Deuteronomy 27

Deuteronomy 27 has Moses instructing the people about how to enter the Promised Land.  In a word – he commands them to be obedient.  “Keep the whole commandment that I command you today”.  Moses doesn’t tell them to keep some of the law.  To pick and choose what they like and want to obey.  He is very intentional and clear that obedience means keeping all the law – every last word that God has spoken and written to them.  They are to do it without fail, to “obey the voice of the Lord your God, keeping his commandments and his statutes”.  He expects no less of us today.

In order to help that happen, Moses tells them “on the day you cross over the Jordan to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall set up large stones and plaster them with plaster….you shall write on them all the words of this law”.  We have to be immersed in God’s Word to have any hope of being obedient to it.  He gives them a series of things to do to help keep them focused:

  • you shall build an altar to the Lord
  • you shall offer burnt offerings
  • you shall sacrifice peace offerings
  • you shall rejoice before the Lord your God
  • you shall write on the stones all the words of this law very plainly

Very clear and practical steps to be sure they don’t forget God and what He has commanded them.

But Moses goes further and warns them of things that will cause them to lose God’s favor and be cursed.  Disobedience moves us from blessing to curse.  It causes us to lose favor in God’s eyes.  He never leaves us, but He will turn His back and not bless us if we choose to put another above Him.  That was really the focus of their warning – putting anything in the place that only God truly deserves.  Here is the list of specifics that Moses calls out which will lead to being cursed:

  • Cursed be the man who makes a carved or cast metal image, an abomination to the Lord
  • Cursed be anyone who dishonors his father or his mother
  • Cursed be anyone who moves his neighbor’s landmark
  • Cursed be anyone who misleads a blind man on the road
  • Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow
  • Cursed be anyone who lies with his father’s wife
  • Cursed be anyone who lies with any kind of animal
  • Cursed be anyone who lies with his sister
  • Cursed be anyone who lies with his mother-in-law
  • Cursed be anyone who strikes down his neighbor in secret
  • Cursed be anyone who takes a bribe to shed innocent blood
  • Cursed be anyone who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them

Moses has the people respond after each of these areas is called out.  He asks for a response “and all the people shall say, Amen”.  There was no mystery here, no surprises, as Moses reminds them of God’s commandments and expectations.  Now all that is left is to live in obedience!

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