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The Song Of Moses

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CHAPTER 32 May 15 
Give ear, you heavens, and I will speak. Let the earth hear the words of my mouth. 2My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall condense as the dew, as the small rain on the tender grass, as the showers on the herb. 3For I will proclaim the name of Yahweh. Ascribe greatness to our God 4the Rock; His work is perfect, for all His ways are justice; a God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is He. 5They have dealt corruptly with Him; they are not His children any more because of their blemish. They are a perverse and crooked generation. 6Do you thus repay Yahweh, foolish people and unwise? Isn’t He your father who has bought you? He has created you and established you. 7Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations. Ask your father and he will show you, your elders and they will tell you. 8When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the children of men, He set the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel. 9For Yahweh’s portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance. 10He found him in a desert land, in the waste howling wilderness. He embraced him, He cared for him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. 11As an eagle that stirs up her nest and flutters over her young, He spread abroad his wings. He took them, He carried them on His feathers. 12Yahweh alone led him, there was no foreign god with Him. 13He made him ride in victory on the high places of the earth and fed him with the increase of the field. He caused him to suck honey out of the rock, oil out of the flinty rock, 14butter of the herd and milk of the flock with fat of lambs, rams of the breed of Bashan and goats, with the finest of the wheat. Of the blood of the grape you drank wine. 15But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked. You have grown fat. You have grown fat. You have become covered with flesh. Then he forsook God who made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. 16They moved Him to jealousy with strange gods, they provoked Him to anger with abominations. 17They sacrificed to demons, not God, to gods that they didn’t know, to new gods that came up recently, which your fathers didn’t fear. 18Of the Rock who became your father you are unmindful, and have forgotten God who gave you birth. 19Yahweh saw and abhorred, because of the provocation of His sons and His daughters. 20He said, I will hide My face from them. I will see what their end shall be, for they are a very perverse generation, children in whom is no loyalty. 21They have moved Me to jealousy with that which is not God. They have provoked Me to anger with their vanities. I will move them to jealousy with those who are not a people, I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. 22For a fire is kindled in My anger, which burns to the lowest Sheol. It devours the earth with its increase, and sets the foundations of the mountains on fire. 23I will heap evils on them. I will spend my arrows on them. 24They shall be wasted with hunger and devoured with burning heat and bitter destruction. I will send the teeth of animals on them and the poison of crawling things of the dust. 25Outside, the sword shall bereave and inside, terror shall be on both young man and virgin, the nursing infant with the grey-haired man. 26I said I would scatter them afar, I would make their memory to cease from among men, 27but I feared the provocation of the enemy, lest their adversaries should judge wrongly, lest they should say, ‘Our hand is exalted, Yahweh has not done all this’. 28For they are a nation without wisdom; there is no understanding in them. 29Oh that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! 30How one could have chased a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight, had not their Rock sold them and Yahweh delivered them up! 31For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. 32For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, of the fields of Gomorrah. Their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter. 33Their wine is the poison of serpents, the deadly venom of asps. 34Isn’t this laid up in store with Me, sealed up among My treasures? 35Vengeance is Mine and punishment, at the time when their foot slides; for the day of their calamity is at hand. The things that are to come on them shall make haste. 36For Yahweh will judge His people and have compassion on His servants when He sees that their power is gone, that there is none remaining, shut up or left at large. 37He will say, Where are their gods, the rock in which they took refuge, 38which ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offering? Let them rise up and help you! Let them be your protection. 39See now that I, even I, am He. There is no god with Me. I kill and I make alive. I wound and I heal. There is no one who can deliver out of My hand. 40For I lift up My hand to heaven and say, as surely as I live forever, 41if I whet My glittering sword and My hand takes hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to My adversaries and will punish those who hate Me. 42I will make My arrows drunk with blood. My sword shall devour flesh with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the head of the leaders of the enemy.43Rejoice, you nations, with His people, for He will avenge the blood of His servants. He will take vengeance on His adversaries and will make expiation for His land, for His people. 44Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he and Joshua the son of Nun. 45When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel 46he said to them, Set your heart to all the words which I testify to you this day, which you must command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. 47For it is no vain thing for you, because it is your life and through this you shall prolong your days in the land, where you go over the Jordan to possess it.
Moses to Die
48Yahweh spoke to Moses that same day saying, 49Go up into this mountain of Abarim, to Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab that is opposite Jericho, and see the land of Canaan which I give to the children of Israel for a possession. 50Die on the mountain and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people, 51because you trespassed against Me in the midst of the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah of Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because you didn’t sanctify Me in the midst of the children of Israel. 52For you shall see the land before you, but you shall not go there into the land which I give the children of Israel.


32:3 As Christ declared God's Name just before his death (Jn. 17:26), so did Moses (Dt. 32:3 LXX).  Moses saw at the end of his life that there was no third way: it was either complete dedication and salvation, or rebellion and condemnation. See on 28:58.
32:5 A perverse and crooked generation- This description of Israel is quoted about the world in Phil. 2:15. If God’s people worship this world’s idols, then they are counted by God as the world.
32:10 As the apple of His eye- One of the most sensitive spots on the body. Anyone who even comes near God’s people stimulates a natural response from God, so sensitive is He to our pain in this life.
32:11 Carried them on His feathers- The allusion is to how the eagle teaches its young to fly. The eagle appears from earth to be carrying the young on her wings, but actually she is throwing them into the air and teaching them to fly within the draft from her own wings. This is a beautiful picture of how God works through His Spirit to teach us independent flight, rather than simply carrying us. As the truly good parent, He seeks to give us independence and teach this to us in the course of our wilderness journey.
32:12 Although there was no pagan god with Yahweh at the time of the exodus, there was with Israel- for they took the idols of Egypt with them through the Red Sea, just as we are tempted to take the world with us through the waters of baptism rather than seeing it as cut off from us (Ez. 20:7,8).
32:13 Tragically, Israel went back to those very “high places” to worship the local idols, as the prophets so often lament.
32:15 Jeshurun grew fat and kicked- Moses in Deuteronomy so many times warns that Israel would become unfaithful to God once they became prosperous. This is a major theme with him. Any request for material prosperity must be made knowing that really this is not for the best spiritually. And God must struggle with those requests as a parent does with a request for something which they want to give, because they love their child, but know that it will almost certainly be misused. It’s no surprise therefore that the majority of God’s people have been poor- it is the poor who respond to the Gospel (Mt. 11:5), and the wealthy are a minority amongst us (1 Cor. 1:26).
32:17 Demons, not God, to gods that they didn’t know- Demons are associated with idols, and they are not the gods which they are believed to be (:21; 1 Cor. 10:20). The language of demon possession we meet in the Gospel records is therefore the language of the day to describe healing of illnesses attributed to demons; but demons have no real existence because there is only one God.
32:36 Israel assembled before Moses really do represent us, for this is quoted in Heb. 10:20 as relevant to all of us coming before judgment. But our verse goes on to say that at this very time of judgment, He will have compassion upon His people. Which is a comforting thought to take with us to the judgment seat of Christ.
32:47 Because Moses knew all this, he was pleading with Israel to "choose life". I wonder if he wasn’t screaming this to them, almost breaking down in the climax of logic and passion which resulted in that appeal. Moses spoke Deuteronomy without notes. It was no reading of a carefully prepared paper. All these things were in his heart; their proneness to failure, the coming of judgement for sin, his knowledge of their future apostasy. Enter into the passion of it all. The man who was willing to give his eternal life for them, about to die for the sake of their provocation- singing a final song to them, giving a final speech, which showed that he knew perfectly well that they would turn away from what he was trying to do for them, and therefore the majority of them would not be saved. As he came to the end of his speech, he seems to have sensed they didn’t grasp the reality of it all: “It is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life”; and thus his speech rises to a crescendo of intensity of pleading with them, typifying the pattern of the Lord Jesus in His time of dying.