Chapter 27 begins the fourth section of Deuteronomy (chapters 27-28) which sets out the blessings for obedience to the law and curses for disobedience. It is interesting that the warnings against disobedience occupy the largest part of this section.
Chapter 29 begins the final section with one last exhortation to faithfulness and the final verse of this chapter has been invoked many times by well-meaning Christians to excuse what they don’t know: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and our children forever.” When we don’t know an answer, we attribute it to the fact that God has not revealed it.
But entirely too often we could know the answer if we would but look for it. After all, the verse does not really end with “to our children forever,” but with the words “that we may follow all the words of this law.” You cannot follow what you do not know, and you cannot excuse what you do not know by saying “God hasn’t revealed it” when, in fact, He has.
Earlier in the chapter God makes this point: their miraculous deliverance, over a period of forty years in which not even their clothing wore out, was a sign of the surety of God’s covenant. But no one should take the sure promises of God as a certainty if obedience to His law was not present. We talk about the unforgivable sin mentioned by Jesus in the New Testament often overlooking the fact that it was present in the Old Testament too. Anyone who persisted in living as he saw fit, seemingly oblivious by his behavior to the law of God, would never be forgiven. The recalcitrant spirit is, in fact, the unforgivable sin and remains unforgivable as long as it is present.