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Bible Commentaries

Grant's Commentary on the Bible

Deuteronomy 30

Verses 1-20



There are some (even Christians) who insist that Israel has departed so far from God that they can never be restored. But they must ignore chapter 30:1-10, and alsoRomans 9:1-33; Romans 9:1-33; Romans 10:1-21; Romans 11:1-36, which speak positively of Israel's eventual restoration. After all the blessing and cursing that Israel would experience, being driven out of their land, if they would remember God's word and return to Him with purpose of heart to obey His word, then the Lord promises that He will bring them back from their captivity, compassionately gathering them from all the nations among whom they have been scattered (vs.1-3).

No matter how far from their land they have been driven, the Lord Himself will gather them back to the land of promise, and in that land will prosper and multiply the nation again (vs.4-5). In fact, we have already seen the beginning of such a work of God in the establishing of Israel as a nation again in her own land, though as yet only a small number comparatively have returned, and have done so in a state of unbelief so far as Christ their Messiah is concerned.

When this scripture is fulfilled, the Lord will circumcise their hearts, that is, He will lead them to use the sharp knife of repentance to judge their sinful condition, and draw their hearts in genuine love toward Himself (v.6). This will take place at the end of the Great Tribulation, and will be a marvelous work of grace in the nation which will be born again in one day (Isaiah 66:8).

The curse will be removed from Israel and put upon their enemies who have sought to destroy them (v.7). Israel then will obey the voice of the Lord because He will have given them a heart to delight in obedience (v.8). Psalms 119:1-176 gives expression to the willing enjoyment of doing the will of God, which will be true of this restored nation for the 1000 years of the millennium.

As in verse 8 the curse is removed, in verse 9 the blessing takes its place in every area of their lives, with the Lord taking great pleasure in making everything pleasant for them. Such will be the result of their faith in willingly obeying God's commandments with all their heart and soul (v.10).



Was it beyond Israel's ability to understand the covenant God was making with them? Not at all! Eastern religions thrive on what is mystical, with little thought of actions required that conform to what is taught. But God was not speaking in mystical terms, putting the truth high above the level of man's understanding (v.11). It was not in heaven so that they must only hope for someone to bring it down to them (v.12). Nor was it over the sea, impossible to act upon unless someone were to make the journey to bring it to them (v.13).

The measure of God's revelation to them was clear and plain, brought down to their level. It was very near to them, in their mouth and in their heart. The word of God was so clear that their mouths should have clearly confessed it and their hearts should have fully embraced it, so that they might act upon it (v.14). This verse is quoted inRomans 10:8; Romans 10:8, but applying, not to law, but to the gospel of the grace of God, a far more complete revelation from God than Israel was given. In this case the mouth is brought to confess Jesus Christ as Lord, and the heart is affected to believe that God has raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9). Thus, the present revelation of God in Christ is a wonderful advance upon the truth contained in the law, and has relevance to every area of our lives.

Moses, speaking for God, sets before Israel only two distinct alternatives, on the one hand "life and good," and on the other hand "death and evil" (v.15). This was clear and plain. There could be no other alternative. The fact is seen in verse 16: if Israel walked in God's ways to keep His commandments, statutes and judgments, they would live and multiply and be greatly blessed in the land.

The second alternative is declared in verses 17 and 18. If their heart turned away from God, ignoring His word and worshiping and serving idols, then death and evil would follow them.

Further, Moses declared that he called heaven and earth as witnesses that he had faithfully set before Israel these two choices, either life or death, blessing or cursing (v.19). He does not say, "Choose that you please," but rather, "Choose life." God did not want them to ruin themselves, but to have an existence of pure blessing. If they refused His overtures of kind concern for them, this was only their own folly.

Similarly, when believers preach the gospel to the unsaved, we must make it clear that in receiving the Lord Jesus as Savior, there is great blessing for them, and in refusing Him there is eternal remorse; but we are not wise to tell them to choose whichever they please. Rather, we should urge them affectionately to make a firm decision to receive the Lord Jesus and be saved.

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Bibliographical Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 30". Grant's Commentary on the Bible. 1897-1910.