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Covenant Grace (Deuteronomy 29)

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CHAPTER 29 May 12 
The Covenant
These are the words of the covenant which Yahweh commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He made with them in Horeb. 2Moses called all Israel and said to them, You have seen all that Yahweh did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land; 3the great trials which your eyes saw, the signs and those great wonders. 4But Yahweh has not given you a heart to know and eyes to see and ears to hear, to this day. 5I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not grown old on you and your shoes have not grown old on your feet. 6You have not eaten bread neither have you drunk wine or strong drink, that you may know that I am Yahweh your God. 7When we came to this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon and Og the king of Bashan came out against us to battle and we struck them, 8and we took their land and gave it for an inheritance to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of the Manassites. 9Keep therefore the words of this covenant and do them, so that you may prosper in all that you do. 10You stand this day, all of you, before Yahweh your God: your heads, your tribes, your elders and your officers, all the men of Israel, 11your little ones, your wives and the foreigner who is in the midst of your camps, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water. 12You wish to enter into covenant with Yahweh your God and into His oath, which Yahweh your God makes with you this day, 13that He may establish you this day to Himself for a people and that He may be to you a God, as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 14Not only with you do I make this covenant and this oath, 15but with him who stands here with us this day before Yahweh our God and also with him who is not here with us this day. 16For you know how we lived in the land of Egypt and how we came through the midst of the nations through which you passed, 17and you have seen their abominations and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them. 18This covenant is made lest there should be among you man or woman, family or tribe, whose heart turns away this day from Yahweh our God, to go to serve the gods of those nations; lest there should be among you a root that bears gall and wormwood, 19who, when he hears the words of this curse blesses himself in his heart saying I shall have peace, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart, to destroy the moist with the dry. 20Yahweh will not pardon him, but then the anger of Yahweh and His jealousy will smoke against that man, and all the curse that is written in this book shall lie on him, and Yahweh will blot out his name from under the sky. 21Yahweh will separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that is written in this book of the law.
Result of Breaking the Covenant
22The generation to come, your children who shall rise up after you and the foreigner who will come from a distant land, shall see the plagues of the land and the sicknesses with which Yahweh has made it sick. 23The whole land is sulphur, salt and burning, that it is not sown nor giving produce and no grass grows therein, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which Yahweh overthrew in His anger and in his wrath. 24 They and all the nations shall say, Why has Yahweh done thus to this land? What does the heat of this great anger mean? 25Then men shall say, Because they forsook the covenant of Yahweh the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, 26and went and served other gods and worshipped them, gods that they didn’t know and that He had not given to them. 27Therefore the anger of Yahweh was kindled against this land, to bring on it all the curse that is written in this book; 28and Yahweh rooted them out of their land in anger in wrath and in great indignation and cast them into another land, as at this day. 29The secret things belong to Yahweh our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.


29:10 Moses on that last day of his life addressed the whole assembly of Israel; and yet he so often speaks in the singular ("thee" rather than "ye" in the KJV), as if to emphasize that the laws and covenant he was giving them was to them personally. This is made clear in:10,12: "You (plural) stand this day, all of you, before Yahweh... that you (singular) may enter into covenant with Yahweh". That covenant was made anew by God to each generation and individual. We cannot hide within a family or a church. We are individually responsible to God and will personally be saved. In the same spirit, Moses points out that Yahweh is the only God that can be personally known; all the idols could not be known personally (:26). No fewer than 137 times in Scripture we read the phrase "my God". This was used in a public, unashamed way by many of God's children (it was a particular favourite of Nehemiah, David and Paul). 
29:10-13 This is a very long sentence; from now until the end of his speech in Deuteronomy, Moses uses (in the Hebrew text) very long sentences, at times with unclear syntax- as if he was getting increasingly intense and excited as he speaks of the utter realities to which we stand personally related by our covenant with God.

29:12 For Israel in covenant with God, absolutely nothing- not sex, menstruation, the content of clothing fabric, diet- could fall outside the scope of their covenant relationship. And so in principle it is with us under the new covenant. Such a relationship also precludes the worship of any other God. The covenant we have entered has constant and binding claims upon our loyalty; and it also speaks of God’s constant and passionate commitment to us.
29:18 Applied in Heb. 12:15 to those within the church who discourage others from total commitment to God. Those who don’t totally commit to Him will poison others by their attitude and cause them to fall away from God’s grace; and we must be keenly aware of this, because there are such people around- so says Heb. 12:15.