Ch. 9 - The Rise of the Kingdom
We cover the history of salvation between the 40 years of Israel's wilderness wanderings and the rise of King Saul to the throne. We delve into one of the most important books in the Old Testament: Deuteronomy, which means Second Law. It was delivered to the 2nd generation of Israelites (since the exodus from Egypt) on the plains of Moab, just east of the Jordan river, in response to that generation's apostasy at Beth-Peor through worship of Ba'al-Peor. In it, Moses delivers various concessionary laws that Ezekiel 20 describes as "not good" such as divorce remarriage, genocidal warfare, slavery, and concubinage. Structured like an ancient Hittite treaty between a suzerain king and a potentially rebellious vassal, Deuteronomy serves as Israel's national constitution, to keep Israel under probation. Towards the end, Moses tells Israel that it will transgress this Deuteronomic Covenant, it will incur its covenant curses, which includes eventual exile to a foreign land, and finally, Israel will be restored by God himself and be given a new, circumcised heart. Thereby, Moses has given Israel a preview of the rest of the Old Testament, which will be fulfilled in the New Testament through the gift of the Holy Spirit, which recreates the Christian with a new heart through sanctifying grace. This review of Deuteronomy will greatly serve the student of the New Testament in the task of understanding St. Paul, especially in what he writes in his Epistle to the Galatians.