Today’s reading: Deut 29:1–29, 2 Cor 7:8–16, Ps 42:1–43:5
Today’s theme: Revealed for relationship
Today we see the theme of God’s self revelation. God is sovereign over the revealing of Himself for His glory that we might come into relationship with Him. God’s revelation is not for us to take pride in knowledge but to come into the right relationship with God who is our greatest joy and treasure.
God, sovereign over revelation
But to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear. Deuteronomy 29:4 (ESV)
Often people can see God’s mighty works and hear His word. Yet they do not trust or obey Him, this is seen most strikingly with the people of Israel who saw the most amazing miracles and heard God’s actual voice, yet remained in unbelief. God is sovereign even over revelation and belief.
Jesus had to deal with this reality in His own ministry as mentioned in Matthew 13:14 which is itself a quote from Isaiah 6:9. Later Paul picks this point up and has this very passage in mind in Romans 11:8.
Knowing God and trusting God’s word are all in fact gifts of grace. At the same time they are a matter of our own choice, desire and response. Without the Holy Spirit no one can truly know the truth. This is core to our understanding of the new “better” covenant which is pointed at here but made very clear by God in Jeremiah 24:6, 31:33 and Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26-28. This covenant is fulfilled in Jesus.
A perpetual covenant
It is not with you alone that I am making this sworn covenant, but with whoever is standing here with us today before the LORD our God, and with whoever is not here with us today. Deuteronomy 29:14–15 (ESV)
God did not limit this covenant to physical descendants of Israel but with all who stood with them that day from other nations who had joined themselves to Israel. It also speaks of the fact that there is no caste system, all are welcome. Here is a great picture of unity and social equality before God.
Future generations are also prophetically called into this covenant. Jesus also does this in His prayer in John 17:20. The repeated use of the word today would mean when future generations recite or read this they would have a sense of urgency and ownership for their own generation. In much the same way, every generation of Christians have read the words soon, regarding the Lords return, and kept the urgency and expectancy alive in every age.
You can’t fool God
one who, when he hears the words of this sworn covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart.’ This will lead to the sweeping away of moist and dry alike. Deuteronomy 29:19 (ESV)
As Galatians 6:7 states, we should not think that God can be tricked or fooled. Just saying we believe doesn’t mean anything, we need to genuinely repent and live for God.
Revealed for relationship
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29 (ESV)
God’s self revelation in the Bible is not God’s total revelation of everything, it is not all that there is to know. God has revealed to man all that he needs to come into relationship with Him in the Bible. Our religion is not one where great knowledge must be sought to know God like we find in other religions such as Buddhism.
What God has revealed in His word is given that we might follow God’s commands. God has told us all we need to know, there are some mystery’s we will only know in heaven, 1 Corinthians 13:12.
2 Corinthians 7:8–16
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10 (ESV)
Godly grief over sin is very healthy. We should not be so incubated by God’s grace that we never feel guilt, grief or sorrow. These negative emotions are necessary and awaken us to God’s love and grace when we drift off course. We need these emotions to act like an alert system for our hearts bringing to light the need to repent.
Outside of Christ these emotions are destructive and open wider the chasm of selfishness, self pity and ultimately self destruction. Opposite examples in God’s word are Judas and Esau on the negative side and the ‘prodigal son’ and Peter on the other side.
Thirst for God
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? Psalm 42:2 (ESV)
We should have a thirst for God, not the things of this world. We should desire the fountain of living water, the only place were we can find safety and true satisfaction. See Matthew 5:6, John 6:35 and Revelation 22:17.
Preach to yourself
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation Psalm 42:5 (ESV)
We need to talk to ourselves and remind ourselves of who God is if we fall into depression or discouragement. Doing this can build up your faith, don’t stay silent, speak up.
Our ultimate joy
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. Psalm 43:4 (ESV)
God should be our ultimate and greatest joy.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
Desiring God on 2 Corinthians 7