Deut. 9, Psalms 92-93, Isaiah 37, Revelation 7

DateVersionReading Plan
@June 5, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Deut. 9

Deuteronomy 9:4–5 (ESV) 4 “Do not say in your heart, after the LORD your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,’ whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out before you. 5 Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the LORD your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

God through Moses made clear that His favor on the people to give them the land had nothing to do with any inherent righteousness they possessed but because of the wickedness of these nations and to confirm the word He swore to their fathers. Their hearts were to be free from the impurity of self-sufficiency that would lead them to look back and claim their success as being rooted in their righteousness. This truth extends well past this scenario and into every aspect of life in a fallen world. Our capacity to achieve any God-glorifying good is solely a work of His grace. Let us then put to death any notion of autonomy and go forth in full surrender to His sovereign empowerment.

Psalms 92-93

Psalm 92:5–7 (ESV) 5 How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep! 6 The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: 7 that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever;

The psalmist reveals himself humble in acknowledging the immeasurable depths of God’s thoughts and how this relates to the seeming success of the wicked. The foolish plot and carry on in their course wickedness without regard for the coming destruction. Their attention is fixed on the present satisfaction of prosperous wrongdoing, never paying heed to the greater impact and ramifications. As we read of this, it should shape our perspective on fruitful outcomes, realizing that it very much matters the means by which they are achieved.

Isaiah 37

Isaiah 37:33–35 (ESV) 33 “Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. 34 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the LORD. 35 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”

God announced that Sennacherib would not be able to take the city, failing even to begin the assault and would instead return to Assyria the same way from which he came. The LORD gave reason for His defense of the city, that it would be done for His sake and the sake of David. This echoes closely to today’s reading in Deut. 9 in which the Lord’s motive was grounded in the promise He had made to the fathers. Both readings underscore how we worship a God who keeps His promises. It is by His grace that He makes such promises to His sinful, rational creatures and by His faithfulness that He keeps them.

Revelation 7

Revelation 7:9–10 (ESV) 9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

Commentaries are mixed as to what this great multitude represents. As the CSB Notes states: “Some interpreters understand the “vast multitude” to be all martyrs, who arrive in heaven over a period of time. Others see this as the time when the church is raptured, with some who are dead and some who are still alive all arriving at the same time (1 Thes. 4:14–17).”

Carson on Deuteronomy 9

Although the annihilation of the Canaanites fills us with embarrassed horror, there is a sense in which (dare I say it?) we had better get used to it. It is of a piece with the Flood, with the destruction of several empires, with hell itself. The proper response is Luke 13:1-5: unless we repent, we shall all likewise perish.

Carson is direct in saying that we had better get used to destruction of evildoers. This is not to lead us to cowering fear of a wrathful God, but to repentance and the reorientation of our whole selves toward a holy and righteous God.