Monday, December 7, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Deuteronomy- Chapter 32

Deuteronomy 32

-Moses’ warning song is spoken to all the assembly of Israel on the eastern side of the Jordan in Moab. He begins with alerting the people to “give ear” to his words that were from God and to let them saturate within their being as the dew penetrates the morning grass with precious water. He ascribes greatness to the LORD who is the impenetrable Rock who has completed a perfect and just work with faithfulness, uprightness, and purity. Even though the people had acted corruptly towards Him becoming defected, perverse, and crooked as a generation, God had made them and established them (Deuteronomy 32:1-6). They were told that they needed to remember the days of old and consider the years spent in the wilderness; they were to ask their father for information and elders so that they could tell them the truth of God and the benefit of following His ways. God had done enormously great and mighty things in bringing His children to this place and setting their boundaries as such. “The LORD’s portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance.” God had found them in a desert land that was useless. He encircled and cared for Jacob and guarded him as “the pupil of his eye.” He covered His chosen one as an eagle hovers over its young and carried them on His pinions. “The LORD alone guarded him, and there was no foreign god with him (Deuteronomy 32:7-12).” He made him to hide in the high places of the earth, and he ate the produce of the field sucking honey from a rock and used oil from a flinty rock. Jacob was blessed with curds of cows, milk of the flock, and the fat of lambs and rams. Grapes were abundant and provided sustenance, but Israel got “fat and kicked.” He forsook the God who had made him and “scorned the Rock of his salvation.” He made the LORD jealous with strange gods, and with abominations the nation provoked Him to anger. “They sacrificed to demons who were not God, to gods whom they have not known, new gods who came lately, whom your fathers did not dread.” They foolishly neglected the Rock (God) who begot and birthed them (Deuteronomy 32:13-18).

-Therefore, God spurned them and hid His face from them, for He saw what their end would be. They were a perverse generation and had no faithfulness. They continually made their covenant God jealous “with what is not God.” Their idols made Him angry; therefore, He would consume them heaping misfortunes and violence on them designed to somehow bring them back to Himself and His good ways. But, they would insist on their own narrative, being wasted away with famine, consumed by plague, torn up by beasts of the earth (animals), and stung by the crawling things of the dust (like scorpions). Outside the sword would bereave, and inside the terror would affect both young man and virgin (the younger generation), the babies, as well as the elderly. Even though they would persist in denying that they had transgressed the LORD, these things would become evident upon their land (Deuteronomy 32:19-27). “For they are a nation lacking in counsel, and there is no understanding in them. Would that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would discern their future (Deuteronomy 32:28-29)!” They became impotent because their Rock had sold them. Even their enemies would acknowledge the ultimate strength of their God, yet they maintained an unbelief in their Maker and became a vine like the defunct vine of Sodom from the fields of Gomorrah. “Their grapes were grapes of poison, their clusters bitter. Their wine is the venom of serpents, and the deadly poison of cobras (Deuteronomy 32:30-33).”

-Vengeance is the LORD’s and retribution, for in due time they would slip because of their preposterous sinful nature. Their calamity would be near; the impending things would hasten upon them. “For the LORD will vindicate His people, and will have compassion on His servants, when He sees that their strength is gone…” He will say in that day, which is the day of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 2:28), “Where are their gods, the rock in which they sought refuge? Who 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 hiding place! See now that I, I am He; it is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded, and it is I who heal, and there is no one who can deliver from My Hand (Deuteronomy 32:34-39).” God asserts His authority further in this song with avenging tones that lead only His truly genuine people to rejoice in His righteous work (Deuteronomy 32:40-43).

-When Moses was done speaking these words to the Israeli assembly alongside the newly commissioned leader, Joshua, he once more warned them to take to heart all the words given them with an admonition to command their sons to observe every word of the LORD’s Law. It would never be an idle word for them; indeed, it was their life giving sustenance. By it they would prolong their days in the land God was giving them across the Jordan (Deuteronomy 32:44-47).

-That very same day, the LORD spoke to Moses telling him to go up Mount Nebo in the land of Moab and look across the river at the Promised Land of Canaan. Then he was told he would die on that mountain where he ascended, and that he would be gathered to his people as Aaron had been on Mount Hor. The reason was given as to why Moses was not allowed to lead this people into the Promised Land. He had broken faith with his LORD in the wilderness in the midst of the sons of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh in the wilderness of Zin. He had rebelliously struck the rock for water there instead of following God’s command to speak to it (Numbers 20:8-13; 27:12-14). Therefore, he did not treat God as holy (set apart), in the congregation. As a result, he would only see the Promised Land from a distance, never being able to enter into it (Deuteronomy 32:48-52).  

-*Application* America these days looks a lot like the words of this song, does it not? Human nature is fickle and on its own, destructive. Would that we were wise. LORD, help us fear You again in our nation. May we seek the Word of God and the Holy Spirit alone as our counsel. Give us the understanding, insight, and courage of Daniel and other righteous men and women as we traverse this new terrain where we see Your judgment upon a sinful situation.

Verses to Memorize: Deuteronomy 32:28-29, 39

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