Deuteronomy 30 Tells of Future Israel’s Fulfillment

March 2, 2017 at 7:26 AM 1 comment

Moses did it correctly the first time. The second time? Not so much and it cost him...

Moses did it correctly the first time. The second time? Not so much and it cost him…

Toward the end of the book of Deuteronomy, we are reminded that Moses understands he won’t be leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. He made a huge mistake back at the rock where he was simply supposed to speak to it, not strike it as he had been told by God to do in the first instance. While some may have a difficult time appreciating the nuanced difference between the two incidents (Exodus 17 and Numbers 20).

Speaking to Moses, God said to him…

You will die on the mountain that you ascend and join your deceased ancestors, just as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and joined his deceased ancestors, for both of you rebelled against me among the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the desert of Zin when you did not show me proper respect among the Israelites. You will see the land before you, but you will not enter the land that I am giving to the Israelites – Deuteronomy 32:50-52 NET

God says that Moses “did not show [Him] proper respect among the Israelites.” Without going into a great amount of detail, it is interesting to note how some folks view these incidents and why Moses was not allowed to go into the Promised Land. In fact, God almost seems a bit petty, doesn’t He? However, God had the right to keep Moses from entering the Promised Land because Moses failed to obey God completely. This was, unfortunately, huge.

Please also notice that while God refused to allow Moses into the Promised Land, He clearly forgave Moses. Consequences continue and even though God’s forgiveness is extended to us, He is under no obligation to change the consequences of our sinful actions. Forgiveness is one thing. Consequences are another.

God referred to what Moses did as “unbelief” (cf. Numbers 20:12). That’s interesting because from it we learn that God had a problem with Moses’ anger (although that was part of the problem). The reason God kept Moses out of the Promised Land was due to Moses’ lack of belief in God.

During the first incidence at the rock where Israel was in need of water, Moses was told by God to strike the rock. Of course, the rock symbolized God and the “salvation” that came from the pouring forth of water for the lives and herds of the Israelites.

In the second instance, God told Moses to simply speak to the rock, not to strike it. We can assume that in this instance as well, the rock symbolized God and the water that flowed forth from that rock was again, what saved the Israelites from dying of thirst.

So what is the problem? In my mind, these two separate (though connected) events represent two separate and distinct things. The first incidence represents the First Advent of Jesus, which culminating in His brutal beating and death by crucifixion. The first time Jesus came to this earth, He came as Suffering Servant. The first incident at the rock represented this metaphor.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed – Isaiah 53:5 KJV

Jesus was acquainted with grief and though He Himself was absolutely sinless, He died as though He had sinned. God the Father saw God the Son as a “sinner” though Jesus remained free from His own personal sin.

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him – 2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV

Jesus was completely without sin, but was seen by God the Father as if He had sinned and was a sinner, though He was not. Jesus came the first time literally to die on behalf of the world (John 3).

What about the second instance where Moses again struck the rock, though that second time, he was only supposed to speak to it? I believe this incidence represents the second advent or physical future return of Jesus to this planet. When He arrives at some future point, He will arrive as King, Victor, Lord over all. He will set up His Kingdom that will last for 1,000 years after which this earth and heavens will be completely destroyed, replaced with new ones. No one will mistreat Jesus when He returns because He will return in powermajesty, and full of glory.

Moses inadvertently destroyed the picture of the first and second advent of Jesus; first as the suffering Servant and then followed by the victorious King. Moses couldn’t see that from where he stood, but he should have simply obeyed God in faith and followed His directives to a “t.” Instead, he failed, by going off on his own. Because the picture was ruined, God told Moses that he would not enter the Promised Land though he would be allowed to see it.

This is where we find Moses toward the end of Deuteronomy. He is taking pains to explain everything to the Israelites that God places on his heart. He tells them of all the curses that will fall on them should they fail to obey God in all things. Moses also tells them of the blessings that will be theirs if they will simply and consistently submit to God’s Lordship over Israel.

Moses tells the people that if they fail to submit to God in all things, they will experience the curses and ultimately, will be removed from the Promised Land and scattered among the nations. We’ve seen this happen numerous times during Israel’s history. In fact, prior to 1948 when Israel again became a nation, Jewish people had been scattered throughout the world in many nations. What we’ve seen since 1948 and continuing into today is the return of Jews to their homeland as God brings them back, though He does so as they remain mired in unbelief for the most part. Many Jews today are Jews in name only. They have no connection with God at all. Even orthodox Jews continue to live in the mindset of the Old Testament, failing to see that Jesus – God the Son – has fulfilled the Law and provided salvation through His substitutionary death on the cross. Orthodox Jews cannot see or understand this even though they have the Scriptures that reveal it.

Are all those Jews being brought back to Israel destined for salvation as the final remnant God will carve out during the final seven-years of human-led history? I don’t believe so. In Romans 9 – 11, I believe when Paul says “all Israel will be saved,” (Romans 11:26), he is speaking of the entire final remnant, meaning those Jews whose eyes are to be opened and who will become part of the final generation that represents the nation of Israel following the coming seven-year Tribulation. There are many Jews living today who will die in their sin without ever having received salvation. Though they are Jewish, that fact alone does not save them, just as it applies to everyone, whether Jew or Gentile.

It is also interesting in Deuteronomy 30 because Moses assures the people of Israel that if they come to a point where they repent and return to God after straying, God will hear their cry and forgive them.

Then if you and your descendants turn to the Lord your God and obey him with your whole mind and being just as I am commanding you today, the Lord your God will reverse your captivity and have pity on you. He will turn and gather you from all the peoples among whom he has scattered you – Deuteronomy 30:2-3 NET

Moses is speaking into the future. He uses the term “descendants” to mean that even if/when they do depart from following/obeying the Lord God, at some point in the future when a generation of Israelites begins again to seek His face, God will take pity on that generation and forgive them. He will “reverse” the captivity and “He will turn and gather” Israel from the various nations they have been scattered to because of God’s original anger against Israel for their spiritual adultery and disbelief. This is God’s promise to Israel through Moses. In other words, God will never fully or with finality disregard Israel. If a generation of Israelites repents after a previous one separates from God, God will faithfully restore that new generation.

Even if your exiles are in the most distant land, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. Then he will bring you to the land your ancestors possessed and you also will possess it; he will do better for you and multiply you more than he did your ancestors – Deuteronomy 30:4-5 NET

Moses assures Israel that God will return the people to the Land that He gave them, even if those exiled are in the farthest lands from the Land of Israel. Moreover, Moses told the people that God would do “better” for Israel and multiply them more than He did with the earlier generations of Israelites.

The Lord your God will also cleanse your heart and the hearts of your descendants so that you may love him with all your mind and being and so that you may live. Then the Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies, on those who hate you and persecute you. You will return and obey the Lord, keeping all his commandments I am giving you today – Deuteronomy 30:6-8 NET

Notice here that God promises that a future generation of Israelites would have cleansed hearts who will love God with all their mind and being. Moses also states that God “will put all these curses on your enemies…”

The truth is that even though the first generation of Israelites who went into possess the Promised Land had a limited measure of success in rooting out enemies, they did not ever fully or permanently truly possess the Land or permanently cease from their labors to rid the Land of God’s enemies. This has not yet occurred in history to this day and can be clearly seen in the ongoing conflicts, struggles, and terrorism within the Middle East. What Moses is speaking of here in verses six through eight is really speaking of a yet future time.

While the repossession of the land can be said to some extent to have been fulfilled by the return of the Jews following the Babylonian exile (cf. Jer 29:10-14; 30:3), the greater prosperity and population was not achieved in Old Testament times. In fact, it still awaits realization in any literal sense (cf. Hag 2:6-9; Zech 8:1-8; 10:8-12). As for the radical work of regeneration described here as circumcision of the heart, that clearly awaits a day yet to come as far as the covenant nation as a whole is concerned. [1]

Even though some point to Joshua 11:23 as alleged proof that Israel possessed all the Land and ceased from warring, the fact remains that this was occurring to some degree, but there was still much more to be done. It has yet to be.

Joshua conquered the whole land, just as the Lord had promised Moses, and he assigned Israel their tribal portions. Then the land was free of war – Joshua 11:23 NET

The above verse summarizes or points to the fact that possessing the Land was in process. Proof of this is just two chapters later in Joshua where we read the following:

When Joshua was very old, the Lord told him, “You are very old, and a great deal of land remains to be conquered…” – Joshua 13:1 NET

God spoke to Joshua to tell him specifically that there was a “great deal of land” that still needed to be conquered, so clearly the mention in Joshua 11 is a quick summary of what was happening, but was not indicative that all conquering and work had been permanently completed. In fact, in this same chapter (Joshua 13), we read that Israel did not totally destroy or evict at least two groups; Geshurites and Maacathites. There was tremendous work to be done and in all reality, the final aspects of God’s covenant with Israel concerning the Land as well as their standing among the nations would not be fulfilled until the Millennial Kingdom ruled over by Jesus Himself. This is when the promises of God made to Israel will come to full fruition and with permanence.

One day, this world will experience seven-years of literal hell on earth. Not only will God pour out His wrath on the people/nations of this world, but He will do so in the hopes that at least some will see their error and turn to Him in repentance. He will also focus on Israel to pull out His final remnant from all Jews gathered there. God in fact, will call out His final remnant that will represent the nation of Israel during the coming Millennial Kingdom. But the seven years prior to it will be the worst time this earth will ever have experienced according to Jesus in His Olivet Discourse of Matthew 28.

However, after this period of terrible suffering ends (the Tribulation), Jesus will arrive to earth to judge the nations and God the Father will then install God the Son as Ruler over all the earth from Zion (Psalm 2). The promises that God made eons ago regarding Israel will find complete fulfillment during the coming Millennium, just as sure as all other promises and prophecies have been fulfilled to this point.

We referenced an article previously where it is stated (according to source within CNN), that CNN has come up with a plan to destroy Trump and one of the ways they’ll do it is by attempting to pit Jewish people against President Trump. The source indicated the following regarding the inner workings of CNN:

…everyone who is Jewish and working [at CNN] has power. They all hate Trump and their goal is to turn all the Jews in America against him. They call him Goyim and they always laugh at the evangelicals. They call them ‘stupid’ or ‘naive droolers’, and there’s lots of attacks on Jesus. It makes me mad because I am Christian.

Clearly, these individuals, though they are Jewish, will have no part in God’s coming Kingdom unless their eyes are opened to the truth and they embrace that truth. In the meantime, God allows Satan to use them as he will. These Jewish people are blind due to being deceived. They unknowingly work against God, but God will be the Victor. It’s already a done deal. It is wonderful to know that at some future point, God’s promises toward Israel will be fulfilled.

This is why I support “Israel.” I do so because of what God is going to do within that nation at some point in the future. I don’t simply support Jewish people. Most are in dire need of salvation and unless Christians tell them of their need, how will they hear? How will their eyes be opened? However, God has a plan for the nation of Israel and He will clearly open some Jewish eyes allowing them to become part of His final remnant. This remnant will enter the Millennial Kingdom and will experience the full force of God’s promises to the nation of Israel. During that time, Israel will be the center of the earth, all nations will come under the authority of Israel, and this earth will experience a renewal unlike any that’s ever been seen.

Jewish people today are not “special” in any spiritual sense. However, none of knows which Jews will become part of the final remnant of Israel during the Millennial Kingdom. Because we do not know, it is our responsibility to pray for all Jews, to evangelize them, to be ready to provide a reason for the hope we have in Christ.

Jews today who do not know Jesus are just as bad off as Gentiles who do not know Jesus. Many Jews today are being used by Satan to work against God. Of course, this is foolish and will ultimately mean their own individual ruin unless they turn to Christ for salvation. In reality though, godless Jews are used the same way godless Gentiles are used. I think Satan takes special delight in using Jews to thwart God’s purposes though, don’t you?

 

[1] http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/deuteronomy.pdf, pp 121-122

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