Deuteronomy 27 Commentary

Deuteronomy 27 Commentary

The law is to be kept permanently. The choice of stone as print material speaks of perpetuity of the law. It’s meant to last. It endures. Israel must erect symbols to keep her reminded of the central role of the law. It represents the terms of the covenant between Israel and God.

Verse 1 talks of Moses and the leaders while verse 9 talks of Moses and the Levitical priests. The entire leadership structure was involved. It emphasizes the need for leadership in the worship of the LORD.

The laws are to be recited publicly and loudly. Like in chapter 26 verbal declarations of the laws of God form an important part of prayer. Here in chapter 27 each declaration is terminated by an ‘Amen’. It means that the worshipper must be in agreement with the law of the LORD as they pray. How does the Lord’s Prayer conform to this thought here? In the declaration that ‘your will be done’, the saint is basically reciting the law as the law embodies the will of the LORD.

“You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” Amen. Can this be prayer? Yes. Powerful? Yes. Sensible? Yes. Verbally declaring the law of the LORD and saying amen to it is truly powerful.

Verse 26 summarizes the declarations. “Cursed is anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

The scripture gives us an understanding that curses need not necessarily be statements pronounced by some sorcerer or evil man seeking to cause harm to the saint. Curses come with failure to uphold the law of the LORD. We may look back at the story of Balaam with a better understanding. Balaam could pronounce curses but against Israel these would have been empty words. The saint living in obedience can receive bad words but these would be completely empty and devoid of power. Real curses against the saint come with disobedience.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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