Read Deuteronomy 30
Prosperity After Turning to the Lord
30 When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, 2 and when you and your children return to the Lordyour God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. 4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. 5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. 6 The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. 7 The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you.8 You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today. 9 Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, 10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
The Offer of Life or Death
11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?”13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
17 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, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lordyour God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life,and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Moses makes his final appeal to the Israelites as they are on the verge of entering into the Promised Land. He has already gone through a review of the history and law, and he is now calling them to faithful obedience. Moses told the Israelites about the blessings that come with walking in obedience to the Lord and how much the Lord loves them and keeps His promises to them, and how cursing will come if they do not follow the Lord because the Lord himself is the blessing. He is where life and goodness is found because every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James 1:17). Moses outlines the conditions of the covenant, the promises of the covenant, and the consequences for breaking the covenant. God promises in this chapter to restore Israel in the Promised Land as they repent and turn back to Him. When they repent, Moses promises that the Lord will make them prosperous and put these curses on their enemies (v. 7-10).
Moses gives them a choice: they can choose life or they can choose death. He says, “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess” (v. 15-16). Obedience to God leads to life. Disobedience to God leads to death. This law set before them is not supposed to be difficult for the Israelites to keep, but they will eventually break it (v. 11). In the previous chapter, Moses prophesied that the Israelites will in fact disobey the Lord and will be driven out of the land. They are going to fail.
However, there is a promise in this chapter that the Lord will not leave them in exile forever. It is promised that the Lord will restore Israel’s fortunes and have compassion on them and gather them again from all the nations where he scattered them (v. 3). After the exile, the Israelites will one day return and be restored. Like the Israelites, we also have the choice between life and death. We can choose to walk in obedience to the Lord and His Word which leads to life, or we can choose to turn away from God and forsake Him which leads to death. We choose life by choosing to follow Jesus, which will always lead to life in abundance (John 10:10).
We have seen in Deuteronomy a powerful theme of remembrance. Moses is telling them to remember how the Lord has led them. To remember how the Lord had been faithful. To remember how they lack no good thing in Him (Psalm 23:1). To remember His goodness and His promises. To hold tightly to His Word which is not burdensome but freedom and life giving (1 John 5:3). When they walk into what the Lord has promised them, they are to remember how good He is in there. This is true for us today. Loving God and walking in obedience to Him are not separate. They go hand in hand.
Our behavior should always follow our belief. James 1:22 tells us to not only be hearers of the word but doers of the word. We show God we love Him by walking in accordance to His Word and wholeheartedly following in His ways. It’s not always easy to walk in submission to His Word because of our flesh, the schemes of the enemy, and the broken world we live in, but it is what we were made to do. We were made to abide in the Lord and walk with Him for all eternity. When we remember how the Lord has been faithful in the past, it helps us cling on to the truth that He will be faithful in the future.
- What area of your life do you feel is the hardest to walk in submission to God’s Word?
- What are some ways you can remember how the Lord has been faithful towards you?
- Is there a verse that stands out to you in this passage?
Leave a Comment Below
Join the Team
Interested in writing for the Bible Reading Plan? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.