Deuteronomy Chapter 30 … is the great “life or death” chapter of the Bible. As is clearly seen in its fifteenth verse: “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil.”
And is quickly repeated in verse nineteen: “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”
And these two diametrically opposed conditions (life and death) are based on what?
OBEYING THE WORD OF GOD!
Verse sixteen: “I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.”
And just how HARD might that be, finding this Word of God? To learn and follow all the days of one’s life? To enjoy such a time of blessing?
Now, today’s Bible “Text” …
“For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.” Deuteronomy 30:11-14
These stipulations, laws, are all readily available!
This “commandment” (meaning the whole lot of them, all 613 if the rabbis are right) is here being depicted as “One Word” from God.
And it is not “hidden!” Here the Holy Spirit uses the word “pala,” an unusual word in this context. But 5 times in the Bible (Old Testament, “pala” being Hebrew) it is translated “hard.” This (our Text) is the only time it is translated “hidden,” but the meaning is essentially the same.
Plus, the parallel clause locks the meaning securely, “neither is it far off.” Where “rahoq” is used, meaning “remote, distant, a great space.”
If God is going to require that His “COMMANDMENT” be respected and implemented … He will make it available, handy, not far removed and inaccessible! That’s the point of the whole paragraph!
One does not have to go to “Heaven” to get it!
Nor across the “sea!”
No, the Jews have been so taught the Word of God that it can be said … “But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart.”
In fact, they wore it on their heads and arms!
They also posted these words on their doorposts and walls of their homes!
They were taught to speak of them (God’s Words, Commands) day and night. When they got up on the morning! When they went to bed every night! When they ate their meals! Virtually, all the time!
Truthfully it could be declared: “But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart.”
If God makes a strong demand … He also makes the following of that command easy! He makes His precepts handily found!
To what end, what’s the goal?
The last words to every clause in the passage are … “that we may hear it, and do it!” Applying the Word of God! Note the sequence … hearing first. Then doing!
From what nearly amounts to a geography lesson!
By the way, God’s Word (the New Testament I mean now) is equally available to us today!
To obey the Commands of Jesus!
Thank God today for your Bible, dear friends!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
Oh yes, Paul in Romans 10:6-9 quotes these Deuteronomy verses about the (easy) availability of God’s plan of Salvation! Here it is: “But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? That is, to bring Christ down from above, or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”