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Written by Daniel Block, NIVAC Deuteronomy explains the original meaning of this ancient text, and then brings that meaning to bear on our contemporary context. In the selection below, Block frames the message of Deuteronomy as the gospel of God's grace according to Moses.
"Bridging Contexts: Most readers of scripture recognize the significance of Moses in the history of Israel. Raised in the courts of Pharaoh but exiled for forty years in the Midianite wasteland, Moses reluctantly answered God’s call to lead his people out of Egypt. The prologue to the gospel of John captures his role in the history of revelation perfectly:
‘From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing [read “grace”] after another. For the law [read “Torah”] was given through Moses; grace and truth came through [read “happened in”] Jesus Christ. (John 1:16 – 17)’
Here the contrast is not between law and grace, but between mediated grace (“through Moses”) and embodied grace (“in Jesus Christ”). John understood the revelation of the Torah through Moses as a climactic moment of grace, superseded only by the incarnation. As the interpreter of the covenant and the Horeb revelation, Moses served Israel as a mediator of divine grace...
Contemporary Significance: For many Christians The Old Testament in general and Deuteronomy in particular is a dead book. Consequently, the favorite book of Jesus is ignored, the source of much Johannine and Pauline theology is discarded, and the life-giving power of the Word of God is cut off. Unless we rediscover this book, we will not treasure the Old Testament as a whole.
As we will see in the commentary, this book presents the gospel according to Moses. This is a gospel of divine grace lavished on undeserving human beings. Moses’ vision for his own people serves as a microcosm for the divine vision of humanity as a whole. The book points the reader to the Lord God, who has redeemed his people and assigned them the mission of radiating his grace to the world."
Block's commentary on Deuteronomy is an excellent example of the strengths of this series, and for a limited time you can add any NIVAC eBook to your library for an unbeatable price!
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