then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you. Deuteronomy 30:3 (ESV)
The Lord shows his character here, he is merciful and gracious, he is willing to forgive. This whole chapters outlines mans choice before a very merciful and patient God. If Israel truly repented then God would restore them to their land and he did that throughout their history.
Today’s restoration of Israel has not happened in the same way as the restorations of the OT where there was also spiritual restoration through repentance, we should pray for the spiritual restoration of Israel to accompany it’s political restoration. Paul instructs us to desire and pray for their restoration through Jesus in Romans 9-11. See Romans 11:15, 23–24 regarding their full restoration
And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. Deuteronomy 30:6 (ESV)
In the hebrew this verse represents the climax of God’s point being made in verse 1-10. The turning in repentance to obey the Lord and prosperity in the land all hinges upon the greatest commandment which is to love God with everything. This ultimate demand of the law is only accomplished as the fruit of Gods grace in the hearts of his people as he is the one who circumcises their hearts. This is fulfilled and realised in truth in the new covenant through the Messiah Jesus Christ. See Romans 2:28-29
But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. Deuteronomy 30:14 (ESV)
God’s law has received a bad reputation over the years as being unrealistic, unbearable, unachievable and unfair (Often in an attempt to exalt Christianity over Judaism) but this couldn’t be further from the truth. God declares that the law is not too hard and it is not un reachable.
However God never claims that anyone can be saved by it, he simply call the people to live by it and be blessed. Salvation and relationship with God was and still is a matter of the heart and in Israel’s case salvation (from Egypt) had already been won, so the law was a life lived in response to salvation.
Reading and mediating on the word of God in the bible is so important, it is not too difficult and God wants us to internalise the word and live it out. Now in the new covenant we have the indwelling person of the Holy Spirit and the work Christ has been done, making it possible for us to live as God intends (Romans 10:5-13). We must pass God’s word on to our children too.
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, Deuteronomy 30:19 (ESV)
We face the same choice today, we should choose life and blessing, why would anyone choose death and cursing… but so many do, this shows the slavery of men’s will’s to sin. Thanks be to God that when Jesus sets us free from slavery to sin we are truly free. See John 8:32, 34-36
Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.” Deuteronomy 31:12–13 (ESV)
As a church community we have been reading through the entire bible year on year for the last three years, just reading the bible like this will help us grow in the Lord and help us instruct our children as we bring them up as a community
For when I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to give to their fathers, and they have eaten and are full and grown fat, they will turn to other gods and serve them, and despise me and break my covenant. Deuteronomy 31:20 (ESV)
Getting what we want and having all our needs met can lead us into complacency and then indifference, rebellion and idolatry. We need to watch over our hearts especially living the extremely prosperous western world where God can be so easily forgotten.
For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 2 Corinthians 8:3 (ESV)
This gives us a perfect example of how we should give. the saints in Macedonia were not rich yet they joyfully and voluntarily gave according to their means and even stretched themselves beyond their means. We are called to generosity, beyond cold set percentages and portions we should enjoy the fellowship and service of giving generously from our hearts to the needs of our brothers and sisters etc.
The fact that Paul had to instruct the wealthy Corinthian church should stand as a warning to us that our prosperity can make us cold and without true faith filled generosity. As mentioned in verse 7 we should excel in giving alongside our other pursuits in Christ.
Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. Psalm 44:22 (ESV)
The Psalmist is talking about the suffering the people are going through, not because of disobedience, in fact this is an example of a Psalm where it is declared that the whole law was kept which is in line with the point made earlier about Gods achievable and reachable law.
This is suffering for the name of the Lord, because they refuse to compromise, the Psalmist, under this sort of pressure for standing for God seeks reassurance of God’s love. Paul picks this point up in Romans 8:36-39