Deut 29:1 These are the terms of the covenant the LORD commanded Moses to make with the Israelites in Moab, in addition to the covenant he had made with them at Horeb.

Deut 29:2 Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them: Your eyes have seen all that the LORD did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials and to all his land.

Deut 29:3 With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those miraculous signs and great wonders.

Deut 29:4 But to this day the LORD has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear.

Deut 29:5 During the forty years that I led you through the desert, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet.

Deut 29:6 You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the LORD your God.

Deut 29:7 When you reached this place, Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of Bashan came out to fight against us, but we defeated them.

Deut 29:8 We took their land and gave it as an inheritance to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh.

Deut 29:9 Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do.

Deut 29:10 All of you are standing today in the presence of the LORD your God–your leaders and chief men, your elders and officials, and all the other men of Israel,

Deut 29:11 together with your children and your wives, and the aliens living in your camps who chop your wood and carry your water.

Deut 29:12 You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the LORD your God, a covenant the LORD is making with you this day and sealing with an oath,

Deut 29:13 to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Deut 29:14 I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you

Deut 29:15 who are standing here with us today in the presence of the LORD our God but also with those who are not here today.

Deut 29:16 You yourselves know how we lived in Egypt and how we passed through the countries on the way here.

Deut 29:17 You saw among them their detestable images and idols of wood and stone, of silver and gold.

Deut 29:18 Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.

Deut 29:19 When such a person hears the words of this oath, he invokes a blessing on himself and therefore thinks, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way.” This will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry.

Deut 29:20 The LORD will never be willing to forgive him; his wrath and zeal will burn against that man. All the curses written in this book will fall upon him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven.

Deut 29:21 The LORD will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for disaster, according to all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law.

Deut 29:22 Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the LORD has afflicted it.

Deut 29:23 The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur–nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in fierce anger.

Deut 29:24 All the nations will ask: “Why has the LORD done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?”

Deut 29:25 And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt.

Deut 29:26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them.

Deut 29:27 Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book.

Deut 29:28 In furious anger and in great wrath the LORD uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.”

Deut 29:29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

The secret things – Commentators generally agree that, in context, these are particularly the future things.  ‘The secret things (nistārôt), including the unfathomable wisdom of God’s creation, plan, election and grace, as this relates to Israel’s future in particular (30:1–10; esp. 30:6), are God’s concern.’ (Woods)

Secret Things

  1. We do not know the origin of evil, including the entry of sin into the human race
  2. We cannot understand many of the reasons why we experience suffering and grief
  3. The date of Christ’s return is hidden from us
  4. We cannot know, in advance of the exercise of saving faith, whether we have been predestined for salvation

Based on an article by Geoff Thomas

‘On the whole subject of religion, one rule of modesty and soberness is to be observed, and it is this: In obscure matters not to speak or think, or even long to know, more than the Word of God has delivered. A second rule is that in reading the Scriptures we should constantly direct our inquiries and meditations to those things which tend to edification, not indulge in curiosity, or in studying things of no use.’ (Calvin)

‘As to the will of God, it falls under a twofold consideration of his secret and revealed will. The distinction is found in that Scripture [Deut 29:29]. The first is the rule of his own actions: the latter of ours’ (Flavel)

‘It is absolutely impossible that a true religion should not present a great number of mysteries. It teaches more truths than all others; but each of these truths has a relation to the infinite, and, by consequence, borders on a mystery.’ (Alexandre Vinet)

‘The Bible tells us that an enemy came and sowed tares. Now, if any man chooses to go further than this, and inquire where the enemy got the tares, he is welcome to do so; but I choose to leave it where the Bible leaves it. I do not wish to be wise above what is written.’ (Payson)

God reveals that which it is to our profit to know; but what we are unable to bear he keeps secret. (Saint John of Damascus)