Being the People of God

The moment came for the people to enter into the Promised Land. God had given His instructions. He had given His laws. At this point, there needed to be a renewal of the covenant which God had made with Abraham and with His people. (Deuteronomy 26:16–27:10) These people were about to enter into that land that God had promised to Abraham. They were to seize upon the promises God had made. They were to be His people. There are times in our lives when we must recommit ourselves to God. Before we can be introduced into a greater work for God, we must recommit ourselves to Him and be aware of His commitments and promises to us.


(Deuteronomy 26:16)

The people were told to obey the statutes and judgments of God. There are four truths given here.

  • They were to keep the statutes and judgments. The word keep does not mean to obey. It means that they were to have them in their hearts. They were to become a part of them. When we have completely committed ourselves to God’s Word, it becomes a part of us.
  • They were to do God’s statutes and judgments. Once we have kept them in our hearts, then we are to carry them out with obedience. Obedience is the most important part of the life of a Christian.
  • They were to do it with all of their hearts. This was not merely a performance of duty. It was to be a performance of delight. They were to obey from their hearts.
  • They were to do it with all of their souls. This indicates that they were to give their best to do what God had commanded them to do. God wants us to do it more than just from our hearts; He wants us to do it with diligence.


(Deuteronomy 26:17)

There are two proclamations the people were to make that day.

  • That the Lord would be their God
  • That they would walk in His ways and keep His statutes

These two go together because when we identify ourselves with God, it is demonstrated by our obedience. God wants us to clearly identify that He, and He alone, is our God. When we do that, we are then to walk diligently in His ways.


(Deuteronomy 26:18-19)

Once they had made their proclamation to God, then God made His proclamation to the people. There are two parts to God’s proclamation to us as His own people.

  • God calls upon us to be His peculiar people. The word peculiar does not mean odd. It means unique or different from the world. God proclaims to us that we are to be peculiar or set apart to Him. The way we are to do this is to keep His commandments. I Peter 2:9 says, But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
  • God’s promises to honor His people. God’s proclamation was to make His people above all nations in praise, in name, and in honor. He then set them apart as holy people unto Himself. There is a special and unique relationship that God expects to have with His people. We must first obey Him, and then He will honor us as His own.


(Deuteronomy 27:1-10)

After entering the Promised Land, the people were commanded to establish an altar. This altar was to be made of stones and covered in plaster. Upon these stones, in large letters, they were to write the commandments of God. The purpose of this altar was not merely to worship God. It was to be a reminder of what God had commanded them. God wanted there to be a permanent reminder of their commitment to obey His commands.

We are to write God’s commandments on the tables of our hearts. II Corinthians 3:3 says, Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. It is easy to live in God’s promises and to forget His commandments. This altar was to remind them of the importance of obeying His commands.

The people had been set aside once again and had a covenant with God. The altar was established; however, now, they needed to do their part to continue living under the commandments which God had given to them. We are God’s people. We are to be His peculiar people. We are to be set apart and to obey God in every area of our lives. Our blessings will depend upon this. If we choose not to obey, we will reap the consequences.

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by pastor greg neal

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