We have mentioned this before, but we wanted you to notice how many times “today” is used. Since what Moses is saying is so important, we should see what he says to us “today.” In Deut 29.10-15 he says that this covenant is not only for those standing there “today” but it is also with those who are not “with us here today.” That includes those who believe “today.”
Deut 29.16-21 says you have heard about the nations and their idolatry, and you have heard about the blessings and the curses. They knew all this, but Moses says he has something else to tell them, which includes those who are not there “today.” Should there be anyone who says “I shall have peace though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart” the Lord will single him out for adversity from all the tribes of Israel according to these curses of the covenant which are written in this book of the law. How is that applied? That is like people today who say, “I am saved and I am free from the law. I don’t have to obey the Lord in the Torah. I have the peace of God on this in my heart and I will not do what God commanded.” So, what happens? His name will be blotted out from under heaven. The anger of the Lord will burn against that person.
Anyone who says they have called on the name of the Lord, received salvation, has the Spirit/Shekinah within them, has assurance of salvation and peace with God, but is stubborn and says, “I don’t need to (or have to) obey the Lord in the commandments, will not learn, and does whatever they “feel” has a big problem. We don’t believe that accepting Yeshua once and that’s it is correct, God must “know you” also (Matt 7.21-23). God has the power to save, and his mercy and forgiveness covers you but we must get up every morning and make the decision to trust and believe in him, and walk in his commandments as they apply.
We better hope that’s what the grace of God recognizes. Our hearts must be inclined towards walking in the Torah, and his grace, mercy, compassion and forgiveness continues to keep us (Jude 24; Col 1.17). Don’t think that when we stand before the Lord we are going to be able to argue bible verses and theology with God. He won’t argue, he knows our hearts and whether or not we are inclined to his Torah or to evil (no Torah or “lawlessness”).
Let’s make this clear. If it wasn’t for his great mercy, we are all lost. We are not to trample underfoot the things of God (Heb 10.28-29). Rom 6.1 asks, “Shall we sin (break the commandments) so that grace may abound?” The answer is “No. God forbid.” Yeshua paid the price for those who have faith and believe. Do we value his sacrifice and treat him as Lord? Moses is very specific on how to treat him as Lord.
The purpose of the adversity in Deut 29.21 is to get the person to repent. They realize, “I am not getting the blessing, so I must not be walking in the truth. Something is not right.” Remember, he is Lord and we are mere men. Salvation is not a license to disobey the Torah. We should not believe that we have got it all figured out, either. We need to be a part of this great salvation because we won’t make it if we are not. Having a desire to keep the commandments is the evidence that we have life (Jam 2.14-26). Just saying, “I have peace in my life and I know God and believe in “Jesus” or “Yeshua” won’t get it done. The Devil believes (Jam 2.19). There better be more than that in our hearts. We should have a desire to keep the Torah, and that is a good sign God has given us eternal life (Jer 31.33).
Deut 29.22-29 was spoken over 3500 years ago and the nations have said these verses for over 2000 years. Moses knew they would turn away from the Lord and would be scattered. This happened with Babylon, and later with Rome. The “secret things belong to the Lord” is how and why he has dealt with Israel the way he has (Rom 11.35-36). The Scriptures contain many secret things and many revealed things. We have no control over the hidden evil of others, but we are not to ignore the open evil that can destroy a society. Today, we are living in a time where homosexuality is accepted and taught to our children, where children are murdered in abortion and corruption is everywhere. We must stand up against these evil things in light of God’s word.
Deut 30.1-10 is a very important passage. Various forms of the word “shuv” (return) is used. This is the basic word for repentance (teshuvah). The ultimate goal of teshuvah is completion and perfection in the Lord. But, the usage here is talking about our teshuvah, and sometimes it is the Lord’s heart doing the returning (v 3). This is called the Redemption.
In these verses, Israel has been banished to the nations. Then they call to mind the blessings and curses and return to the Lord, then the Lord will restore them from captivity. But how can Israel be able to obey God in “all that I have commanded” when Israel has no Temple, priesthood, korbanot, festivals and they live outside the land? They were to obey what applies to them at the time, and God considers it obedience to the whole.
In Deut 30.6 it says, “Moreover, the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul, in order that you may live.” The word “live” is used in a spiritual sense and it means “born again” or “born from above” and this shows us that this is not a new concept in John 3.9-10. Being “stiff-necked” (Deut 10.16) is the same as not having faith (Exo 32.9, 33.3-5, 34.9, Deut 9.6, 2 Chr 30.8, Acts 7.5). So, circumcision of the heart means “born again” in the Epistles (Rom 2.29; Col 2.11 for instance).
In Part 26, we will pick up here and get into Deut 30 and John 3 and see what Yeshua told Nicodemus about being “born again.” Deut 30 will be the background for other things that Yeshua told Nicodemus, and we will show that the concept of being born again is based in the Torah, and has always been the message of the Torah. Nicodemus was scolded by Yeshua for being “the” teacher of Israel and not knowing these concepts.