Today we get to venture into the song that Moses taught the Israelites before they continued on to the Promised Land without him at the helm.
Day 81 reading: Deuteronomy, chapters 32-34, and Psalms, chapter 91
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Now therefore, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the sons of Israel; put it on their lips, so that this song may be a witness for Me against the sons of Israel. For when I bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and are satisfied and become prosperous, then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and spurn Me and break My covenant. Then it shall come about, when many evils and troubles have come upon the, that this song will testify before them as a witness (for it shall not be forgotten from the lips of their descendants); for I know their intent which they are developing today, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.”
So Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it to the sons of Israel. (31:19-22, NASB)
THE SONG OF MOSES
There’s so much included in the Song of Moses, but what really stood out to me were the times it felt like Moses was singing right into my heart.
I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. (32:3-4, NIV)
Is this the way you repay the Lord, O foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you? (32:6, NIV)
How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the Lord had given them up? For their rock is not like our Rock, as even our enemies concede. (32:30-31, NIV)
See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my had to heaven, and say, I live for ever. (32:39-40, KJV)
There’s so much to that song, so much depth, so much life. I would absolutely have loved to hear it with a tune, which would help the children of Israel remember it better and recite it again and again in song.
When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, he declared to them, “Take heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you–they are your life.” (32:45-47, NIV)
This year-long chronological study is not just idle words, either, it’s a matter of life for us, as well.
Reuben: Let Reuben live and not die, nor his men be few. (33:6, NIV)
Judah: With his own hands he defends his cause. Oh, be his help against his foes! (33:7, NIV)
Levi: Bless all his skills, O Lord, and be pleased with the work of his hands. (33:11, NIV)
Benjamin: Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long. (33:12, NIV)
Joseph: Let all these rest on he head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers. (33:16, NIV)
Zebulun: They will summon peoples to the mountain and there offer sacrifices of righteousness; they will feast on the abundance of the seas, on the treasures hidden in the sand. (33:19, NIV)
Gad: When the heads of the people assembled, he carried out the Lord’s righteous will, and his judgments concerning Israel. (33:21, NIV)
Dan: Dan is a lion’s cub. (33:22, NIV)
Naphtali: Abounding with the favor of the Lord and is full of his blessing. (33:23, NIV)
Asher: Most blessed of sons is Asher; let him be favored by his brothers, and let him bathe his feet in oil. (33:24, NIV)
THE DEATH OF MOSES
And now, as I have said before, after all that Moses has obeyed and all that he has done through the power of the Lord, though his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone (34:7, NIV) the Lord called Moses home without crossing over into the Promised Land. This seems to me such a bitter sweet end to Moses’ life, but I’m sure that in his dutifulness Moses didn’t mind and understood better than any other man in history ever could have.
And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. (34:5-6, NIV)
Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses. (34:9, NIV)
And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and the wonders, which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel. (34:10-12, KJV)
What a beautiful end to such an obedient leader.
Now, we come to this beautiful passage in Psalms, chapter 91. This chapter is especially close to my heart this week as just a few days ago, while travelling, I was invited to church with a sweet friend of mine and her family. I was so glad to go, not only because the church service was as lovely as the company, but because severe weather had kept so many at home that day that if it weren’t for our presence in the building, the congregation may not have even entered into the double-digits. This would have been a real shame as the pastor was such a nice speaker, the praise music upbeat and powerful, and the entire morning absolutely blessed. In the course of this service, we read this chapter from Psalm aloud and it resonated with me even more, because I knew you and I would be studying it together now. I am going to include the entire Psalm herein, in the same translation (I think) that we read aloud in that little church. It’s beautiful and especially poignant on the heels of the previous reading of Moses’ last days.He who dwells in the shelter of the most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day; Of the Pestilence that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. Of of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side And ten thousand at you right hand, But it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes And see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the Lord, my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and cobra, The young lion and the serpent you will trample down. “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.” “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.” “With a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation.” (NASB)
Isn’t that just stunning imagery? Now, hear your voice added to a church of believers reading that passage in unison, and imagine who wonderful the Glory of God was working that day in my life.
Because I put my human life in His Almighty hands:
- He will be forever my refuge and my fortress
- He will be my most trustworthy companion
- I will be protected and shielded from evil at every corner
- I will not be afraid, I have no reason to fear
- Evil cannot even get close to me, cannot break through His barrier
- I will watch the wicked fall and pay for their evil ways
- I not only have Him as a shield against evil, but He also sends His angels, my guardian angels, to protect me along every step of my journey
- Because I love Him, He will deliver me
- Because I know His name, He has a place for me in heaven
- When I call on Him, He will answer my call
- He is with me in times of trouble
- I will see salvation!
Make it a great day,
Day 82 reading: Joshua, chapters 1-4