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Deuteronomy 30:2-4 really stuck out to me. Even after people turn away from God, he still loves us and calls us back. What amazing love!

i think it's amazing how although God was full of wrath that the Israelites tested Him, while sinning against Him, He still delivered them. This is demonstration of His magnitude of love.

Deuteronomy 29:1-30:20


I am overwhelmed with joy upon reading today’s Old Testament passage. The God we serve, the God who has adopted every believer into His family so we can cry out, Abba, Father—Daddy, is a gracious, merciful and loving God. He loves us so much that He didn’t give us a contract, which if violated by any of the parties becomes null and void, but He gave us a covenant.

A Covenant if violated, even by both parties, still stands ready to be put back in force when either party comes to its senses. Yet God never, never walks away from His Word so even when we are “faithless,” He remains “faithful” to His Word (2 Timothy 2:13).

Therefore keep the words of this covenant and do them, that you may deal wisely and prosper in all that you do. All of you stand today before the Lord your God--your heads, your tribes, your elders, and your officers, even all the men of Israel, Your little ones, your wives, and the stranger and sojourner in your camp, from the hewer of your wood to the drawer of your water-- That you may enter into the covenant of the Lord your God, and into His oath which He makes with you today, That He may establish you this day as a people for Himself, and that He may be to you a God as He said to you and as He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is not with you only that I make this sworn covenant But with future Israelites who do not stand here with us today before the Lord our God, as well as with those who are here with us this day. (Deuteronomy 29:9-15 AMP)

God is a God of generations. If I fail to keep my end up, the covenant is not voided out but the next generation, my off-spring, if they decide to accept what God has for them, are not restrained, prohibited nor hampered by may failures. God is soooooo Awesome and Loving!!

Grace and peace,
Ramona

The Luke commentary at bible.org is really good! Built for the average person to get inside the texts.

A good ending to the chapter 11 commentary:
"Our Lord wants these Pharisees and experts in the law to look at their hearts, not in the light of their own teachings, but in the light of the Scriptures, and in the searchlight of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit of God, working through the Word of God, which exposes our inward sins. May each of us go to the Scriptures, asking God as David did in Psalm 119 to reveal His Word to us, and also to reveal our sin. May each of us seek God from the heart to have a pure heart, by His grace, and for His glory."

AMEN!


Dcypl,

Thank you for that prayer and I receive it.

Deuteronomy 29 (NKJV)
12
that you may enter into covenant with the LORD your God, and into His oath, which the LORD your God makes with you today,
13
that He may establish you today as a people for Himself, and that He may be God to you, just as He has spoken to you, and just as He has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
14
“I make this covenant and this oath, not with you alone,
15
but with him who stands here with us today before the LORD our God, as well as with him who is not here with us today
19
and so it may not happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall have peace, even though I follow the dictates [ OR... stubbornness ] of my heart’—as though the drunkard could be included with the sober.

Deuteronomy 30 (NKJV)
6
And 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 with all your soul, that you may live.

~~~
See this note from the Amplified Bible on Deuteronomy 29:19:

"It is on the strength of the Lord's oath to be Israel's God and so to protect them that this Israelite flatters himself into thinking he is secure, no matter how he may behave. In the history of religion such a delusion has been lamentably frequent, and persons depending upon the unlimited protection of election have presumed on this and recklessly indulged in evil (The Cambridge Bible). The Bible emphasizes the 'security of the saints,' but it is equally emphatic concerning the insecurity of those in conscious and continued indifference to God (Ezek. 3:20; 18:24, 26; Gal. 6:8; James 1:21; II Pet. 1:10, 11; Rev. 22:14)."

~~~

NOTE:
THE WRATH OF GOD AGAINST SIN.

Though it may be uncomfortable to ponder this, we need to remember this:

Jesus and the Father are One-- in essence and in unity. This is precisely why Jesus was crucified-- because He claimed to be the Son of God which, to the Jewish thinking given to them by God, also means He is God.

So whatever God the Father did in the OT Jesus is also doing and affirming. This is the essence of what the Lord Jesus meant when He said, "I only do what I see the Father doing" (John 5:19, 30)

This fits with Luke 11 (NKJV):
39
Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness.
40
Foolish ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also?
41
But rather give alms of such things as you have; then indeed all things are clean to you.

Luke 12 (NKJV)
1
In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
2
For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.

Whatever is hidden in the dark -- whether good or bad -- will be brought into the light, and our works will be judged.

Psalm 78
5
For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children;
6
That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born,
hat they may arise and declare them to their children,
7
That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments;
8
And may not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not set its heart aright,
And whose spirit was not faithful to God.

~~~
God has left a witness in the heavens and has given witness through His Word. His Spirit is drawing all men to Himself, and to His witness in the world.

GET THIS: We have a VITAL part to play in this, but how many of us really participate?

We are called to "share in the fellowship of His sufferings". Obviously, ONLY JESUS could bear all the sins of humanity. But, our part is to JOIN THE LORD JESUS IN INTERCESSION for those who need the Lord.

Romans 1 (NKJV)
18
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19
because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
20
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
21
because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22
Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23
and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
24
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
25
who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

~~~
Romans 2 (NKJV)
16
in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Acts 17 (NKJV)
30
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,
31
because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

Vance

Thanks, Vance, for your exhortation to "join the Lord Jesus," in prayer, and may I add, in proclaiming that He only is the way of salvation. Someone once asked a friend of mine, "If everyone else was doing what you are doing to spread the gospel, would this world be reached; would the Great Commission be fulfilled in our lifetime?"

I agree that there must be secrets God is reserving to reveal to us only when we meet Him face-to-face. Yet it also is an awesome, humbling, privileged truth that we are able to "read God's mind." ---Wasn't the greatest mystery, or secret, of the ages the wisdom of God, which is Christ crucified? ( 1Cor.2:2). And we have entered into the "foolishness" of this wisdom, that God chooses us, the foolish and weak of the world, to have faith and to have His Spirit indwell us. So with His Spirit, we are able to "search all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God...

FOR WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the MIND of Christ." 1Cor.2:12-16. Wow! His grace is beyond understanding!

Deut 29:22
"Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the LORD has afflicted it." NIV

In the 1800's several people wrote about this land. The most notable is Mark Twain:

Mark Twain in the Land of Israel in 1867
Mark Twain
"The Innocents Abroad or the New Pilgrim's Progress"
Volume II, p.216-359 (harper and brothers 1922)

"We traversed some miles of desolate country whose soil is rich enough but is given wholly to weeds--a silent, mournful expanse... A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action. We reached Tabor safely... We never saw a human being on the whole route. We pressed on toward the goal of our crusade, renowned Jerusalem. The further we went the hotter the sun got and the more rocky and bare, repulsive and dreary the landscape became... There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country. No landscape exists that is more tiresome to the eye than that which bounds the approaches to Jerusalem... Jerusalem is mournful, dreary, and lifeless. I would not desire to live here. It is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken Land... Israel sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies... Israel is desolate and unlovely. And why should it be otherwise? Can the Curse of the Deity beautify a land? Israel is no more of this work-day world."

Above was excerpted over many pages. The Book is a free read here:
http://mark-twain.classic-literature.co.uk/the-innocents-abroad/

Some say Twain was a snobby American who went during the summer. Others of that time comment on Israel at the bottom of linked page.
http://www.amichai.com/mustread/defend/land/

Deut 30

Notice here the unconditional promise. There are no "if...then" only "when...then". It will happen and then I will....

Seven Promises:
1) vs.1 there will be a dispersal.

2)vs. 2 a future repentance of Israel in the dispersion.

3) vs. 3 is odd for the original Hebrew Text indicates the Lord will "return". Indicating the Lord will return into their lives, and gather them from all the nations.
http://www.blueletterbible.org/tmp_dir/c/1144362046-9604.html#3 (Still chewing on this one????)

4)vs. 4-5 Israel is to be restored to the Land.

5)vs.6 There will be a national conversion. The Lord willl circumcise their heart(s), and cut off the Flesh (of the world) to leave a spiritual core.

6)vs.7 Israels enemies will be judged.

7)vs.9 Israel will then receive her full blessing.

Notice that they were to obey (and love) God and they would prosper. Israel did not and they were dispersed. So when do they come back according to these passages. When they obey (and love) God? NO.

When they REPENT God will show compassion and gather them back to the land. When they are back in the land, and because they had repented - THEN the Lord will circumcise their hearts. Thus making it possible for the people to obey and love God. Not only possible, but want (desire) to love and obey.

It is the same for us: First we must repent and "turn back to God" and accept Jesus as our Savior. Then we are given a regenerated (circumcised) heart that enables us to want to obey (and love) God.

Bob at bible.org has a pretty good list of summary points for Deut. under the CONCLUSION section:
http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=1402

We must give God the credit here. Deutero 30:6 says that God circumcizes hearts, and THEN the people love with their heart and soul. The problem with the Jews is that they had physical circumcision and not spiritual. The remedy is only an act of God. Once the hard heart is circumcized, man may love his God

As I continued reading and meditating on today’s Old Testament passages on my way to work, verses came to my mind from the New Testament, and some where the Words of Jesus. As Moses rehearsed to the people how God brought them through the wilderness in chapter 29: 2-9, I could hear Jesus speaking,

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:28-33 KJVR)

In the 30th chapter when Israel is told that when she finds herself in her exile and returns to God and then the Lord will restore her “fortunes,” I heard the voice of John speak,

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 KJVR)

The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed. Before I began this year’s readings, that statement was something I had heard and had just given it mental assent. However, this year mental assenting has given way to heartfelt understanding. I have also been impacted by verses 11-20, in chapter 30 had have a deeper understanding that the life I walk in is all about choices—choosing life or death, blessing or curses, and how I chose is not done by ballot but by my decision to obey or disobey God’s commands. But, even at the crossroad of decision God doesn’t leave me clueless, He gives me a great bit giant intimation that is BIGGER much greater clue than vowel given in the game, Wheel of Fortune, and I don’t even have to buy it. God tells me which one to chose, He tells me to choose life.

I echo Dwayne's endorsement of Bob's commentary on Luke 11:

http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=1108

(same as Mike's link)

Sometimes we are all pressed for time to take on other readings. If nothing else, I would encourage people to scroll down and at least read the "Conclusions" of these bible.org commentaries. Then if something pricks your interest, you can always scroll back up and read more of the commentary.

Just one exerpt from Bob's conclusion section on Luke 11 that addresses some points discussed here on the blog:

"How is it that people so committed to holiness can stray so far? If I understand this text correctly, we would have to say that it is by perverting the Scriptures. Just as Satan sought to use the Scriptures to tempt our Lord, so he employs the Scriptures to defeat the Christian. For those who hold the Scriptures in high esteem, Satan seeks to distort their grasp of the Scriptures. He accomplishes this is by working to make God’s Word merely a duty, and not delight, to make it a burden, and not a blessing. If the grace of God can be overshadowed by man’s guilt, if man’s efforts can be the focus rather than God’s, if the ministry of the Spirit can be set aside, then Satan has achieved his purpose. And if Satan can get our attention on but one portion of the Scriptures (as the Law was for the Pharisees) and not on the whole Bible, then we are sure to have a distorted grasp of God’s revelation. Also, if he can cause us to focus on one area of truth, to the exclusion of others, the Scriptures can be (mis)used to produce sin and not righteousness. The heart attitude with which we come to the Scriptures, as well as the way we study them plays a vital role in our Christian walk."

Luke 12

"Fear" has been discussed in the past regarding reverence or awe of God.

Bob addresses the "fear" in Luke 12:4-7 under:

The Lord’s Second
Argument Against Hypocrisy
(12:4-7)

"...Jesus did not seek to minimize the fact that many of them might die, but did seek to put that death into perspective. He told His disciples that physical death was not to be feared, but rather spiritual death—spending eternity in hell...."

http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=1109

By the way this is one of twelve times the word "geena or Gehenna" is used in the gospels. Seems pretty explicit to me. After the body is dead, (then) has the power to cast you into hell. Greek word for "power" is "exousia" and is absolute authority.

Definition of geena:
Hell is the place of the future punishment called "Gehenna" or "Gehenna of fire". This was originally the valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned; a fit symbol of the wicked and their future destruction.

[NOTE: Not to be confused with the fire of purification, but rather it is the fire of consumation.]

"But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them"
I think maybe God wants our hearts 1st...then obedience will follow.Maybe,just maybe,the Pharisees had started by studying,trying to understand the Law...but missed loving God in the process.While growing up,my dad was my hero,I didn't obey him out of fear..I wanted his approval..God wants us to love his laws("I will write my law in their hearts).Many times in the old testament I came across"they hardened their hearts"...we've all heard about the romeo and juliet story...people who do crazy things out of love...so why don't we crazily obey God out of love:))

I think Anka has a good point. God does want our hearts first. That's why He gives us new ones. Obedience of course follows, because we become the children of God, for whom the Lord has prepared good works, beforehand, for us to do. (Eph. 2:10).

Once newly created, we love the Lord, and stay connected to the vine. (Jn 15).

The pharisees, as you rightly note, fell into the trap of studying for the sake of knowledge of the Law, and not of knowledge of God.

Yes, Anka—It stands to reason since Jesus said “…out of the abundance of the mouth the heart speaks.” (Luke 6:45) We speak in many ways, by our words, actions and by our spirits. If our heart is the “seat” of determinate action then once our heart is changed and our minds are renewed by the Word and with the Word, our lifestyle will reflect Jesus, the Word of God. So is there really something called a “slip of the tongue?” Hmmm.

Sadly, the slips are real. Even in the REAL world marriages are, sadly, broken. We break faith with our dearest one with whom we commit to become ONE FLESH.

Because we let our fickle nature, sinfulful and selfish self prevail... we break our commitments.

Spiritually, it is possible to break our commitment with the Lord. Just look around to see how many lapsed Christians we have who, sadly, will never return to God and even cause many others to break lose.

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