February 10, 2022 - Deuteronomy 26-28

“When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance and have taken possession of it and live in it . . .” (26:1). And, so, Moses continues with his instructions. I don’t think this is the primary meaning or significance of the wording in this verse, but I just cannot skip over it. Moses does not say, “If . . .” or “Hopefully, when . . .” Rather, he says, “WHEN you come into the land.” God has promised, and he will fulfill his promise! Israel will take some of the first fruits and the tithes, and she will recount her history, and she will acknowledge that the Lord has given her possessions and will worship the Lord (26:10).

Furthermore, the people wrote the commandments of God on stones as a reminder, and they stood on opposing hills and recited the instructions from God. All this was followed by the Lord’s promise: “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth” (28:1). Warning was also given: “But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you” (28:15). Pretty good motivation for doing what God had commanded, one would think. With Israel, let our commitment be:

Let earth and heaven witness now,

before the Lord we speak;

to him we make our solemn vow,

a vow we dare not break,

that, long as life itself shall last,

ourselves to Christ we yield,

nor from his cause will we depart,

nor ever quit the field. -- Benjamin Beddome (18th century)

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