The Pieta is a marble sculpture
by Michelangelo around 1499 in St. Peter’s in Vatican City of the body of Jesus
on the lap if his mother Mary after the crucifixion. It was the only work he
ever signed, carving his name on the sash running
across Mary’s body, after overhearing someone remark that it was the work of
another sculptor. The brilliant piece of art was damaged on May 21, 1972 when a mentally disturbed
geologist named Lazlo Toth walked into the chapel and
attacked the virgin with a hammer while shouting ‘I am Jesus Christ’. After the
attack the work was painstakingly restored and returned to its place in St.
Peter’s, now protected by a bullet-proof acrylic glass
is God’s work of art. This nation will be a display of God’s handiwork for all of the world to see. It will eventually be damaged but
not from an outsider and nearly left for ruin. But God will step in and restore
the nation and bring her back. Moses predicts that this will happen to Israel.
1. GOD WILL ULTIMATELY RESTORE ISRAEL FROM RUIN
The first ten verses are a
prediction of what will happen to Israel.
This illustrates the path of restoration from the consequences of sin:
The sin (sowing) and consequences (reaping) 1-2 Thecursing’s are sure to follow Israel
in spite of the passionate warnings from Moses. The people will be fickle
enough to be banished by God from the land 1. However, some will want to deal
with this from the distant lands they and their posterity will eventually find
themselves. And even in the midst of the curse Moses foresees God’s favor for
them vs 2. You cannot avoid the consequences of your
sin but you can stop further consequences when you repent.
The conviction 3-6 When they are in the place where God will banish
them and they turn to God, He will restore them back into the land and promises
to prosper them more than their fathers 3-5. Then something new will happen.
God will circumcise their hearts—that is, it will be God’s conviction that they
will have. They will now see things from God’s point of view vs 6 and a new motivation to obey.
The obedience 7-8 This is accompanied by
God inflicting these curses on their enemies. Now God will be able tot work for
and with His people and not against them any longer. God will discipline us to
correct us before He can favor us. Israel
will be enabled to do this because they will be willing to do this. Jer 31 tells us this is a description of the millennial
promise in the future.
The prosperity 9-10 Then God will prosper them in every way in the
land as they settle there from the far corners of the earth after the
Tribulation. Today God does this for us spiritually for our age. However, you
view the church theologically, you must see a future
Moses talks about it—so does Jer, Isa,
Eze, and others. There is a future for a repentant
and restored Israel.
2. GOD CLEARLY GAVE US THE TRUTH TO KNOW AND FOLLOW
The basis for their future and
for any knowledge of God’s thinking is clearly revealed. These laws are not too
difficult for you to obey and follow 11. So the good news for God’s people is
that they could understand His Word and comply with it. It is not so incredible
that only a secret order could comprehend it or too far out of reach that only
a few could follow successfully. (a) There is not need for anyone to try to
obtain an oracle from God by trying to ascend into the heavens—as if that were
humanly possible vs 12. Gen 11 they tried to build a
tower to do so but it was never high enough. God had to eventually come down to
see them and what they were doing. (b) No one in Israel
need cross the sea or abyss for God’s answer vs 13.
No journey thru death to underworld required this reach. (c) On contrary God’s
Word was very near—in their heart and mouth vs 14.
The marvel is that God brot the answer to life down
to people—he revealed it to them. No need for a mythical journey or sense of
uncertainty. God has communicated His truth to people already. Amazing how
people resist the simple truth God has revealed in this book. An unbeliever
will ignore, dispute, question and smear God’s answer to eternal life. The
determination of scholars and skeptics to dispute reliability of the Bible
should tell us about this. Amazing how believers want more than this
truth—looking for a new word from God or one that fills in the blanks for us
even tho they have not learned, let alone obeyed, the
revelation He has already given to us. In His Word we have all ofHis complete
revelation—all things necessary for salvation and life. Don’t ever say that the life God
requires of me is just to difficult for me. We tend to
say that when it comes to our conditions. 1 Cor says God does not give you anything too
difficult for you even when it seems so and it sure can! We all marvel at people
who have suffered so much and yet find a way in God’s grace and revealed truth.
need that knowledge to avoid the sin of their fathers while they conquered the
land and when they settled in it.
3. THE REVEALATION IS THE WAYS OF LIFEAND DEATH
Choose life 15-18 Twice they are given a dramatic ultimatum—choose
life or death vs 15, 19. Two ways are open to
them—life or death, blessing or cursing, good or evil. These describe two ways
God’s people mite live—because the Fallbrot with it the knowledge of good and evil. Life and death
is the fruit of those two ways. Good promotes everything that is good, nurtures
life. Evil is everything that hinders, harms destroys. People are capable of
both. Choosing the correct path leads to life in every sense—for Israel
both earthly in the land and spiritually with God. Choosing the wrong path
leads to separation, alienation and removal of God’s favor upon you. The path
of enjoying good blessing is to love, obey and walk with God 16. Love is not a
feeling but choice based in act of the will to adore and please God. This command to obey balanced by taking wrong way that leads to
death. Defection leads to destruction 17-18. This generation knows
this—their parents perished because of defection. Moses too, the people knew
that he could have said ‘I will not be going in with you either.’ Leaders are
sinners too. Moses still used by God and these facts make his words to them
even more potent—love the Lord, obey His voice, walk with Him! We should know
this too for we have the full record in Scripture of the failings of the people
of God as a warning to us—and record of spiritual victories and how they brot life.
Be faithful 19-20 The climax is the calling of witnesses to attest
to certainty of the Word and a commitment of the people to choose life! This is
a decision to follow a way of life based on a clear revelation. Who would
choose otherwise? We do everyday of our lives. Thanks be
to God that His grace prevents our utter ruin. But either in momentary impulses
or calculated decisions, it is too easy to digress from the right way. When
choosing the wrong road, the farther you go the longer it takes you to get back
to where supposed to be. To do anything contrary to the living God’s will is to
reject the way of life. Only trouble and disaster await you there!