Deuteronomy chapter 10, a continuation of Deuteronomy chapter 9, is basically God’s reaffirmation of the covenant that He had made with Israel. Indeed, much of this book is a kind of covenant renewal. That is, even after their terrible sin at Horeb, in which no sooner did Moses leave them for a little while than they fell into idolatry, the Lord still wasn’t done with them.
Read Deuteronomy 10:1-11. What is going on here that helps us to understand that God forgave His people their sin and was reaffirming the covenant promise made to them and their fathers?
Moses smashed the Ten Commandment tablets (Deuteronomy 9:17) — a sign of the broken covenant (Deuteronomy 32:19). “To show his abhorrence of their crime, he threw down the tables of stone, and they were broken in the sight of all the people, thus signifying that as they had broken their covenant with God, so God had broken His covenant with them.” — Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 320.
Thus, the fact that God told Moses to hew new tables “like the first” and He would write on them the words that were on the first shows that God had forgiven the people and was not done with them, even then.
Read Deuteronomy 10:14-16. What is God saying to them? What is the meaning of the images that the Lord used here?
There’s a mixture of images here: the foreskin, the heart, the neck. Nevertheless, the point is clear. Circumcision was a sign of the covenant, but it’s only an outward sign. God wanted their hearts, that is, their minds, their affections, their love. The stiff-necked image simply pointed to how stubborn they were in their unwillingness to obey the Lord. And, basically, here and elsewhere, the Lord was telling them to stop with their divided loyalties and serve Him with all their heart and soul.
|Think about all the times the Lord has forgiven you your sins. What should that tell you about His grace?|