Joshua and Judges: Push to the Promised Land: Moses' departing song, part 2: Deu 32:1-43.
length: 63:47 - taught on Jul, 28 2015
Title: Joshua and Judges: Push to the Promised Land: Moses' departing song, part 2: DEU 32:1-43.
Announcements / opening prayer:
This song contrasts the unchangeable fidelity or devotion of the Lord with the perversity of His faithless people.
Be careful of the prosperity test. Failing is to become proud of what you have as if you deserve such things and to forget that they are gifts from the grace of God.
Israel will grow fat on the land and grow proud as it they are elected above other nations due to themselves. They grow self absorbed and inconsiderate. Failing the prosperity test puts you and your things at the center of the universe.
In verses 1-3 we have a solemn introduction as to the importance of instruction. This is the theme of the whole song.
DEU 32:1 "Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak; And let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
DEU 32:2 "Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew, As the droplets on the fresh grass And as the showers on the herb.
DEU 32:3 "For I proclaim the name of the Lord; Ascribe greatness to our God!
Moses proclaims the greatness of God alone and invites them to join him in it. He calls heaven down as a witness and then rains his instruction upon the people, who, if they mix the truth with faith, will grow strong and productive like a healthy plant.
DEU 32:4 "The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.
DEU 32:5 "They have acted corruptly toward Him, They are not His children, because of their defect; But are a perverse and crooked generation.
DEU 32:6 "Do you thus repay the Lord, O foolish and unwise people? Is not He your Father who has bought you? He has made you and established you.
The perversity of the rebellious generation manifested itself in the fact, that it repaid the Lord, the Rock, to whom it owed existence and well-being, for all His benefits, with a foolish apostasy from its Creator and Father.
The Rock is a foundation and a protection and the Rock is unchangeable, faithful, and sure. His ways are perfect, meaning blameless.
Moses projects himself into the future.
DEU 32:7 "Remember the days of old, Consider the years of all generations. Ask your father, and he will inform you, Your elders, and they will tell you.
DEU 32:8 "When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, When He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the sons of Israel.
When God confused their language at the tower of Babel and they were spread out over the face of the earth He in time called out Abraham and from him Israel and He knew their number and He separated them from the nations as elected unto Him. After many generations those who have lived in the Promised Land after hundreds of years will have to admit that out of all those nations there was one, their own, called out by God and blessed. Moses wants them to remember, as their elders had informed them, and to never forget that God has redeemed them and blessed them and called them His children.
Those who occupied this land after the flood dealt treacherously with God and He removed them and planted His vineyard, Israel in their place.
All of us should remember and never forget what God has delivered us from, which is so easy to do, as Israel is such a clear example, and it is for this reason that the church has been given its one ritual, the communion, in order to bring Him and the covenant of His blood into remembrance.
DEU 32:9 "For the Lord's portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance.
DEU 32:10 "He found him in a desert land, And in the howling waste of a wilderness; He encircled him, He cared for him, He guarded him as the pupil of His eye.
DEU 32:11 "Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, That hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions.
As the eagle teaches its young to fly and so God taught Israel how to be free from heathenism, religion, and sin and live as unto Him, dependent upon Him for protection, guidance, wisdom, and prosperity.
Again, this is not restricted to the journey through the wilderness but a view towards the deliverance and blessing of Israel by God in its fullness.
'You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself.
The point of comparison between the conduct of God towards Jacob and the acts of an eagle towards its young, is the loving care with which He trained Israel to independence.
"Moses points out in these words, how He fostered them in the desert, bore with their manners, tried them and blessed them that they might learn to fly, i.e., to trust in Him," [Luther]
DEU 32:12 "The Lord alone guided him, And there was no foreign god with him.
If no other god stood by the Lord to help Him, He had thereby laid Israel under the obligation to serve Him alone as its God.
God alone working deprives us all from the apostasy of putting anyone above Him. Yes, God uses people, but He doesn't need to. He gives us the privilege of being so used, but no part of His plan is dependent upon us. This is so important to know so that God alone is worshipped.
DEU 32:13 "He made him ride on the high places of the earth, And he ate the produce of the field; And He made him suck honey from the rock, And oil from the flinty rock,
Riding on the high places is a figurative expression from the victorious subjugation of the land.
"ride on the high places of the earth" - to be lord of the land.
This is to be lord of the land. And so prosperous would they be that it was as if honey came from a rock and oil from a flint rock, the most unexpected places.
It is true that Canaan abounds with wild bees which would make their nests in the clefts of rocks and that olive trees, the major source of oil, will grow in rocky soil.
DEU 32:14 Curds of cows, and milk of the flock, With fat of lambs, And rams, the breed of Bashan, and goats, With the finest of the wheat — And of the blood of grapes you drank wine.
The curds would refer to the making of cream and butter and the flock produces abundant milk. The lambs don't have much fat unless they graze well, and so here refers to fat livestock and Bashan is known for the best rams, oxen, and goats. Finally we have the finest wheat for all grain products and big juicy grapes for wine.
In our nation and in our day this doesn't have the impact it would have had back then. Famines were common as were droughts. The best land was contented for fiercely, so not all peoples enjoyed plenty or even sufficiency. Many of the peoples were nomads or Bedouins who lived in tents and wandered from place to place searching for water and pasturing land. We can take a quick ride to the supermarket and get all these things. We have take out, fast food, vineyards all over the place. People wrote fairy tales that centered around food abundance since it was scarce. Can you imagine have to scrape by, constantly hungry, roaming from place to place in search of food and water and then being able to settle in a place where it was abundantly at your fingertips? It would be like becoming a millionaire over night.
Israel repaid her God for these abundant gifts by consuming them and then turning to base apostasy.
People who get blessed are not guaranteed to be grateful. Often times people who get free stuff scorn the giver and are forever greedy for more.
DEU 32:15 "But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked-You are grown fat, thick, and sleek [gorged with food]-Then he forsook God who made him, And scorned the Rock of his salvation.
They are still called Jeshurun [righteous or upright] because they are elected by God, though some portion of them are unbelievers.
This was to constantly remind Israel of her calling. You who are called righteous, how should you think and live? God calls us by our positional titles in the NT constantly.
By calling them righteous God condemned the unbeliever who should have known, from the Mosaic Law, that he was not.
The fat kicking ox is a picture of an animal that can no longer be controlled or used for plowing. Sleek in the English has come have a positive meaning, but here it is used of one who has gorged himself.
DEU 32:16 "They made Him jealous with strange gods; With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
This is marriage jealousy as God pledged Himself to them and they committed adultery by worshipping false gods, which is the worship of demons.
Demons in the KOD never helped them and wanted to destroy them. God helped them and fought for them and loved them and preserved them. And yet many of them chose to worship the former.
Jealousy for God is an anthropopathism. It is describing His person in a human way, which is accurate, but not in the sense that He is jealous as a human is.
DEU 32:17 "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.
DEU 32:18 "You neglected the Rock who begot you, And forgot the God who gave you birth.
He turns from the imagery of marriage to parenthood.
The Rock begot you and gave birth to you, which is maternal imagery. Who loves a child more than his own mother and who does more for a child than a mother?
It is written in past tense but it is Moses projecting himself into the future.
The folly of rebellion is proven by the purpose of God in punishing the rebellious generation, verses 19-33.