Bible Readings for June 24th

Deuteronomy 29 | Psalm 119:49–72 | Isaiah 56 | Matthew 4

In Deuteronomy 29–30, Moses renews Israel’s covenant with Yahweh one final time before his death. First, just as he had done at the beginning of Deuteronomy, Moses recounts the gracious provisions of Yahweh through Israel’s history in Deuteronomy 29:2–9. This historical prologue sets the context of Yahweh’s covenant by reminding Israel once again that grace—not law—came first.

Second, Moses points out the fullness of the congregation standing before him: “You are standing today all of you before the LORD your God: the heads of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, all the men of Israel, your little ones, your wives, and the sojourner who is in your camp…” (Deut. 29:10–11). No one was excluded from this covenant, so it would be everyone’s responsibility to watch vigilantly for any tribe or even any person whose heart began to turn from worshiping Yahweh to worshiping other gods (Deut. 29:18). Such people were bitter roots whose influence would bear poisonous fruit for the nation of Israel (Deut. 29:18), leading the entire nation into the covenant curses (Deut. 29:20–28).

Third, Yahweh’s covenant extended beyond that first generation. Moses explains, “It is not with you alone that I am making this sworn covenant, but with whoever is standing here with us today before the LORD our God, and with whoever is not here with us today” (Deut. 29:14–15). Just as that generation was inheriting the covenant promises that Yahweh had sworn to their fathers (Deut. 29:13), so the generations after them would inherit the covenant too.

On the night when Jesus was betrayed, he prayed something similar by asking his Father to bless not only his disciples but future generations as well: “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word” (John 17:20). The covenant he was making through his broken body and shed blood was not for his disciples alone but also for subsequent generations who believed in him through their eyewitness accounts of his crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension.

Passing down God’s covenant to our children is perhaps our most urgent task in this world. Even though we know that Jesus has taken our covenant curses so that we might receive his covenant blessings, it is nevertheless the case that anyone who spurns God’s covenant by spurning the Son of God will face a more severe punishment (Heb. 10:26–31).

Let us therefore keep vigilant watch among ourselves, and among those in our midst, exhorting anyone who says in his heart, “I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart,” since “This will lead to the sweeping away of moist and dry alike” (Deut. 29:19). May God have mercy on us and on our children for the sake of his Son Jesus Christ.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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