“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 16 (for you know that we dwelt in the land of Egypt and that we came through the nations which you passed by, 17 and you saw their abominations and their idols which were among them—wood and stone and silver and gold); 18 so that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations, and that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood; 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 of my heart’—as though the drunkard could be included with the sober.” Deuteronomy 29:14-19
As we dig into this passage on the renewing of the covenant of the children of Israel with God, I want you to remind you that we don’t want to miss important parallels with our own experience. Why? Because what we are doing his this morning is also a form of covenant renewal. These folks are preparing for the invasion of Canaan, we are preparing for the expansion of the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
What is a Covenant?
It is a contract or agreement between two parties, sealed by vowing or with an oath, with with attendant blessings and curses based on completion of the oath. When God covenants with His creation, it is unilateral. We are recipients, not contributors; we are called to accept it as offered, to keep it as demanded, and to receive the results that God, by oath, assures will not be withheld. To believe God and respond in faith.
What are the Options?
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil” Deuteronomy 30:15 Life vs. Death, Good vs. Evil. I think you get the idea about the contrast. And this is the conclusion that Moses draws in verse 9:“Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.”
Eyes to See and Ears to Hear
“Yet the Lord has not given you a heart to perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear, to this very day.” The secret things of God includes opening eyes and calling people to Himself. With this in mind, it is natural for someone to question whether God has or is working sovereignly in their heart and mind. But this should not result in despair because we have all that God has ‘revealed’ as a gift to us and our children.
How do we Renew the Covenant?
“Instead of asking yourself whether you believe or not, ask yourself whether you have, this day, done one thing because He said, Do it! or once abstained because He said, Do not do it! It is simply absurd to say you believe, or even want to believe, in Him, if you do not do anything He tells you.” George MacDonald
God has called you today to renew you covenant, your trust in His salvation. He has called you into relationship through your koinonia in Christ. Let this truth, this reality draw worship and obedience out of your heart in gratitude.