January 2 - Song of Moses

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January 2 - Song of Moses

Deuteronomy 32:1-43

“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb. For I will proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God!” Deuteronomy 32:1-3

This song of Moses was recited not long before Moses died.  He had a lot to tell the people of Israel.  They had been worshiping other gods and had whined and complained about the Lord’s care of them all the way through the desert.  They had even wished for a return to slavery at the hands of the Egyptians because they felt God wasn't treating them right.  Moses accuses the Israelites of forgetting their heritage, of forgetting Who was responsible for their birth and then, for their salvation.

The Lord wanted to punish them, but if He chose to do so to the extent that He desired, it might have signaled a wrong intention to their enemies; that He was forsaking them.  Consequently, as much as this song was a hymn of praise to the things the Lord had done for the people of Israel, it was also a warning.

“And when Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, he said to them, ‘Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.’” (Deuteronomy 32:45-47)

There is so much promise in these words, if we take the warning to heart.  But, the problem we have, just like the Israelites, is that we hear only the promises and ignore the warnings. Then, just like those Israelites, we complain and whine when life doesn't go our way or it feels as if God is ignoring our pleas.

God’s word is not an empty word for us, but it is our very life.  We sometimes look at it as if it were an arbitrary set of rules set down so that we might be in bondage, but in truth, Scripture contains those instructions which will allow us to live good lives.  Parents set boundaries for their children so that they will be safe (don’t play in the street), so they will learn to interact with the world (always share and don’t call people bad names), and so they will be responsible (pick up after yourselves, apply yourself to your work).  They don’t do this because they want to be in control, but because they want their children to grow up to be successful and happy.

The Lord wants His children to live even better lives than parents want for their children.  Then, we shall “proclaim the name of the Lord and ascribe greatness to our God.”