This Week’s Reading Schedule
Wednesday (today), Mar. 14: Deuteronomy 27-30
Thursday, Mar. 15: Deuteronomy 31-34
Friday, Mar. 16: Psalm 1-5
The overall year’s plan is here.
From the beginning of Genesis, I mentioned that the Law of Moses is a suzerain covenant, a Middle Eastern Law. It consists of three parts:
- What the King did for the people
- What the King requires of the people
- The blessings and curses for obedience or disobedience
Today we hit the final part of the Law, the blessings and curses. As we see, it was very formalized.
Deuteronomy 27:6: Uncut Stones
The Lord’s altar was always made with uncut stones. I’ve read excellent explanations of this, but the one I want to point out is that we are the Lord’s work. We who walk in the fullness of the Law, the Law of Christ, are shaped by the Lord’s hand, not by our own righteousness or our own idea of what is good and bad.
A person who has really learned that the New Covenant is not of the letter but of the Spirit is a person who will be learning constantly that the righteousness of God is not like our righteousness. He or she will be learning constantly that our righteousness always brings honor to self, no matter how holy it looks, while God’s righteousness serves others and glorifies God, no matter how unspiritual it looks.
There is no greater lesson for the New Covenant believer than that Christ is our life, and that we live by the Spirit and not by the letter.
Deuteronomy 27:11-13: Formal Blessings and Curses
The blessings and curses were not something that happened in passing. Half of Israel was on one mountain, half on the other, and the Levites in between, and all the curses were given a loud amen.
Deuteronomy 29: Israel and Its Future
The nation of Israel lived out all these blessings and curses throughout its history. We will read about many of them in the history sections of the Hebrew Scriptures, of course.
We will read about captivity and suffering, but we will also read about the incredible power of the blessing of God, as you read about in the incident with Balaam in Numbers (while I was on hiatus). In the histories, we will read about plenty of battles that were won by the miraculous power of God when Israel was under God’s blessing, often when they seemed not to deserve it.
Deuteronomy 30:11-14: The Word Is Near You
This passage is quoted in Romans 10. The point is that God’s Word is not something far away, but always near us, in front of us, so that his Word is something we can do.
Romans 10 applies this passage to the confession of Christ because the Word of Christ begins with our belief and confession of Christ (v. 6-13).