Summary: Moses had some parting words for the Israelites who were getting ready to leave the desert and enter the promised land. He revealed to them that they had an important choice to make. We have the same choice to make. Let’s see how Moses' words apply to us.
LIFE OR DEATH—IT’S YOUR CHOICE
Introduction: The Israelites were getting ready to leave the desert and enter the promised land-Canaan; the land of milk and honey. Moses had some words for his people as he was not going to be joining them but leaving them in the capable hands of his successor-Joshua. Let’s see what we can learn from these words of Moses and how they apply to us.
1) Everyone can understand (11-14). Moses makes it clear that the commands of God are not too difficult-they are not too difficult to understand nor too difficult to do (beyond your reach). The commands of God can seem like they’re impossible to achieve, and they are-apart from him giving us the ability to do them. No one can be obedient to God without God giving him the ability to obey. No one can understand what God’s will is apart from him revealing it to us. But Moses is making it clear that this is what God has already done for us. He has made it so that the word of God is near us. We don’t have to wonder if we will somehow have the opportunity to hear and understand God’s will. No, God has brought his word to us so that it is close to us, not far away. God has made it possible for us to choose to place his word in our hearts so that we would obey it.
But some will choose not to understand. Rom 10:1-11. 1-4: They were zealous for God but they were not righteous before God because their enthusiasm was not based in knowledge. They didn’t know the righteousness that came from God not because they didn’t have the opportunity to know but because they didn’t want to know about the righteousness that came from God, which is salvation through Christ (16-21). They chose to not submit to God’s righteousness. Instead, they wanted to claim a righteousness that was of their own doing-of their works (law)-of their own heritage as a descendant of Abraham.
Jesus dealt with this himself. In John 8:31-37, Jesus told the Jews that if they held to his teaching they would know the truth and the truth would set them free. They thought because they were descendents of Abraham that they didn’t need to be set free. Jesus told them that because they were sinners, they needed to be set free by him. They didn’t want to accept that. Jesus told them that they had no room for his word. They could’ve made room in their hearts for what Jesus was telling them but they didn’t want to. They could’ve chose life but they chose death instead. There are religious people today who have a zeal for God but it’s not based in following Jesus it’s based in following traditions. We can understand if we want to but some are not willing to submit to God. They’re not willing to accept the righteousness offered through Christ because they are more comfortable establishing a righteousness of their own-apart from faith in Christ.
Rom. 10:5-11: here we see Paul reiterating the words Moses used in Deut. We don’t have to bring Christ back down from heaven in order to understand his gospel. We don’t have to bring anyone up from the grave to understand what happens after you die in order to understand.