The third point is to urge the people to obey. Moses was a great preacher, and he rises to heights of eloquence here in Deuteronomy 29-30. Even after he spelled things out as sharply as he does in Deuteronomy 27-28, he goes on to urge his applications on the people even more. Moses reminds the people of the past, describes what entering into the covenant really means, gives an additional specific warning of disasters to come, and finally promises prosperity in the future, if, after having fallen away, the people repent of their sins and come back to the Lord they have deserted.

The second point of our outline has to do with the blessings and curses. When the people came into the land and had written the law on the stones and the altar had been set up, the Israelites were supposed to stand on these two mountains, in the area of the country known as Samaria now, about 3,000 feet above sea level. At one point, the two mountains come close together. Half of the tribes were to take their places on Mount Gerizim and the other half on Mount Ebal. The Levites were to recite the blessings and the curses. And after each curse and each blessing, the people would answer by saying, “Amen.” 

Some scholars regard the book of Deuteronomy as the heart of the Old Testament, and some call chapters 27-30 the heart of Deuteronomy. In these chapters, Moses forcefully urges on the people the kind of life that is based on what God has done. In chapters 4-26, he has given the chief substance of the teaching. As a preacher, Moses is pressing this point home upon the people. He is about to die and will soon leave the people he has led for decades. He urges the people to choose righteousness and obey God, because that’s the way of blessing. The other way is the way of death. 

If you have an opportunity to teach, whether it is in your home or in church, and whether to children or adults, don’t be afraid to repeat, repeat, repeat the teachings of the Word of God. People need to hear the law, they need to hear the Gospel, and they need to hear both of them again and again and again. It is significant that in the middle of this repeated law, we find the greatest of all the commandments: love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength. As we learn to love Him, by the grace of the Lord we also learn to obey.

The second thing the people are encouraged to do is to impress these laws—above all, the duty to love God wholly—upon their children. After Moses tells the Israelites to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, and strength, he then says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deut. 6:6-9).