The Scriptorium

God to You

Our God, His people. Deuteronomy 29.10-13

The Covenant Renewed: Deuteronomy 29 (3)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 105.1, 2, 8-11
Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!...
He remembers His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations,
The covenant which He made with Abraham,
And His oath to Isaac,
And confirmed it to Jacob for a statute,
To Israel as an everlasting covenant,
Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
As the allotment of your inheritance…”

Psalm 105.1, 2, 8-11

(Warrington: Give to Our God Immortal Praise)
Give thanks unto the Lord Most High; call on His Name, before Him cry!
Make known His deeds in every land; sing praise for all the works of His hand.

He will His covenant faithfully guard – His oath, the promise of His Word.
That which He to our fathers swore, He will perform forevermore!

Today’s Text: Deuteronomy 29.10-13

Preparation
1. Who were the beneficiaries of God’s covenant?

2. What was the purpose of God’s covenant?

Meditation
God’s covenant is His arrangement for channeling grace to the world through a people He has chosen for Himself. The covenant began with Adam and Eve, although the first formal mention of it is with Noah (Gen. 6.18). With Abram (Abraham), God outlined the broad scope and specific promises entailed in His covenant (Gen. 12.1-3), and sealed it with an oath by swearing in His own Name (Gen. 15.8-21; cf. Heb. 6.13-18). And with Moses and the people of Israel, God elaborated the kind of loving behavior that would enable His people to lay hold on those promises and fulfill their calling as a witness to the nations concerning God and His love (Mat. 22.34-40), and reaffirmed His oath, promising to fulfill all His Word (v. 12).

In verses 10-13, Moses reminded the people that they were heirs of those promises, and that the blessings attendant to the promises extended to everyone in the camp – leaders, families, servants, and foreigners. Israel would enter the covenant afresh by carrying out what we have read in previous chapters: the reading of the Law, offering of sacrifices, and recital of blessings and curses. Thus they would be established as a people unto the Lord, and He would be their God (v. 13).

The giving of the Law did not cancel the promises (Gal. 3.17, 18); rather, the Law maps out the pathway into the promises, just as the Law to be painted on the rocks would indicate the entrance to the promised land of the Lord. Now both Law and promises are fulfilled in Jesus Christ (Matt. 5.17-19; 2 Cor. 1.20; 2 Pet. 1.4). In Him we find all that God has promised for full and abundant life (Jn. 10.10) and the power of His Spirit to enable us to understand and obey the Law of God (Ezek 36.26, 27) and thus to fulfill our calling to be witnesses to the world of the grace of God in Jesus Christ (Acts 1.8)

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“God’s covenant is His arrangement for channeling grace to the world through a people He has chosen for Himself.” We often miss the precise purpose to which we have been called. This is it. Channeling grace to the world. The guidelines for doing this are in keeping God’s Law – living out love for Him and for others. Every one – all the men, all the women, all the children, all the strangers. Every one who calls on the Name of the Lord Jesus for salvation is included in this mandate. No one is excluded. We are all called to channel grace into our own Personal Mission Field. By God’s grace we have been saved through faith. We didn’t accomplish this; it is the gift of God, not of any good works that we did. God did it this way so we couldn’t boast about it. But now that we have been saved, we have a job to do. And here it is: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2.10). Think of it: He prepared these good works before the time of Moses. And even before, “that He may be God to you” (v. 13).

Reflection

1. Being called and sent to channel God’s grace to the world should be reason for great joy. Explain.

2. What kinds of things can keep us from fulfilling this calling? How can we encourage one another in it?

3. Have you identified your Personal Mission Field? Watch this brief video, download the worksheet, and get started today.

With this design he says that the Israelites stood there not only to hear the voice of God, but to enter into covenant with Him, in order that they might apply themselves seriously, and with becoming reverence, to perform the promise they had given.
John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Deuteronomy 29.10

Renew me in Your covenant today, Lord, and unfold Your promises before me, so that I…

Closing Prayer: Psalm 105.3-7, 45
Seek the covenant promises of God (Gen. 12.1-3) for everything you do this day. Remember Him throughout the day, and give Him thanks and praise. Pray that He will keep you in the path marked out by His Word.

Psalm 105.3-7, 45
(Warrington: Give to Our God Immortal Praise)
Glory in God, rejoice in heart, all you who seek His holy part.
Him and His strength and Presence seek; His works proclaim, His judgments speak.

You holy children of Abraham, You chosen ones of Jacob, stand!
He is our Lord, of wondrous worth; His judgments are in all the earth.

So let us all in our Savior confide, and in His holy Law abide.
Let us observe His glorious Word, and praise our sovereign, faithful Lord!

T. M. and Susie Moore

Listen to our summary of last week’s study in Deuteronomy by clicking here. You can download all the studies in the series by clicking here. And check out our current ReVision series on encouragement.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy: Ancient Christian Commentary Series III, Joseph T. Lienhard, S. J. ed. in collaboration with Ronnie J. Rombs, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2001). All quotations from John Calvin from John Calvin, Commentaries on The Four Last Books of Moses Arranged in the Order of A Harmony, Rev. Charles William Bingham M. A., tr. and ed. (Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society, 1863. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore