THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29
SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 27
By: Jeremy Witt
Chapter 27 and 28 should be done together, but I know how several of you don’t like it when we combine chapters, so keep these in mind. Chapter 28 deals with obedience and blessings versus chapter 27 dealing with disobedience and curses. One group of Israel stands on Mount Ebal and the other groups stands on Mount Gerazim. The Levites shout the commands of blessings and curses and the people shout back with, “amen.” Amen literally means “so be it.” This would show the people agreeing with the curses and blessings.
Did you notice the commands to write down what God said on uncut stones? Notice how they are to be coated with lime or plaster. What is the significance of this? Uncut stones could not be called an idol or shaped stone of something or someone. God forbade idols and putting the commands on shaped stones could become an idol to the people. Using a tool on a stone would make it unclean or profane (Exodus 20:24-25).
In verses 9-10 we read Moses reviewing with this new generation of Israelites the Law that God had given. He is making final preparations before he dies and his successor takes over, who is Joshua.
Verses 15-26 are the curses for disobeying God. These wrong actions were specifically called out so that the people would be reminded of what is wrong, and by agreeing with these wrong actions, no one would be able to say, “I didn’t know.” This is God reminded His children that these things are wrong as we do with our children. There are things that will harm them that they should stay away from. If you cross the road without looking both ways, you could get hurt. If you put that fork in the electrical socket, you will get hurt. If you play with fire, you will get hurt. No one in their right mind calls a parent “mean or cruel” for doing this, but when people read these verses, they do it with God. However, some people who read the Old Testament view God in this way. He is cruel and won’t let people do what they want. He is against us for not letting do what we feel. No good parent would tell their children to do what feels right when they are playing with fire or has a fork about to go into an electrical socket.
God knows what is best and has told us to stay away from some things for our protection. We must not allow ourselves to view God as the world does.
Tomorrow as we begin chapter 28, the focus is not on what we must avoid, but the benefits of obeying and following God. The latter portion of chapter 28 will go back to things to avoid.