Today in God’s Word
Deuteronomy 1; Psalm 81-82
Today in our reading we hear Moses begin with his second giving of the law. Deuteronomy consists primarily of Moses preaching the law of God to the people of Israel (the new generation) before they enter the promised land. When the law was given at Sinai the people heard it direct from God but their hearts were stubborn and they feared man more than God. Now Moses is exhorting the new generation to obey the LORD as they come into the land.
In Psalm 81 we see the Psalmist speaking prophetically from the vantage point of God. Beginning at verse 6 we see God lamenting the depravity of his people and expressing his true willingness to bless them and honor the Mosaic covenant if they would just listen to him and submit to him. Our great God is omniscient and he even possesses what theologians call middle knowledge. This is a knowledge of all possible actions and alternatives and results. God knows what the world would have/could have been if any one of the infinite number of alternative actions had been taken by any human or people group who ever lived. Here God speaks of what would have been should his people had obeyed him.
Hebrews 7-10 and Romans 8:1-4 explains how the fault of the Mosaic Covenant was the weakness of mankind…it was our depraved hearts. The New Covenant is a better covenant based on a better promise…the righteousness of God himself. The New Covenant, in the blood of Christ, does not fail! Thank God that he is mighty to save and that under the New Covenant he grants us new hearts that fear him and love him and he gives us his own Spirit within us (Jer 31:31-34; 32:40; Ezekiel 36:26-27). Thanks to our union with Jesus, in his death and in his resurrection, we have access to this New Covenant, which was given to Israel as a fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant, by the circumcision of our hearts (Deut 30:6; Rom 2:28-29; Rom 4:9-25; Gal 3:1-18).
Are there categories in our minds to accept God lamenting what could have been, under the Mosaic Covenant, if we were not weak and fallen people but also the fact that he planned the New Covenant in the blood of Christ before he ever created the world (Eph 1:1-12; 2 Tim 1:9; Rev 13:8)? May we see the heart of God displayed in his word and may we love him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Soli Deo Gloria!