The book of Deuteronomy contains a collection of laws and records Moses’ final words to the Hebrew people before they crossed the Jordan into the promised land. He wanted to remind them of what God had done for them in the past. He also wanted to encourage them to remain faithful and dedicate their lives to the Lord moving forward. Moses explained that when they obeyed God, they would experience blessing. But when they disobeyed, they would experience the negative consequences of their sin (Deuteronomy 27–30).
Today’s text highlights God’s generous heart after people turn away from sin and toward Him. Moses reminded the Israelites one last time that God would always receive them with open arms. It is hard for us to fully understand God’s mercy and grace. Moses told them that even if they turned from God and ruined their lives, He would still take them back (vv. 2–5). The phrase “circumcise your hearts” is a metaphor illustrating that their hearts were stubborn and hardened, but God would transform their hearts so they would listen and love Him once again (v. 6).
Israel’s blessings became dependent on their obedience to the Lord and following Him with their whole heart, soul, and strength which is known as the Great Shema (Deut. 6:4). Moses lived with these people for decades. He knew their depravity and failings. But before he died, he wanted to remind them that the Lord would always take them back when they were ready to obey and serve Him.
Some people cannot learn this lesson until their world has crashed in around them. It is not until they hit rock bottom that the only option left is to look up to God. The good news is that He is always quick to give people another chance.
>> Has sin separated you from God’s blessings? No matter how far you have fallen away, God promises a fresh beginning when you turn to Him. Will you do that today?
Lord, despite our best intentions, without You, sin always defeats us. We want to stop fighting in our own strength. We confess our sinfulness—and our helplessness to be righteous—and ask for Your forgiveness and redemption.