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Deuteronomy 29-30; Luke 11:37-12:7; Psalm 78:1-31; Proverbs 12:19-20 (New English Translation)

Deuteronomy 29-30

Narrative Interlude

29 (28:69) These are the words of the covenant that the Lord commanded Moses to make with the people of Israel in the land of Moab, in addition to the covenant he had made with them at Horeb.

The Exodus, Wandering, and Conquest Reviewed

Moses proclaimed to all Israel as follows: “You have seen all that the Lord did in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, all his servants, and his land. Your eyes have seen the great judgments, those signs and mighty wonders. But to this very day the Lord has not given you an understanding mind, perceptive eyes, or discerning ears! I have led you through the desert for forty years. Your clothing has not worn out nor have your sandals deteriorated. You have eaten no bread and drunk no wine or beer—all so that you might know that I am the Lord your God! When you came to this place King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan came out to make war and we defeated them. Then we took their land and gave it as an inheritance to Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh.

The Present Covenant Setting

“Therefore, keep the terms of this covenant and obey them so that you may be successful in everything you do. 10 You are standing today, all of you, before the Lord your God—the heads of your tribes, your elders, your officials, every Israelite man, 11 your infants, your wives, and the foreigners living in your encampment, those who chop wood and those who carry water— 12 so that you may enter by oath into the covenant the Lord your God is making with you today. 13 Today he will affirm that you are his people and that he is your God, just as he promised you and as he swore by oath to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 14 It is not with you alone that I am making this covenant by oath, 15 but with whoever stands with us here today before the Lord our God as well as those not with us here today.

The Results of Disobedience

16 “(For you know how we lived in the land of Egypt and how we crossed through the nations as we traveled. 17 You have seen their detestable things and idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold.) 18 Beware that the heart of no man, woman, clan, or tribe among you turns away from the Lord our God today to pursue and serve the gods of those nations; beware that there is among you no root producing poisonous and bitter fruit. 19 When such a person hears the words of this oath he secretly blesses himself and says, “I will have peace though I continue to walk with a stubborn spirit.” This will destroy the watered ground with the parched. 20 The Lord will be unwilling to forgive him, and his intense anger will rage against that man; all the curses written in this scroll will fall upon him and the Lord will obliterate his name from memory. 21 The Lord will single him out for judgment from all the tribes of Israel according to all the curses of the covenant written in this scroll of the law. 22 The generation to come—your descendants who will rise up after you, as well as the foreigner who will come from distant places—will see the afflictions of that land and the illnesses that the Lord has brought on it. 23 The whole land will be covered with brimstone, salt, and burning debris; it will not be planted nor will it sprout or produce grass. It will resemble the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord destroyed in his intense anger. 24 Then all the nations will ask, “Why has the Lord done all this to this land? What is this fierce, heated display of anger all about?” 25 Then people will say, “Because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt. 26 They went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods they did not know and that he did not permit them to worship. 27 That is why the Lord’s anger erupted against this land, bringing on it all the curses written in this scroll. 28 So the Lord has uprooted them from their land in anger, wrath, and great rage and has deported them to another land, as is clear today.” 29 Secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those that are revealed belong to us and our descendants forever, so that we might obey all the words of this law.

The Results of Covenant Reaffirmation

30 “When you have experienced all these things, both the blessings and the curses I have set before you, you will reflect upon them in all the nations where the Lord your God has banished you. Then if you and your descendants turn to the Lord your God and obey him with your whole mind and being just as I am commanding you today, the Lord your God will reverse your captivity and have pity on you. He will turn and gather you from all the peoples among whom he has scattered you. Even if your exiles are in the most distant land, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. Then he will bring you to the land your ancestors possessed and you also will possess it; he will do better for you and multiply you more than he did your ancestors. The Lord your God will also cleanse your heart and the hearts of your descendants so that you may love him with all your mind and being and so that you may live. Then the Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies, on those who hate you and persecute you. You will return and obey the Lord, keeping all his commandments I am giving you today. The Lord your God will make the labor of your hands abundantly successful and multiply your children, the offspring of your cattle, and the produce of your soil. For the Lord your God will once more rejoice over you to make you prosperous just as he rejoiced over your ancestors, 10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commandments and statutes that are written in this scroll of the law. But you must turn to him with your whole mind and being.

Exhortation to Covenant Obedience

11 “This commandment I am giving you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it too remote. 12 It is not in heaven, as though one must say, “Who will go up to heaven to get it for us and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 And it is not across the sea, as though one must say, “Who will cross over to the other side of the sea and get it for us and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 For the thing is very near you—it is in your mouth and in your mind so that you can do it.

15 “Look! I have set before you today life and prosperity on the one hand, and death and disaster on the other. 16 What I am commanding you today is to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to obey his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances. Then you will live and become numerous and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you are about to possess. 17 However, if you turn aside and do not obey, but are lured away to worship and serve other gods, 18 I declare to you this very day that you will certainly perish! You will not extend your time in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess. 19 Today I invoke heaven and earth as a witness against you that I have set life and death, blessing and curse, before you. Therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may live! 20 I also call on you to love the Lord your God, to obey him and be loyal to him, for he gives you life and enables you to live continually in the land the Lord promised to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

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Luke 11:37-12:7

Rebuking the Pharisees and Experts in the Law

37 As he spoke, a Pharisee invited Jesus to have a meal with him, so he went in and took his place at the table. 38 The Pharisee was astonished when he saw that Jesus did not first wash his hands before the meal. 39 But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You fools! Didn’t the one who made the outside make the inside as well? 41 But give from your heart to those in need, and then everything will be clean for you.

42 “But woe to you Pharisees! You give a tenth of your mint, rue, and every herb, yet you neglect justice and love for God! But you should have done these things without neglecting the others. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! You love the best seats in the synagogues and elaborate greetings in the marketplaces! 44 Woe to you! You are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without realizing it!”

45 One of the experts in religious law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things you insult us too.” 46 But Jesus replied, “Woe to you experts in religious law as well! You load people down with burdens difficult to bear, yet you yourselves refuse to touch the burdens with even one of your fingers! 47 Woe to you! You build the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. 48 So you testify that you approve of the deeds of your ancestors, because they killed the prophets and you build their tombs! 49 For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 50 so that this generation may be held accountable for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against this generation. 52 Woe to you experts in religious law! You have taken away the key to knowledge! You did not go in yourselves, and you hindered those who were going in.”

53 When he went out from there, the experts in the law and the Pharisees began to oppose him bitterly, and to ask him hostile questions about many things, 54 plotting against him, to catch him in something he might say.

Fear God, Not People

12 Meanwhile, when many thousands of the crowd had gathered so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing is secret that will not be made known. So then whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms will be proclaimed from the housetops.

“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more they can do. But I will warn you whom you should fear: Fear the one who, after the killing, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. In fact, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

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Psalm 78:1-31

Psalm 78

A well-written song by Asaph.

Pay attention, my people, to my instruction!
Listen to the words I speak!
I will sing a song that imparts wisdom;
I will make insightful observations about the past.
What we have heard and learned—
that which our ancestors have told us—
we will not hide from their descendants.
We will tell the next generation
about the Lord’s praiseworthy acts,
about his strength and the amazing things he has done.
He established a rule in Jacob;
he set up a law in Israel.
He commanded our ancestors
to make his deeds known to their descendants,
so that the next generation, children yet to be born,
might know about them.
They will grow up and tell their descendants about them.
Then they will place their confidence in God.
They will not forget the works of God,
and they will obey his commands.
Then they will not be like their ancestors,
who were a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation that was not committed
and faithful to God.
The Ephraimites were armed with bows,
but they retreated in the day of battle.
10 They did not keep their covenant with God,
and they refused to obey his law.
11 They forgot what he had done,
the amazing things he had shown them.
12 He did amazing things in the sight of their ancestors,
in the land of Egypt, in the region of Zoan.
13 He divided the sea and led them across it;
he made the water stand in a heap.
14 He led them with a cloud by day,
and with the light of a fire all night long.
15 He broke open rocks in the wilderness,
and gave them enough water to fill the depths of the sea.
16 He caused streams to flow from the rock,
and made the water flow like rivers.
17 Yet they continued to sin against him,
and rebelled against the sovereign One in the desert.
18 They willfully challenged God
by asking for food to satisfy their appetite.
19 They insulted God, saying,
“Is God really able to give us food in the wilderness?
20 Yes, he struck a rock and water flowed out,
streams gushed forth.
But can he also give us food?
Will he provide meat for his people?”
21 When the Lord heard this, he was furious.
A fire broke out against Jacob,
and his anger flared up against Israel,
22 because they did not have faith in God,
and did not trust his ability to deliver them.
23 He gave a command to the clouds above,
and opened the doors in the sky.
24 He rained down manna for them to eat;
he gave them the grain of heaven.
25 Man ate the food of the mighty ones.
He sent them more than enough to eat.
26 He brought the east wind through the sky,
and by his strength led forth the south wind.
27 He rained down meat on them like dust,
birds as numerous as the sand on the seashores.
28 He caused them to fall right in the middle of their camp,
all around their homes.
29 They ate until they were stuffed;
he gave them what they desired.
30 They were not yet filled up,
their food was still in their mouths,
31 when the anger of God flared up against them.
He killed some of the strongest of them;
he brought the young men of Israel to their knees.

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Proverbs 12:19-20

19 The one who tells the truth will endure forever,
but the one who lies will last only for a moment.
20 Deceit is in the heart of those who plot evil,
but those who promote peace have joy.

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New English Translation (NET)

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