This morning, in private worship, God’s word in Deuteronomy gave me a beautiful picture of God’s promises and a beautiful picture of the church. Yes, in Deuteronomy. No, it’s not some dusty Old Testament book that no longer applies to the Christian. Read it. Meditate on it. God will reward you with many blessings like He did me today.
Deuteronomy chapters 27-29 tells part of the story of the Hebrews entering the promised land of Canaan. God had given them His covenant based on His law through Moses. As the twelve tribes entered the land God instructed them to do something amazing. Six of the tribes were to stand on top of Mount Ebal and the other six on top of Mount Gerizim. These are two mountains not far from each other. From the mountain tops they were to speak God’s promises to each other and listen to God’s promises from each other. God’s promises of curses for disobedience were spoken from Mt. Ebal. His promises of blessings for obedience were spoken from Mt. Gerizim. There are tons of amazing details in this story. Go read it.
Just think of what this communicates to us about God’s design for the church. First 1 Peter 2:9 says the church, now, is much like Old Testament Israel, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” The church is God’s chosen people, holy nation, and priesthood commanded to do exactly what happened on Ebal and Gerizim. Church members are to speak to each other and hear from each other God’s promises, both His promises of blessing on those who walk in the gospel and His curses on those who don’t (Ephesians 4:11-15, Colossians 1:16).
It also says a lot about me and all believers. I NEED to hear my fellow church members speaking God’s promises to me. I need His warnings. I need to hear His assurances of blessings. Every believer needs these things. So I also need to readily speak to others these warnings and assurances of blessings. Husbands and wives need to speak and listen like this, parents and children, siblings, teenagers in the youth group, classmates at school, co-workers on the job, friends on Facebook and Instagram. This is God’s will for us so that all of us might be firmly rooted in His grace.