Deuteronomy 27: A Covenant of Obedience

This entry is part 108 of 112 in the series 365 Key Chapters of the Bible

After giving an overview of the book of Deuteronomy, Ken zooms in on Moses’s third sermon in Deuteronomy. This sermon, beginning in chapter 27, examines the covenant between God and Israel, looking ahead to Israel’s future.

A Covenant of Obedience

Deuteronomy 27 captures a critical moment in the lives of the Israelites. They were about to enter the Promised Land as God’s people. But Moses knew they would be tempted to go astray, so he reminded them in verse 10, “So you shall obey the LORD your God, and do His commandments and statutes which I am commanding you today” (NASB).

This theme of remembrance is key in Deuteronomy. In the unique time of this theocratic nation, God promised blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. His law was not meant to be onerous, but liberating. Moses called the Israelites to find true freedom in His service, walking in the way of the Lord instead of going astray and following after the nations.

Again and again, Moses urged the people to “choose.” He told them to “hear” fifty times throughout Deuteronomy and to “do,” “keep,” and “observe” 177 times. As they came to know God, they would love God more, fearing Him and delighting to obey Him.

Walking by the Spirit

We no longer live in a theocratic nation, but this chapter reminds us of the importance of remembering God’s commands and obeying them.

It is true that no one can perfectly obey God—only Christ could fulfill the law perfectly. The law is not a means of salvation, but ought to drive us to faith in Christ.

At the same time, however, we still ought to obey God. When we come to believe in Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit indwelling us, something believers did not fully have in the Old Testament. The Spirit gives us the power to walk in God’s ways, obeying Him out of a transformed and renewed heart.

Watch part 108 of the 365 Key Chapters of the Bible series, based on Ken’s Handbook to Scripture

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