DEUTERONOMY SEVEN, lesson 2

 

V. 9 speaks of keeping His covenant and mercy to a thousand generations with those who love Him. If we would take this literally, this would be anywhere from 4,000 years (at 40 years per generation) to 10,000 years (at 100 years per generation). This would be how long this principle will be in effect. Really, it will be until after heaven and earth pass away.

1. V. 10 talks about hating Him. How does a person hate God, or what shows a hatred for Him, Jn. 14:15, 21, 23; 15:10? a) Hint: What is the opposite of love? Therefore, the definition of "loveth me not" in Jn. 14:24 would be what? ___________________________________________________

This brings up an interesting observation. We have already observed that Bible love is not identified as an emotion, but as actions. Therefore, the Biblical opposite of love, "loveth me not," cannot be identified with an emotion. We see here that those who "feel good" about God and His Word could actually be part of those referred to in Deut. 7:10. Christ was very clear that those who are not for Him are against Him and that two masters cannot be served. This would apply to those who claim Him as well as those who don't, Matt. 12:30; 6:24.

"Repayeth" --There are many NT verses on this, of which Gal. 6:7-8 is only one. Deut. 7:10-11, as well as Gal. and Heb. 10, are written to God's people.

2. VV. 12-16 The covenant and mercy of God are conditional. The margin reading for "if" is "because" in v. 12. How many of these promises can you name from this passage? (I see at least twelve.)
__________________ ___________________ ______________________ _____________________
__________________ ___________________ ______________________ _____________________
__________________ ___________________ ______________________ _____________________
__________________ ___________________ ______________________ _____________________

We should cover a point here which we have only touched on elsewhere. 7:9, "Which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments." This point being "covenant." We see here that God is the God of the covenant, and His people the people of the covenant. This is consistent throughout Scripture.

Of course, this is given to the OT Israel, yet, the application is as broad as all mankind. The original covenant was with Adam ("Do this and live", Gen. 2:17. Also, the promise of the Seed, Gen. 3:15; Gen. 17:7; Gal. 3:17, 18). The covenant was renewed with Noah, Gen. 6:18, and expanded in Christ to include all men, Jn. 12:32, 33. There has been and is only one basic covenant, "Do this and live, fail and die."

The OT uses this word covenant almost 300 times and we are not about to look at them all. We will only look at enough to establish the idea of the covenant. In all but a very few cases, the word means a mutual compact or agreement. There are cases, though, where it seems to be one sided, God's side. Of course, the promise to Eve would be all God's doing, the covenant with Abraham, Gen. 15:10-21, and the one with David, II Sam. 7:5-17. In these instances the fulfilling of the promise rested upon God's side, regardless what these people did.

We will find that all of man's relationship with God is covenantual in nature in the sense that every promise in Scripture is based upon a condition. As man meets God's conditions, he can claim God's promises. There is not one area outside of this "condition=promise", even salvation. Salvation is based upon man doing what is required of him, trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning work and you will be saved. There is no salvation outside of this.

The covenant has a law and that law is written upon the tables of stone, Deut. 4:13; 9:9. Now, let's trace this covenant a little. It is not hard at all to follow it through Scriptures. We'll pick it up in Ex. 19.

3. What did God tell Moses to tell the people? Here is a condition and a result, 19:1-6?
___________________________________________________________________________________

Of course, this is carried through to the chosen people of God today, all who are in Christ, the Church, I Pet. 2:5, 9; I Thess. 5:27.

4. Moses does as the Lord bids him to do and brings the word to the people. He tells them the conditions of the covenant. "Do this and this is what God will do for you". What do the people answer back to Moses, v. 8?____________________________________________________________

The people said, "We have heard the terms of the covenant, the agreement. If we do what God desires us to do, then He will fulfill the promises to us. We agree to that condition even though we have not yet heard what His requirements will be. All we know about Him so far is what we have seen of Him in Egypt." The people have agreed. "Lord, you tell us what you want us to do in order that we may obtain the promise of v. 5, 6 and we will do it." Now, the Lord tells them what is required of them in order to obtain the promise. In Ex. 20 through 23:33 we see the Lord giving them the law of this covenant. "You do this (chps. 20-23:33) and I will do this, (19:5, 6)."

This is quite an extensive requirement for the people to do in order to obtain 19:5, 6. In fact, it covers absolutely every area of life. Nothing at all is left to man's imagination. So what does Moses do now? The people have agreed to do something that they didn't know about so Moses gets them together again. Ex. 24:3, Moses now tells the people all the words of the Lord. He explains to them chp. 20 through 23:33 and says, "This is what you are agreeing to in order to obtain the promise of Ex. 19:5, 6."

5. Now that Moses explains these conditions to obtain the promise, what do the people do, Ex. 24:3?___________________________________________________________________ ___________

Next, Moses writes it all down that evening. The next morning he gets up early and builds an altar representing the twelve tribes, all the people. He has the offerings prepared and saves the blood. He divides the blood of these living sacrifices (they were bled to death) into two parts. He takes half of the blood and puts it upon the altar, God's part of the covenant. Then he takes the book which he wrote the day before containing all of the law (chps. 20-23:33) and this time reads it to
all the people. Again, he tells the people what God will require of them in order to obtain the promise of vv. 5, 6 if they enter into this covenant, as well as what will happen if they don't keep His requirements.

6. What do the people say this third time it is offered to them, v. 7? ___________________

7. What does Moses do with the other half of the blood, v. 8? ____________________________

With this the people entered into a covenant of blood with the Lord God. God had given them the promise, 19:5, 6. The people said, "we want it." Then God explained twice what the requirements would be in order to obtain that promise and the people accept it. The covenant was then sealed with the blood of the sacrifice. The people agreed to the conditions to obtain the promise, as well as agreed to the results if they did not keep the conditions. These are given all through this passage, 20:5; 23:20-23. Note, the covenant was not in effect until the death of the sacrifice and the blood shed. See Heb. 9:16-28. The new covenant was not in effect until the death of the sacrifice and the blood shed. Also, Moses wrote the law of the covenant in a book. The same law is now written in the heart, Heb. 8:10. Both had to be sealed with blood before they were in effect.

God had said, "Do this and I'll bless you and you will live and prosper. Fail to do this, or do this over here, and you will have My wrath and judgment against you. You will die at the hands of disease and the sword, as well as captivity." The people said, "We agree to that" and it was sealed in blood. All the rest of the law expands upon this basic law as given in Ex. 20-23:33.

God continues on with the requirements which are needed to approach Him, the blood sacrifice. This would remind Him of His side of the promise or covenant as they kept their hearts right and sins confessed. These rites and rituals which were required to approach Him were very rigorous, costly, time consuming, detailed, and binding. They all pointed to Christ, Heb. 8, 9.

The covenant made in Ex. 24:3-8 was renewed in the land of Moab, just before they went into Canaan. Notice, especially, Deut. 28:58-68 and 30:18-30. I believe it is interesting that up to this point it seems that the positive side of the covenant ("Do this and prosper") had been emphasized. In Deut., chps. 27-30, the negative side ("Do this and die") is emphasized.

8. What does Moses tell these people, Deut. 29:14? ___________________________________

9. What does God tell Moses will take place, Deut. 31: 16-21? ________________________

Following this covenant through, we find Joshua renewing it in Joshua 23:2 - 24:28. He points out God's holy requirements to these people once again and notice what they said, "We will do it all," 24:21. I believe we will find that in every case, it is a promise by God that if they will obey, and serve Him and Him alone, He will bless them abundantly. If they grow indifferent to the Lord their God and serve the gods around them, then they will have the Lord God's hand against them. The people agree to this every time, as they do here in Joshua.

In II Ki. 11:17 (II Chron. 23:3) we see a little different aspect of the covenant. This is a three-way agreement between the Lord and the king and the people. Here the king and the people agree to serve God and Him only. We see the same basic covenant made by Hezekiah as he turns to the Lord in the renewing of the covenant. He also calls upon the people to do the same so that the wrath of God may be turned away. The fierce wrath of God was upon them for breaking their side of the covenant. We might make mention that God never broke His covenant because turning from Him put the "negative" side of it into effect, II Chron. 29:1-11. His wrath came as He kept His part. God prospered Hezekiah greatly for renewing their side of the covenant, "Do this," II Chron. 29 - 32:23. But follow this on through, 32:25. Hezekiah's prosperity from his obedience to the covenant caused his heart to be lifted up with pride. He forgot where his prosperity came from and now he breaks his side of the covenant. This brought the wrath of God upon the nation. Was not this what Moses warned about many times over? Is this not our great danger?

We also see this three-way covenant in II Ki. 23:1-4. Here we see even clearer the contents of the covenant. "--To keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all their heart and all their soul," ("--love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and soul--." love = obedience, "if you love me keep my commandments"). They promised to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book, and all the people stood to the covenant. B-D-B (pg. 136) calls these three-way covenants a constitutional agreement to obey the book of the covenant.

This brings us to a mighty powerful point. If the authority over the people require them to disregard the law of the covenant or require their breaking it, then those under that authority no longer owe their obedience and allegiance to that authority in those matters contrary to the law of the covenant. The king entered into the covenant as well as the people. They said, "Yes, Lord, we'll do what YOU require us to do in the law of your covenant (Ex. 20-23:33)." The king also entered into a covenant or agreement with the people. He agreed to protect those who do good and punish the evil doer. If the king departs from that covenant, he has God's wrath against him. If the people follow him in that departure, they also have God's wrath against them. All of Jer. 11 will cover this. Notice 11:1-4, especially the last part of v. 4, "--so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God: That I may perform the oath which I swore unto your fathers--." There is no way to avoid it. This is Ex. 19:5 and 6, and is quoted by Peter for the Church, I Pet. 1:15- 16. This shows us that this covenant is still in effect. With the spiritual inheritance and prosperity in Christ is also the physical promises in Christ as He placed the same requirement upon His people today, Jn. 14:15.

Let's hit this in passing. Civil government is a covenant between the people and the "king". The "king" agrees to the terms and the people agree to the terms. As long as each abides by those terms the other is bound. The terms being, "You do right and I'll protect you. You do wrong and I'll punish you," says the "king". The people say, "You do right, king, and we'll obey and support you. You stop doing right and we no longer are required by God to support and obey you."

America is very unique. The civil government entered into a covenant with the people, called
the constitution. The civil government even went so far as to say, "If we become too oppressive and deviate too far from right and wrong, you are released from your obligation to us. In fact, you even have the right to throw off an oppressive civil government which does this." Read The Declaration of Independence.

God is very clear. ANYONE who departs from HIS law of the covenant has His wrath against them. Therefore, God's people cannot allow anyone or anything to prevent their obedience to that law. His principles of life, established in His total law-word.

T.W.O.T. (Pg. 129) points out, "Deut. 29:13-14 shows the Sinaitic Covenant was an extension of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 15:18; 17:1-14; 22:16, 17: 26:3, with circumcision as the OT sign of being in the covenant--my note), both of which are called here "a sworn covenant." The Sinai renewal merely stressed man's responsibility, where the Abrahamic Covenant emphasized God's promises." They continue on as they point out that the writings of the prophets indict the people as covenant breakers in the form of a "lawsuit" against the covenant breakers. The Land Lord is throwing out His tenants as they have broken the lease agreement.

Let's look at the legal papers which the Lord served against them for a moment. Isa. 1 gives us a good insight into the problem. Here we see the people keeping all of the outward formality of the law with their offerings, feasts, sabbaths, new moons and assemblies. Even with all of this outward religious activity, look at the indictment against them, v. 15 --their hands were full of blood. Read vv. 16-20. They had kept up all of these outward things believing they were keeping their side of the covenant. The Lord looks upon the heart and saw the total departure from His law. He reads the indictment against them with a pleading to return to Him. This legal indictment gives Him the right to remove them from the land. They had broken their side of the covenant, Micah 6:1-8.

Ps. 50 covers this also. With their mouth they profess to be part of the covenant, upholding their end of it, yet, their actions prove something completely different. Then they expect the blood of bulls and goats to cover up their disregard of God's law-word. Notice the promise of v. 22.

We will find that all of man's relationship with God will fit within this covenant of "Do this and live." Every promise in God's Word has a condition on it. As we meet those conditions God fulfills the promise. A few would be Ps. 1; Ps. 37; Gal. 6:7-10; Phil. 4:6, 7, etc..

Jer. 31:31-34, we see only one of a great many OT Divine promises to establish a new covenant or constitution. Of course, this is Christ and His Church which we will look at later, Heb. 8:8-13; 10:16, 17.

Isa. 42:6 tells us that Christ is the covenant, therefore, all who are in Christ are the covenant people. Compair with Lk. 4:18-21.