christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

deuteronomy 9:1-29, the role of unbelief

Read Deuteronomy 9:1-29 at Bible Gateway.

Previously: deuteronomy 8:1-20, remembering YHVH to our benefit

Please review the teaching tools of scripture, especially the chiastic structures. The paragraph divisions reveal the chiastic structures: which are narratives which zero in on the main point of the narrative at its center, like a bull’s eye at the center of a target. The main point is revealed, because the narrative elements before the main point (or central axis) are repeated after the central axis, in reverse order, while the central axis itself is not repeated.

This is the fourth section explaining the first commandment, Worship YHVH only, which we discovered was THE commandment. (The first commandment is explained in Deu 6:4-11:25, and this is my summary of it.) This section is made of a single strong paragraphs:

Deu 9:1-29 {p} Israel cannot enter the Land by self- righteousness

Think about this. This is the gospel of grace by faith, which is preached without change, from Genesis to Revelation. Israel is not entering the Land, or inheriting her Promise from the Lord, because of her self- righteousness, Moses is taking careful pains to point out. In order to dispel the notion that Israel somehow earned her Promise by works, he makes a recitation of all her rebellions against the Lord (Deu 9:6-24) which take up most of this strong paragraph. The New Testament says that those who did not enter in, did not enter in because of unbelief, which is lack of faith (Heb 3:19).

But then here is something interesting we learn from both Israel’s refusal to enter the Land, recorded in Num 14-15, and this passage in Hebrews which explains it:

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said:

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Heb 3:12-19

Yesterday we saw the admonition to not depart from or forget the Lord our God, by disobeying His commandments. Today we see this admonition in Hebrews, that departing from the living God comes from the root of an evil heart of unbelief. Unbelief is the root evil. It hardens the heart, and from that hardness, the man is deceived into the practice of sin (disobedience to the commandments), which is rebellion against God. “And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?” So we see that disobedience or rebellion is the outward characteristic which marks a man who does not believe YHVH – who does not worship YHVH alone. The word of someone other is exalted above the place of YHVH’s word. The word which YHVH has spoken, which is contained in our Scriptures, is not believed.

The first words out of the enemy’s mouth, which he spoke to Eve in the Garden, were, “Has God indeed said …?” (Gen 3:1). Sowing doubt and unbelief of the word God had spoken. Once Eve disbelieved God’s word, she ate the forbidden fruit.

Here is the chiastic structure made by this strong paragraph:

Deu 9:1-29
1a) Deu 9:1-2, Israel to dispossess nations;
1b) Deu 9:3, It is YHVH who destroys the nations before Israel;
1c) Deu 9:4-5a, Israel not going in because of her own righteousness;
central axis) Deu 9:5b, “… that He may fulfill the word which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;”
2c) Deu 9:6-24, Israel’s rebellions against the LORD;
2b) Deu 9:25, Moses: Do not destroy Your people;
2a) Deu 9:26-29, Moses: Do not dispossess Israel Your inheritance.

So we see that a key component of Worship YHVH Only, is obedience to His commandments, which comes from the root of belief in His word. For the central axis reveals that YHVH Himself obeys His own word, and that is the reason that He is leading the people into the Promised Land – not because of their self- righteousness. Faith is not the enemy of obedience, but faith is the root that produces the fruit of obedience. If the fruit of obedience is not present in the life, it is because the root 0f unbelief is present in the life. And unbelievers will not inherit the promise.

Believer, have you dismissed Gen 1-11 because you have believed the word of man regarding darwinian evolution instead of the word of the God who was there and who created all things? Then you have put another god before YHVH and have not worshiped Him only. You are not a believer but an unbeliever. Have you dismissed the books of Moses because you have believed the word of man regarding dispensational eras instead of the word of YHVH whose voice spoke from Mt. Sinai? Then you have put another god before YHVH and have not worshiped Him only. These are the wicked ways God is calling His people to turn from (2 Chr 7:14)!

Continued: deuteronomy 10:1-11, rejecting God


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