a burning waste
Deuteronomy 29:22-25 (JDV)
Deuteronomy 29:22 “Future generations of your children who follow you and the foreigner who comes from a distant country will see the plagues of that land and the sicknesses Yahveh has inflicted on it.
Deuteronomy 29:23 All its land will be a burning waste of sulfur and salt, unplanted, producing nothing, with no plant growing on it, just like the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which Yahveh demolished in his fierce anger.
Deuteronomy 29:24 All the nations will ask, ‘Why has Yahveh done this to this land? Why this intense outburst of anger?’
Deuteronomy 29:25 Then people will answer, ‘It is because they abandoned the covenant of Yahveh, the God of their fathers, which he had established with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.
a burning waste
The land was supposed to be a holy land. It was supposed to shine like the sun in dark space, displaying God’s goodness and grace. But when the Israelites rebelled against God’s commands and abandoned his covenant, the land would be the sign of God’s displeasure with them. These words were not a description of the land as it was. When Moses first spoke these words, the land was a promised land — flowing with milk and honey — ready to be entered and enjoyed. But it would not be enjoyed for long, because God’s grace was extended to the children of Abraham for a purpose. When the purpose is abandoned the blooming garden will become a burning waste.
Can I ask you, Christian, where are you right now. Are you confidently prancing around a beautiful garden, enjoying God’s grace, or are you scouring the countryside for your next meal? I’m not asking you to ignore your surroundings, I want you to notice them. Because the condition of your land is often a sign of your current relationship with God.
If you do find yourself in a burning waste land today, there is still hope. The God who rescued you by his grace can return you to the garden he promised. Return to the covenant you have abandoned.
Lord, show us how to reconnect with our covenant with Christ, and return to the life you promised.