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Deuteronomy - Lesson 30

Mystery of Divine Grace - Deut. 26.1-15

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.)

Daniel Block
Deuteronomy
Lesson 30
Watching Now
Mystery of Divine Grace - Deut. 26.1-15

Mystery of Divine Grace (26:1-15)

I. Four parts to the fourth speech of Moses

II. Deuteronomy 29

A. Inevitable apostasy

B. Lessons

III. Deuteronomy 30

A. 29:29

B. Mystery of divine grace

C. Chiasm

D. Relationship to Deuteronomy 4:25-31

IV. Thematic Structure of 30:1-10

A. Restoration of the relationship between YHWH and Israel

B. Divine restoration of the trilateral covenant relationship

C. Human proof

D. Restoration of the relationship between Israel and the world

E. Environmental proof of restoration

V. Sequence of Events

VI. Moses' Vision of Israel's Eschatological Future


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Transcript
  • 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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Dr. Daniel Block

Deuteronomy

ot608-30

Mystery of Divine Grace - Deut. 26.1-15

Lesson Transcript

 

[00:00:00] Out of the depths of Mordor. The mystery of divine Grace. The mystery of the ways of your hallway. Our reef flick is reflected in verse 29 of Deuteronomy Chapter 29. This is according to our. Is it our English? Yes, our English readings. Here is one of the most difficult verses in all of Deuteronomy to interpret. Now the words are clear, but what does it mean? The hidden things and this star all belong to Yahweh, our God. But the revealed things belong to us and our children forever. So that we may follow all the words of this Torah. This verse is stuck right in the middle of the fourth address. Exasperated over the conduct of Stalin and the Soviets in 1939. Winston Churchill explained, exclaimed it, Russia is just a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Brilliant. That sounds Mosaic. Notice the three expressions. That's what Moses keeps doing. Well, that's how I feel about this verse. One of the most enigmatic in the book. And it doesn't help that on the surface, it doesn't fit in the context. At the end of a shocking description of Israel's eventual demise under the Fury of God, Chapter 29, which is the first half of the fourth address and before the correspondingly surprising portrayal of Israel's eschatological restoration. After all these things have happened to you, which things? The blessing and the curse. What happens? Well, in this session, I will be focusing on the grace that comes at the end, the quintessential gospel according to Moses. But before we go there, we have to set the context and give context to this verse as well. Chapter 30 represents the second half of Moses, fourth and shortest address. It's only two chapters. And if we go back to our diagram, this is where we are now 29 to be to chapter 30, verse 20.

 

[00:02:53] In the Hebrew text it is 29 one, rightly so. And so all the verses are out by one number in in the English translation that is there out. Well, then this fourth address is a four act drama of divine grace. He begins by talking the past experience of divine grace and the present celebration of divine grace. Today you have become the people of your way. Then he talks about the future spurning of Divine grace. 29, 13 to 20, and the the future eclipse of Divine Grace. It gets very dark. Here we are in ma door. And then you go to verse 29 today. Today. But then when we come into chapter 30, something amazing happens. You've got this future outpouring of divine grace. And then Moses gives them the altar call. Choose it. Accept this grace. He present access to divine grace is conditional. And so, in the end, as the book closes, we are left with the words. Ringing in our ears. Which will we choose? Choose you this day whom you will serve. It's the message for all in Moser's audience. So you see at the bottom yesterday, seeing one today, tomorrow, tomorrow. This is today and tomorrow. And it ends with today. Choose the day whom you will serve. And the final one is today as well. So he's taking people on a journey from the present to the past to the future, and then brings them back to today out of the depths of more. Or you are familiar with this movie. I didn't have any interest in these until my grandkids. It became the top for a while of every conversation and I decided I. I had never read these books. And I when I, they took me to the first movie once and I thought, this is irredeemably violent.

 

[00:05:34] I didn't get it. I mean, my roots are Mennonite. We don't do this. We do not do this. And I couldn't believe that my grand my son was taking my grandkids to see this kind of movie. But using violence as a means of entertainment. But then they were talking about this all the time, and I thought, I've got to know what my kids are talking about. So I read the whole page and I've watched some of these movies since then. Of course, it is more violent than the book, but the books move much more slowly, and so you have time to digest and reflect and think. But anyway, this is where we are. We're no longer in the shire. But we end back in the shower. That's the beautiful thing. How do we get back there? Out of the depths of Mordor? To set the stage for 31 to 10, we must hear Moses. Chilling anticipation of the effects of Israel's future. Apparently inevitable. Apostasy. Verse 22. Future generations of your children who follow you and the foreigner who comes from a distant country will see the plagues of the land and the sicknesses Yahweh has inflicted. And this is chapter 29. All its soil will be a burning waste of sulfur and salt on sown producing nothing with no plant growing on it. Just like the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Mar and zabaleen with which they are way demolished in is fierce anger. And all the nations will ask, Why has your way done this to this land? Why this great outburst of anger? The God of this place must have been really angry. When people will answer, it's because they abandoned the covenant of Yahweh, the God of their fathers, which he made with them.

 

[00:07:39] When he brought them out of the land of Egypt. They began to worship of the gods bowing down to gods. They hadn't known gods that Yahweh had not permitted them to worship. Therefore, Yahweh anger burned against this land, and he brought every curse written in this book. On it. Yeah. We uprooted them from their land in his anger, rage and great wrath. Notice the three words again. And he threw them into another land where they are today. Well, what we've got here is the flourishing and collapse of the Covenant Triangle. It's all gone. The people are divorced from the land. The the land itself has been totally devastated, is nothing but a barren wasteland. And people are asking, where's the God of this place? So notice who's talking. It's not Israelites. It's the pagans, and their theology is more orthodox than the Israelites was. That's the shocker. Why is the God of this land so angry? They understood that theology. They knew about the triangles, their gods, their lands, and and their devotees, the relationships. But now they're saying the God of this land must have been really, really angry. There are lots of allusions and expressions of this in ancient Mesopotamian poetry and mythologies. This sets the stage for the remarkable turnaround in the fortunes. Notice more the images of Mordor here and then what we get in chapter 30 and the divine disposition that we witness in in, in in the next chapter. But this is part of the first address interrupted by verse 29. That's where we started. But let's talk first about chapter 29. What lessons do we learn from that one covenant relationship with Yahweh is to be understood as an incredible privilege. You had everything. And you gave it up to divine intervention in the human constitution is required to make people responsive to the grace that he offers.

 

[00:10:15] There's something fundamentally wrong with the Israelites that they went this way. Three individuals who trample underfoot to the grace of God may not seek cover under the national umbrella as they pursue their rebellious ways. Chapter 29. After a review of the Covenant ceremonies about verses 12 1314, he introduces. But if there is a person in your midst who says, I'd like to go after other gods, that's where it starts. God's anger will be. He will be the target of God's fury from the outset for infidelity to Yahweh and His covenant has tragic mis-c a logical consequences. Did you notice what the nations are saying? And I look around and I ask, What are the peoples of the world today saying about us? The church. Why has God been so? Why is the church in such shambles? Where is the God of this place? They're not impressed. And here, sometimes outsiders are more sensitive to divine truth than those who claim to be the people of God. It's the nations who are observers or say, Why was the God of this land so angry? And it's the observers who have the answer. And the answer is absolutely orthodox. So they know about the story. The neighbors are asking, how could you do that with your story? When all these things have happened to you, the blessings and the curse that I set before you. Now we're in 30 and you come to your senses. While you are in all the nations where you are, where your God has driven, you know, this is the subject. They're not victims of enemy nations. It's divine fury. Salvation is fury from God's wrath. God's wrath. Are you saved? Save from what? The answer has to be the fury of God, which is what we all have coming.

 

[00:12:33] Well, when all these things have happened to you and you return to your way, your God and you and your children listen with your whole heart and with your all being through his voice in accord with all that I charge you today, then he will return your fortunes. He will have compassion on you. He will return and re gather you from all the peoples where the Yahweh had. Your God has scattered you. Well as in a gripping live drama performance in a theater, at least in the editing of these addresses. I don't know if verse 29 was part of Moses oral speech or was that the narrator saying, I mean, he's talking about, Ooh, this is a mystery. We have to put a buffer between Chapter 12. He died and and chapter 30. This is intolerable. To prevent the whiplash that occurs as you move from one chapter to another. The secret thing is to belong to Yahweh, our God. But the revealed things belong to us and our children forever, so that we may follow all the words of his Torah. Notice his first person. Now we have an Israelite talking so that we may fall. We need to get the point. But this is like in a live performance in a theater, a drama performance, that there's almost always an intermission where people have to go out and catch their breath. We've reached a critical moment and people are emotionally exhausted. Go outside to catch a sip of coffee or have your cigarets or whatever else people do to calm their nerves and then we can come back for the last act. I think that's what's happening here. It's like job take in the book of job, which is completely extraneous to what's going on.

 

[00:14:38] But he's finished that heated debate with the three so-called friends. And before he gets, he begins the resolution of the crisis. He passes the little secret things again. Where can wisdom be found? But what are the secret things of which verse 29 talks? He talks. He says those secret things. What secret things? Well, there are several possibilities. The secret things that I don't get. Only God gets them. Sacred things belong to the Lord. Well, these could be the secret actions that human commit. Remember, in the last set of curses of Chapter 27, there were several of those actions that were secret. Actions that you perform when nobody is watching. It's the same word. Hand this the roles. So these are the actions that humans commit in secret. But there was no secret to what the Israelites have experienced. It was all public, and even the pagans got it. This is not a mystery. It could be the secret thoughts and actions of God. My ways are not your ways, and your thoughts are not my thoughts. The ways of God are a mystery. The secret things. This is how the word works in the book. The hidden things, Concealed things. If your brother, the son of your mother or your son or daughter, or the wife of your of you, or the wife you embrace or your closest friend secretly entices you saying, let's go worship other gods. We do this in the dark, in the corner when nobody's watching. Lord Cursed is the man who makes a carved or caste image and sets it up in secret. It's the same word. 2857 This horrible curse things will be so death. Desperate people will be starving when women will be eating their children and not telling their husbands.

 

[00:16:49] Not sharing the meal with their husbands is horrible. When their afterbirth comes out from between your feet and your children, whom she bears because she lacks everything, she will eat them secretly in the siege of the distressful to endure. And they're desperate for life because it's Mordor at its very worst. It could be the mystery of divine providence. Exodus 3311 to 17. Moses is into this. Moses comes to God after the Golden Calf affair, and he says, Lord, you know everything about me. But I know so little about you. Show me your glory. Glory. Well, it's. It's as if he hasn't. He can never get enough of God's transparency. Show me your ways that I may know you. You know everything about me, but I know so little. About what? How and why God operates the way He does. And I think that's perhaps what is involved here. He spoke with Moses face to face. That's clear. Just as a man speaks with his friend. And yet there's such this mystery, he would return to the camp of his assistant. The young man Joshua wouldn't leave inside the tent. Look, you have told me, Lead this people up, but you haven't. Let me know whom you will send with me. I know you by name. And you found if they found favor in my side. Now, if I indeed have found favor, should teach me your ways. Why does God do what he does? And and I will understand you. And that's all a part of this divine mystery. Now, the the another answer is the mystery of Israel and its place in God's grand scheme of redemption. And I actually think here we may be onto something, too, because God cannot let the story end in Mordor.

 

[00:18:57] He has made an eternal covenant. With Israel. Irrevocable covenant with Israel. And on the on and on. Israel's fulfillment of its mission hangs the message of grace to the world. But he doesn't use the Greek word mystery on here. He uses the word to. The mystery of God. Which needs to be revealed. The First Testament use the words uses the word mystery on only in Daniel two a couple of times in Daniel, but it's more common in the New Testament. Then the disciples came and said to him, Why do you speak to them in parables? And he answered to you, It has been given to know the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven. But to them it has not been given. And I have a feeling we're into this semantic world. The secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven are at stake in this crisis that has just been produced. The clue may also lie in Jesus comment at the end of his story of the saw in the sea, and he said to them, Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket or under a bed and not on stand for nothing is hidden in Krypton except to be made manifest. Nor is anything secret apocryphal except to come to light fan on. Show me your ways. Well, in this context, it seems the hidden issue is after the horrors of 29 and in the face of chapter 30. How can we take Israel back? Would you? How can he take this mess to transform her into the ideal that is represented by the covenant? I think that's the riddle that this chapter seeks to address. Verse nine. We will your God will make you extremely prosperous in all the efforts of your hands, in the offspring of your womb, in the offspring of your livestock, and in the produce of your land.

 

[00:21:19] And the idea we will turn around and delight in your well-being, just as we delighted in the well-being of your ancestors. When you listen to the voice of Yahoo! Your God by keeping his commands and ordinances that are written in this document of the Torah, and you turn to him with your whole heart and your whole being. This is a different world. How did we get here? How can we? I mean, in chapter 29, the question the Pagans are asking, how did they get from the blessing to the curse? That's the mystery to them. How could they do this? But then they have the answers. They know exactly how. It's because they rejected the God of their covenant. Now the question is, how could you turn from the curse to the blessing when all these things have happened to you, the blessings and the curse that I've set before you and you come to your senses while you are in all the nations where Yahoo! Your God has driven you. It begins over there already and you return to Yahoo! Your God and you and your children listen with your old heart and your whole voice in accord with all I charge. Then he will return your fortunes, then have compassion and turn around and regather you from all the nations. Even if you're outcasts are at the end of the heavens. From there, Yahweh will gather you. From there he will teach you. Yahweh, your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed. And you will possess them. He'll make you more prosperous than ever. And Yahoo! Your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants. That's the key. That's the answer. Why? So you will love the Lord, your God with all your heart and all your soul.

 

[00:23:04] And He will never again inflict these curses on you. But then put them on the enemies. Then you will turn around and listen to the voice of Yahweh and observe his commands. That's a fabulous gospel. The judgment cannot be the last word. But why? As we read this, and I've read most of it twice by now, I hope you saw the repetition here. The word shoe to return seven times in this text. And this is the Hebrew word for repentance. In Hebrew, the word repent means turn around. You've been walking in this direction. You will be walking in this direction When you've turned your back on God, you will now turn your face on. And the interesting thing half of these repentance is involves yours, repentance. Does God repent? And the action is, yes, he does. If you're using Hebrew language and you understand what repent means, but it means turn around. God has turned his face away from you. He said that in Deuteronomy 31. We'll talk about that next. When you persist in your sin, I will hide my face from you. But what's happened when you turn around? I turn around. And of course, this is where I live, the way living relationships work. So shoe is the key word because you can track the cause and effect issues in this text your way, your God over and over again. Ha. It's in the heart. Listening to the voice full of these key words. Notice also the chaos, the structure when your children return. Verse two A And at the end can be when you return to the way your God. So who's doing the turning? It's the people. And listen to his voice with all your heart and being. And at the end, ten A when you listen to the voice of Yahweh, your God.

 

[00:25:17] And then you have. Then your way will return. Restore your fortunes. And he will delight in prospering you as he took delight in your answer. So that's the emphasis on God's action. But notice what happens right in the middle. Yeah. We will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring so that you will demonstrate love for him with all your heart. Be. And you will if that's right in the middle of this chasm. That is a turning point. Well, the relationship of this text to other texts we have in Leviticus 26, 38 to 46, as I alluded to earlier in this passage, we have the original promise of divine restoration. The Israel story doesn't end in judgment. It ends in restoration. We've also had it in for 25 to 31. In fact, what we have here is what I like to call presumptive exposition. What Moses often does, as do other prophets who follow in his train, like Ezekiel, particularly early on in the book, in his preaching, he raises the point. And just summarizes it and doesn't develop it. Later he comes back and he unpacks it in full detail. And I think that's what we've got here for 25 to 31. This is a summary statement of Israel's future history. When you have children and grandchildren and have been in the land a long time, if you act corruptly making idle in the form of anything and do the evil, it's not anything that's evil. It is not evil in the sight of Yahoo! Or God provoking him to anger. I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you. You'll quickly perish from the land that you're about to cross the Jordan to possess. This is right at the beginning of the service.

 

[00:27:15] He said that at the end of the first address you will not live longer. You'll certainly be destroyed. Yahweh will scatter you among the peoples. You will be reduced to a few survivors. Among the nations where he drives you. There you will worship man made gods of wood and stone which cannot see, eat here or smell. You go ahead worship idols all you want, but not in my land. But from there you will search for your way, your God, and he will let himself be found. You will find him when you seek with all your heart and all your being. And when you are in distress and all these things have happened to you and you return to your apple, your God in the later days and you obey him, he will not leave you, destroy you, or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them by oath. Because really, your God is a compassionate God. This is the key. Yeah. Which memory? Yeah. Which covenant? Yeah, Which commitment. And his compassion. That's a sure. Now we have the unpacking of how that last verse turns out, the last two verses. Well, there are several dimensions to the restoration. There's a restoration of the bilateral relationship between Yahweh and Israel verses 1 to 3, the divine restoration of the trilateral covenant relationship involving the land. Then the human proof of the restoration versus the environmental proof of the restoration. 9 to 10. It's a full exposition of that. Let's look at the first part. The context of the restoration. When all these things have happened to you, the blessings under curses that I set before you. That's the context at the end. When the nightmare has passed. And you wake up. And you come to your senses.

 

[00:29:28] Notice the human actions in the restoration. Then you will come to your senses. You will remember in your heart. Or take your mind. Realize while you're in the nations where Yahweh, your God, has driven you, then you will turn around to Yahweh, your God, you and your children will listen with your whole heart and hold being to His voice in accord with all that it charge. This is repentance. We have been resisting God's grace. We've been running away from Him all these years. Then you will turn around. Those are the human actions. They will come to their senses. They will reorient themselves toward Yahweh. They will listen to his voice. But look at the divine actions. And number three, verse three. Then he will return. Restore your fortunes. Sure, sure. Booth. That guy. This is a stereotypical. Expression for restoring the full blessing. The blessings that were once were ours. They will come back and he will have compassion on you. Here's that word Ram for Yahoo! Your God is a compassionate God that we had and fought for 31. That's the grounds. He will be compassionate. He will repent. Which means he will turn around. He will change course. And regather you from all the peoples. He's the one who's scattered through now. He will run. He will run this movie backwards. And you'll come back and you'll be right back in the land. The divine actions. He will restore fortunes. Show compassion. He will repent. He will regather his people. Now, there are some people who will not like when I say God is repenting, but listen carefully. This is how Hebrew uses the word. And this is what the word means. Turn around. God turns around when people turn around. This happens in marriage.

 

[00:31:44] I mean, there can be that can be weeks and months in our marriage when we're stressed and and it's not going so well. But it's amazing what happens when one of us. Softens and starts to listen instead of shouting. What happens in the other party. And that's exactly what's being. This is a living relationship. It goes up and down. Yes, it does. But the health of the relationship depends upon the disposition of each partner. Then we come to the divine restoration of the trilateral. This is a three. This is a triangle versus 4 to 5. And even if the outcasts are at the ends of the heavens, from there, Yahweh, your God will gather you. This is renewing the relationship between the land and the people. From there, he will fetch you. He will bring you into the land that the fathers possessed. You will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous than more numerous than your ancestors ever were. That will look like kindergarten when we are finally back. This is the restoration of the triangle. It's all together now. It's not complete if it's only God and Israel. From the beginning. It involved the land. It's all back. The restoration of the triangle. But then we come to the climax. Yeah. Where your God will circumcise your heart and the hearts of your descendants. So you will. This is cause and effect. When God circumcise your hearts, you will love your way, which means that demonstrated love for your way with whole heart will be. This is the Shamar living the shamar you may live. That is what le circumcision produces. And in the absence of demonstrated wholehearted full bodied demonstration of love to God, there is no circumcision of the heart.

 

[00:33:59] Earlier in chapter ten you remembered 1016 Moses had said people circumcised, therefore your hearts and stiffened no more. Don't be resistant at that point. He is saying, Look, it's up to you. Get yourself a new heart. Ezekiel's expression, the most Calvinist of all the prophets. He says, Get yourself a new heart, which means change your mind. It's up to you. We are not automatons at the mercy of what bigger powers are doing. Without our willful volitional involvement, it won't happen. But the other side of it is, on the one hand, we turn around and God turns around and then God gives us a heart so that the old circumstance never happens again. Now we're guaranteed. But we should not draw radical contrasts here between chapter ten, verse 16 and this one. It is not because people have no power in, you know, to do anything. They are responsible for their own welfare and their own status. Circumcise your heart. What's happening here now? But remember, that one was addressed to the individual and he's talking to individuals in the congregation. Though the whole covenant is made with the all the people. In the end, it's up to the individual whether or not you buy into this system. Buy in, he says there. At this point, he is saying, God will circumcise your heart. And he's talking the whole nation. That's what's new here. We'll have more to say about this. This will be a national restoration, something that we have actually never seen. The proof of the divine action is in demonstrated love. And of course, we talked about this when we talked about the Shamma. This is that old psychological interpretation, as if we are body, soul and spirit, or when we should be looking in these terms.

 

[00:36:19] You will serve the Lord from the inside out. You will serve him with your whole person, and you will serve him with all your resources. Nothing left over for any other God. This is what is involved here. The Shamar is fully operative. Then you have the restoration of the relationship with Israel and the world. Israel was a city to be a city set on a hill that the world may know. And what happens here? And Yahweh, your God, will inflict all these curses on your enemies who hate you and pursue you. The order will be restored. This is a way of simply saying you will have full security because nobody will touch you. Nobody will touch you. This is Ezekiel's gog and May Gog Oracle. Which is a cartoon, a literary cartoon about this reality. In the distant future, when you've been living in the land a long time ago, God imagines. I think it's hypothetical, actually. Actually, God imagines a circumstance in which the whole world, in all its four directions, conspires against Israel. And they think when they're dwelling in safety and security and flourishing, they're all going to want a piece of this pie. And they all come together and in the nick of time. God steps in and he destroys them. Actually, he's the one who puts the hook in God's nose up there and says, You come out of your lair, come and attack Israel and bring with you all the nations of the earth. And they come. And in the end, it's his way of setting the trap here. This is his summary way of stating that Ezekiel's point there, I think is saying that 586 after that 586 will never happen again. You are secure. The human proof of the restoration, new orientation, new attention.

 

[00:38:41] I mean, and again, you've turned around. You are listening to the voice of Yahweh, new behavior. You're doing all this command and the environmental proof of the restoration versus nine and ten. Notice in this one ya place new disposition and your way your God will. We'll turn to the land again. And chapter 30, verse nine, Your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand and the offspring of your body and the offspring of your cattle prod. You serve your ground for the Lord will again celebrate over you for good, just as He celebrated over your father's. If you or if I think it actually means when you obey the Lord your God to keep His commands, his statutes and his ordinances. This is a great day. Yahoo! Is this position is new. Yahoo's action is new. He will cause you to prosper and it will all be exactly right. You see here the correspondence between what he has said and the blessing in chapter 28. Now it's on full display. There are echoes of that text here. The human preconditions. Of course it is, if you will listen, if you will obey and if you will turn to him. Well, let's summarize the sequence of events envisaged here. The print I know is a bit small on there. Step one Yahweh and Israel commit themselves to each other in a covenant relationship. Did you notice that it's to each other? Of course, theologians debate over which comes first. Does God do the action first or the is or do the Israelites do the acts first? In this passage, I'm sorry, it's all confused. It is. And I think it's very intentional. I think it's very intentional. You cannot just become passive and wait until God does it.

 

[00:41:04] And then. No, no, no, no, no. It involves balls turning ya away. And Israel commit themselves to each other in a covenant relationship. Israel proves faithful to Jacobi and his covenant with her. Yah. William poses the covenant sanctions as punishment on Israel's for Israel's apostasy. Israel comes to her senses and returns to Yahweh Jaffe's compassion. Yahweh compassionately turns to Israel and restores her fortune. Yahweh circumcised as Israel's heart. Israel's fidelity is fixed permanently, and Yahweh causes Israel to flourish in the land. This is the process of the fourth address from beginning to end. They've made a covenant. They've proved unfaithful. God has visited them with all his curses. And this is where we land up. This is the end of the story. Of course, we talked about this slightly the other day, about where is the hand of God in this and where is the hand of the human beings in this? According to our Calvinist friends, the emphasis tends to be on the divine role in everything apart from the divine action. Nothing happens and minimization of the human freedom in this one. Of course. On the other hand, people in my tradition, many of in my tradition, the Mennonite Anabaptist tradition there at the other end of the spectrum and there it's all about this. And they're very hesitant to talk about things like election, unconditional election. And, you know, as the emphasis is on here and minimal minimizing the role of God when in the end this text goes this way. It's all about both. Both. Both are true. God is absolutely sovereign, but human beings are absolutely responsible for their own destiny. And so that's part of chapter 20, verse 29. The Mysteries, The Mystery of Divine Providence. How can God be absolutely sovereign and how can he leave it up to the individual? At the same time, how can you work this way? But this is how he works in real time.

 

[00:43:37] If you examine the texts related to this in Scripture, you will discover that the emphasis overwhelmingly is on the human response. God is not obligated to treat graciously those who don't serve live for him, whatever. But this is Moses vision of Israel's eschatological future, and in this he is the paradigmatic prophet, for this vision is built on. Well, it starts with chapter four. Actually, Leviticus 26 started it. That's the first text to talk about the circumcision of the heart. Then Deuteronomy four, Jer, Deuteronomy 30, Jeremiah 31, Ezekiel 34, and it ends in Romans 1126 through 29. This is how I understand what's happening here. The relationship between physical Israel and spiritual Israel as perceived by Moses. And I'm convinced that this is the way Jeremiah perceives it in chapter 39. That's a totally parochial text. He's not. Yes, Israel is a microcosm of the world in Deuteronomy and in Jeremiah. But it's not about the world. Jeremiah's New Covenant is entirely about this people. He's not thinking beyond the parochial borders, but in the past. And here's the problem. We have always had to Israel's. There is big Israel. Physical Israel, the descendants of Abraham. And those who adopt in like Caleb. And rehab. ANDREWS There have always been these people coming in and other aliens. But this is the problem. Spiritual. Israel has always been there, but it's always been a very small minority. And I will argue these spiritual Israelites were New Covenant Israelites fully regenerated, fully redeemed, fully born again. And I would argue in nine, dwelt by the Holy Spirit of God, if people are regenerate, how does that happen? And I think it comes from the inside out. There have always been those. What happens in this vision is the boundaries of the physical.

 

[00:46:16] Israel and spiritual Israel become coterminous. All who claim to be physical descendants of Abraham are spiritual descendants as well. Now, of course, we know from the beginning that the vision is for the world. And you show all the nations of the earth be blessed. And it turns out that it is ultimately about spiritual seed of Abraham. But if the Israelites aren't also spiritual seed of Abraham, you know, from Romans four, you have no title to the spiritual heritage of Abraham. And that's what we're talking about in my interpretation of Romans 1126, when Paul says, and all Israel will be saved. He is quoting there from Jeremiah. They offer experience of forgiveness in all Israel. He's anticipating the day when my kinsmen after the flesh. That's what he says at the beginning of this whole passage. It's about the relationship between outsiders to the ethnic group and insiders. So in the meantime, while the his own people are hard and God has gone to the Gentiles. But there's coming a day when Jeremiah 31 isn't forgotten. A day when the true branch of Israel, the physical branch of Israel, will open. Does does mean every single Israelite. Whatever else. I don't I think it it depends on what is is it depends on what all means. And here I think all means what it meant when at the Red Sea, all of Pharaoh's horses and chariots were destroyed. Well, literally, that's not true because he had horses and chariots down in the Sudan and down and to the west and Libya. He had this was this army that was you see here. And so we have to be careful how we use all It's not necessarily every single individual, but it is the masses. And that has never been the case, Never even in David's time, when I think that little circle might have been larger than any other time.

 

[00:48:42] I think by the time David has died, then a lot of Israelites are on board. But it didn't last long because Solomon killed the thing. Solomon built the climax of his. Yes. But then he starts the downward skid and the the court becomes the sponsor of apostasy. And that's a problem. So anyhow, this is the vision. Israel in Moses Moses eschatological vision. I do have an essay in one of these books on that topic. First shrift for, uh. Craig police in an article. They asked me to do something on eschatology in the Pentateuch. All right. That's it for this session.