Deuteronomy 29

We are bound in gratitude as well as duty and faithfulness to keep the words of the solemn covenant of God,
through Christ.

1 These are the words of the covenant, which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb.

2 ¶ And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land;

3 The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles:

4 Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.

5 And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot.

6 Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I am the LORD your God.

7 And when ye came unto this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, came out against us unto battle, and we smote them:

8 And we took their land, and gave it for an inheritance unto the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to the half tribe of Manasseh.

9 Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.

10 ¶ Ye stand this day all of you before the LORD your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel,

11 Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water:

12 That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the LORD thy God, and into his oath, which the LORD thy God maketh with thee this day:

13 That he may establish thee to day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

14 Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath;

15 But with him that standeth here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day:

16 (For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by;

17 And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:)

18 Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;

19 And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:

20 The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.

21 And the LORD shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law:

22 So that the generation to come of your children that shall rise up after you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which the LORD hath laid upon it;

23 And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:

24 Even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger?

25 Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt:

26 For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not given unto them:

27 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book:

28 And the LORD rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.

29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Deuteronomy 29:1-13 – The Covenant that Brings Prosperity

   In one great final convocation Moses rehearsed the Covenant, and endeavored to bind the people to its provisions. It becomes us all from time to time to look into the vows that we have made, reviewing them to see if we have carefully observed and kept our pledges. We need also to enlarge their scope as one new department after another is added to the experience of our souls. A review also of God’s great love and care through past years should constrain us, as by the mercies of God, to present ourselves anew to Him, as a “living sacrifice,” Romans 12:1-2.
   Notice the double aspect of Deuteronomy 29:12-13. It is not enough for us to be willing to enter into a covenant with God and to take His oath; we need that God should establish us unto Himself that we may become His peculiar people. The established heart and character are the very special gifts of the Holy Spirit, I Thessalonians 3:13, I Peter 5:10. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Deuteronomy 29:19—I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart.

   So man’s foolish heart reasons. He hears the curse pronounced against sin; he knows that the man who turns from God is threatened with gall and wormwood, and yet he persists in his evil ways, secretly blessing himself, and laying the flattering unction to his heart that he at least will come off scot-free. Such an one is an abomination to the Lord, and shall not escape: “The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man” (Deuteronomy 29:20). It is still true of the wicked, “that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).
   The only way to peace is by abjuring the stubbornness which sets up its own will and way against God’s. Is not this the secret of the unrest of your soul—that you have never perfectly yielded to God? You know that if others did as you do, and cherished the dispositions that you permit, you would instantly condemn them, and assure them of the incompatibility of soul-rest and such things as these; but you bless yourself, and say, “I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart.”
   Ask God to take the stubbornness out of you, to rid you of your hard heart, to bring you into loving, gentle subordination to Himself; to fulfill his promise in your experience, “I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 11:19). Return and submit. Take His yoke and learn of Him. Bow down at His feet. Let every step of your daily walk be taken in the track of His holy will. So shall you find rest unto your soul; and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). —Our Daily Homily

Deuteronomy 29:14-29 – The Penalty of Serving False Gods

   Deuteronomy 29:15 clearly refers to the future generations, who were included in this solemn act. The word “gall,” Deuteronomy 29:18, indicates the poisonous character of idolatry. The application of this passage to any man who falls short of the grace of God shows that the tendency to idolatry has its root in the apostasy of the heart, Hebrews 12:15.
   We cannot say that religion is a matter of indifference; or, if we say it, we are destined to a terrible awakening. A man may say, “I shall have peace,” etc., Deuteronomy 29:19, but there is no peace short of the peace of God, Isaiah 48:22; Romans 5:1-2.
   With respect to Deuteronomy 29:24, the infidel Volney wrote of the present condition of Palestine: “Why is not the ancient population reproduced and perpetuated? God has doubtless pronounced a secret malediction against this land.” This is one of His “secret things”! Compare Deuteronomy 29:29 with Romans 11:33. —Through the Bible Day by Day