Thursday, 18 August 2022
“…then the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you…...” -Deuteronomy 30:3
Our reading today, is part of the renewal of the covenant with God by His people, just before they were going to enter their Promised Land. At Sinai, God for the first time announced His covenant to His people (Deut.5:22-33). However, the people who witnessed the majesty of God did not trust Him and because of their rebellion, they were barred from entering the Promised Land. Now the second generation was preparing to enter the Promised Land, just as God had promised. Before they entered Moses gathered the people together to renew their commitment to the covenant. [NKJV Study Bible]
The covenant renewal involved two stages. The first stage was performed by Moses on the plains of Moab (Deut. Chap. 27–30). The second stage of the covenant renewal ceremony was performed by Joshua in the Promised Land itself (Joshua 8:30–35). In both instances, the curses for abandoning God were announced on the barren mountaintop of Ebal, while the blessings for following God were announced on the green slopes of Gerizim.
As we can understand from the key verse, God did not abandon His people, but promised to restore them, if, they would whole heartedly comeback to Him. Even when He announced the covenant, God required their complete allegiance to Him. Jesus summed it up in Matt.22:37-40- “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” which was earlier told by God in Deut.6:5.
Every promise of God is conditional, but in most instances the part that He expects man to do is to devote himself to a deep and strong relationship. Therefore, the restoration of the people also is based on restoration of the relationship, which will evoke the blessing associated! The blessings do not come on its own just by offering any kind of sacrifices – it comes from restoring the covenant relationship! If God’s people would remain devoted to Him, obey His commands and follow Him they would receive all the blessing mentioned here. But if their hearts turned away and they walked in disobedience to God, they would perish (Vs.18) and only curses would come on them.
As to His chosen people in those days, the LORD God expects the same allegiance and devotion to Him today in a covenant relationship to Him. Jesus is the Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb.12:24) through whom we come into a relationship with God. All the curses written down have been taken away by Him on the cross: “… having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross…” (Col.2:14). Besides, Galatians 3:13, 14 says, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” To all who by faith receive it into their heart and come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ are blessed thus!
Relationship and Restoration! –two key words that the Lord speaks to us today! Dear friend, if you still haven’t been restored into that relationship through Christ, would you make that choice as Moses put it to Israel: “…I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him…” (Deut.30:19,20)
Prayer: LORD Jesus, restore my life today as I choose to come into a relationship with God through You. Amen!