Deuteronomy - Lesson 6

Grace of Covenant

With the privilege of salvation and covenant relationship comes the call for a righteous response, demonstrated in joyful obedience to the Savior and Lord. A covenant is a formally confirmed agreement between two or more parties that creates, formalizes, governs a relationship that does not exist naturally or a natural relationship that has disintegrated.

Daniel Block
Lesson 6
Watching Now
Grace of Covenant

I. Introduction

II. Grace of covenant past

A. Occasion of the covenant

1. Importance of the occasion

2. Goal of the occasion

3. Danger of the occasion

B. Heart of the covenant

III. Grace of Covenant Present

IV. Grace of covenant future

A. Suspension of divine favor within the covenant relationship

B. Restoration

C. Grounds for hope in restoration

  • Understand that Deuteronomy, viewed as the Gospel according to Moses, is a theological, instructional book emphasizing covenant relationship and grace, aligning with New Testament teachings and offering life-giving messages rather than strict legal mandates.
  • Learn about Deuteronomy as a covenant document, its historical context, covenant categories, and the significance of covenantal rituals, gaining insight into its structure and covenantal vocabulary.
  • Gain insight into the process of how Deuteronomy texts were preserved, recognized as canonical, and the role of Moses and the Levitical priests in maintaining and transmitting these sacred writings.
  • Moses begins by recalling events that happened during their wandering in the wilderness, then recent events as they have gotten closer to entering the promises land from the east. Moses is idealized in the Old and New Testaments and in the writings of historians. You get a different picture when you read his first address. It shows Moses as faithful but flawed.

  • The Law was given to the nation of Israel after they had been freed from Egypt as the way to respond to God’s grace. God gives them the boundaries for right and wrong and a process to restore relationship when it is broken.

  • With the privilege of salvation and covenant relationship comes the call for a righteous response, demonstrated in joyful obedience to the Savior and Lord. A covenant is a formally confirmed agreement between two or more parties that creates, formalizes, governs a relationship that does not exist naturally or a natural relationship that has disintegrated.

  • God’s people are a privileged people; they have been graciously redeemed, and set apart as his special treasure, his holy covenant people. God acts graciously to undeserving people and they respond joyfully with obedience. The is the end of the first speech of Moses, Deuteronomy 4:32-40.

  • The Decalogue is the bill of rights of the people of ancient Israel. It is the ten principles of covenant relationship. It creates a picture of covenant righteousness and provides a foundation for later revelation. The Decalogue contains the features of a typical covenant and conditional and unconditional laws. The addressee is the head of the household because they can be a threat to others.

  • When Moses recites the Decalogue in Deuteronomy 5, there are parts that are similar to the passage in Exodus, and there are some significant differences. He begins with getting the attention of the people of Israel and appealing for covenant fidelity, restates the Decalogue, then ends with a document clause, using covenant language.

  • The Shema is a call for whole-hearted, full-bodied commitment. This passage is a theological exposition and pastoral proclamation to impress on the minds of the people of Israel the special relationship they enjoyed with YHWH. The grace God showed them must be embraced with grateful and unreserved devotion to their redeemer and covenant Lord.

  • God chooses the covenant partner, sets the terms, declares the goal, identifies the sign and determines the consequences of disobedience of the covenant. After Moses explains the purpose of the Law, he explains to the children how the Law was given and that learning it and putting it into practice will bring them life.

  • Moses talks to the people of Israel as they are entering the land, about how they will respond to the external test of confronting and dispossessing the surrounding nations. He reminds them of their special status with God and the covenant that he offers them unconditionally. He challenges them with the theological, ethical and missional significance of the test.

  • How can you worship a God that asks the people of Israel to wipe out the Canaanites? The reason for Israel taking the land is so the people of Israel as a holy people will be preserved so the world will be preserved. God is fundamentally compassionate and gracious, he does what is right and God offers us grace and mercy.

  • When everything goes right, what do you do then? The message of this passage is, “don’t forget.” YHWH provided manna in the wilderness to feed the people of Israel. God was also teaching them in the wilderness that life comes from every word of the mouth of God, not just by eating physical food. Moses challenges the people to respond to prosperity by praising God, not by taking the credit themselves.

  • The enemies in the Promised Land are formidable. God promises to defeat them. Moses warns that people to acknowledge that God is responsible. Even though the Canaanites do not follow God, the reason God chose the people is not because they are morally superior to the Canaanites.

  • Israel’s covenant with YHWH is based entirely on his grace and they don’t deserve it. Moses interceded on behalf the of people of Israel to ask God to not judge them and God is described as, “changing his mind” and renewing his covenant with them.

  • “What does YHWH ask of you?” Moses answers this question, then gives a doxology to confirm it and an application to illustrate it. God wants you to have a soft heart toward him, to live in an attitude of trusting awe and to act in a way that honors the covenant that God has established with you.

  • Moses has given a profound theology of land. He gives the people of Israel instructions for what God wants them to do when they enter the land to confirm their covenant with God. This included using uncut stones and plastering them and writing the Torah on them and then praising God. The land is an integral part of the covenant. The people shout blessings on Mount Gerizim and curses on Mount Ebal.

  • As the people of Israel enter the land, God has instructions for them on how to live in relationship with him and worship him so that it may go well with them and their children. They are to reject the false worship practices of the surrounding nations and accept God’s invitation to come and worship him in the place and in the way he has designed for them.

  • The Levites represent a barometer on where the people of Israel are in their ethical religion. They are not given land as an inheritance so it is the responsibility of people in the other tribes to support them. Moses presents a theology of worship but doesn’t go into detail.

  • This is a warning to the people of Israel to not imitate the materialistic preoccupation and the brutal rituals associated with the worship practices of the surrounding nations when they worship YHWH. There are warnings against following false prophets, someone in your family or people in your community if they are promoting seditious religious practices. The apostle Paul uses similar language in the New Testament when warning people about following people who teach heresies.

  • In contrast to worship with the purpose of satisfying the gods, YHWH delights in fellowship with his people and for them to celebrate in his presence. YHWH encourages his people to eat in his presence and with other people. His guidelines about which foods are acceptable to eat set the people of Israel apart from other nations.

  • A main purpose of the national festivals was to keep alive the memory of God’s grace and maintain their faith in god and their covenant with him.

  • Moses describes the key offices and roles that keep the society going by providing political and spiritual structure. The primary concern is righteousness. The king is to be the embodiment of Torah righteousness. Moses outlines specific steps to achieve this and describes what it will look like.

  • Moses, in his role as prophet, is the commissioned envoy of righteousness to the people of Israel. Moses was a mediator between God and the people of Israel. He warned the people of Israel about false prophets and the danger of adopting the worship practices of the surrounding nations.

  • Moses provides a picture of covenant life and godliness in a way that you can apply it to every situation in life. It’s important to care for the poor and the resident alien and to show justice to them. The resident aliens were invited to participate in the feasts and covenant life.

  • The ideal for the people of Israel was a patricentric society but in often the reality was a patriarchal society. In a patricentric society, the male head of the clan will provide resources and security in a way that gives his family and the community opportunities to flourish. The vision for women in Deuteronomy is different than the world that is described in Israelite narratives.

  • Celebrating God’s goodness and grace in the Land. Bringing an offering from the firsfruits of the harvest is a time to remember how God has provided for the people of Israel in the past, both as individuals and as a community. There are lessons we can learn about worhship and living faithfully. This is the Deuteronomic creed.

  • Some people view the curses in Deuteronomy 28 as a stumbling block to accepting the Old Testament as Christian Scripture because they say it represents God as vengeful. However, this was a common way of writing covenants in the Ancient Near East, they follow a list of extraordinary blessings, they serve a pastoral function and there are similar curses articulated in the New Testament.

  • Deuteronomy 29 begins with Moses recounting how YHWH brought the people out of Egypt and gave them victory in the land east of the Jordan River. Then he describes the curses they will experience when they turn away from the Lord. Chapter 30 describes the eschatological restoration. Deuteronomy 29:29 refers to the mystery of divine grace. (The movie and book series that Dr. Block is referring to is Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien. The prequel to this series is The Hobbit.)

  • This is the final altar call of Moses to the people of Israel to appeal to them to choose life by living in covenant relationship with YHWH. The revelation of YHWH given through Moses is to be memorized, recited and used as a guide for conduct. It is understandable and doable.

  • The Torah that Moses has been preaching was written down. This is the introduction to the song of Moses and contains the commissioning of Joshua, who will take over after Moses dies. Part of the book of Deuteronomy is the death narrative of Moses.

  • This passage is a poetic witness to the people of Israel of the faithfulness of YHWH and the faithlessness of Israel. Moses was told to teach it to the people of Israel so they could pass it on to their descendants. People could sing it throughout the day and it could be presented as a musical drama at national celebrations.

  • At the end of the sermons of Moses, he pronounces a benediction by saying something specific for each tribe. Deuteronomy 33 and Genesis 49 have some similarities and differences in the way the sons of Jacob and their descendants are blessed. The exordium and the coda frame the blessings by describing YHWH’s care and provision for the people of Israel as their king.

  • This is the last narrative story about Moses in the Old Testament. God tells him to go up on Mt. Nebo where he is able to see the land. Joshua takes over as the leader of the people. There is a eulogy for Moses at the end.  

The Gospel according to Moses. This is a collection of sermons of Moses as the people of Israel are poised to enter the promised land after being in the wilderness for 40 years. Deuteronomy is a special book, calling God’s people to celebrate his grace and demonstrate covenant love for him with action that glorifies his name. Until we recognize the gospel in this book, we will not read this book. (Note: Mt. Sinai and Mt. Horeb are referring to the same mountain. They are used interchangeably)

Recommended Books

The Gospel according to Moses

The Gospel according to Moses

To many people the law stands in opposition to the gospel. While it may be possible to read Paul's epistles this way, the book of Deuteronomy will not allow this reading. Like the book of Romans in the New Testament, Deuteronomy provides the most systemat
The Gospel according to Moses
The Triumph of Grace: Literary and Theological Studies in Deuteronomy and Deuteronomic Themes

The Triumph of Grace: Literary and Theological Studies in Deuteronomy and Deuteronomic Themes

The Apostle Paul's negative statements about the law have deafened the ears of many to the grace that Moses proclaims in Deuteronomy. Most Christians have a dim view of...

The Triumph of Grace: Literary and Theological Studies in Deuteronomy and Deuteronomic Themes
How I Love Your Torah, O Lord!: Literary And Theological Explorations On The Book Of Deuteronomy

How I Love Your Torah, O Lord!: Literary And Theological Explorations On The Book Of Deuteronomy

Like the book of Romans in the New Testament, the book of Deuteronomy provides the most systematic and sustained presentation of theology in the Old Testament. And like the...

How I Love Your Torah, O Lord!: Literary And Theological Explorations On The Book Of Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy (The NIV Application Commentary)

Deuteronomy (The NIV Application Commentary)

Arranged as a series of sermons, the book of Deuteronomy represents the final major segment of the biography of Moses. The sermons review events described in earlier books...

Deuteronomy (The NIV Application Commentary)
Sepher Torath Mosheh: Studies in the Composition and Interpretation of Deuteronomy

Sepher Torath Mosheh: Studies in the Composition and Interpretation of Deuteronomy

When it comes to discussions related to the composition and interpretation of the books in the Old Testament, few other books are more contested than Deuteronomy. Even among...

Sepher Torath Mosheh: Studies in the Composition and Interpretation of Deuteronomy

Dr. Daniel Block 
Grace of Covenant 
Lesson Transcript


[00:00:00] Recovering the grace of covenant. In verses 1 to 8, we talked about the grace of Torah, revelation of the will of God. Now it's the grace of covenant, and that this speech will end with the grace of salvation. Our text is another exciting passage, as they all are. With a privilege of salvation and covenant relationship comes a call for a righteous response demonstrated in joyful obedience to the Savior and Lord. This, I hope, is a tone that you begin to grasp from the Book of Deuteronomy. This diagram, again of the outline of the book of Deuteronomy shows us where we are at. We're in the middle of that Chapter four section, and it is the longest of these sections takes us from verse nine all the way through to verse 31, The Grace of Covenant. I mentioned before that a covenant is a formally confirmed agreement between two or more parties that creates, formalizes, governs a relationship that doesn't exist naturally, or a relationship that a natural relationship that has this integrated. Well, what we've got in our text is the creation of a very unnatural relationship, a most unlikely one between the creator of the universe and a little group of inhabitants of planet Earth. It is an amazing story in this history of grace. Now our text is broken into three parts and you will recognize my outline. There is the grace of covenant past verses 9 to 15. Then there's the grace of covenant presence. Verses 15 to 24. And there's the grace of covenant future versus 25 to 30. And of course, you know where that's from. Charles Dickens, The Cratchit Christmas dinner. We used to do that when we were kids, and they The Spirit of Christmas passed. The Spirit of Christmas present and the spirit of Christmas future.


[00:02:28] Well, here we are. Let's go to the grace of covenant passed. He begins with the occasion of the Covenant verses 9 to 11 of of Chapter four only give but notice the preacher only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently. This sounds like Paul to Timothy. Take heed to yourself and to your doctrine. He's I mean, this is Paul is thinking in Moses terms so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen. And they don't leave your heart all the days of your life, but make them known to your sons and your daughters. So this is the introduction. Keep the memory of God's grace alive in your head. That's the appeal here. But yeah. Above all, guard yourselves scrupulously. This is an emphatic instruction here, because if you leave it alone, if we become passive, everything is an atrophy. Is that the word we use here? Or the second law of thermodynamics? Left to itself, everything disintegrates or whatever it goes bad. Well, here, he says, never forget the moment. This escape from your mind is instructive. But he hasn't told us yet what that moment is. Don't forget the moment and pass the memory on to your descendants. Well, what is it that they are to pass on? And then in my NASA translation, as remember in italics, it's not there, but he's bringing up the thing again. So keep it to yourself. And don't forget, watch out. You're forgetting or gets better or more effective all through as you age and your remember gets worse. Remember? Remember what? The day you stood before your way. It's an awesome moment your way. Your God. Now we're talking covenant. When Yahweh said to me, Assemble the people before me and have them hear my words, which they must learn.


[00:04:52] So they may fear as long as they live in the land and teach their children. You notice the repetition of all these concepts again here, that they may learn, that they may fear that they may live. Now, what happened at Sinai is often referred to as a of funny. It's a vision of God's glory. But they never saw God. What they did was they heard his voice. It was an auditory moment rather than a visual. God's person was not on display. His glory is reflected in the fire, but strictly speaking, the people didn't see him. The Lord had called the people to an audience with himself at the mountain. I brought you to myself that I may speak with you. He is the great king. Moses is emphatic that the Israelites saw no form. They only heard sounds. They heard the voice of God declaring words in human language. God speaks Hebrew. They could understand it. And this is the amazing thing. But then the other thing we've seen before, listen, that you may learn, that you may fear, that you may live, that you may teach, that you may enjoy the blessing of God. The point of the revelation here was to instill fear for Yahweh in the hearts of the people. But of course, this fear can't stop with one generation. It must be passed on to the children, as is often the case elsewhere in Deuteronomy. Here, the Hebrew word functions for trusting or the word fear in Deuteronomy. Within the book of Deuteronomy, this word means the whole range. Yaari A Hebrew can mean terror fright. And of course, by terror I mean we're going to die of fright is it's dangerous, anxious, all and all can be negative and it can be positive.


[00:07:11] So it's simply all reverence is positive, all submission, allegiance and trust. This word has that whole range of meaning in Deuteronomy. And when we come across texts like this, we always have to ask ourselves, what does fear mean? They were frightened at the we'll see this as the end of chapter five when they heard the voice of God. They were frightened. It's the same word. And in the Exodus version, the Lord says Moses says, Actually the Lord says, Fear not. This word for the Lord has come that you might fear Him forever. In one sentence. The word is used in two different senses, same word. But of course it is the transformation of the disposition of one who is estranged from a awesome higher power, who is now in relationship to an awesome person, an awesome higher power. And that moves from terror to trust, trusting or so in contexts like this. The point is trusting or in your way. It it it comes very close to the word for faith in Genesis chapter 22. Remember now the Lord tested Abraham. The word is test and you have to ask what he tested. After these things. The Lord tested Abraham saying, Take now your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go offer him as a whole, burned offering on the mountain that I show you. Really? And what does Abraham do? It says the text says, no. Lakshmana, who rose early, got up, loaded up his donkey, took a servant and took Isaac, and they set off. And for three days they walked to the destination. Now, it's one thing to respond immediately, impulsively, to the command of God, but. This must have been torture for him. He had three days to change his mind and go back home.


[00:09:31] I've got all kinds of questions about things left unsaid. Did he tell Sarah where he was going? I have no idea. Did he tell Isaac what this was about? Well, they get to the mountain, and then he tells his servants, You stay down here and I'm going up there and we're going to worship. That's the first occurrence of a Hebrew word, worship. And it does not mean praise God from whom all blessings flow. It means demonstrate submission and homage before a superior. That's what they're doing. That's what they're doing. That's worship. And so he goes up, he builds the altar and he lays the wood, and then he puts Isaac, and it's about to stab him. And the Angel of the Lord says, Stop, stop, Don't lay a hand on them. For now, I know that you. Fear me. Fear. Terrified. Is Abraham doing this because he's worried about the consequences if he doesn't. I better or else I don't think so. After these things, the Lord tested Abraham watching, testing him. Well, just on the previous Chapter 21, he had said, not in Ishmael, Barton. Isaac. The promise is going on. The first thing after that is just take eyes off. You can go offer as a sacrifice. See if you can leave that one with me. And it's a box that God puts in Abraham. There's no there are no windows, are no doors. There's no way out. It's an absolute dilemma. You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. But what does he do? So that God's problem. Now I know that you fear me. And this is a virtual synonym for what we had in chapter 15. Abraham believed God. And he counted it him for righteousness. It's a virtual synonym.


[00:11:26] And in Deuteronomy, that's how it works often. Well, the danger of the occasion. So you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while ablaze with fire to the very heavens wrapped in darkness, clouds and deep gloom. Then Yahweh spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but you saw no form, only a voice. Well, in the Exodus account, they were told to build a fence around the mountain to prevent people from exposure to the lethal dose of divine glory. Don't get so close to your doomed. Because the moment God stepped down on that mountain, it became an a virtual palace of the King of heaven and earth. And that's a holy place. Here Moses speaks only of darkness cloud, which hung over the mountain to protect the people from the vision of God above that it would have killed them. Now Moses goes up into the cloud. I wonder how much he saw. And he kept saying, Lord, show me your glory. He never gets enough. Show me your glory. But here they are protected. Well, what's the heart of the covenant? Verse 13, he declared to you His covenant, that is, he commanded you to put into practice the ten words, and then he wrote them unto stone tablets. So this is the heart, the essence, the foundation of the covenant. We'll talk about this in our next session or two sessions down the road when we get into the Decalogue. What is this? Decalogue Ten words. The words that he declared are the heart of it. There will be more to come. But the ten words are a sampling of what life within the Covenant looks like. It's enough to create a picture of covenant righteousness and provide a foundation for later revelation.


[00:13:25] And this is how I really I envision the relationships among the various constitutional documents we have in the Pentateuch. You have the Decalogue. And when I first did this, and it was all to scale so that the size of each box represents the number of words or verses that make up that. So it starts with a little document. The Decalogue Ten words. Then you've got the book that's got to be changed because that's an anachronism. They didn't have any books then, not for another thousand years or 800, but it is the covenant document here. 20 112 2319 Then you've got the what scholars call the Holiness code. But again, that's far too technical and you forget that this is pedagogically structured and pedagogically framed. It's teaching instruction on holiness more than laws on holiness, that the changes, what you do with it, what you call something, and then of course the Torah of Moses. This is the biggest part. But all of these represent repeated iterations of the same covenant worldview. That's what's happening here. The seed has been planted. It would have made sense if he'd already given the Decalogue to Abraham when he first made the Covenant and then expanded it in these iterations. But this is the way we have it here. That's how I understand it. The use of the word covenant for release here is extremely important. The ten words of the Covenant. This is the first occurrence of a word that will appear 27 more times in the book and is fundamental to the message. So let's look secondly at the grace of covenant present. He's remembering the day when you saw. But actually these guys can't remember it. They weren't there. You'll talk about that in chapter three or chapter five.


[00:15:30] They weren't there. I know you weren't there, but yeah, I'm taking you back there. But you were in that great assembly. So in verses 15 to 24, you've got the grace of covenant presence. So because you saw no form on that day when the way spoke past tense at Horeb from the midst of the fire Guard yourselves very closely, lest you act corruptly and make a sculptured image for yourself. A statue of any shape that is any male or female icon, an icon of a high carriage land, animal icon of a wing bird that flies in the sky, an icon of a creature that crawls on the ground, an icon of any marine animal that lives in the water. Of course, you recognize this. This taxonomy of animal creatures comes right out of Genesis one. These are the categories of this is the Hebrew way of defining species of animals or groups. We do it very scientifically by DNA and everything else. But, you know, there were phenomenological categories where animals live. So you got sea creatures. You had crawly dirt creatures, you got high carriage land, animals, deer would be there. The bodies are not touching your ground. And then you've got the birds in this taxonomy. Bats are birds. Now, I know there are some people who say that the Bible. Is has lots of mistakes. It calls bats birds, but that's not a mistake. The Hebrew word for bird is flying thing. Has nothing to do with feathers. It has to do the sphere of existence where they live. And so that's what we got here. No creatures of any kind. Are you to the to create, rid or you're not to reduce God to the form. But then he goes to another cat or you watch yourselves that you don't make this stuff or sack and that you raise your eyes to the sky and make gods out of things up there that are already created.


[00:17:43] You didn't make them, but they're there. And so you transfer your intelligence from Yahweh, your God to the heavens, Sun, moon in the stars, the entire heavenly host, and you are seduced. I love Moses use of this word. Idolatry is seductive. Part of it is because it's it invites you to the world of fertility. And that's what it's all about. Religious expression that we may be prosperous, have big flocks, big herds, big crops, big families. That's the point of it all. It's a very materialistic world. You're seduced and you kneel down to them and act as their servant. Now, the the Hebrew as a simple word here, and you serve them. But when you translated only as serve, you obscure what's happened to Israel in the process. I have act as their servant. When you kneel down to anybody, it means you're the boss. I am your vassal. I am your servant. And I will live for you. It's not just doing cultic liturgical stuff. It's life. Act as their servants. When God has called Israel to be His servants. So don't serve them. Don't be their vassals. Slaves like you were in Egypt. Be my commissioned agents. Objects that the Lord, your God has the law to do. All the peoples of the heaven, the sun, the moon, the stars God put up there for everybody's benefit. But they're not there to be worshiped. So they're God's common grace to all. Well, while other deities tolerated their devout devotees worshiping similar several deities at the same time. This was absolutely not the case in Israel. They were polytheists or had no theist. You know, the word healthiest handle theist is a person who is somebody who says we as a people have one main god, but there are lots of others.


[00:20:02] You have yours. So that in Moab is camels. The god of them all buys milk from the God of the Ammonites and cows, the God of the Edomites, the Israelites of Yahweh. All the nations have their gods. But we recognize that if you move to another territory, you worship the gods of that land. So the gods are basically either functional terms like the storm, God, the sun, God, whatever, or they are real estate gods. And you to move. This is why when Ruth says, I'm going with you, Naomi, your people shall be your my people and your God. My God. She's moving into the land of Israel, where Yahweh is the God. And that's what that means. Well, Israelite religion is totally different from all others. The other gods didn't mind if you worshiped other gods in Babylon. The map of ancient Babylon. The main temple is obviously the temple of Marduk is king in this pantheon. But they're in the gates of the city. I think there are eight gates named after other gods, which you would use those gates at the festivals devoted to the gods. When gods, when you went in procession to celebrate that gods place in your life. But this is absolute taboo in Israel. So what is then, wrong with idolatry? Idolatry is folly because it substitutes the worship of the true God who has no form with substitute physical gods who have form, but who have no essence. It's totally upside down. They are nothing. The these gods come in a variety of forms. They are gendered, male and female. They're man made. They are divine create or they are divine creations that have been elevated to the status of deities. And so we talked about these creatures already.


[00:22:06] But let me give you some illustrations of what we're talking about. This is my favorite guy, the Canaanite God. L What a God. That's a wonderful grandpa God. But in the Canaanite mythology, which they discovered that Ugarit el is a century old man. He is the father of all the gods. 70 gods, including bail on whatever. And. And this family, everybody squabbling and Bale and Moll, the God of death and the God of life are in constant conflict. But l Jesus, He. He's the gentleman. Here is Bale. Who is. Who is a figure. The storm. God. When he's raised up, hand his hand up like that. He's got a lightning bolt in his hand, actually. And he's the God of the storm. And that brings rain. And that brings fertility. That's him. Here's he is back. Bale is the male principal of the fertility religion. Ashira image could be the female, though, in some mythology, some myths. This is Ailes wife, the mother of all the other gods. But it's very confusing. But the female deities tend to be created, carved with exaggerated sexual features. And you understand this is all a part of the fertility religion. Here's the Orange Age bronze ball. Al himself is called Bull El. Here is Egyptian. Now we've got a human figure with and with a jackals head or with the ibises head. Or here is an Assyrian fish God. Watch it. Don't make yourself gods of any of these other creatures. Here is the Egyptian sun. God, Ray. And they're all worshiping the sun, God, the Babylonian sun, God Shamash. And here is the Sumerian moon, God of the stela of your namo. Here is the Mesopotamian Trinity. You see this? You've got, uh. You've got. You've got the sun, the moon and the morning star.


[00:24:32] Venus. They've got you covered. The sun covers you by day, the moon covers you by night. And in the in-between time it's the morning star or the evening star or whatever. Here's another version of that. These these images are all over the place the sun, the moon, and the star par excellence. Here is the Babylonian trinity consisting of Ishtar, the star sin, the moon and shamash the sun. And, of course. Some of you are familiar. Isn't this on Turkey's flag? It's a muslim flag. And of course the the is Islam traces its or claims to be a monotheistic religions. But the symbol of their God in old South Africa, South Arabia, the moon. God was the dominant deity, and He survives in the memory and the iconography of Islam, which is ironical because they claim to be monotheistic. Well, in any case, Moses makes the point that idolatry completely inverts the order of creation. Things that God created to serve him are now elevated to the status of Gods instead of human beings serving God. By caring for creatures, they elevate the creatures to the status of deity and become subservient to that which they are to substitute and rule. It's all turned upside down. It's chaos. Reminds me of Romans one. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all and godliness and wickedness of those who, by their wickedness, suppress truth for what can be known about God is plain to them, because God is shown unto them. He's given revelation ever since the creation of the world as eternal power and divine nature, invisible while they are, have been understood and seen through the things that he has made. So they're without excuse for. Although they knew God, they didn't honor him or as God or give thanks to him.


[00:26:41] But they became futile in thinking in their senseless mind would start claiming to be wise. They became fools and they exchange the glory of the immortal for images resembling mortal human beings or birds and forfeited forfeited animals or reptiles. Therefore, God gave them up. This is the epitome of, shall we say, depravity, degrading themselves, exchange the truth about God for a lie. I mean, Isaiah talks about this is an Isaiah 44 where he talks about making an idol and read about the ritual through which that idol becomes an idol, and then they hold it in their hand and they don't realize that in their hand they're holding a lie. That's he call this what he calls it. You think it's a god, but you're calling it a God doesn't make it a god. It's still just a piece of wood. And you are totally deluded. And of course, that's why he ends up with the dark souls, you know, the creator who is blessed forever. Amen. He becomes Pentecostal at this moment. Well, second, idolatry is folly because it denies Israel special standing with the Lord and neutralizes his deliverance from slavery first. It's interesting in this context of cosmic deities, he says. But you. But you. Yeah. We handpicked you and brought you out of the iron smelter out of Egypt that you might become his special possession as you are today. That's what idolatry does. It forgets the salvation that you have experienced. It eclipses that. The Lord handpicked you, the God of Heaven on earth, a creator of all handpicked you to be his special treasure. He is their redeemer. They are his am. So go. Whereas the objects set up as gods are have done nothing for Israel. The Lord has done everything for them.


[00:28:51] Where would Israel be if it weren't for Yahweh? And the answer is in Egypt, making bricks without straw. And by now, they'd probably have been wiped. Been wiped out. Who knows? And that's why in chapter 33, he says, safeguard yourselves, lest you forget the covenant. And of course, the covenant says, I am your God, you are my people. No other gods, lest you forget the covenant that you offer your God made with you and you make for yourself any sculptured image that which you offer your God is charge you for your way. Your God is H Ocala. He is l cana. That's usually translated. He is a consuming fire. He is a jealous god, but that disregards completely the syntax of the text. The order of the words in this text are that these are actually presented as personal titles, or if not names. And that's why I names you don't translate, you transliterated. My name is Daniel. What does it mean? It's a Hebrew name. I don't know what my parents were thinking. This guy's going to need a name like Daniel. God is my judge. We don't translate. Nobody calls me God is my judge. God is my judge. Come over here. No. We transliterated names. And so that's why I've done this here. The Hebrew structure, word order is such that these are virtual epithets. He is al Kana, which means impassioned God, we can't say jealous because to us jealousy is in effect envy, isn't it? It's a synonym of Emmy. It's not. Hasn't. Doesn't have to do with it. It means he gets fired up because he treasures his relationship with his covenant people. And if his covenant people go after another God. He gets fired up. No, you can't do that.


[00:31:02] Ideology is faulty because the violation of a jealous God, the Covenant and the Supreme Command, you shall have no other gods. Well, most people understand this references jealousy because they confuse the English word with envy when it speaks of the passion with which one guards a legitimate relationship in everyday life. I mean secular life when used theologically in the Bible, the First Testament, certainly I haven't checked the new. It's always in the context of idolatry. Idols versus Yahweh. Always in everyday life, though. Here's a great one. Proverbs six 3234 who commits adultery is an idiot, lacks sense. He who does it destroys himself. He will get wounds and dishonor for his disgrace will not be away for passion Kin. Ah, it's the same word. Makes a man furious that he will not spare when he takes revenge. Who is the man whose passion is ignited here? It's the husband of the woman who's with whom the guide, the outsider, is massing. That's what's happening here. This is a legitimate word. No, My roots are Mennonite and we are theoretically pacifists. I have a son in law who is a chaplain in the US Army. We've had to learn a whole new vocabulary. The smallest book in the world is the Book of Mennonite War Heroes. It won't happen, but in any case, you know, theoretically, and this used to frustrate us no end when my dad would let people trample all over him. And he'd never fight back. Never fight back. You turn the other cheek. We take that quite literally. Turn the other cheek. You want to do that? And so we say, theoretically, you hit me. I won't hit you back. Theoretically. But there comes a time you touch my wife. You touch my kids? I mean, then it's no longer self-interest.


[00:33:17] It's no longer self-interest. I am responsible for the well-being of the people in my family, and I've got to intervene. My passion will be ignited. It will be because I treasure the relationship with my wife. And if anybody else comes along and starts making overtures to her, I'm getting angry. I'm burning in the inside out. And so this this word speaks of the igniting of God's passion when somebody claims his bride. You can go there. This is part of the marriage metaphor of covenant. When used theologically, it usually speaks of his passion for Israel, but in every instance it involves idolatry. And here's a whole list of them where you've got this happening. God is an impassioned God. Foreign gods. When foreign gods like Bale seduce Israel and they commit spiritual, hollow horology. Yahoo's passion is ignited both against the foreign God and against the woman who lets herself be seduced. And that is Israel. In this instance, the passion is and is not generally against an outside threat, but against Israel for her infidelity. The that's the grace of God. It ends. And on this climactic note, the grace of covenant don't take for granted the marriage of God. And of course, this carries over into the New Testament, where the Lord's Supper is a marriage feast. It's a covenant feast. This is the blood of the covenant. We are celebrating the relationship that God has created for us in Jesus Christ. And to go after any other God is a violation of this very special relationship. The grace of covenant future for 25 to 31. We cannot understand 25 to 31 without appreciating the triangular nature of covenant relationship at Horeb. God established Israel as his people. But since Abraham's day, the land had been in a perceived as a vital element in this triangle.


[00:35:42] You are. Yes, you will be many descendants. But I have got a land for you within which you may live. And so here is the microcosmic triangle involving Yahweh, the Israelites and the land. And that is on full display now in verses 25 to 28. When you have father children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time and you've acted corruptly and made sculptured images of any form, and you have committed the supreme evil. I mean, our translations regular say when you've done evil in the sight of the Lord. It's interesting when you have that idiom, it always has the article. The evil. It's not evil. Generally, it's the big evil. It's a definite one. And of course, it is a violation of the first Supreme Command. You shall have no other gods beside me. And you see how that's developed here. And you have committed the supreme evil in the eyes. So you provoke him to anger today. I appeal to you. Heavens to the heavens and the earth to act as witnesses. You will quickly be totally annihilated from the land that you're crossing the Jordan to possess. You'll not live there long, but you'll be totally destroyed. Remember our discussion of the. Conditionality and unconditional ality. The covenant carries on. But the generation this generation's access to the covenant is terminated. You're cut off. You, you, Violet. You've gone after other gods. And the Lord. Look of is the subject of this. Ja. We will scatter you among the peoples, leaving only a few to survive among the nations. And if you are to serve the gods, other gods go ahead. But not in my land. They're in exile among the nations. Go ahead. Have your fill of idolatry, worship gods made by human hands that cannot see or eat or smell.


[00:37:55] Go ahead, have your fill. But of course, it's all futile. Well, the time notice in the distant future. The recent violation of the Supreme Command. The certainty, heaven and earth, the cosmos is called to testify to the certainty of judgment, the divine role. Lord will. The Lord will destroy Israel and scatter their population and the effect futile idolatry to their heart's content. This reminds me of Psalm 115. Why should the nation say, Where is their God? Our God is in the heavens. He does all that he pleases. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but don't speak eyes but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear noses. But do not smell their hands. But do not feel feet. But don't walk. And they do not even make a grunt in their throat. Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them. We become like the idols we worship lifeless. And that's all Israel trust in the way he is. Their help of their shield. All house of Aram Trust the way you fear your way. Trust in your feet. Then you see this fear and trust right together. It's not you who are afraid of the Lord. No. Trusting all he is there to help and shield. But of course, the story won't end there. First 29. But from there. From where? In the place of your exile. From there, you will seek your way. Your God. And you'll find him. Really? That is an amazing statement. God will let himself be found. You know, it's like the games we played with our little kids when they're two and three year old. We played hide and seek in the house.


[00:40:08] And and of course, you'd never hide too impossibly for the little one. You'd let yourself be found because you want to see the joy on their faces when they followed your daddy. Here. The amazing thing is God will let himself be found. If you speak with him with your whole heart, and he'll be, of course, you know what he's alluding to. The divided heart has certain portions of one's being devoted to other gods. That's the problem. And that ignites the jealousy, the passion, the fury. This then leads in 29 to 31 to the restoration of covenant relationship, the promise in 29 and the context in 30 when you are in distress and all these warnings have happened to you. That's the curses. You've experienced the fury of God. In the distant future, you will return to Yahweh, your God, and you will listen to His voice. And again, most translations you have obey his voice. No, no, no. Keep it. Otherwise, don't blot out the gospel. God speaks more than command. God keeps reminding you I am here. I am with you. I am for you. You are my people. I am your God. He keeps reminding us of that. Don't forget that you will listen to his voice, both the commands and the promise. And so here you have the promise of restoration and the context. Verse 30. And then the grounds of hope. This is the climactic verse here. Why key? It's a key clause in Hebrew, the word because four is the word key for your way. Your God is. A compassionate God. He will not give up on you or destroy you, or forget the covenant with your ancestors that he confirmed to them with an oath. That's the basis of Israel's hope.


[00:42:27] After judgment. And of course it is. He does not say yet. God will let himself be found by you because you deserve it. You're good, you know, deep down you're good people. Well, it's nothing to do with them that has to do entirely with a compassionate heart of God and his eternal commitment in covenant. He will not forget the covenant with the ancestors. Now we can debate here whether these ancestors are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob or the ancestors at Mount Sinai. I think it's actually both in the book of Deuteronomy. These two types of two in the distant future. Both are the ancestors of the people. And I think here they're blurring. And, you know, it's one covenant in my mind, and Deuteronomy has helped me see that it's one covenant. But God's promise to the ancestors is eternal. But hope is based on his compassionate character, his promise. He will not fail you. I love this metaphor. It means his hand will not relax. He won't drop you. You know. So I'm holding this firmly in my hand. And even if I go like this, I won't drop you. No, He's made a promise. And then finally, he will not forget the covenant. It is eternal. It is an alarm. It is irrevocable. It must happen. What a gospel. This is. An amazing the grace of covenant. The grace of covenant passed that he should ever start with us. The grace of covenant present that he should relate to us. He saw impassioned about this relationship. Don't mess it up. And then, of course, the grace of covenant future. You'll go off the rails. But one day. The triangle will be completely together again. And that is all Chris here as well. Well, that is.


[00:44:44] The grace of covenant.