CASL Cup Sermon: Deuteronomy Chapter 30

CASL Cup Sermon: Deuteronomy Chapter 30

Date: May 19, 2002
Time: 11:00am
Place: WRAL Soccer Center
Re-creation based on notes and memory


Well, okay we did not have music. But if we had it might have been "Days of Elijah": And "The Song Of Moses":

Background of the Text

Moses had been told, as record in chapter three, that he is about to die. So we know this message from Moses was in the last month of his life on earth.

Moses had just told the nation of Israel about all the blessing should they be obedient to God and the cursing if they were disobedient. In chapter 30, Moses tells them how they can be restored should they come under the curses of God. This is part of a series of messages from Moses before Israel was to take possession of the land promised to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. At this point, God has not told Moses that Israel will stray (Deuteronomy 31:11-20).


Heavenly Father you are the Great I AM and worthy of our praise. Lord, we come to gather before you this day to give honor and glory to You. Thank you that You have made Your ways known through Your Holy Scripture. I pray that the words that I speak would be Your words and that You would use me to minister to those that might be passing by as we speak. We ask these things in the name that is above all names, the Lamb of God who takes away our sins, our Lord and Savior, Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Call to Return to the Lord - Verses 1-10

Deu 30:1 "So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where the LORD your God has banished you,
Deu 30:2 and you return to the LORD your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons,
Deu 30:3 then the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you.
Deu 30:4 "If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back.
Deu 30:5 "The LORD your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.
Deu 30:6 "Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live .
Deu 30:7 "The LORD your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you.
Deu 30:8 "And you shall again obey the LORD, and observe all His commandments which I command you today.
Deu 30:9 "Then the LORD your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the LORD will again rejoice over you for good , just as He rejoiced over your fathers;
Deu 30:10 if you obey the LORD your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and soul.

We see in verse 1 that this is after God's judgment on His people for disobedience. Here is a wonderful message of God's forgiveness to His people if they shall return back to Him. This requires them to realize that they have turned away and to then turn back to the Lord.

In verse 6 we read that "God will circumcise your heart". We don't even have the ability to love the Lord unless He first intervenes and circumcises our harden hearts. What a merciful and gracious God. We cannot obey His laws out of our own strength. It is only through a love relationship with Him that we are able. This was made clear in Ecclesiates:

Ecc 7:20 Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.

The Apostle Paul expanded on this in his letter to the Romans:

Rom 3:10 as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;

If we are not able to keep the law then what is the point of it? I think this is explained in Galatians:

Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.
Gal 3:24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.

So was faith something new that came above with the cruxificion? No, it has always been faith. It has always been a heart condition where we are to place our faith in God to make us righteous, not a single thing we can do, it is all about Him. We see this in the example of the bronze serpent.

Num 21:4 Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom ; and the people became impatient because of the journey.
Num 21:5 The people spoke against God and Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness ? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food."
Num 21:6 The LORD sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people , so that many people of Israel died.
Num 21:7 So the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned, because we have spoken against the LORD and you; intercede with the LORD, that He may remove the serpents from us." And Moses interceded for the people .
Num 21:8 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten , when he looks at it, he will live ."
Num 21:9 And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived .

God did not remove the serpents, but he did provide a solution to the problem. And was it the bronze serpent made by Moses that healed them? Of course not, it was their faith in trusting and believing God that healed them which was acted out or demonstrated by their looking to the bronze serpent. Later on the Israelites will confuse this again and start to worship the bronze serpent which will cause the Lord to order that it be destroyed. The point is that it has always been salvation through faith in the work of God and apart from Him there is nothing that can be done to achieve it. Moses makes this clear with eight different verses talking about the heart in the book of Deuteronomy alone (4:29;6:5;10:12;11:13;11:18;13:3;30:6;32:46).

The Choice of Life or Death - Verses 11-20

Deu 30:11 "For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach.
Deu 30:12 "It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?'
Deu 30:13 "Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?'
Deu 30:14 "But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.
Deu 30:15 "See, I have set before you today life and prosperity , and death and adversity ;
Deu 30:16 in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply , and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it.
Deu 30:17 "But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them,
Deu 30:18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it.
Deu 30:19 "I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live , you and your descendants,
Deu 30:20 by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them."

We see here that God's plan for us is not some great mystery that through long pondering and searching we might find. It is a simple message that is so simple that many cannot believe it could be that easy and thus reject it. We are to "love the LORD your God" and to "walk in His ways". What does it mean to "love the LORD your God"? This is the very basis for obedience. It is out of love for the Lord that we feel compelled to obey Him. Obedience is an expression of our love, it is the effect of our love and faith in Him. It is not the object of salvation nor is it the source of our blessings from God. We are blessed when we are with God for all blessings are from God. We cannot be blessed unless we are in His presence. Yet when we sin, God cannot be present to sin. And death can be defined as separation from God. Thus the meaning of the verse the "wages of sin is death". If you are obedient for the sake of receiving blessings than Larry Crabb observes two outcomes of this. If you receive the blessings then you become proud in thinking that you are more spiritual and that is why you received the blessings. If you do not receive the blessings then you become bitter. We are being obedient when we "walk in His ways". We do things to please the Lord, not for blessings in return, to show our love for Him. This is why rejecting the Holy Spirit is the unforgivable sin.

Mat 12:31 "Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.
Mat 12:32 "Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

We are not capable of loving God without the Holy Spirit circumcising our heart. If we reject the Holy Spirit then there is no way to come to the point to make a choice for God. We are cut off from the very source that can give us the ability to love God. This is the free gift of God that is purely from God's own choosing. Therefore there is nothing for any man to boast about and only praise to a loving God who would show that kind of grace and mercy to an undeserving person.

So how can one be sure that they do not sin against the Holy Spirit? The Apostle Paul said it well:

Rom 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
Rom 10:10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
Rom 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him;

We are justified when we believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead. For it was the death and resurrection of Christ that was the atonement for all our sins. This is the object of our faith. We demonstrate our faith then when we confess that Jesus is Lord.


God knows our hearts. He knows that we will disobey His laws and ways -- we are sinners. From the beginning He provided a way of escape for His people and that has always been faith in the Lord to make us a holy, righteous people before Him by His works not ours. The choice is simple, accept the invitation from the Holy Spirit to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength and walk in His ways through His strength or do it in your own strength and ways. One way leads to eternity with the Creator the other leads to eternity without Him.


Lord, we thank You that your are the same today as You where in the times of Moses. Thank you for revealing eternal life is through faith in You. We are grateful that You loved us and gave us the ability to love You. Help us to walk in Your ways. We ask this in the strong name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.