What does it say?
Moses has laid out the covenant and its implications. He has warned the people of the consequences of obedience and disobedience. Now (Deu 30), he calls upon them to formally commit to the covenant as they prepare to cross the Jordan River.
Joshua has been by Moses’ side for this entire journey. Moses now formally commissions him publicly as his successor and the one that will lead them across into the Promised Land (Deu 31). Moses then commands the Levites to place a copy of the scroll of the Law (perhaps the entire Book of Deuteronomy) beside the ark as a witness against future disobedience of the nation.
What does it mean?
In the biblical worldview, to believe is to hear and obey. These elements form a unit, not various options. Legalism is doing in order to receive something in return. Genuine biblical belief is to hear and obey. We often try to intellectualize faith. Genuine faith in God’s word obeys God’s word. There’s no way around it. Moses again returns to this theme of obedience to God’s words. An entire generation of believers wasted their lives in the desert because of unbelief. Now, a new generation has the opportunity to demonstrate the authenticity of their faith.
The relationship between Moses and Joshua is a beautiful illustration of the concept of discipleship. Joshua and Caleb are the only members of the failed generation to enter the land, a reward for their faith upon returning from the exploratory mission into the land. Moses will not enter because of his serious lapse of faith that we witnessed earlier.
How will I respond?
Authenticity is a trendy word today, and it’s a good word. How authentic is my faith? Do I profess to believe things that I fail to live in practice? Am I truly committed to obey God’s truth? How can I grow in obedience to God’s truth if I am not growing in my understanding of God’s word? What step or steps can I take to grow in this area?
Moses had Joshua and others. Who are those who follow me and are learning to do what I do? God’s story and the mission require teamwork. What are my responsibilities in the Body of Christ? Who is learning to do what I do? Who can take my place when God has something different for me?