Deuteronomy - Lesson 31
Moses’ Final Appeal - Deut. 30.11-20
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.
Moses’ Final Appeal - Deut. 30.11-20
Moses’ Final Appeal (30:11-20)
I. Reflections on the Present Moment
A. Thesis statement
C. Deuteronomy 29:4
II. Moses’ Plea to Accept YHWH’s Grace
A. Moses’ call for decision
B. Moses’ call for witnesses
C. Moses' final appeal
III. Deuteronomy 30:11-14 and Romans 10:6-8
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)
The Gospel according to Moses
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Dr. Daniel Block
Moses’ Final Appeal - Deut. 30.11-20
[00:00:00] We come now to the end of Moses preaching. We want to spend a few minutes on his final altar call in order that we not miss the grace. That his preaching represents. Again, if we are still thinking about the book of Deuteronomy about legislation, Moses, the law giver, we're in a coma. He's been preaching the whole time and we haven't heard the preacher are and I know me and dispositions have blinded our eyes to the grace of law. I remind you of the plot of the last address, the four act drama of grace that began yesterday, the past experience of grace 29 1 to 8, which we didn't talk about at all in this context, except in relation to the covenant ratification ceremonies at the beginning, at the very beginning, then the present celebration of Divine grace, future spurning of grace, e Eclipse of Grace. It's a totally dark world, outpouring of grace, as we saw in verses 1 to 10. I like it that the last chapter is 20 verses each ten. That's helpful in remembering Ezekiel often works with a very balanced system where he has two panels that are virtually identical in length, that he he does this a lot and Moses does it as as well sometimes. But the verse verse divisions weren't there in the original. So but so you have to count words. And I often find myself doing that just for fun. I have nothing better to do. So I so I count words. But we come now to the conclusion Scene one of Act four. We are back to today. He's been talking about Israel's past and Israel's future. Now he's back with the audience. We are still in this gathering. That is the sermon. Now, I'm talking to you very pointedly and very directly.
[00:02:28] And he has two points to make. One of which is you have immediate access to the grace of Torah. And second, it's up to you to take it. Will you receive it? So the structure, it divides into two two parts, 11 to 14 reflections on the present moment, and then the plea to accept your grace. So here the word of the Lord. Now, the charge that I am charging you, it's difficult to know what to do with this singular mitzvah, the command. We cannot go a commandment. I the only time in my work you'll find that is if I have cut and pasted on forget forgotten to fix it. I can't use commandment because that creates the impression that is this is an an archaic text or it is a super supra earthly text. It's not real, nor the it's real Hebrew, everyday ish Hebrew, sometimes in an elevated rhetoric, but the vocabulary now. And so the charge fits for Hammett's watch. This is the charge that I am charging you again, that's good Hebrew, bad English, you would say I am giving, delivering to you whatever. But Hebrew prefers to use object and verb of the same route. It is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It's not up in heaven so that you need to ask who will go up to heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so that we may do it. Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you need to ask who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may do it. No, the word is very near you. It's in your mouth, it's in your heart, i.e. mind, so that you may do it. Well, the thesis statement, the charge I'm giving is not too difficult or beyond reach the word for difficult.
[00:04:46] We've got to talk about this because this, again, will challenge a lot of popular thinking. The word pay Llamado olive speaks of something either marvelous or inexplicable sometimes. Exodus 3410. Look, I am making a covenant. I will perform wonders. Nephila all. In the presence of all your people that have never been done. And all the earth, all the people you live among, will see your always work for. What I am doing is with you is all inspiring. No ra. The personal name Norah means awe inspiring or Proverbs 3083. Things are two nifty flat oath. Nicola are two amazing for me or impossible for me to understand for I do not understand what are. He defines it. I don't get it the way of an eagle in the sky. The way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas. And the way of a man with a virgin. These are the mysteries. I can't explain this. How does. Why? How can he be attracted to her? I mean, we say that about other people. How does that work? It's a mystery. Or he's obviously a landlubber. He doesn't know how ships work. Or how can a serpent walk without legs? And or an eagle in the sky. Here is something marvelous. Something inexplicable. Sometimes it's something beyond one's power. It's not just mentally impossible to fathom. Amnon was frustrated to the point of making himself sick over his sister Tamar, because she was a virgin. But it seemed impossible to do anything to her. He couldn't find an opportunity to express his. Sinister, we should say intense. Zacharias seven six. Thus says Yahweh, of course. If it seems impossible yet parlay in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, should it also seem impossible in my sight, declares Jacqui of hosts or Sarah laugh to ourself after I have become shriveled up and my Lord is old? I mean, this is a cartoon and she is imagining both herself and her husband as old cartoon figures.
[00:07:23] Will I have delight? This is ridiculous. But yeah, we asked Abraham, why did Sarah laugh, saying, Can I really have a baby when I'm old? Is anything impossible for your boy. That's the word. At the appointed time, I'll come back and in about a year he'll have a son. It's impossible. She's not only is she barren and has been barren, it's doubly impossible. She's been barren all her life. And she is beyond the age of four. Till that. She's past, it's doubly impossible. Jeremiah 32. Ah, Lord. Yeah. It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. There's nothing you cannot do. Or 32 seven. We did that. No, I got the verse wrong here. Look, I am Jacqui, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? There's a mistake to correct. Yahoo's command is not baffling so that only a magician can grasp it, nor impossible so that it demands superhuman strength, nor so esoteric that its relevance escapes the Israelites. In short. It is both comprehensible and doable. Unlike the pharaoh who demanded bricks without straw, when Yahoo! Called upon his people to listen to his voice, to keep his covenant, to obey its stipulations, he didn't demand the impossible. No ancient people would have thought the Israelites were under an impossible ethical burden. There isn't a single command that is beyond human power to keep. The Lord had revealed to his people the kind of regulations and covenants stipulations that caused neighboring nations who observed Israel's way of life in general to be amazed and exclaim their wonder at the wisdom of the people and the righteousness of her ordinance. Now, if as soon as one imposes upon the vassal things the vassal cannot do, that's not righteousness.
[00:09:55] That's tyranny. That is not what happened here. For Yahweh to have imposed on his people as system of laws and a standard of conduct that was impossible to achieve would not have been a gracious act. But God didn't asked his people to jump over 12 story buildings. Or swim across the Pacific. That's impossible. On the contrary, it would have represented the ultimate in tyranny and abuse, exceeding even the tyranny of Egypt. No one in the ancient world would have considered what has been revealed to the Israelites as excessive. Nobody to the contrary. They were the envy of the world. This is Moses talking. This is Moses talking, and Paul has to agree with Moses. And if he doesn't appear to agree with Moses, we have to ask what is the current rhetorical situation? That he can talk this way and he will talk that way for rhetorical effect. But we got to take pay serious. If they don't make this say what Paul may be saying for some other purpose. To the contrary. No one in the area in the words of Jesus. Yahoo! Is York. And this in Jewish tradition, is shorthand for the covenant. This is the yoke that he puts on them, the yoke of the kingdom. JA Wish yoke is easy and his burden is slight. So he puts that yoke on your neck and you discover it's Styrofoam. It's not an old yoke. Attentional poetry. Notice his argument. First of all, negative. It's not in heaven so that you need to commission. Somebody asked for a volunteer, and if nobody goes, you conscript somebody who will go to heaven and get it and proclaim it to us so we can do it. I mean, you can do it if you don't have it.
[00:12:08] So we need somebody to go and get it for us. It's not up there so that we need. This is a hypothetical situation that is contrary to fact. Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you need to ask who will go across to Hawaii or Japan or wherever to get here and proclaim it to us so that we may do it. No, it's not out there. The word is very near you. And now he's using the same expression he had used in chapter four, verse eight. And what great nation is there that has a God so near to it? And now the point is the. It's not only that God in person is near. The revelation of his will is there. In fact, it's in your mouth. It's in your heart. What does that mean? Well, it's in your mouth. This really this relates to the recitation of the Torah as a memorized truth. That is the point of medical instruction. Deuteronomy 3310 In the blessing. Levi is it? Levi is granted the responsibility of teaching Torah in Israel, and they would do that by helping people memorize the Torah. It's in your mouth. It's not that you're talking about it. You're talking it. And it's in your heart, which means it's implanted. It's on the inside. And since you can talk about it, and since it's all in your heart, hey, there's nothing to hinder you from doing it. It is, in fact, doable. And that has been the point. The point of his preaching. I have brought it near to you. We have made it accessible. No commission is needed. The charge command is not beyond reach. It's very near. Well, we've had two evidences of each, the first negative and the second positive.
[00:14:21] And if you put them side by side, it's actually quite parallel. Not in heaven, not beyond the sea that someone should have to say. It's very deliberately semi poetic at this point. You can actually sense that Moses is getting excited about what he is getting excited, still excited about what he's having to say. It's not in heaven, nor do you need to go down to Sheol to get it. Now, this again is in is is americium. It's a similar ism, but we find often if I go up to heaven, you're there. If I make my bed and shield, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning while the uttermost parts of the sea God is everywhere. He He cannot run away from God. And this is also ancient near Eastern. Lord Little Bell. And they make a wisdom texts from Babylon. Who knows? Who knows the will of the gods in heaven. Who understands the plans of the underworld gods? Where have mortals learned the way of a God on the year? You got heaven on earth. And this is the problem. Oh, my God. Whom I know or do not know. We know the gods have something that they want us to do, but we can't get it. We have no access. And Moses is hereby declaring You got it. Who is so tall as to send the heavens. Here's another dialog of pessimism from Babylon who is so broad as to compass the underworld. That's Sheol, Heaven on earth. It's up there in the extreme, among the gods, and it's down below. But we don't have access. We in the land of the living. We're left. Notice again this the switch in verse 14, this is the charge. He changes it to this is the word.
[00:16:14] It's not just a command. The whole thing is a charge. It's a challenge. It's he's putting it before them. But this is the word that we proclaim. The word davar is in your heart. It's in your mouth. But you may do it. And again, three times he has said that we may do it, that we may do it. The goal is execution. The goal is application. The goal is the way we live. The word is given. So there are without excuse. Now back to 2929. The hidden things belong to Yahweh, Lord God, But the revealed things we've got. And our children forever so that we may follow all the words of the Torah. Notice it's not all the commands of the Torah. All the words track with the Torah. This is not hidden. What's hidden is the mystery of God. But what is what is necessary for our life has been absolutely revealed. There's no mystery here. You don't have to struggle with this. The word is very near. So near. It's in your mouth and it's in your heart. God had brought it near to the previous generation at Sinai. But this generation wasn't there. So the point of this event. Is to leave these people without an excuse. We've brought it back. It's here. Moses has put it in their hearts and in their mouths. On the plains of Moab. That's why that expression he put into effect this Torah by saying, which is an invitation to the audience to incorporate it into. Well, in verse four of chapter 29. We had a rather strange verse that we didn't touch on, and it's a stumbling block through to some people. And here they take it out of context and use it as a proof text that the law is impossible.
[00:18:45] Verse four. Yet to this day, the Lord hasn't given you a heart to know. Of course. Think mind. The heart doesn't know anything we know about. I mean, our scientific anthropology. It's with a mind. But half the time, the word heart means mind. The Lord. To this day, the Lord has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear. But I have led you 40 years in the desert. Years. Close. Didn't work. You have eaten bread and drink water when you reached this place. To this day. To which they. What's today? It's the day of proclamation. It's the day of the covenant renewal. It's the day of the Torah. Now you have it. That's the point. Now you have it. Don't take this out of context that we have to wait for some eschatological moment when God will, well, give people a new heart or you'll take all the harvest of stone. No, you guys have it now. His audience, they're standing in front of him. You have no excuse, which is a part of the function of this whole renewal of the covenant that these people may go into the land as the people of God fully aware of the will of God. Fully aware. They're not guessing. They're going in knowing he has brought it near the messenger from heaven is here and it's Moses. God is present with Israel in his word, making them the envy of the world. Moses has brought it near so that this generation not only has God near, I alluded to four over seven. What great nation is it that has a God so near to it? As Yahweh, our God is to us whenever we call upon him, or that has statutes and rules subordinates.
[00:20:57] Well, now we got both of them near. God is present in His word. And all the way through, Moses has been saying, I have been speaking to you what God has told me to speak to you so that my word and his word are are exactly the same thing. They blur. Well, what Moses had called for in six six has become a reality. These words that I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children. You shall talk them, not talk of them. Take that out of here. You shall talk them when you sit in your house and when you walk. By the way, when you lie down, when you rise, you shall bind them as a sign on your hand. They shall be as front lights before your eyes. You shall write them on the door of your house and on your gates. That's the point. We have brought it near. It's here that you may do it. That's the point. They are doable. There isn't a single command that's not doable. Well, lessons from these first four versus the word that is the revelation of Yahweh in the form of Moses instruction is not simply to be memorized and recited as beautiful literature or as a legalistic enterprise. It has been given to guide the Israelites conduct that you may do it. The process aborts if it's not applied to both the Supreme Command to demonstrate love for Yahweh with one's entire being and the entire body of instructions that Moses has given and that flow out of the Supreme Command are in fact, doable. Let's go then, to his plea. How then should we live in safe ferry and. Terms. Verse 15. See. Look. Certainly not.
[00:22:55] Behold. See today I've set before you the life. The life. I did that intentionally, if I am. It's not life and death, which is what our translations mostly have. And I'm sure our lead has simply life and death here, too. It's the life with the article and the good. The death and the adversity. How rare in that I charge you today to love ya for your God to walk in his ways, to keep his commands, statutes and judgments so that you may live and multiply. And Yahweh, your God may bless you in the land you're entering to possess. On the one hand. On the other. But if your heart turns away and you do not listen and you are seduced and you bow down to the other gods and you worship them. I declare to you today you'll certainly perish. You will not live long in the land you are entering to possess. Across the Jordan I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you. The life and the death, the blessing and a curse. So choose the life so that you and your descendants may live how it is by loving your way. We should have said by demonstrating covenant commitment to Yahweh, by listening to his voice, by clinging to him, for He is your life. Oh, that's what he offered the life. It's in your way. He is the length of your days in the land that Yahweh swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It's an amazing call for decision. Verse 15 His he. There are three parts here. He he calls for decision. He emphasizes the importance of the decision. He calls for witnesses. And a fourth part, actually, Moses.
[00:25:04] Final appeal. The call for decision is plain. I've set before you today a blessing by life. Earlier it was 1126 at the end of the second address. He had an altar call like this. Then he said before them, a blessing and a curse. Actually, I think there should be the blessing and a curse as well. But here is the life and the good, the death and the evil. Evil here does not mean moral evil. It means the effects of human, moral, evil disaster. On the one hand, life in good Mordor as opposed to the shire. Well, you can see in the way he sets this up that he's again working poetically or semi poetically. See, I said before you life and prosperity, which I am commanding you today, on the one hand. Death and disaster. The won by demonstrating love, by walking in his ways, by keeping in his commands, his ordinances, his stipulations, the other by turning away your heart turns away. You don't listen. You are seduced. You prostrate before other gods. And then he has the affirmative. I declare to they to you this day. He's getting emphatic now. This is pastoral. I mean, on the left hand side, then you will live an increase. He doesn't have to say, I declare to you today. No, it's. It's what we want. It's what we dream of. But now he is saying. I declare. That's the preacher talking. Remember? This is Moses talking, but he is talking with God's voice to. Prophets talk in first person for God, and this is virtually that you will certainly be destroyed. How does Moses know this? God told him your days will not be lengthened on the soil. You're crossing the Jordan to process. Of course we have to have witnesses to the oath that they are signing on to the choice they are making, and he calls heaven.
[00:27:15] We can't call on the north to a near Gaul and and Marduk and all the other gods as witnesses in this monotheistic system. But the world is listening. The world hears when you they see when you check off. I'm choosing the life. I am checking off the blessing. And it would, of course, have been declared, as Joshua said, choose this day whom you will serve. As for me in my house, we will serve your way. The witnesses become the the heavens and the earth. We had this before. Chapter four, verse 26. I call heaven and earth to witness against against you that you will quickly perish from the land that you're about to cross. You'll not live longer. You'll certainly be destroyed. They see the peoples behavior and they they they assess it on the basis of what they heard the people sign on to. Well, in Hittite treaties, you have the same sort of thing. The storm God, the Lord of Heaven and earth, the moon, God, the sun, God the moon, God of Haran, Heaven and Earth, The Storm God. Ishtar Evening Star Bullhead a Kali Dam. Gina is Shara. The mountains and the rivers, the division, the heavens, the leaders of the They're all listening. They're all watching. When Hittites are making treaties, you may be absent from me. But God, the gods have their appointed agents spying on you. Keeping track. And here God has appointed heaven on Earth as witness. The Safari Treaty in the presence of Marduk in Star Planet, in the presence of NABU, and to Schmidt in the presence of heaven and Earth. The presence of the abyss on the springs. The day and night. They all listen. Well, we've got lots of ways in which the biblical texts.
[00:29:16] The final appeal versus 19 to 20. And now you need to see the main clause. It starts with. So choose life. So that you and your descendants may live. And what follows. It's at the end in the land that Yahweh swore to give to your fathers. You see that the hour to the very end, that possession of the promises of God is contingent. So that you. But that's the goal. Choose life that you may live in the land. But how do you demonstrate your choice? By loving the way God. By listening to His voice. By clinging to him with both arms. And unlike images in. Indian mythology. By that I mean the mythology of India, where they have human figures, divine figures with lots of pairs of arms. You only have two. And you've got to have them both wrapped around feet. Jeremiah talks about this at the earlier on in chapter 31. The Lord will create a new thing on the earth. Bara. A woman will encompass a man. What? Has that never happened before? Have women never thrown their arms around their husbands before? Well, he's talking metaphorically, theologically. Israel has been forever running away from Yahweh, has been running after her with his arms outstretched, but she has never reciprocated. A new thing is happening. You will throw your arms around. So loving, realist clinging to him. For he is your life. He is the length of your days. Well, so what? What was Israel's response to this appeal? Well, in the moment they all signed on and they all cross the river. And under Joshua, they obeyed. And they took care of the Canaanites. And repeatedly in Joshua. Joshua, we hear not one of the good promises of God failed. But that's because the Israelites were faithful.
[00:31:49] They were doing it. But at the end of it, Joshua, knowing that this isn't a perfect people that he has addressed, he comes back to them with the same altar call. Choose you for yourselves this day, whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the river, that is before they ever came to this land up on Herod or the counties. Or the gods of the Emirates in whose land you are living. And now the word amiright is shorthand for all the Canaanite tribes. You've got actually three choices. The gods you grew up with. The gods of the land that you are now occupying or your own God. And there's only really one choice. And then he presented himself as the model. As for me in my household, we will serve. Yah. We are his agents. Well, one more comment. Paul's use of 3124. Most people know this text only through the lens of Romans. They've never wrestled with it, what it's doing in context. And it's not it's actually not a mystery what Moses is doing here. He has clarified that. The mention of them. There is no mystery to what God expects of his people. It's not impossible. It is doable and it's not incomprehensible. It's not inaccessible. It's right here. But what has Paul do with this? For this command meant I forgot. Obviously. Cut and paste that. I am commanding you today. It's not excessive or faraway. It's not in heaven saying who will go up for us. What does Paul do? Don't say in your heart. Who will go up to heaven, that is to bring Christ down or who will go down to the abyss, that is, to bring Christ up from the dead. But what does it say? Near you is the word in your mouth and in your heart.
[00:34:00] That is the word of faith that we proclaim. Well, now we need to have His Majesty. Professor Mounts clarify what Paul means by this. But you know what he's doing. He is finding in the vocabulary of an antecedent text. The image that he wants to present his audience. Christ has come on. And now we're taught we're taught using that, you know, metaphorical vocabulary to the literal Christ has come down from heaven, literally. He has. Nobody had to get him. He came. Heaven came down and glory filled my soul. Don't say in your heart who will go and get Christ for us? No, he's come. Or who will go down to the abyss and bring Christ back from the dead? No, He has come. Nobody needs to fetch him. But the parallels here are very strained, actually, aren't they? This is Paul giving us a lesson on how we should interpret Moses. You can't understand Paul without reference to Moses. And even then, I have trouble. How can you do this? There is the word. Does she mean by this that Christ is the incarnate Word? I mean, that that almost works because in Deuteronomy. Who has a god so near to you as your weight, our God. And He uses exactly the same expression of the word is there. So there is that identification of your way with the word in the vocabulary. But what happens in Christ is that it literally becomes true. And so his use of it just expands the the significance of the image. I think he's using the image in a grand new way. He is not telling us here to interpret Deuteronomy 30, Chris, theologically. I don't think he's talking about Jesus. If Jesus is the third person of the Trinity, the Messiah figure, whatever.
[00:36:34] No, he's he's talking. He may be talking about Yahweh. And I know Jesus as Yahweh. Whoever will call upon the name of Yahweh will be saved. Paul Ryan writes in Romans 1013 and he is telling his Jewish readers, Yahweh is Jesus. He's referring to Jesus. He's applying the prophetic text to Jesus. That is very, very clear here. Moses tais your way and the word very tightly. So that the word is the living. The people live by whatever comes out of the mouth of God, the breath. He breathes his life. And so that is all here. But that's what Moses is doing. I cannot preach Moses here without, in the end, talking about what Paul does with us. We because we do have a figure that he finds very useful for proclaiming the incarnation. But I don't think Paul is telling us, dictating to us how to read this. He's making a new point with an old text. This often happens. The prophets do this. There are still an unwritten essay in my mind. Here's a dissertation on Ezekiel's. Turning upside down. Previous Torah texts. There are five or six key texts. Greg Beal was always after me to do this essay and I haven't had time. There are five or six key texts where the Torah says one thing is equal. Make some say he uses them for the opposite purpose. And of course, his rhetorical point is you want to use the Torah as the base of your eternal security. Every promise in the book is mine. God has made eternal covenants with us, and He will not abandon us. And the closer Nebuchadnezzar armies came, the more they hung on to the promise and the more evil they became. There's this horrible disconnect.
[00:38:54] And Moses keeps saying, and they have their favorite verses, including Genesis 49, verse ten The Scepter shall not depart until he comes to whom the judgment belongs. In chapter 21, he alludes to that text. But in his use of the passage, the one to whom the judgment belongs as Nebuchadnezzar. It's not the messianic figure who is a rabbit's foot. He says, You want to twist the text, I'll show you how to twist the text. And he does it for. But he's not telling you is Nicholas and telling you how to interpret Genesis 4910. This happens. I gave you. I gave you laws that would not we're not good. Which if you would do them, you would die. Well, that's the very opposite of what Moses says all the way through Deuteronomy. It's by this you live. And so this often happens. And I think we have to be the persons who write scriptures were the prophets or apostles. They're preachers. They're not writing exegesis papers. They're proclaiming a message. Jesus, when he says, and I, if I be lifted up, will draw people to myself. Yeah. What? Or as Moses lifted up the serpent. Serpent in the wilderness. So must the son of man be lifted up? I don't think that means that that serpent text points to Jesus. That's a curious metaphor. Serpent As a metaphor of the Messiah. Go figure. No, it's an analog. He wants to make clear tonight to Nicodemus. Look, here's an illustration. And as the serpent was lifted up in this in the wilderness so much, the son of man be lifted up. And that will be the key to life. People lived when they looked at that service. They were looking at Jesus, but God in his mercy, gave them a switch by which the mercy made accessible through the work of Christ could be applied to them.
[00:41:04] What is it? Analog. An analog is and now an analogy. A picture that is like it. Yeah. I prefer to use that. And I'm not the David Bakers of turmoil. A while ago had a chapter in his book on hermeneutics, on typology, and often the word analogy. Works better than typology when we think of typology. We think this is pointing forward. And there are there isn't a clue in the original text that it's pointing forward. It's pointing up. It's not horizontal. And so I prefer I've adopted a cautious disposition toward that. I rarely use the word typology, not because I don't believe it, but because I think it's so overdone and it's trivialized. Chris Wright uses words like paradigmatic. There's a pattern of events here that happens that later authors pick up. As illustrative of what's happening here that's different from this is the fulfillment of that. And so that's how I'd go with with this one, too. It's a useful vocabulary of the First Testament often gives useful vocabulary in the crystal. Tell Lake Enterprise the plan of redemption so that lazier writers have vocabulary to use for explaining the incarnation. I think that often happens. A great passage here.