Series: Thru the Bible
Message – The Next Generation – Deut. 31-32
Moses is passing the baton to Joshua
“(1) Then Moses continued to speak these words to all Israel, (2) saying, “I am now 120 years old; I can no longer act as your leader. The LORD has told me, ‘You will not cross this Jordan.’ (3) The LORD your God is the One Who will cross ahead of you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you will drive them out. Joshua is the one who will cross ahead of you, as the LORD has said. (4) The LORD will deal with them as He did Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and their land when He destroyed them. (5) The LORD will deliver them over to you, and you must do to them exactly as I have commanded you.”
Strength, courage and freedom from fear are in the presence of the Lord
“(6) Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the LORD your God Who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.”
“(7) Moses then summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you will go with this people into the land the LORD swore to give to their fathers. You will enable them to take possession of it. (8) The LORD is the One Who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”
Hear the entire law every 7 years (even children)
“(9) Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the LORD’s covenant, and to all the elders of Israel. (10) Moses commanded them, “At the end of every seven years, at the appointed time in the year of debt cancellation, during the Festival of Booths, (11) when all Israel assembles in the presence of the LORD your God at the place He chooses, you are to read this law aloud before all Israel. (12) Gather the people–men, women, children, and foreigners living within your gates–so that they may listen and learn to fear the LORD your God and be careful to follow all the words of this law. (13) Then their children who do not know the law will listen and learn to fear the LORD your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
The implication is very clear – even children were to stand there and listen to all of it. Not to be entertained or drawing or coloring or playing with toys because God said the REASON for their attendance was that they might obey the words. You cannot obey words you did not hear and you cannot hear words you are exempt from hearing.
Straight Talk with God
“(14) The LORD said to Moses, “The time of your death is now approaching. Call Joshua and present yourselves at the tent of meeting, so that I may commission him.” When Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves at the tent of meeting, (15) the LORD appeared at the tent in a pillar of cloud, and the cloud stood at the entrance to the tent. (16) The LORD said to Moses, “You are about to rest with your fathers, and this people will soon commit adultery with the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will abandon Me and break the covenant I have made with them. (17) My anger will burn against them on that day; I will abandon them and hide My face from them so that they will become easy prey. Many troubles and afflictions will come to them. On that day they will say, ‘Haven’t these troubles come to us because our God is no longer with us?’ (18) I will certainly hide My face on that day because of all the evil they have done by turning to other gods. (19) Therefore write down this song for yourselves and teach it to the Israelites; have them recite it, so that this song may be a witness for Me against the Israelites. (20) When I bring them into the land I swore to give their fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey, they will eat their fill and prosper. They will turn to other gods and worship them, despising Me and breaking My covenant. (21) And when many troubles and afflictions come to them, this song will testify against them, because their descendants will not have forgotten it. For I know what they are prone to do, even before I bring them into the land I swore to give them.”
God is very direct with Moses. He tells him that he has to die and that another must take his place. No apology is either offered or needed. Moses is the friend of God and knows Him well. It is safe to say that Moses had no fear. It would be inconsistent and hypocritical for Moses to encourage strength, courage and a lack of fear in the Israelites as the enter what God has for them, while at the same time being fearful of what God has for him.
God composes a song
“(22) So Moses wrote down this song on that day and taught it to the Israelites. (23) The LORD commissioned Joshua son of Nun, “Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I swore to them, and I will be with you.” (24) When Moses had finished writing down on a scroll every single word of this law, (25) he commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the LORD’s covenant, (26) “Take this book of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, so that it may remain there as a witness against you. (27) For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you are rebelling against the LORD now, while I am still alive, how much more will you rebel after I am dead! (28) Assemble all your tribal elders and officers before me, so that I may speak these words directly to them and call heaven and earth as witnesses against them. (29) For I know that after my death you will become completely corrupt and turn from the path I have commanded you. Disaster will come to you in the future, because you will do what is evil in the LORD’s sight, infuriating Him with what your hands have made.” (30) Then Moses recited aloud every single word of this song to the entire assembly of Israel:”
God knows how we are made since He is our maker. So He knows long after people forget life ambitions, no longer know faces or names, they will still recall songs they sang in their youth. So God encourages them to remember with a song.
Compare His words to rain & dew from heaven – Heb. 6:
“(1) Pay attention, heavens, and I will speak;
listen, earth, to the words of my mouth.
(2) Let my teaching fall like rain
and my word settle like dew,
like gentle rain on new grass and showers on tender plants.
(3) For I will proclaim the LORD’s name.
Declare the greatness of our God!
(4) The Rock–His work is perfect;
all His ways are entirely just.
A faithful God, without prejudice,
He is righteous and true.
(5) His people have acted corruptly toward Him;
this is their defect–
they are not His children but a devious and crooked generation.
(6) Is this how you repay the LORD,
you foolish and senseless people?
Isn’t He your Father and Creator?
Didn’t He make you and sustain you?
(7) Remember the days of old;
consider the years long past.
Ask your father, and he will tell you,
your elders, and they will teach you.
God claims responsibility for who lives where – Acts 17
(8) When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance
and divided the human race,
He set the boundaries of the peoples
according to the number of the people of Israel.
(9) But the LORD’s portion is His people,
Jacob, His own inheritance.
His eyes go through all the earth looking – 2Chron. 16:9
(10) He found him in a desolate land,
in a barren, howling wilderness;
He surrounded him, cared for him, and guarded him as the pupil of His eye.
(11) He watches over His nest
like an eagle and hovers over His young;
He spreads His wings, catches him,
and lifts him up on His pinions.
(12) The LORD alone led him,
with no help from a foreign god.
(13) He made him ride on the heights of the land
and eat the produce of the field.
He nourished him with honey from the rock
and oil from flintlike rock,
(14) cream from the herd and milk from the flock,
with the fat of lambs, rams from Bashan, and goats,
with the choicest grains of wheat;
you drank wine from the finest grapes.
(15) Then Jeshurun became fat and rebelled–
you became fat, bloated, and gorged.
He abandoned the God Who made him
and scorned the Rock of his salvation.
(16) They provoked His jealousy with foreign gods;
they enraged Him with detestable practices.
(17) They sacrificed to demons, not God,
to gods they had not known,
new gods that had just arrived,
which your fathers did not fear.
(18) You ignored the Rock Who gave you birth;
you forgot the God Who brought you forth.
(19) When the LORD saw this, He despised them,
provoked to anger by His sons and daughters.
God fortells the Jewish rejection of Messiah and the time of the Gentiles*
(20) He said: “I will hide My face from them;
I will see what will become of them,
for they are a perverse generation–unfaithful children.
(21) They have provoked My jealousy with their so-called gods;
they have enraged Me with their worthless idols.
So I will provoke their jealousy with an inferior people;
I will enrage them with a foolish nation.*
(22) For fire has been kindled because of My anger
and burns to the depths of Sheol;
it devours the land and its produce,
and scorches the foundations of the mountains.
(23) I will pile disasters on them;
I will use up My arrows against them.
(24) They will be weak from hunger,
ravaged by pestilence and bitter plague;
I will unleash on them wild beasts with fangs,
as well as venomous snakes that slither in the dust.
(25) Outside, the sword will take their children,
and inside, there will be terror;
the young man and the virgin will be killed,
the infant and the gray-haired man.
(26) I would have said: I will cut them to pieces and blot out the memory of them from mankind,
(27) if I had not feared insult from the enemy,
or feared that these foes might misunderstand and say:
Our own hand has prevailed;
it wasn’t the LORD who did all this.”
(28) Israel is a nation lacking sense
with no understanding at all.
(29) If only they were wise,
they would figure it out;
they would understand their fate.
Victory & Defeat are in the hand of God – Ps. 62:11; 33:11-22
(30) How could one man pursue a thousand,
or two put ten thousand to flight,
unless their Rock had sold them,
unless the LORD had given them up? [Misquoting God]
(31) But their “rock” is not like our Rock;
even our enemies concede.
(32) For their vine is from the vine of Sodom
and from the fields of Gomorrah.
Their grapes are poisonous; their clusters are bitter.
(33) Their wine is serpents’ venom, the deadly poison of cobras.
(34) “Is it not stored up with Me,
sealed up in My vaults?
(35) Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay. -Rom. 12:19; Heb. 10:30
In time their foot will slip,
for their day of disaster is near,
and their doom is coming quickly.”
(36) The LORD will indeed vindicate His people
and have compassion on His servants when He sees
that their strength is gone and no one is left–slave or free.
(37) He will say: “Where are their gods,
the ‘rock’ they found refuge in?
(38) Who ate the fat of their sacrifices
and drank the wine of their drink offerings?
Let them rise up and help you;
let it be a shelter for you.
(39) See now that I alone am He;
there is no God but Me.
I bring death and I give life;
I wound and I heal.
No one can rescue anyone from My hand.
(40) I raise My hand to heaven and declare:
As surely as I live forever,
(41) when I sharpen My flashing sword, and My hand takes hold of judgment,
I will take vengeance on My adversaries and repay those who hate Me. (42) I will make My arrows drunk with blood
while My sword devours flesh–
the blood of the slain and the captives,
the heads of the enemy leaders.”
(43) Rejoice, you nations, over His people,
for He will avenge the blood of His servants.
He will take vengeance on His adversaries;
He will purify His land and His people.”
Moses and his apprentice teach Israel God’s song
“(44) Moses came with Joshua son of Nun and recited all the words of this song in the presence of the people. (45) After Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, (46) he said to them, “Take to heart all these words I am giving as a warning to you today, so that you may command your children to carefully follow all the words of this law. (47) For they are not meaningless words to you but they are your life, and by them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
God balances Friendship with Sovereignty
“(48) On that same day the LORD spoke to Moses, (49) “Go up Mount Nebo in the Abarim range in the land of Moab, across from Jericho, and view the land of Canaan I am giving the Israelites as a possession. (50) Then you will die on the mountain that you go up, and you will be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. (51) For both of you broke faith with Me among the Israelites at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin by failing to treat Me as holy in their presence. (52) Although you will view the land from a distance, which I am giving the Israelites, you will not go there.”
‘They have made Me jealous with what is not God; They have provoked Me to anger with their idols So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation,
But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says, “I WILL MAKE YOU JEALOUS BY THAT WHICH IS NOT A NATION, BY A NATION WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING WILL I ANGER YOU.”
if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.
I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.
But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy.
But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming.
But the Jews, becoming jealous and taking along some wicked men from the market place, formed a mob and set the city in an uproar; and attacking the house of Jason, they were seeking to bring them out to the people.
I hope this message will bless you richly…not because I taught it, but because it reveals Christ. He alone is our blessing and if in any way – whether big or small, 100% accurate or even just partially so – I have revealed our great God and Savior to you in a relationally knowable way, then this was time well spent on both our parts.
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