“You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the Lord your God, a covenant the Lord is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, to confirm you this day as His people, that He may be your God as He promised you and as He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you who are standing here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God but also with those who are not here today.” Deuteronomy 29:12-13 (NIV)
What’s Going On?
This week we continue Moses’ farewell address as the people of Israel are preparing to finally enter the Promised Land. There are yet still many instructions for how to live their daily lives once they have conquered the Canaanites and settle into their new homes and tribal communities. There are moral instructions, legal instructions, family and marital instructions, instructions about living in a community, instructions about going to war, and most importantly, instructions to keep the Lord’s commands and decrees and teach them to the next generation so that it will go well with them for many years to come. Chapter 28 summarizes how important it is to keep the commands of the Lord saying there will be blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. There is a little bit of foreshadowing here as we catch a glimpse into the future of the Nation of Israel, who will come to see both blessings and curses along the way. Since the people who are listening to Moses as he summarizes all that has happened and tells them what to expect as they move on without him weren’t all a part of the grand exodus from Egypt and the receiving of the Law forty years earlier at Mt Sinai, he realizes the need for this generation to stand in agreement with the Law and the conditions for being God’s holy people and calls for a national renewal of the covenant between Israel and her God. The book closes with Moses handing leadership off to his faithful aide, Joshua, a reading of the entire Law, and the call to read it publically every seven years. Moses then teaches them a song to help them remember all that they have been through and all of the blessings in store if they will only remain faithful to the Lord. Moses then blesses all of the tribes and sends them on their way. Moses must have watched them go with great pride and great sadness that he won’t be a part of the next leg of their journey. God then shows Moses all the land that Israel is about to inherit. We aren’t told exactly how it happens, but apparently after he dies, the Lord Himself buries Moses, the great servant of the Lord, there at Mount Nebo.
When and Where Are We?
It is about 1400 BC and the people are camped in Moab on the east side of the Jordan River.
- Moses – Prophet, Deliverer, Law-Giver
- Joshua – Moses’ aide and the new Commander in Chief
- Eleazar – Aaron’s son and current High Priest
“Now choose life, so that you and your children my live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life.” Deuteronomy 30:19b-20b
Weekly Reading Assignment:
- Monday: Deuteronomy 19-22
- Tuesday: Deuteronomy 23-25
- Wednesday: Deuteronomy 26-27
- Thursday: Deuteronomy 28-30
- Friday: Deuteronomy 31-34
- Saturday: Psalm 90