Moses’ Final Appeal for Obedience to God (Deuteronomy 29:1-30:20)
Moses concludes with a third speech, a final appeal for obedience to God’s covenant, which will result in human thriving. It reinforces his earlier exhortations in Deuteronomy 7:12-15 and 28:2-12. Deuteronomy 30:15 summarizes it well: “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity.” Obedience to God leads to blessing and life, while disobedience leads to curses and death. In this context, “obedience to God” meant keeping the Sinai covenant, and was thus an obligation that related solely to Israel. Yet obedience to God, leading to blessing, is a timeless principle not limited to ancient Israel, and it applies to work and life today. If we love God and do as he commands, we find it the best plan for our life and in work. This does not mean that following Christ never involves hardship and want (Christians may be persecuted, ostracized, or imprisoned). It does mean that those who live with genuine piety and integrity will do well not just because they have good character but also because they are under God’s blessing. Even in evil times, when obedience to God may lead to persecution, the sweet fruit of God’s blessing is better than the sour residue of complicity in evil. In the big picture, we are always better off in God’s ways than in any other.