Deuteronomy 29:18-20 - God's Word and Loving Obedience Result in the Abundant Life.

Deuteronomy 29:18-20 - God's Word and Loving Obedience Result in 
the Abundant Life. 

Deuteronomy 29:18-20 (NLT) I am making this covenant with you so 
that no one among you--no man, woman, clan, or tribe--will turn away 
from the Lord our God to worship these gods of other nations, and so 
that no root among you bears bitter and poisonous fruit. 19 "Those 
who hear the warnings of this curse should not congratulate 
themselves, thinking, 'I am safe, even though I am following the desires of 
my own stubborn heart.' This would lead to utter ruin! 20 The Lord 
will never pardon such people. Instead his anger and jealousy will 
burn against them. All the curses written in this book will come down 
on them, and the Lord will erase their names from under heaven.  

Deuteronomy 29:18-20 (MSG) Don't let down your guard lest even 
now, today, someone--man or woman, clan or tribe--gets sidetracked from 
God, our God, and gets involved with the no-gods of the nations; lest 
some poisonous weed sprout and spread among you, 19 a person who 
hears the words of the Covenant-oath but exempts himself, thinking, 
"I'll live just the way I please, thank you," and ends up ruining life 
for everybody. 20 God won't let him off the hook. God's anger and 
jealousy will erupt like a volcano against that person. The curses 
written in this book will bury him. God will delete his name from the 

   Picture this: You're driving along at fifty miles per hour on 
a cloudy day. The road ahead is suddenly narrow, with deep, 
unforgiving ditches on both sides. But the two endless lines of fluorescent 
orange cones that line the road on either side keep you out of trouble. 
   If you think of the curses in this reading as fluorescent 
orange cones, you come pretty close to their meaning. If you understand 
that those cones are really doing you a favor, you can't help but be 
happy about them. The cones help everyone. The other chapters in this 
section of Deuteronomy are proof enough of that.  
   There are other road signs in today's reading: something to 
remember when it looks as if the world is falling apart; seeking God with 
all your heart, soul, and strength; and following a plan of action 
no matter how badly you've sinned.  
   Read Deuteronomy 27 - 30. 
   The curses God wanted his people to remember were a series of 
oaths, spoken by the priests and affirmed by those listening, in which 
the people promised to stay away from wrong actions (Deuteronomy 27: 
15-26). Those saying Amen "So be it," were taking responsibility for 
their actions.  
   Sometimes looking at a list of curses like this gives us the 
idea that God has a bad temper and is out to crush anyone who steps 
out of line. But we need to see these restrictions not as threats 
but as loving warnings about the plain facts of life. Wrongdoing 
toward others or God has tragic consequences, and God is merciful 
enough to tell us this truth plainly. His strong words help us avoid 
the serious consequences that result from neglecting God or wronging 
others. Just as we warn children to stay away from hot stoves and busy 
streets, God warns us to stay away from dangerous actions. [The One Year 
Through the Bible Devotional by Dave Veerman re Deu. 27 - 30] 

   Satan deceives many with the plausible theory that God's love 
for His people is so great that He will excuse sin in them; he 
represents that while the threatenings of God's word are to serve a certain 
purpose in His moral government, they are never to be literally 
fulfilled. But in all His dealings with his creatures God has maintained 
the principles of righteousness by revealing sin in its true 
character--by demonstrating that its sure result is misery and death. The 
unconditional pardon of sin never has been, and never will be. Such pardon 
would show the abandonment of the principles of righteousness, which 
are the very foundation of the government of God. It would fill the 
unfallen universe with consternation. God has faithfully pointed out the 
results of sin, and if these warnings were not true, how could we be 
sure that His promises would be fulfilled? That so-called benevolence 
which would set aside justice is not benevolence but weakness.  
   God is the life-giver. From the beginning all His laws were 
ordained to life. But sin broke in upon the order that God had 
established, and discord followed. So long as sin exists, suffering and death 
are inevitable. It is only because the Redeemer has borne the curse 
of sin in our behalf that man can hope to escape, in his own 
person, its dire results. {PP 522} [Remnant SOP SB re Deu. 30] 

Perhaps the best analogy to the commitment God asks us to make 
to Him is the wedding ceremony. The wedding comes as the 
culmination of months (or better, years) of gradually coming to know another 
person. In time friendship blossoms into love, or initial attraction 
deepens into appreciation. Then each person realizes, "I want to spend 
my life with this individual!" Then the two plan a wedding--a 
ceremony to announce to one and all that two people have decided to 
cleave only to each other, for better or for worse, in sickness and in 
health, till death do them part. Yet it's fascinating. That ceremony, 
the culmination of so many young women's dreams, isn't an end but a 
beginning. It is the beginning of a lifetime of acting on the decision that 
the ceremony marked. It is the start of a lifetime of making choices 
shaped by the fact that at a particular point in time, two people stood 
side by side and committed themselves to one another. For then. And 
forever. It's just this kind of ceremony that is in view in Deuteronomy 
30. Moses calls on the new generation to make a life-shaping 
decision. Moses calls on Israel to make a commitment to God, to choose 
life with Him, and then to carry out that commitment the rest of 
their lives. As Moses says, the life this commitment calls for "is not 
too difficult for you or beyond your reach." That life is spelled 
out in the word God has given us, a near word, in our mouths and in 
our hearts. Make and keep this commitment, Moses promised, and "you 
will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you." Hold 
back or turn away, and "you will certainly be destroyed." We 
Christians need to realize that our initial relationship with Jesus is 
intended to grow and deepen to the point at which we too realize, "I want 
to commit my life to this Person who loves me." That realization 
may come in church, in response to a pastor's call. It may happen in 
the privacy of your own room, reading devotional literature like 
this book. When the realization does come, then you too have a 
decision to make. Will I commit myself fully to God, realizing that this 
decision will shape my choices for the rest of my life? Perhaps Moses 
himself gives us the most compelling reason to make that commitment now. 
"This day," he says, "I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you 
that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now 
choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may 
love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. 
For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years in the 
land He swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" (vv. 
19-20). [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary Deut. 30:11-20] 


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