|On-Line Bible Lessons|
Now we come to probably the central part of the covenant. Moses tells them to divide up into two groups when they cross over into the land of Canaan. There are to be six tribes in each group.
1. The first group consisted of which tribes, 27:12?
(1) _________________ (3) ________________ (5) ____________________
(2) _________________ (4) ________________ (6) ____________________
a. Can you see what these six had in common, Gen. 35:23, 24?
There were four women who bore children to Jacob. Leah and Rachel were his wives whom he served fourteen years for. These two each had handmaids who also bore Jacob children, Gen. 35:25, 26. So, actually, only two of the women were free. The other two were bond women, Gal. 4:31.
God divides these twelve up and tells which six to stand where. He identifies two mountains where they are to stand, Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim. The Levites were to stand in the valley between these two mounts and speak the words of vv. 15-26. One of these mountains was the mount of blessing, Gerizim. The other, the mount of cursing, Ebal. Note, then, that the "free woman" had the blessing, as only children of the "free woman" were upon Gerizim.
2. Now, notice something else. Where were the great stones with the plaster and the writing of the law to be set up, Deut. 27:4? ______________________________________________________
a. Where was the altar to be set up, v. 5? ____________________________________________
b. What did this altar represent? _____________________________________________________
c. What has Christ done for His people, Gal. 3:13? ____________________________________
Notice Gal. 3. Faith always leads to obedience. The two cannot be separated. Abraham had enough faith to obey God. Gal. 3:9 tells us we can inherit the blessing which fell to faithful Abraham if we will follow in his steps of faith. Christ DID NOT come to free us from having to obey or please God in order to inherit the promised blessing. He came to give us the grace to please God in order that we might be able to gain the blessing and avoid the curse.
Yes, we are free from the curse of the law, which is death, but only as we have trusted in His redemptive work. Yes, we are free from the curse of disobeying the law (the physical results), but only as we exercise the power of God to please Him. The blessings of God are conditional. It is a covenant to be obeyed or disobeyed. We can receive His blessings or the rod of His chastise&SHY;ment.
3. Look back at Moses. What did he emphasize in Deut. 27:14-26?
How does this compare with what the Law Maker gave in Matt. 5:1-12?
Moses (the law) pronounced a __________________________________________________________.
Christ (Grace) pronounced a ___________________________________________________________.
Just a word here on Deut 27:9. Keil points out (The Fifth Book of Moses, pg. 433), "When Israel renewed the covenant with the Lord, by solemnly setting up the law in Canaan, it became thereby the nation of God, and bound itself, at the same time to hearken to the voice of the Lord and keep His commandments, as it had already done (cf. chap. XXVI. 17, 18)."
Also, let us mention here, because of man's sinful nature he will respond more to the preach&SHY;ing of the curse of the law. "Here's what will happen if you do not obey God in this area." The law is a testimony against man's sins, 31:26. This is a major reason why men do not like to study the law of God. This is a reason why men want to think that God's law is for another time and another people. Men who want to remain in their sins do not like to be confronted with His law because it shows their hopelessness and helplessness. The law not only shows the absolute need of a Saviour, but it also shows the complete inability to please God or meet His standards apart from His enabling grace, Rom. 3:10-22; Gal. 3:24. The new law of Christ, grace, frees us from the law of the flesh which requires that we serve sin. We are now free to serve Him, Rom. 6:11-23.
4. What is a desire God has for His people, Deut. 5:29? ___________________________________
a. What is one of the complaints against men in this "church age," Rom. 3:18? ____________
The law, plainly written, shows man the curse he is under. It shows man his need of a Saviour, a sacrifice for his sins. Therefore, here is the altar built right next to the law, Deut.27:4-8. The law points men to the Sinless, Spotless, Atoning Sacrifice. It also points to the One who provides the grace that God's people might live in accordance to His law and inherit the blessing.
5. Immediately after the Ten Commandments were given, what further instruction was given by God, Ex. 20:(22, 26)?
6. Who was to speak out for God, Deut. 27:14? ________________________________________
Of course, we find throughout the OT, this tribe was the one appointed by God to teach His Word to His people. This is no exception as they are named to present His Word to the people of God.
We can read of this fulfillment in Joshua 8:30-35. Joshua read the words of Moses there be&SHY;tween the two mounts with the priests, the Levites. Joshua was very diligent in carrying out the commands of the Lord.
"The blessing was to be uttered by the tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin, who sprang from the two wives of Jacob; and the curse by Reuben, with the two sons of Leah's maid Zilpah, and by Zebulum, with Dan and Nephtali, the sons of Rachel's maid Bilhah (Keil)." Reuben, of course, is on the side of the curse because of his incest with his fathers wife which he never made right, Gen. 49:3-4.