Chapter 32 — Moses begins reciting the words of a song to Israel. He reminds the people of their mistakes, warns them not to repeat their mistakes, and offers the HOPE that comes ONLY in TRUSTING GOD. I found this a hard chapter to read ….possibly because of the good, the bad, and the ugly. The Israelites really had NO excuse for abandoning God. He had shielded and cared for them (verse 10) like a kindly shepherd, guarded them as the apple of HIS eye (verse 10), and protected them like a mother eagle (verses 11-12). He nourished them with the finest of foods (honey, curds and milk, fattened goats, the best of wheat and the “blood” of grapes).
Verse 4 once again gives us a glimpse into God’s character.
4 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.
Verse 15– “Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; filled with food, he became heavy and sleek. He abandoned the God who made im and rejected the Rock his Savior.” Jeshurun in Hebrew is “Yeshuruwn.” It means “upright one” and is the symbolic name for Israel describing her character.
Verse 43 — ” …HE will avenge the blood of HIS servants; HE will take vengeance on HIS enemies, and make atonement for HIS land and people.”
Moses’ last words to Israel were: “TAKE TO 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. The are not just idle words for you —– they ARE YOUR LIFE. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess. ”
The WORDS Moses was giving them were LIFE!! The Hebrew word for life is “chay” and is pronounced “khah’e” which means living, alive, active, and reviving. I bet you have heard this word before and not realized it. Our Bibles are the LIVING Word of God. They breathe life into us when we CHOOSE to follow Jesus Christ. John 1:1 states: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Chapter 33 – Moses blesses the Tribes of Israel. Notice the difference in the blessings for each tribe. “Let Reuben live and not die, although his men will be few.” “Judah…Oh, be his help against his foes.” (Jesus comes from the Tribe of Judah.) “Levi … bless all his skills O Lord, and be pleased with the work of his hands.” “Benjamin …rest secure in him for he shields him all day long and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.” “Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) …bless his land…and the finest the moon can yield…choicest gifts…fruitfulness…best gifts…favor of HIM who dwelt in the burning bush…” “Zebulun, rejoice in your going out.” “Issachar … rejoice in your tents.” “Gad, blessed is he who enlarges Gad’s domain.” Gad received the best of the new land because they obeyed God by punishing Israel’s wicked enemies!! “Dan is a lion’s cub springing out of Bashan.” “Naphtali is abounding with the favor of the Lord…” Asher…most blessed of sons…let him be favored by his brothers.”
It appears that Simeon is missing but they will come under the Tribe of Judah as does Simeon’s inheritance of land (Joshua 19:9). Levi is mentioned although they will NOT inherit land. Moses is asking for special prayer for the Tribe of Levi since they are Priests and have great responsibilities for the Lord.
If you have a chance and are interested in this type of thing, take a look at your map showing the land division of the 12 Tribes…whose is large, whose is small, whose is in the middle of another, who is near the sea, etc., and compare it to what these verses say. To get to this map, scroll down on this page, look for CATEGORIES on the right, in the block titled CATEGORIES click on MAPS, once you are in MAPS scroll down the page and look for LAND DIVISION OF THE 12 TRIBES.
Chapter 34 – Moses arrived into the Palace of Pharaoh in a basket and spent 40 years there; 40 years as a refugee in Midian, and 40 years leading Israel through their desert wanderings. Now God allows him to SEE the Promised Land, but not enter it. Verse 1 — “There the LORD showed him (Moses) the whole land…” Verse 5 — “And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. HE (God) buried him (Moses) in Moab … but to this day NO ONE KNOWS WHERE HIS GRAVE IS.”
How precious is this picture?? GOD BURIED MOSES WITH HIS OWN HANDS!! This touches me ever so deeply. Moses was the ONLY person who EVER spoke with God face to face (Exodus 33:11, Numbers 12:8.) He was called Israel’s greatest prophet; yet even THIS great man was not allowed to enter the Promised Land because of his disobedience before the entire Nation of Israelites. BUT.. GOD did not stop loving Moses after his disobedience. Moses was STILL God’s best friend. God’s love is shown ever so tenderly here.
Verse 9 “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.”
God knows how easy it is for us to become idol worshiping people. He also knows that we would put anything, even a grave, on display for money (Anyone been to Graceland, Michael Jackson’s home, Mount Rushmore???). As Christians, we cannot have such “proof” as bones, an Ark, or a fisherman’s boat. Rather God tells us that we must live by FAITH and BELIEVE by FAITH that HE is.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrew 11:1)
Psalm 91 – WHAT an awesome Psalm to read after the burial of Moses and Israel’s new leader, Joshua. God’s character was simply beautiful in the burial of Moses. NOW…. Look at God’s character in this Psalm!!!! Meditate on this Psalm if you have time — He is our shelter, our refuge, our fortress, my God in whom I TRUST. SURELY He will save you from the fowler’s snare (HE DID THROUGH JESUS CHRIST!!). He covers us. He is faithful. He tells us NOT to fear. No harm will befall you. No disaster will come near your home. HE gives his angels charge concerning us!!
And, did you notice that verses 11 & 12 are the very verses satan spoke to TRY to tempt Jesus Christ during His 40 days in the wilderness?? “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up on their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” (Matthew 4:6, Luke 4:10-11) Yes, satan KNOWS the WORD of God; he is the deceiver; he will distort things just enough to make us think it is the truth; he came to steal, kill, and destroy, and he will try until GOD throws him into the ETERNAL PIT OF FIRE … to deceive us using the WORD of GOD. THIS is why God tells us to beware of false prophets. The enemy KNOWS the WORD. The enemy KNOWS who Jesus Christ is. HE simply does NOT believe in HIM and does NOT want us to…. Because when we believe in Jesus Christ… the enemy loses. BELIEVE IN JESUS!!
Sharing HIS love,