Deuteronomy - Lesson 7

Grace of God in Salvation

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.

Daniel Block
Lesson 7
Watching Now
Grace of God in Salvation

Grace of God in Salvation

I. Introduction

II. Structure

A. History lesson

B. Another history lesson

C. Theological lesson

D. Practical lesson

IIII. Significance of This Passage

  • The book of Deuteronomy contains the gospel message. Even though there are some laws mentioned, the essence of the book is prophetic preaching. Your presuppositions and principles for interpretation that you use will make a difference in how you view the meaning and significance of the book of Deuteronomy.

  • Deuteronomy is primarily a collection of sermons but its structure is covenantal. The structure of the covenant was commonly used in other cultures in the Ancient Near East during this time period. God tells the people of Israel that he is their God and the people say that they are God’s treasured possession. (Note: Mt. Sinai and Mt. Horeb are referring to the same thing. They are used interchangeably)

  • God gave the Decalogue to Moses so they have authority as Scripture. The book of Deuteronomy as whole is also Scripture. It contains the speeches of Moses and narrative passages. It’s the lense through which we view the other books of the Pentateuch.

  • 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)

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Grace of God in Salvation

Lesson Transcript


[00:00:00] It's a delight to be back with you again and to share in the gospel. According to Moses, yesterday or in our previous sessions, we discussed the Gospel of Grace in the first four chapters of the Book of Deuteronomy, which is First Moses first address. In chapter four, we shifted gears from historical recollections to, well, they're still historical recollections when they go back further. But now he is really preaching. So watch yourselves, lest you forget the history. And in this chapter, we have three climactic Moses moments in Israel's experience of the grace of God versus one to age of chapter four. You have the grace of God in the Torah verse verses nine through 31. You have the grace of God in covenant. And now we're talking about the climax, the greatest grace of all, the grace of God in salvation. And we want to rediscover that. Deuteronomy is a very special book, calling God's people to celebrate His grace and demonstrate covenant love for him with action that glorifies his name and back to the screen to remind ourselves where we are in the plot of the book. We are at the end of Moses first address here where that red bar is. This is the climax. Some would say this is the tail end. No, it's the opposite, actually. It is the climax of this address. And you can tell Moses is getting really excited, for this is the foundation of everything. We were slaves in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out. And that's where we are now, geographically. We remind ourselves that the Israelites are parked on the east side of the Jordan River in the plains of Moab right here, and Moses is has coming to the end of his first of four addresses, pastoral addresses.


[00:02:25] We should say farewell addresses. He has gathered his congregation for one last series of meetings so that he might remind them of the grace of God in their past and they might commit themselves to him. In this one, we're talking about the grace of God in salvation. God's people are a privileged people. They've been graciously redeemed and set apart as this special treasure, his holy covenant people. So let's look at the text first. Now inquire concerning the days that our past, which were before you, since the day that God created human beings on the earth, inquire from one end of heaven to the other whether a great event like this has ever happened or has ever was ever heard of. Has any people ever heard the voice of a God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard it, and survived? Or has any God ever dared to go and take a nation for Himself from the midst of another nation by daring acts, by signs and wonders and war and a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great acts of terror, all of which Yahweh did. For your sake in Egypt before your very eyes, you were shown these things that you might know that your way is God. There is no other besides Him from Heaven. He let you hear his voice so he might discipline you. And on earth he let you see his great fire so he could speak to you. And you heard his words out of the midst of the fire. And you, Grant. And grounded in his love for your ancestors. He chose their descendants after them and personally brought them out of Egypt with a great show of force that he might drive out before you.


[00:04:25] Nations greater and more powerful than you and give you their land as your grant as it is today. Therefore, know today. Keep it firmly in mind that Yahweh is God in heaven, above and on the earth below. So listen to the ordinances and commands that I command you today, and it will go well for you and your descendants after you and your time will be long in the land that Yahweh, your God, is giving you for all time. This is the word of. The Lord the grace of salvation. This is a very deliberately structured text. We can see the plot or trace the plot, something like this. He begins with a historical lesson. Ask now, has anything like this ever happened versus 32 to 34. Then you have a theology lesson This happened that you might know that Yahweh is God. There is no other. Then you have a second part to the historical lesson. The history actually goes further back than the Exodus, and he takes us back to the ancestors whom God called verses 37 to 38. And then he reiterates the theology lesson. This he did that you might know that Yahweh is God. There is no other. And then finally, he concludes with a practical lesson. You see immediately. This is prophetic. Prophetic preaching at its finest. This is Hormel, ethically so profound and so rhetorically effective. He knows exactly what he's doing here. And once you start looking at these texts with these sorts of lenses, you see that this is not just a bunch of gibberish thrown together. Moses is a preacher of the first order, and you see it here in his last sermon or the last part of his first sermon. So what I propose to do now is to collapse the two history lessons.


[00:06:38] Into one versus 32 to 34 and then 36 to 38, and then we'll collapse the two summary theological lessons and then we'll talk about the practical lesson that comes at the end. So we have three parts to our discussion of this text the history lesson, theology lesson and the practical lesson. So what? Well, let's go to the history lesson. Part one Inquire concerning the days that are past, that were before you since the day that God created humans on the earth. Inquire from one end of the heaven to the other whether a great event like this has ever happened. Well, what he is doing here, he is inviting his hearers to do post-doctoral, exhaustive research. Go to all the libraries in the world and see if any if there are any parallels to what you've had, what you've experienced. Has any people ever heard the voice of God speaking? So the this is the academic challenge. Has any great event like this ever happened? But there's more. Has anybody ever heard about anything like this? That is. Do you find anything like this in the mythology or in the legends or in the fairy tales? Has anybody ever imagined something like this? And of course, these are all rhetorical questions which call for a negative view. Of course, I've never heard of anything like this. But then the third question has Now he gets more specific. Has any people ever heard the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fire and survived to tell about it? Now we're beyond the act of salvation. Now we're at Sinai. They have experienced God there. And finally, has any God ever dared to do what Israel's God has done now. And I've and other translations soften what's actually happened here with attempted to do.


[00:08:51] No, no, no, no. This is much stronger than attempted to and with the possibility of failure. He dared to do this. And here it is. Has any God ever dared to go and take another nation for Himself from the midst of another nation, by daring acts, by signs and wonders? Gods don't do that. Gods stay in their own turf. They don't go to another gods territory and claim out of that Torah territory. A group of people for him, for himself. They say where they belong. There are a couple of things about this that we should also add. Not only do they stay where they belong, they are primarily interested in turf. Not in people. The mythologies of the other countries and the theologies of the country, that this covenant triangle we've been looking at God as the patron, the land, as the territory, and the people, as the devotees of the God. That's everywhere. It's everywhere. But in the other and the other nations around Israel, the primary interest of the deity is always in the land, the land. They don't care who occupies that land, so long as when they're in that land, they serve him. So that when you're in Babylon, Marduk is the God of Babylon. And so the original inhabitants of that region worshiped Marduk, and then the Chaldeans. Aramis And folks, Nebuchadnezzar comes from the Chaldean outsiders. They moved on. They took over. They worshiped Marduk. And then the Persians come. They worship Marduk, that's all. Do who cares about. He doesn't care about the people In Israel, it is the opposite. God was first connected to a people and then He secondarily gives them the gift of land. The point is the human population. Well, here and in this instance, what he did is he invaded God, went to Egypt, and out of Egypt he snatched a handful of people and said, You are no longer slaves of Pharaoh.


[00:11:13] You are my ever been servants. Exactly the same word. But they're not slaves of Yahweh. They are vassals, privileged vassals of Yahweh. That's what he was doing here. Well, now what what what he does here, in reviewing what God has done, you will notice He uses seven expressions as any God dared to take for himself a nation from the midst of another by daring acts, signs and wonders. War. Mighty hand outstretched arm. Great acts of terror. What has gotten done? Daring acts. The word here is to test my self while my song is testing acts. That is challenging the rulers of the land. Let's see if you can stop me. And he moves into Egypt. Pharaoh can stop him. But if you read the Exodus narratives in a couple of places, it says specifically he fought. He defeated the gods of Egypt. The gods of Egypt couldn't hold them out, couldn't keep him at bay. With daring acts, he invaded their land with miraculous signs. Also, these are attesting signs When Moses doubted the people would ever listen to him, God said to him, Well, what's that? What's it in your hand? Assaf? Throw it on the ground and it turns into a serpent and put your hand in your shirt and it turns leprosy, pours water on the ground, turns to blood. Three signs attesting, proving signs of a true prophet. Well, here, these are miraculous signs pointing to your identity and then wonders portends awesome deeds that draw attention to the greatness of the one acting. Then there is war. And of course, we know the climactic battle happened when they crossed the Red Sea and God called the waters back and they drowned all O'Farrell's armies. But again, as I said before, this is not only war against Pharaoh who whom the people viewed as God.


[00:13:33] In Egypt, they viewed their the King as the God. And the king certainly viewed himself as a deity. But it's also the gods, the real gods up in heaven. He challenged them and he defeated them in battle. And then you have his strong hand and his outstretched arm. It's very interesting that these two expressions, strong hand and outstretched arm, happen regularly in context where Egypt is involved. And our good friend Jim Hofmeyr has done some great work on this. And Ezekiel in chapter 29 has an entire oracle of judgment against Egypt in which he says, I will break the arm of Pharaoh. And the word arm and hand are all over that short little text. Well, here, when we're dealing with Egypt, God beats the Egyptians at their own game. And we realize that when you look at the Egyptian iconography of how they portray their pharaohs. Here's one. An armored Pollard. Notice the pharaoh's arm raised. They raised an arm. And typically they're grabbing their pathetic captive with one hand and with the other one, their body, the strong hand and the outstretched arm. It's there. It's it's it's everywhere. In Egyptian iconography, in little plates, engraved plates like that. Ramses the second more apt. They all do this. That's what God has done. He has beat them at their own game with his own outstretched arm and his strong hand. He has defeated those who held Israel captive. I am Yahweh, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, the slave house. And that's what he did. That's number six. Which leads to one more. His awesome deeds. More are in the lead. These are the great big things that make those who watch so yellow.


[00:15:57] This is Steven Spielberg outplayed to the Nth Degree. Wow. How did they do that? Awesome deeds. This is a climactic moment and it's very Egyptian in its character. We call this local coloring. When prophets speak about or to particular cultures and nations, they tend to adopt the language that's appropriate for those folks. And of course, these people have just come out of Egypt and they will have seen the reliefs Ramses the second whatever. They will have seen the reliefs in Egypt of these outstretched arms and strong hands. And God says, I beat them all. That's what it took. This. This wasn't child's play. It mighty acts of war to defeat the enemy. That's the historical lesson. Well, there's a first part of the historical lesson. But then he takes their history back even farther. Well, in part two, he speaks about Sinai, which is a sequel to Egypt from Heaven. And he let you hear his voice so he might discipline you and in order to let you see his great fire. We talked about this at the beginning of chapter four in verse 13, 12 and 13, where they saw the fire. But then he takes the history back further. The history of his saving grace goes back long before the exodus, verse 37, grounded in his love for your ancestors. He chose their descendants after them and personally brought them out of Egypt, literally with his face. Arthur with a great show of force that he might drive out before you nations greater and more powerful you than you and give their land to you as it is about to happen today. Well, name another circumstance in all of any history where this has happened. Now, typically our translations have that verse 37 is simply because she loved your father's.


[00:18:19] But we need to understand that the Hebrew word in Deuteronomy is always an action word. It's not just a disposition, it's just not an attitude. It's not just rosy pink foam or whatever. It's not a romantic road. It is covenant commitment demonstrated in action in the interest of the person. Grounded in love for the ancestors. How does God prove he loved the ancestors? By choosing their descendants and personally bringing them out of Egypt with a great shot. Well, the ancestors are long gone, you know, so they're not the ones watching this. But on the other hand, the readers are hearing this God's covenant commitment to his people began way back there with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It's now 400 years earlier, but this is the proof of his love for them then. This is the proof. But he's about to give them the land too, which is in fulfillment of the promise to the ancestors as they are. Grant. Well, this is the first occurrence of the word love in Deuteronomy, so you might as well make a few more comments about it here. In Hebrew, I have occurs in various forms 22 times in Deuteronomy and has there's a wide range of meanings when used theologically and socio politically, the word is an action. Covenant commitment demonstrated inaction in the interests of the other person. There's a Hebrew scholar. Abraham Malamud has got a couple of essays on this word, and they're very good. And he argues this Hebrew word should never be translated into English with a single English word. I have is not just love. It's always demonstrated love. It's always action. It's not just words. It's not just disposition. So you'll hear me repeat this over and over again. Deuteronomy is the gospel of love.


[00:20:34] And we alluded the other day to John 316, which is Exhibit A for what this mean. God demonstrated his covenant commitment to the world cosmos by giving Jesus his one and only Son. It's an active word. The Alpha demonstrated covenant love for the ancestors here, the patriarchs, by choosing their descendants for a special covenant relationship with himself and as his agents of grace to the world, by bringing them out of Egypt, by defeating their enemies before them and giving them the land of Canaan as their grant. This is all proof of his covenant commitment to the ancestors. This is the Gospel according to Moses. It is grounded and rooted in God's love. Well, and now he's at the end of the last one, giving them the land of Cain. And as their grant, your translations always have that as their heritage or inheritance. That is so misleading. It is so. Oh, it is passed on from generation to generation. But how does Israel get it in the first place? In our world, inheritance means that which you get when your father or mother passed away and they distributed among the Jew, among the children of family. That's inheritance. It presupposes the death of the owner. It doesn't work here. God didn't die. No, this is feudal vocabulary, not inheritance vocabulary. God is the Lord of the manor. That is true. The land of Palestine is the state that he grants to Israel. As their reward for service to him or anticipation of future service. That's the relationship between God and the land. It's his land, but he gives it to his vassals, his agents that they might farm it for him to the praise of his glory. And that's how this work, this word works in the book of Deuteronomy.


[00:23:03] There are places where the Lord says, or Moses says, The Levites have the Lord as their grant. The same word. Well, it cannot mean inheritance. Yes, it is a it is a hereditary ownership, you know, that you moved from generation, but in its origin. It is not that nobody has died here. He is the living God who has given this. Well, then you come to Moses Theological Point. What is the point of all this? Was God just having fun? Was this his day in the sandbox? Actually not. It is a theological point. He says it twice. You were shown these things, so you might know that Yahweh is God. There is no other besides him. And he proved it by taking on the strongest gods known on Earth, the Egyptians. He didn't wait until the Egyptians were weak. Here's my opportunity now. I can get my people out. But according to even a lot of evangelicals these days, he took them out of Egypt at the strength of their power. Not when they were weak. And the interesting thing is he brings them to the land of Canaan, not at a time of Canaanites weakness. We'll see this in chapter seven. They are strong. They're mighty with fortresses to the heavens. God doesn't wait for a weak moment. That was my child's. No. He beats them all at the game to demonstrate that he alone is God. There is no other besides them. And notice he has a name. This is how he has introduced himself to his people. It's why he had told Moses in Exodus chapter three. The people will ask, What's the name of the one who sent you? We don't know him. And he said, I will be who I will be.


[00:25:07] Now we discover. He is. Yeah. Away the the the the one who has demonstrated his character in salvation. Second. That's verse 35. You are showing these things that you might know that Yahweh is God. The second verse is same as the first, only a little bit louder and a little bit not worse, but more forceful. Therefore, no. Today, keep it firmly in mind. Don't forget it that Yahweh is God in heaven, above and on the earth below. And guess what? We are not just serving a petty little deity. Who owns a little piece of property. We are serving the one who is creator of all things and owner of the Cosmos. That reminds me of the story of Jonah, where he's sleeping down in the bottom of a boat. And there this horrifying storm has come up and the sailors on board, they're all Phoenicians. They are offering sacrifices to their gods, undoubtedly the god of the sea, who they think is really angry with him. And then they they have to go and wake up. Jonah, what are you doing here? Sleeping. Everybody's dying and you're sleeping. Shame on you. Well, and then they ask, Who are you? Who whom do you serve and what's your country? And he says, I am a Hebrew. I serve Yahweh, the creator of heaven on Earth. And then the sailors really get frightened. Now they realize they're not just fighting the sea. God. They're fighting the God of the universe. And it's I it it it raises the stakes even higher. Well, here. No, He is Yahweh in heaven, above and on the earth below. There is no place where Yahweh doesn't reign as a as God. Well, did the Israelites get this point? Well, we do have some evidence.


[00:27:04] Remember, in Exodus chapter 18, they come back and Moses father in law meets them. They're back and sign it. This is Midian. This is where Jethro lives. And Jethro was delighted to hear about all the good things. Ya remember, he's a midnight. Yahweh is not his God, as far as we know. He's a midnight. He, he, he, he was excited to hear the good things Yahweh had done for Israel in rescuing them from the hand of the Egyptians. There's that hand, he said. Praise be to your way. There's a million I talking. Who rescued you from the hand of the Egyptian. There it is. And the pharaoh had to rescue the people from the hands of the Egyptians. Now, I know that Yahweh is greater than all other gods, for he did this to those who treated Israel so arrogantly. He got the point. That was the point. Or Moses Confession in Numbers. Chapter 13. He lists the names of all of the scouts. They're not spies. The scouts that that Moses sent out, he lists them. And then at the end, he adds a little parenthetical comment. Oh, by the way, Moses called Hosea the son of known your whole. Sure. We talked about this briefly in an earlier session who share I mean, simply he saves assuming it's a god. And this is a common form of expression throughout the ancient world where gods are perceived as saviors. But you fill in that blank with whoever is your God or who whoever has you attribute your salvation to. And now Moses says, in the light of the exodus, we cannot call him or Shaya anymore because Egyptians could have people name the same thing. Canaanites could name their kids Hosea. He saves the God saves.


[00:28:58] And for us, there's only one God. And his name is. Yeah, Whole. Sure. Yahweh saves or rehab. She is a Canaanite and this is now 40 years after, you know, they've died in the desert. But the memory among the Canaanites is alive, she says, I know that your wife has given you this land and that a great fear of you is following us so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We've heard how Yahweh dried up the water of the Red Sea. That's 40 years ago, but is still talking about it. When you came up out of Egypt and what you did to see on an all go. That was just two weeks ago. The two kings of the Emirates, east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone's courage failed because of you for your way. Your God is God in heaven, above and on the earth below. She got it. She got it. And she's okay tonight. We'll have more to say about her when we get to chapter seven. That was the point. God's actions on Israel's behalf had a primary point of revelation that Israel may know who Yahweh is, that the Egyptians may know who Yahweh is, and that the whole world may know who Yahweh is. The word's getting out. The question is, will the Israelites get the point? Well, this is a new generation standing in front of Moses. And as long as he's talking, he he has a very hopeful disposition toward this group. You're better than your parents were who died in the desert. Well, and then, of course, good preaching always ends with not only. So what? Theologically.


[00:30:53] But so what? In Francis Schaffer's terms, how then should we live? If we are the objects of God's gracious salvation. What difference does that make? And here you have it. So listen to the ordinances and commands that I charge you today. And and it will go well for you and your descendants after you and your time will be long in the land that you are where your God is giving you. That's the glorious promise. But notice the condition. It's always conditional. The promises to Abraham were conditional because Abraham kept my Taurus, he kept my laws, and he didn't even have any of them. But he was still faithful to them. He embodied covenant righteousness as defined in Deuteronomy. Therefore, God is transferring the promise to His son, Isaac. Because that's that's conditionality. Well, if they listen to the ordinances and the commands that are charge you, it'll go well for you. This is the key to health, happiness and success. It is indeed. And he will spell out in great detail what it will go well for you. What that means in the blessings and the curses of chapters. What? We'll see them already in chapter six and in chapter eight. And in Chapter 11, and then ultimately 13. 28. Well, this is anything but legalism. Did you get the. God did not call Israel to keep the commandments. That was not the purpose of his election. Despite what our Jewish friends say, that is what they say. God called us to keep the commandments and perhaps in the context of keeping the commandments, we'll figure him out. It's the other way around. God called them to himself. Personally. And the progression is always this way in Deuteronomy. Revelation yields theology, which yields ethics. Confidential ethics arises out of a theology which arises out of history.


[00:33:07] Or you want to be even more practical. Experience leads to theology, which leads to ethics. That's what we have going in. Well, what's the significance of this text and in the broader picture for the structure of the book? This is at the end of the first address. He's sending them back home to their tents for night. It's late. It's been a long day. And he's been lecturing for 7 hours and you're tired. Go to bed. But but what does he want them to be singing about as they leave the church service? Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul. Thank you, Lord, for making me whole. Thank you, Lord, for giving to me thy great salvation so rich and free. That's the point. This is where it started for Israel in God's gracious election. And of course, for biblical theology, this is profoundly significant. The law is always response to grace. Always. Well, it isn't always, but in biblical terms, it always is. It's always the response to grace. God acts graciously to undeserving people. If they're deserving. It's not grace. He acts graciously to undeserving people and they respond. Joyfully with obedience to whatever their Suzman says. And when he starts revealing his will, their disposition, the right disposition is not like what our disposition was when we were teenagers resisting our parental authority and our parents asks us to do something. Why did you ask me? Can't David do it? My other brother? Why do you ask me? Yeah. Or why do you ask me to work so hard? No, no, no, no, no. The response of faith is never that. The response of faith is always in light of all that you've done. Is this all you ask of us? Where would we be if it weren't for your Grace? We live in Egypt making bricks without straw and just blending into the population.


[00:35:28] If we survived in any form at all. We would become Egyptians and then our identity would be gone. We are who we are exclusively by the grace of God. This is the consistent and of course, for us. Let me give you a Christian version of this text. I've paraphrased now using Christian vocabulary. This is our story. Chris Wright is quite right when he says that this is paradigmatic for the individual and collective experience of salvation in Matthew 121. You shall call his name Jesus. Not because he's the new Joshua. Joshua is not a type of Christ. Joshua was not a savior. Joshua is nowhere in this story. Joshua's name doesn't speak about Joshua. It's not a commentary on him. If anything, the Canaanites needed salvation from him. He's the aggressor. No, it's not about Joshua. It's about Yahweh. He is the savior. Joshua's name points New York way. And now in in Matthew one you shall call his name Jesus. Your whole shoe for he will save that is Exodus language. These people. That's a covenant language from their sins. This is the first time in the Bible you have this vocabulary. Exodus. Vocabulary with reference to sin. First time, not once in the first Testament. Is anybody saved from sin. There are a couple of places where it comes close, but they use a different word. It's not sin save from your abominations or something like that or the effects of sin. But here sin is the object of the preposition. Save you from your sins. That's what this is about. Salvation by grace. Alone through faith. Alone in Yahweh. Alone. Jesus is Yahweh. Asked now and I'm using the vocabulary. Don't read it on the screen. Just look. Listen. Ask now of the days that are past, which were before you.


[00:37:55] Since the day that God created humankind on the earth and asked from one end of the heaven to the other whether such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of, did any people ever encounter their gods directly, as you have encountered him and still live, or has any God ever dared to invade the kingdom of darkness and take for Himself a people from the midst of that kingdom by trials and signs and wonders and war and a mighty hand on an outstretched arm and by great deeds of terror, all of which Jesus Christ, your God has done for you on the cross before your eyes. To you. It was shown that you might know that Jesus Christ is your way God. There is no other besides Him. Out of the heavens. He came as the divine word that he might reveal the father to you. And on Earth, he revealed his glory. The glorious of the only begotten of the Father, full of has said with grace and truth. And because he loved the ancestors and chose their spiritual offspring after them. And brought you out of the kingdom of darkness by his great power, disarming the rulers and authorities and putting them to open shape by triumphing over them in him from Colossians in order to grant us an inherited This is the creator our no matter inheritance. It's the same language right now. We need to rethink that Greek usage as well, since we have been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the Council of his will know therefore today, and fix it on your heart that Jesus Christ is your Yahweh. He is God in heaven, above and on the earth beneath.


[00:39:39] There is no other. That's the theology lesson. Here's the practical lesson therefore walk in a manner worthy of Jesus Christ, Yahweh fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy and giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. This is the story. This is the gospel, and we've never seen it before. It's right there on the surface. If our eyes will open to see what's there. The end. So when you talked about God being concerned about people rather than land, it seems like that fits with the geography because they didn't have an empire. They just had a small piece of ground that wasn't really dominating anything. And yet because of especially with the covenant of Abraham, were supposed to be a blessing to all people. That's right. Because everybody had to come and see how they would worship. And so by seeing that they were an influence, even though they didn't dominate any empires or anything. Well, and of course, geographically, the location of the promised land, that's scarcely accidental. It's at the crossroads of three continents. By way of the sea. It's Europe. By way of the desert. It's Asia. And by way of the coastline, it's down to Africa. This is intentional that the light of the gospel of grace might go everywhere. Yes. Yeah. And it works the same with us too, because God's not interested in our material possessions or anything like that. He's interested in how we can be an influence to people in our sphere of contact, and we'll see this over again in the book.


[00:41:44] In that context, the wellbeing of people is tightly tied to material well-being that the world may know what a difference grace makes. And so is the point of Israel's flourishing in the midst of the nations is not for Israel to flourish. It's not about Israel. It's that the world may know that I am Yahweh, and this is a picture of the Eden to which God is calling His Cosmos. Ultimately. And that was the mission. We will have time to talk about that. Well, And when you talked about the recounting of what God did. I think sometimes we get familiar with the story so it becomes common. Oh, yeah, We know that these things happened. And yet for the people that were involved to think of that, they went through it not knowing what the end would be. Yeah, we know the end. We know the end. And so they went through it the first time knowing that. Yeah, but then how important it was for Moses. You know, multiple times in this book to remind them. That it's important for us to remember also. Exactly. And of course, this is why when you get to the New Testament, the only ritual that is prescribed for Christians universally is. The communion. Take eat. This is my body given for you that you might remember. Don't forget, we are not self-made. We are not part of the kingdom because we've earned it. We qualified. No, we didn't. It is only the blood of Christ that makes it possible. Yeah. This is the New Covenant in my blood. My life for you. It is all Grace. Mm hmm.