Deuteronomy 11:1-32 by Charles Clough
Duration:51 mins 42 secs

Deuteronomy Lesson 27

Moses’ Concluding Appeal to the Heart: Conditionality of Blessing

Deuteronomy 11:1–32

Fellowship Chapel
8 June 2010
Charles Clough
© Charles A. Clough 2010

We’re going to begin tonight our last session in this part of the book of Deuteronomy. The second part is going to deal with all the applications in a social order in the society and it requires a little research to do some of these things if we’re going to teach the book of Deuteronomy against the contemporary culture. In other words, as a control, as a comparison, in a meaningful way and not just spout Bible stories. That takes a little preparation. So we’re going to take a break for at least a month and a half or so.

On the handout you’ll see some of the take-away big ideas, and since this is the last session for a while I wanted to re-emphasize these things because we’re entering, as Christians we’re entering a political time of our country and it’s important we think Scripturally, it’s important that we vote, that we are the salt and light in a participating republic. I just saw statistics the other day that shows that 24 million evangelicals aren’t even registered to vote. If half of those people registered to vote they could carry an election, but we’ve got problems in our own evangelical camp it looks like.

Anyway, we want to look once again at the chiasm of the Ten Commandments because it’s this structure of the Ten Commandments that give us an idea of God’s priorities. And the Ten Commandments, of course, are the most famous giving of law in world history. And in spite of what the ACLU and other radical revisionists try to distort history, all you have to do is drive down to Washington DC with your camera and go stand with your camera in front of the Supreme Court building and point your camera up at the front end of the Supreme Court building, what do you see up at the top? Moses and the Ten Commandments. So obviously the architects of that building must not have listened to the ACLU when they put that freeze on the front of the building. But when they did it, of course, everybody realized that and there wasn’t even a controversy. Christians and non-Christians alike acknowledge that the Ten Commandments form the base of western law. We’ll see how all that works together when we get into the next section of the book.

But remember when we were going through the Ten Commandments we saw this chiasm and we saw that the first commandment, “God alone is worthy of worship and service.” And the last one, “Thou shalt not covet,” itself is not worthy of worship and service. So it begins and ends with the relationship of a person with God; that’s the individual. That itself tells you it’s a fundamental truth. Then you come in and you look at the next commandment, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD, thy God, in vain,” we’re dealing with accuracy in language. And then verse 20 is talking about the 9th command­ment, “Thou shalt not commit perjury,” and that’s again talking about language. This design is not accidental and it’s sort of a way that God had through Moses of emphasizing things. Then we come down and it was “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” this is the management of labor and property. We come down to verse 19 and it’s, “Thou shalt not steal,” which is again property. So there we have the next layer, that this is the function of responsible labor. Then we come down to “Honor your father and your mother,” society depends upon functional marriage and family. And “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” marriage is to be protected. And then finally, the central commandment, “Thou shalt not murder,” which is the quality of life.

So you see embedded in this there is a structure, and the beginning and the end of the Ten Command­ments have to do with man’s relationship with God. And what it’s teaching us is that all the rest of this stuff is dependent upon that. And you’ll also notice that where these commandments may look as though you can enforce them by laws, the 10th commandment you can’t, because the 10th commandment by definition is “Thou shalt not covet,” and how are you going to create a civil law that handles that. And that inability to create a civil law to handle this tells you that the Ten Commandments are addressed to the heart. That's the dynamic, that’s where it’s at, that’s why we find this in chapter 5 which is the beginning of chapter 5, chapter 6, chapter 7, chapter 8, chapter 9, chapter 10, chapter 11. This is the foundation.

Then we found out, the next idea was that you could turn this chiasm on its side and we would have this diagram. God’s design of society, where it starts with the heart allegiance, either to God or to one’s self. And then we’ve seen a little bit of this so far in this section but we’ll see more of it as we get into the actual case studies, but the next level up is integrity of communication. You can’t have a society, you can’t have labor, you can’t have a marriage, and you can’t have anything else if you don’t have integrity of language. And this is being lost today. Language has always… it’s not new with us, you go back and you study history and you study ancient Greece and when they became disenchanted with the philosophers as a way of finding out the truth, what they wound up doing was studying language for the sake of selling things. We call that rhetoric.

And they would teach young people language, a lot of emphasis on language, but it didn’t matter whether what you were saying was true or whether it was false, what mattered was, could you persuade someone? And it’s that use of language that Paul, in 1 Corinthians when he talks about “I came to you, not with words of wisdom,” that’s what he’s talking about, that manipulative use of language. So in the outline, we’ve gone through slide 1, the beginning and the end of the Decalogue concerns the heart relationship with God. That’s the center.

Now we come to slide 2, the design of society and we have the following points: True social prosperity and happiness is indispensable or inseparable from relationship with God. Everything else falls on this foundation. So if integrity of language goes away you cannot have labor and property because in labor you’re generating products and services that you try to sell to someone, and you’re dealing with business transactions that depend upon integrity of language. And we’ll see that, it’s very clear when we get into the details of the law why this is so. So think about this, think about the fact that do we have integrity in language. It doesn’t mean we have to be crude and deliberately hostile or blunt; it means we have to speak the truth. And that is hard to do; there’s a lot of peer pressure out there not to speak the truth.

We have all these little words, “lifestyle” to cover up what we really mean that it’s perverse behavior. And just go through the vocabulary that cycles every 24 hours in your hearing and you will realize that there’s time and again this manipulative use of language. And then what happens is you have the destruction of businesses, corporations who have accountants who work the books—just a violation of language because mathematics is a language. I mean, you take an algebraic equation—an algebraic equation is just a short term for a set of rules. You do this with this, with this, with this, with this, and you write it quicker in symbols but what you’re writing in symbols is a propositional statement. And so when we have accountants cook the books all they are doing is misusing language. We have scientists that do this in creating models and statistical tests deliberately to satisfy a political agenda. That is a mathematical manipulation, which really is a language manipulation.

So all those are examples of why this is in the order it is. First you have to deal with this in order to get to prosperity up here in the area of labor and property. These are fundamentals in a social order. And then once we have labor and property we have the meanings to support a family. This is what’s so wrong with kids going out, guys get some girl pregnant and these guys can’t chew gum and walk a straight line at the same time, and they can’t support a woman; they can’t support a family; they’re idiots. And so you cannot have marriage and family with a group of idiots that cannot support people, cannot maintain an economic base. It requires adulthood and maturity and the ability to produce something useful. So until that is set aside you can’t get up to here. And if this falls apart, which it is doing in our society ever since we had no-fault divorce laws and so on, or now we’ve got homosexual marriage, it’s all part of the same stream, falling apart here and, of course, what that does, it destroys the home and it destroys the next generation because you’re trying to raise children without parents. And we have school teachers that can tell you what happens when you try to train kids when 80% of the class comes from single parents or no parents.

It becomes a hopeless mess, and all of it starts out here and the materialists and the socialists have said oh, poo-poo, they always want to start their reforms up here, wrong place, you cannot start social reformation up here when this is wrong. That’s why it’s Christian missions in the urban areas of the United States in the 19th century that solved or dealt with the poverty problem. That was a hundred years before socialism, and it was successful because the Christian missions in our cities during the industrial revolution that had to deal with homelessness and had to deal with poverty. They questioned, how do you suppose they did it? Those missions were not supported by taxpayer money. Those missions were supported by Christian’s money and it was controlled by Christians. And there’s Marvin Olasky, the editor of World Magazine, who has done extensive research on this topic, it’s a fascinating story about what real social welfare looks like. And it was that book that Marvin Olasky wrote that Newt Gingrich, in 1994 picked up and gave it to every member of the United States Congress, and that was how during the mid-90s that whole welfare reform came. It came about because one man, who was a Jewish atheist when he was in Yale University, became a Christian. And because of his social justice obsession as a Marxist, when he became a Christian he said, well how did Christianity solve these problems? And he was in New England so he’d go into the libraries of New England and New York and some of Virginia, and you can go into the libraries and read the paperwork that the Christians in the 19th century wrote that explained how they did it. And that’s the source of that book.

So that’s the kind of stuff that when we get into the later part of Deuteronomy we’ll have that. There are answers in the Scriptures to every political problem. There are answers to every social problem. And these answers are answers that work. So we have this point and we’ve made the point over and over again on this other side that if you destroy a heart allegiance to God every pagan attempt to build an ethics without a foundation in God always winds up in subjectivism, always! It has to because the ultimate authority. If God is left out of the equation the ultimate authority of your standards of right and wrong have to come from somebody, and they either come from everybody and you have anarchy and a mob or they come from the strong leader who takes over and imposes his subjective ethic on everybody else.

The other thing to notice that we also point is that a ruptured relationship to the whole mess here says that that culture or that nation that is distorted like that is trying to live its life against the way God designed reality. And if you’re going to live your life against the designed reality—in other words, we use a machine contrary to the instruction manual—you’re going to have a problem. And so not only does this work but this is the cheapest economical society. Every time you have crime, every time you have defiance of God’s laws, you pay an economic price. That’s why in the Millennial Kingdom there will be prosperity, because people will live in accordance with the way God designed them. And the result of that is economic prosperity. But you can’t have economic prosperity if you’re going to have a collapse of the social structure. So that’s the answer to economics, you cannot get economics by a government program. You’ve got to get it by God’s program.

Then we finally have the slide, and this is the other big idea to take away, remember, is this slide that we’ve gone over several hundred times, but it bears repeating because the heart is the area is the area that needs fixing. So in this good/evil thing, while we’re between the fall of man and the coming judgment of man, we know from this diagram that there can never be a perfect environment until evil is dealt with. And so every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy will be done… Thy Kingdom come,” people kind of take that as nice religious words failing to understand that when you pray “Thy Kingdom come,” this is what you’re praying for; for the ultimate, complete and irrevocable separation of good and evil. And until that comes there can’t be a good social justice.

Now on your handout I’ve listed in a little box some modern examples of the violation of these principles. The first one is Marxism. Marxism failed to take into account the priority of the heart and resulted in massive corruption and lack of productivity in the USSR. It’s fascinating that tonight on Glen Beck he had a Russian businessman, an economist, and he asked the man, now you’re an American citizen and so forth, what do you see about the American economy and the American program. And the guy just looked at Glenn Beck and he said what I see is that you Americans are doing the same thing that ruined our Russia. You’re going the same direction, we experienced horrendous suffering and you are going to also if you keep going down this path of centralized planning. So Marxism fails to take the priority of the heart and it always results in corruption; everybody was corrupt in the communist bureaucracy. And therefore, there was no productivity because of the corruption, and you cannot have a viable society if you don’t have productivity.

Then we have Islamic Shariah. Islamic Shariah fails to take into account the priority of the heart and results in a tyrannical enforcement against corrupt hearts by leaders with corrupt hearts. You’re not going to get success out of that formula. It fails to take into account the priority of the heart and it results in tyrannical enforcement against corrupt hearts by leaders with corrupt hearts. The problem is evil is not being suppressed. And that’s why Moses is talking about the conquest but he’s talking about the heart, the heart, the heart, the heart, the heart, circumcise your heart because evil has to be dealt with and it starts being dealt with, not in a war but in an inner heart battle.

Socialism fails to take into account the priority of the heart and results in a corrupt bureaucracy, absolute inefficiency, an inefficient economy and basically lazy citizens. So that’s the problem and this always happens, just as, you know, 2 + 2 is 4. I’m not saying people are bad, this is just folly that grows out of starting in the wrong place. And that’s the take-away idea of Deuteronomy 5-11. We talked about genocide, we talked about holy war, they’re going to go in and conquer, but what Moses is arguing for in this book is, guys, before you go into that land and you try to conquer it, you’d better conquer your own heart. And he said that because the first generation didn’t do it. And so he lived through that for forty years and he saw failure after failure after failure after failure, so he finally said that’s it, we have got to straighten out the heart before we straighten out the Canaanites.

So that brings us to Deuteronomy 10:12 and we just reviewed that verse, verses 12-13, just to look at those verbs. There are five verbs in verses 12 and 13 and we want to trace those five verbs because they all describe the relationship with the Lord. “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD.” Fearing the Lord is making God a final authority. So that’s basic, that’s one of the aspects to test our relationship with the Lord as do we take His Word seriously, in every area, in our planning, whatever we are thinking, do we show “fear of the Lord.” We do it by showing and a respect for the authority of His Word. “…to walk in all His ways.” And you can’t walk in a way unless you know the way; you have to have a map to know which path to take. So the implication of that verb, “to walk in all His ways,” is to be aware of the Word of God, living in the Word of God enough so you know the pathways to take. And then you are “to love Him” and that’s allegiance, we could translate it as a desire to please Him. And then the next verb, “serve the LORD your God,” that’s talking about doing things that He wants us to do, that is, His work. And then finally it says, “keep the commandments of the LORD,” and that gets into the details and the teaching.

Then we said in verses 14-22 what Moses was doing there is going over the character of the God who we are to fear. See, it all fits if you trace out the logic of the thinking. And remember in verse 14 he starts out, “Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD, your God,” notice, “your God, the earth with all that is in it.” That’s God as Creator. So that’s what is to occupy our heart; that should be an axiom of all thinking, whether it’s in mathematics, whether it’s in English, whether it’s in business, whether it’s in personal relationships, whatever, do I understand who my Creator is?

And then he says, [15] “The LORD delighteth only in your fathers, to love them:” that’s He is the final chooser of history; He elected and set up history so Israel was the conduit of revelation. And so we have to respect the fact that we don’t control history. We can’t fix an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico; we cannot control history, He controls history, and He has a pattern to history. And one of the things that He has a pattern to is exclusivity of revelation. In other words, the revelation is revelation that comes only through Israel, ONLY through that; not through fifteen other religions, but ONLY through Israel.

And then he says, [16] “Therefore, circumcise the foreskin of your heart,” so again he’s getting back at this whole thing. So we go down through that passage, from verses 14-22, is the character of God; we have content. God is not a generic g-o-d thing, it’s sort of an empty word with three letters in it that we fill up with “oh I think this, here’s what I think God is like.” It isn’t that at all, g-o-d has a content to it that is historically revealed.

Now in chapter 11 we finish off this section. The first part goes from verses 1-12 and I think most of your translations will end the paragraph at the end of 12 and it starts a new paragraph at verse 13. It also probably breaks between verses 7 and 8. Now if you look at verses 1-7, that first chunk, look at the first verse and then watch what happens by the time you get to the third verse. See if you can see something about this paragraph that’s a little unusual. “Therefore you shall love the LORD your God, and keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments always, [2] Know today that I am not speaking to your children, who have now known and who have not seen the chastening of the LORD your God, His greatness and His mighty hand and His outstretched arm— [3] His signs and His acts [which He did in the midst of Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to all his land,]” and it goes on and on and on, all the way down to verse 6. That is all one sentence. That is a very, very long sentence, and when you look at that you have to back up and say okay, let’s think this through. If you were to write a sentence that long why would you write a sentence that long? Well, let’s think.

The first verse is clear, it’s a repetition of responsibility to love the Lord; it’s a response. What do you suppose is the reason he says verse 2? Anybody got an idea? Verse 2 is a signal verse, you want to catch this now because we have people on college campuses that can’t read this and comprehend something. In verse 2 the power of what’s going on here is that is showing you as a reader of Moses’ literature that he understands very clearly that revelation is not continuous. And he also understands that one generation can see an event and remember the event and describe the event and the next generation won’t have a clue. This means that what we’re reading is real history. If this were just a religious thing they could say well, you know, everybody kind of knows God does this and God causes it to rain and God does… you know, He keeps the sky blue and He gives fruitful fields. See, that’s the pagan Baal type thing; every generation has the same. They know what the spring weather is, they know what the fall weather is, they know the crop cycle, so forth and so on. We’re denying God does that providentially, but the kind of history that Moses is teaching is event-based history.

An event-based revelation is not, by definition, continuous. And if it isn’t continuous, what does that imply has to happen? It has to be remembered and taught. And that puts the responsibility back where? Parents; the home. The home is the great cultural engine and if that engine fails and falls apart you cannot maintain culture. It’s got to be passed through the home. And so what Moses is saying, I am not speaking about these things with your children because your children have never seen this, you children have never heard it, your children don’t know what Mount Sinai was, your children didn’t see the water coming out of the rocks, your children never saw the earth open up and suck down a people who were being disobedient to God.

So let’s look at some of the things that he’s listing here. He has four separate actions. In verse 3 he’s talking about the plagues on Egypt, very important because this was plagues not on any old country, it was plagues on the super power. And so here you have the collapse of the super power of the day because Yahweh, the God of Israel, was supreme over the gods of Egypt. So why do you people want to go back and worship the gods of Egypt? You see the logic there. Then in verse 4 he’s talking about the destruction of the greatest military engine of the day. This was basically an ancient version of today’s armored corps, totally destroyed in the Red Sea, a highly mobile force. Then in verse 5 you see he’s talking about the logistical supply, the military aid that God gave them all during the desert wilderness, what He did for you in the wilderness until you came to this place. And then he lists the last one, which is a sobering thing, you just remember what he did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, the sons of Reuben: how the earth opened up its mouth and swallowed them up, their households, their tents, and all the substance that was in their possession, in the midst of all Israel.” Notice, it was “in the midst of all Israel.” This was a campground, a big campground, and it was only the ground underneath their tents that opened up. That’s what the force of that thing was, it was right in the middle of everybody else’s home but it was only that one small plot of land that caved in. He says you guys saw that. And that’s why in verse 7 he concludes, after that long sentence, “but your eyes have seen every great act of the LORD which He did.”

See the strength. You read through this literature, and I’m sure those of you who have been here week after week as we’ve gone through this, you see these little historical notes; you remember when we talked about Og, the bed is still there, you can go see it. See, the Bible is very, very history centered. And that’s why Satan always tries to revise history to make the biblical reports of history disappear from consciousness. That’s why all of us here tonight, unless there’s some exception that I don’t know about, but all of you, myself included, have been given a very warped education because we have all learned falsely of the major themes of history are this and this and that. No, the major themes of history are what we’re reading here, the outworking of the contracts between God and Israel and God and the human race. That’s the substance of history, and then every little historical fact needs to be plugged into that concept, that perspective. Now we haven’t been taught that and that’s why we don’t know half of our own history.

So now we come to verse 8, whereas verses 1-7 he’s looking backwards, at something that the second generation, that are now adults, have seen. And now he’s going to look forward into the future where the third generation is going to come. “Therefore you shall keep every commandment which I command you today, that you may be strong, and go in and possess the land which you cross over to possess, [9] and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD swore to give your fathers.” Notice again that he is talking about what in verse 9. What does he keep bring in up when he talks about the flow of history? The Abrahamic Covenant, God’s contracts, history is run contractually for the stipulations in that contract. See, we’ve seen this dozens of time. Then he describes the land. Now look at the language that he uses to describe the land here and think of yourself out in that dry desert, basically all your life and your daddy and your mom, first generation, were telling you about what we had. We had all the water from the river Nile and we had all these wonderful farms back in Egypt and now we’re out here in this messy wilderness that Moses brought us into, and no water except when he hits a rock, and so, you know, what’s the contrast.

Look at the language in verses 10 and 11, “For the land which you go in to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have comer, where you sowed your seed and watered it by foot, as a vegetable garden.” Now what he’s talking about there is an irrigation pump and we know from archeology that these were little wooden pumps and they pumped water out of the Nile when it flooded and it was like a bicycle, they worked it with their feet. Now what theology is he getting at by using a water pump in the next verse. It isn’t like Egypt “where you sowed your seed and you watered it with your foot, [as a vegetable garden]” [11] “but the land which you cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven, [12] a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year.” What’s the theology? It’s God’s logistical grace. That it’s not human beings doing it; God is doing it and He supernaturally worked the climate for these people. And this was a time in history when that happened; it doesn’t happen today but it happened then.

So what are we learning from this? The first 12 verses of chapter 11 lay down the supernatural acts and events in history that show God is in charge, very, very history and event driven. And the events are not separated, because you have verses like verses 8 and 9 that link the events. Visualize a necklace with beads. The events are the beads, the wire or the string on the necklace—the covenant. So it’s the covenant that strings the beads together and gives the flow, the progress.

Now there’s some powerful applications of that and we won’t have time to go through all of it but let me explain in the little box under Roman III, where he starts to get into the closing emphasis. See where I have the word “Principle?” “We have true freedom of choice,” this flows out of, this is the ideas that flow out of this text, “We have true freedom of choice, (which includes ‘opportunity for blessing’) but can’t dictate the consequences.” We’ve already seen that again and again, but now here we have something else. “The is rational structure in the ethical realm that implies rational structure in every other realm.” In other words, if they’re going to be blessed with obedience to God’s stipulated commandments, here we have the commandments, here they are, and if I’m obedient to those, that is, Israel corporately, if I, the nation Israel, if I am obedient to these specific propositions, then I get blessed. And the blessing is physical and geophysical through the climate, because that blesses my business. We are talking business here, economy, a thriving home and all of that; that’s coming about because I follow these principles. And then if I throw out these principles, these propositions that I can read, without special dictionaries, I don’t have to consult three PhD’s to figure out what the covenant stipulations are; they’re quite plain. If I follow those plain principles or I defy them, now I get cursed, my business goes to pot; everything goes wrong, the climate messes up and so forth.

Now if you live in that kind of an environment you would have to walk away thinking there’s a reason and a purpose… right? There’s a purpose behind this, there’s a design behind this. This is comforting to know. There’s a security that comes out of knowing this because it tells you that ultimately there is reasoning behind everything that’s going on. If you don’t have that you’ll always be insecure. Insecurity is bred that way. This is why children that are raised in very permissive homes are always insecure. Ask any child psychologist. You know, when the terrible twos happen and the kid looks at you and you say don’t do it and they put their hand right out there just to see if you mean what you mean. That’s why they call it the terrible twos. That’s important as those children grow that they understand there is structure here. Little boy, little girl, you don’t build the structure, it’s already here before you got here and you’re going to have to live with it, sorry. So that’s security and that may sound nasty but that actually breeds strength. You can’t be strong; you can’t be secure, if you’re not really sure there’s meaning and purpose. You can’t do that.

So now we come to verses 13-17, the next section, and here we have a summary of the blessings and cursings. So here’s that background talking about, this is why the blessing and cursing section, don’t just kiss them off, or write them off. These blessing and cursing sections are crucial to show that history has purpose and there is rationality in existence. If you operate out of a framework of unbelief you cannot attain rationality. Reason—if you don’t believe the Bible reason is just a feature of your brain, and it may or may not fit what’s out there. So you don’t have a basis, other than if you are made in God’s image and history runs the way the Bible says it runs.

Okay, now it says, in verse 13, “And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments, [which I command you today], to love the LORD your God [and serve Him] with all your heart and soul, [14] I will give you rain for your land….” See what I’m saying? Climate, and this is not talking about CO2 emissions; this is not talking about anything they’re physically doing to the atmosphere. They’re not even touching the atmosphere. It has nothing to do with a human interaction with the atmosphere; it’s the atmosphere under God’s sovereignty responds to the spiritual state of the people. I’m just wondering if this whole oil spill in the Gulf isn’t a divine act to show a principle, that man ultimately cannot run the system. And here’s the most powerful nation on earth, sitting there sucking our thumbs for fifty days trying to figure out how to stop this thing, and the finest engineers in the world are trying to work the problem, and they have a problem. Doesn’t that demonstrate or shouldn’t it demonstrate humility; that here we are, we think we can control everything, we’re going to have world policies, we’re going to solve this problem, we’re going to solve that problem. We can’t even plug an oil well! There’s some lesson in this, a lesson of humility that we are not finally in charge. And this is what God wants Israel to know: I’ll give you the rain but I’m going to give you the rain if you obey Me. And you can cut yourself and you can go up and cry to Baal and you can do all you want, those clouds are not going to drop rain until I say so, and I’m not saying so until you get right with me.

Now that’s the cause/effect, totally different than what you get in physics, where it’s just the material thing, I can write an equation and here’s the initial conditions, here’s the boundary conditions, plug, plug, plug, plug, plug, plug, and here’s the result. It doesn’t work this way. Look at the text. [15] “And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled. [16] Take heed [to yourselves] lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods [and worship them].” And that gets into idolatry and we’ve covered that a number of times and I just put those same questions on y our handout, the metaphysical question, the epistemological question, the moral question, if you answer those questions the wrong way you’re going to have a problem. Unfortunately it takes a lot of conversation with some people to even get them to understand what the question is. It’s sad. But that’s what God is saying.

[17] “lest the LORD’s anger be aroused against you,” and what does He do? He changes the climate, I will “shut up the heavens, and there’s not going to be any rain, and the land yield will not produce, and you will perish from the good land which the LORD is giving you.” So that introduces the rationality that they are in an orderly environment.

Now in verses 18-21 what does he do? He’s said in verse 1-7, I’m talking to the adults now, not the children. Now he’s obviously now talking about the future, the third, fourth and fifth generations, so what has to happen. Verse 18, we’re right back where we were in chapter 6, “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul,” because the climate is going to be there in the third generation, the climate and the fields are going to be there in the fourth generations, the climate and the fields are going to be there in the fifth generation. So if the climate is controlled by their response to God’s command, then one would conclude that it’s important that the third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth generation know those commands. Well, how are they going to know the commands and how are they going to know and have confidence that the Lord can pull this off if they weren’t out in the wilderness? Transmission from father and mother to children; father and mother to children, father and mother to children.

[18] “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand…. [19] You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way.” Boy, isn’t that a familiar text, there it is, and there again it’s God’s design. And why is that? The purpose of the education in verse 21, purpose clause, “that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.” See how optimistic the text is? Yeah, he talks about the cursing but he’s laying out for these people opportunity and that’s why on the outline I’ve indicated the title of these things, an opportunity to perpetuate a godly culture. He’s throwing that opportunity out to them. This can happen people, this can actually take place; I’m offering you this opportunity.

And then verse 21 is a very wonderful way in the Hebrew, where it just says, “like the days of the heavens upon the earth.” What he’s saying by that is… “the days of heaven” would be eternity, and so he’s saying that if you will follow the law you can be in the land for years and years and years and enjoy blessing after blessing after blessing.

We come to verse 22 and now we’re in another section; now he’s talking about the conquest. “For if you carefully keep all these commandments [which I command you to do—] to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, [and to hold fast to Him— [23] then the LORD will drive out all these nations.” So he keeps going back to the issue of obedience or disobedience. He’s talked about the climate, he’s talked about the business, he’s talked about training children, and now he goes back to the conquest, and it’s all the same theme. It’s up to you to live your choice; I’m giving you your choice. And by the way, there’s a cute little real estate thing in verse 24, it ought to be sent to the U.N.: the land that I’m giving you, it goes “from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the River Euphrates,” that’s half of Iraq, “even to the Western Sea,” that the Mediterranean, that includes today’s Syria, Lebanon, and the western half of Iraq. So if the world has a problem with Israel occupying the land, and Mrs. Thomas or whatever her name is in the newsroom, doesn’t like that, imagine what she’d do if she saw this dimension to Israel’s land.

And then finally he’s going to look forward in time to a covenant renewal, which we’ve mentioned before but you’ll see that this whole section that we’re ending tonight on the heart, the heart, the heart, is all about a relationship. And we said that relationship in the Bible is always controlled, described and monitored by a public contract. It’s not like the young people today where so and so had a relationship for two and a half minutes. This is talking about a real relationship, the model relationship between Israel and God, and it is covenantal. And we have covenants because it stipulates and describes what the agreement is. Covenants describe responsibilities, and covenants are there to measure conformity or lack thereof. And covenants are public and they’re witnessed by other people. And that’s why we have marriage services. We don’t just shack up because there is a need for control and stability in the relationships.

So, [26] “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: [27] The blessing if you obey [the commandments of the LORD your God] which I command you today, [28] and the curse, if you do not obey [the commandment of the LORD your God] but turn aside [from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known].” Verse 29, “And it shall be,” verse 29, “it shall be when the LORD your God has brought you into the land which you go to possess, that you shall put the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal.” Now these are two hills, actually, that are in the heartland of Israel, they’re right up here, this is the north end of the Dead Sea, this is Jerusalem, up in here, Jericho is here, you look up here and this is Ebal and Gerizim. This is Shechem and this is the area where they are going to have a covenant renewal ceremony. So they’re right over here now, they’re going to come in, they’re going to conquer the land here, and then when they finish they have to go up here and have a covenant renewal.

In other words, it’ll be a generation or two and Moses wants that generation to commit to the covenant because they weren’t around when the first covenant was made. So it’s the same contract, it’s just that it’s reiterated. And when I was there, back many years ago, I was on Mount Gerizim and this is the one hill here, right here, a buddy of mine standing there, this is the one hill and over in the background is the second hill, and down here is Shechem. This is the site of Shechem. So that gives you an idea. Again, it’s more like hills but they call it mountains. Those are the two mountains, and they have a team of Levites and they would yell off of one of these mountains, they would yell the cursings of the Mosaic Law, and here they would yell the blessings of the Mosaic Law. So people would stand in the middle here, and you can see, it’s pretty low down, those are little houses down there, so they must have had loud voices or something for the people to hear, but that was the covenant renewal, as they would yell back and forth across that valley.

[30] “Are they not on the other side of the Jordan, toward the setting sun, in the land of the Canaanites who dwell in the plain opposite Gilgal, beside the terebinth trees of Moreh?” See, there’s one of those little historical details, see he’s saying see, here it is, there’s the place. [31] “For you will cross over the Jordan and go in to possess the land which the LORD God is giving you, and you will possess it and dwell in it. [32] And you will be careful to observe all the statutes and judgments which I set before you today.”

And that ends that section of the book of Deuteronomy. So hopefully now, we haven’t got into any of the specific things but we’ve got into the mental attitude principles. And when we come back again and restart we’ll get into the other things.

Are there any questions, anybody wants to bring up, on anything? Yes, on page 2, socialism? Oh, “our heart is the battleground for our holy war against cosmic thinking. We have our own holy war, in other words, going on in our heart and I think it’s obvious that Moses wants that dealt with before you worry about conquering the land. Anybody have any other questions? Those of you who heard Helen Thomas, she’s been a peace nut in the White House press room for five or six Presidents, and she blew her stack about Israel to get the heck out of the land, go back to Poland, and of course, she just lost her job as a result of that little remark. But she hasn’t read The Book; who has title to the land? The Palestinians don’t, sorry. But anyway. We don’t know, the Palestinians, are they the descendants of the Philistines? The Palestinians are a mix; they’re a mixture of people. Remember the tribe of Ammon? The name of that memory is the capital of Jordan; Amman is the modern survival of that name Ammon. So there is some of those tribal names that still survive to this day and they’re probably genetically, if you could trace the DNA, those people probably are related to that. But the thing you want to remember about the Palestinian question is this: we talk endlessly about Israel hurting the Palestinians, what has the Muslim Palestinians done to the Christian Palestinians. How come the Christian population on the West Bank has declined in something like, twenty, thirty percent down to two? That’s because they’re being persecuted, not by the Jews; they’re being persecuted by the Muslims. So you know, let’s keep visible some other dynamics that are going on here.

The significance of Ebal and Gerizim? Why pick these two mountains? I’m not sure of that, why, it’s just we know geographically it was in the center of the land, so it’s a very central place where they all could come to, and God seems to be, later in the Kings and Samuel, He’s concerned about the people coming down into this area, because they’re all the way up in here, they have to come down to the ceremony, to come here, they have to come from over here, they have to come from over here and that was some of the things that were going on here when the kingdom divided and so on. So I don’t know, whether that was due to that or what but that was the anchor point for the covenant. The only thing I can think of that might be interesting from the New Testament point of view is it was in this area, very close to hear, where Jesus encountered the woman at the well. The well of Jacob is right in that area, where the Samaritans came, and it’s significant that the first place in His whole ministry where Jesus started interacting with people who were not pure Jews was right in that same area. I don’t know if that has significance or not.