Redemption Picture

When the question arises, ‘What is your favorite book in Scripture?’, most people might answer by stating the Psalms, or Romans, or possibly Isaiah, maybe Galatians, or Matthew, or Proverbs. One of my answers to this question would be Ephesians. But very rarely will an Old Testament book (outside of something like Psalms, Provers and Isaiah) be mentioned as someone’s favorite, though it does happen occasionally. And, when stating one’s preferred book of the Old Testament, most are going to stay away from those first five books of Moses, albeit the possibility of Genesis.

And that is where we find ourselves with the book of Deuteronomy. If we can actually make it through Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers, we find ourselves in an all too familiar setting. Why all too familiar? Well, we feel like we’ve just read these words of Deuteronomy in the books of Exodus and Leviticus, if we can actually recall to mind what we read in those two books. And so the questions arises, ‘Do I have to read these words again?’

If you weren’t aware already, the word Deuteronomy means ‘second law’ – from the Greek words nomos meaning ‘law’ and deuteros meaning ‘second’. And it is rightly named such, for much of its material is already found in Exodus and Leviticus in connection with the Mosaic covenant and law, but with some additional words.

But why would God need to repeat and reconfirm what He had already spoken previously? That’s where the book of Numbers becomes important. In the first half of the book, it recounts the story of God bringing an end to an old generation that was hard-hearted and full of selfish complaining (see Numbers 11:1). And, thus, the last half of the book deals with God raising up a new generation that were to be committed to His purposes (though they would soon depart from His words). Therefore, God reconfirmed His covenant relationship with this new generation making sure they had His words of instruction before entering the promised land.

Thus, we have a need for Deuteronomy. And while it does not stand as a book we regularly turn to for devotional consideration and study, it actually does have a beautiful message in regards to the heart of God for His people.

When I do read Deuteronomy, one verse that has always struck me as quite amazing is found in 6:23:

And he [God] brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers.

In the greater context of the book, Moses is reminding this new generation about what God did for the people of Israel. Oddly enough, though the old generation had already passed away in the wilderness, and a completely new generation were on the cusp of entering the land of promise, Moses still says, ‘God brought us…’

What God has done for the ‘cloud of witnesses’ (Hebrews 12:1) that have gone before us, He has also done for us. And, not only that, but they find their own fulfillment from us that are to come (see Hebrews 11:39-40). We are connected together in the purposes of God throughout the generations. We have never and never will stand alone. And thus, God had not only brought the parents and grandparents of the Israelites out of Egypt, He had brought them out of bondage as well.

Yet, though it has been a long about way of getting here, my greater point in this article is to encourage us about our redemption in Christ. Though the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt was an actual event that did take place, a redemption story itself, it was only a pointer to the greater redemption that God would bring about for mankind in His Son, Jesus Christ. And this is where Deuteronomy 6:23 comes in:

And he [God] brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers.

Redemption is about the fullness of what God has done in Christ. God not only brings us out – from bondage to sin, Satan, self, etc – but redemption is also about God bringing us in to something better in Christ. ‘He brought us out…that he might bring us in…’ That is the full story of our redemption in Christ.

Most Christians usually have a handle on what we have been brought out of and delivered from. They are aware of forgiveness of sin so we will one day get to go to heaven. Yet, most are not as aware of what God has brought us into. We are not only forgiven, but we have become the righteousness of God, declared saints, new creations, born from above, indwelt by the third person of the Godhead, empowered by that same Spirit, on a course of transformation into the image of the Son of God, given gifts to edify the body and reach the world, and so much more. This is our lot in Christ! This is our redemption!

Thus, let us remember that redemption and salvation does not end with only God bringing us out of something. That is only half of the story. But let us remember that God brought us out of Egypt, out of bondage to the enemy, out from bondage to a sinful nature, all that He might bring us in to the fullness of what He has for us in Christ. This, my friends, is the power of the gospel! This is the power of the kingdom of God!