us shame of face
Surely, only wickedness we can do
And upon Your glorious name, we will bring disgrace

And so, the curse and the oath will come upon us
Until we turn our hearts back to You
When we call out for mercy through the Lord Jesus
Then You will hear because You are faithful and true

II. Obtaining the Inheritance

In verse 12, it was noted that the covenant was being cut in order to establish Israel as His people so that the Lord would be their God, in accord with the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That was a land promise.

However, the Lord also cut a covenant with Abraham which was based on faith, not on the law that is now being cut. That is recorded in Genesis 15. Paul, using that as a case for salvation through faith and not through the law says the following in Galatians 3 –

“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.’ 11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for ‘the just shall live by faith.’ 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
15 Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. 16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your Seed,’ who is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. 18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.”

Paul’s words speak of the inheritance coming by promise and that it was based on faith. Obviously, this is so because this occurred four hundred and thirty years before the giving of the law. God spoke, Abraham believed, and the promise was made.

Paul demonstrates that the law has no part in obtaining the inheritance. If it did, then the promise would have been worthless. But the promise came via a covenant. Abraham did nothing except believe and God made the covenant – only He passed through the parts of the animal.

Therefore, if He failed to give the inheritance by faith, He would violate His own covenant. Such cannot be. This is why Christ came. The land, though seemingly the inheritance, is only a typological representation of it.

This does not negate a literal inheritance of the land of Canaan by Israel. And, indeed, both Isaac and Jacob were promised that the land would belong to their descendants. And so, for corporate Israel, the typology must meet up with the Antitype.

This is why they are back in the land. The gathering of the people in the land will lead to the act of faith in Christ. As Adam Clarke noted, both sides needed to “punctually and faithfully perform their respective conditions.”

The impossibility of Israel performing their side of the covenant has been seen, and will be seen. However, Christ, the true Israel, was able to perform. In His performance, the New Covenant was cut in His death. It is only there, at the cross of Christ, that Israel will find their righteousness. His performance (and thus His righteousness) imputed to them.

The promise to Abraham must stand. It is a promise that was granted based on his faith, not by works. As this is so, then Israel, and indeed all people, must follow in the pattern of Abraham. The law cannot negate what was already established by God in Christ. So let us not ignore that lesson.

Instead, let us find that righteousness, which is not of the law, but which nonetheless comes from the fulfillment of the law. Let us trust in Christ and what He has done, and then – only then – let us live out our works that we were created for in Christ Jesus.

And let us be grateful to God for what He has done all the days of our lives. The wonderment of God in Christ is too spectacular to diminish by falling back on deeds of our own supposed righteousness in order to somehow merit God’s favor.

When we feel our hearts tugging in that direction, let us stop that chatter right away, and let us renew our thanks to Him for Jesus. For Jesus. For our Lord JESUS!

Closing Verse: “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord,
‘That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness;
A King shall reign and prosper,
And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell safely;
Now this is His name by which He will be called:

Next Week: Deuteronomy 29:20-29 Things hidden even from kings… (The Secret Things) (86th Deuteronomy Sermon)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. But He also has expectations of you as He prepares you for entrance into His Land of Promise. So, follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.

That He May Establish You Today

“All of you stand today before the LORD your God:
Your leaders and your tribes as well
And your elders and your officers
All the men of Israel

Your little ones and your wives—
The stranger who is in your camp too
From the one who cuts your wood
To the one who draws your water for you

That you may enter into covenant with the LORD your God
And into His oath, which the LORD your God makes
———-with you today
That He may establish you today as a people for Himself
And that He may be God to you, so I relay

Just as He has spoken to you
And just as He has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac
———-and Jacob too

“I make this covenant and this oath, not with you alone
But with him who stands here with us today, so I convey
Before the LORD our God
As well as with him who is not here with us today

(For you know that we dwelt in the land of Egypt
And that we came through the nations which you passed by
———-doing as the Lord told
And you saw their abominations and their idols
Which were among them—wood and stone and silver and gold)

So that there may not be among you

Man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today
———-such would not be good
From the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations
And that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness
———-or wormwood

And so it may not happen, when he hears the words of this curse
That he blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall have peace
Even though I follow the dictates of my heart
As though the drunkard could be included with the sober
———-that type of thinking must cease

Lord God, turn our hearts to be obedient to Your word
Give us wisdom to be ever faithful to You
May we carefully heed each thing we have heard
Yes, Lord God may our hearts be faithful and true

And we shall be content and satisfied in You alone
We will follow You as we sing our songs of praise
Hallelujah to You; to us Your path You have shown
Hallelujah we shall sing to You for all of our days

Hallelujah and Amen…




10 “All of you stand today before the Lord your God: your leaders and your tribes and your elders and your officers, all the men of Israel, 11 your little ones and your wives—also the stranger who is in your camp, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water— 12 that you may enter into covenant with the Lord your God, and into His oath, which the Lord your God makes with you today, 13 that He may establish you today as a people for Himself, and that He may be God to you, just as He has spoken to you, and just as He has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

14 “I make this covenant and this oath, not with you alone, 15 but with him who stands here with us today before the Lord our God, as well as with him who is not here with us today 16 (for you know that we dwelt in the land of Egypt and that we came through the nations which you passed by, 17 and you saw their abominations and their idols which were among them—wood and stone and silver and gold); 18 so that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations, and that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood; 19 and so it may not happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall have peace, even though I follow the dictates of my heart’—as though the drunkard could be included with the sober.