Rev. Dr. Jeff Dukeman, pastor at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Gulfport, MS, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Deuteronomy 27:1-8.
Moses begins his third sermon in the book of Deuteronomy. As Moses’ earthly life draws to a close and the people will be under new leadership, the elders join Moses in instructing the people. The emphasis on keeping the LORD’s Word continues. When the people enter into the Promised Land, they are to have a physical reminder of the importance of God’s Word by constructing an altar on Mount Ebal. Uncut stones will be covered in plaster so that the Word of God can be written on the altar; perhaps this is the entire book of Deuteronomy or the Decalogue. The sacrifices offered at this altar will be a joyful reminder of what God has done and what God has spoken to His people.
“The Law of God is Good and Wise” is a series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Deuteronomy. Though Moses’ lengthy sermons in Deuteronomy may be tempting to skip, this influential book is essential reading for Christians. As Moses strengthened Israel on the plains of Moab before the people entered the Promised Land, so the book of Deuteronomy still strengthens the Church as we prepare to enter the Resurrection with Christ, the Prophet greater than Moses.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
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The Altar on Mount Ebal
27 Now Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying, “Keep the whole commandment that I command you today. 2 And on the day you cross over the Jordan to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall set up large stones and plaster them with plaster. 3 And you shall write on them all the words of this law, when you cross over to enter the land that the Lord your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you. 4 And when you have crossed over the Jordan, you shall set up these stones, concerning which I command you today, on Mount Ebal, and you shall plaster them with plaster. 5 And there you shall build an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones. You shall wield no iron tool on them; 6 you shall build an altar to the Lord your God of uncut[a] stones. And you shall offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God, 7 and you shall sacrifice peace offerings and shall eat there, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God. 8 And you shall write on the stones all the words of this law very plainly.”
- Deuteronomy 27:6 Hebrew whole
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org