We’re nearing the end of Moses’ speeches that fill the book of Deuteronomy, and once again all Israel is called together to reaffirm the LORD’s covenant with them. We’ve seen this many times, and there is no variation in the pattern today. Israel is reminded of the LORD’s faithfulness to them, called to fidelity, and reminded of what would happen should they succeed or fail.
Most contracts, or covenants, require some sort of witness, someone who will vouch for your ability to follow through on the agreement. Many of you have probably signed for a loan that required a cosigner – someone who was actually taking financial responsibility for your ability to fulfill your commitment.
This is what’s going on at the end of chapter 30 when Moses calls “…heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life...” Should Israel fail in its obligations – and the end of chapter 31 shows that God is sure of it – nature itself will rise up against it. You’ve heard this language often and here it’s codified: heaven and earth are not slaves to Israel, but will rebel against her when she turns away from the Creator.
Pay attention to the commissioning of Joshua in chapter 31. Moses’ concerns are beyond the question of succession. He knows better than anyone that leading Israel is not about personal charisma or physical might, but about trust in, and faithfulness to, the LORD. His words to both the people and their next leader will echo forward as they cross the Jordan:
“Be strong and courageous…It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Our verse for this week is Galatians 3:29: And if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.
Deuteronomy 29 through 31. Now let’s read it!
And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.