It is from passages like this that our forefathers in Scotland took their practice of making and renewing covenants within society and church. What is the root that introduces bitter poison into our midst – in family and church? How do you deal with this spiritual weed in your own life?
Wow there is just so much in here!
The weight and depth of the words, I mean, “Beware lest there be among you a root bearing poisonous and bitter fruit,” and “This will lead to a sweeping away of moist and dry alike.” and “… the anger of the LORD and his jealously will smoke against that man,” – WILL SMOKE AGAINST THAT MAN, and blot out his name from under heaven. This is serious stuff!
We know John 15 speaks of this, that our root and source must be Jesus, He is the true vine, the only one that matters! (John 15 v1), and the end for branches not of Him is to be burned up in the fire (v6).
There’s the secret things, v29, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed …” which Paul talks of in Romans 11, in v33 that wonderful exclamation, “Oh the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable his ways!”.
And there is the boundary conditions of the covenant, which are striking, v14-15, “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.”
Who was standing there? v10-11, “… 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, …”
AND THE SOJOURNER!
Here is Jesus, writ large! Here is the covenant of grace, foreshadowed and made (dimly) clear – That via Abraham “shall all the nations of the earth be blessed,” (Gen 22 v18).
We are the sojourner, we are the gentile, we are the branches grafted into the vine.
And check this, when David prays in the presence of the assembly in 1 Chron 29, v15 “For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.”
We know David knew Jesus, and here we see David making clear a truth that Israel kept forgetting – It’s only the LORD that makes us special. Not our own strength or wealth or number. But God’s LOVE for us. Because He chose us.
Praise God for His love for us sojourners and strangers.