Since virtually the entire generation that had come out of Egypt perished in the wilderness, God reaffirms His covenant with those who are about to enter the Promised Land. This new generation either witnessed the plagues and the parting of the Red Sea as children and youths under age 20, or were born in the wilderness. They didn’t participate as adults in the covenant on Mount Horeb so this was their opportunity to hear for themselves what God expected.
One verse in this chapter stood out and reminded me of many people’s position today: “When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,”they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry.” (Verse 19)
Many believe that they can persist in going their own way, rejecting God, or following false gods and they will be safe. But just as someone who continues any destructive lifestyle may experience a season where there seem to be no negative consequences for their sin, but James 1:14-16 tells us, “14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.”
Sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Whatever sin we harbor in our lives, thinking that God doesn’t see, that it isn’t so bad (or not as bad as the next person), will eventually lead to death. But this death is not merely the end of our earthly body, but the death of our spirit.
Just as surely as the Israelites turning to false gods led to their destruction and exile into Babylon, just as Moses prophesied, our rejection of God will result in our separation from Him.