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The Song of Moses. Deuteronomy 32
The Song of Moses
Deuteronomy 32

This morning we are going to finish up our brief tour of the Book of Deuteronomy.

-Written by Moses over the last month or so of his life, just before the Israelites began their conquest of the Promised Land
-It is so important a book that it was to be read by the king every day, that he might know how to govern God's people. Additionally, every 7 years the book was to read out loud to the entire community during the Feast of Tabernacles
-Contains the foundations of our legal and justice system,
-At some points it felt like I was reading the Book of Proverbs (for dozens upon dozens of incredibly practical and relevant commands are given in chunks in sections of Deuteronomy)
-Deuteronomy contains these important principles that you will read and hear echoes of throughout the entirety of the Bible: Obedience brings blessing, disobedience brings judgment, repentance brings restoration, choose to follow the Lord

2 huge takeaway's from the Book of Deuteronomy

1. God loves us and wants us to follow Him from our hearts.
2. We are to be a people of the Word of God. Hence, we are to always be asking "What does the Bible say?"


As we finish up our tour of this great book, we are going to take a look at what is called "The Song of Moses"

1. The Song of Moses is found in Deuteronomy 32, but's the command to write it and the reason for such is found in Deuteronomy 31:14-22

2. The Song of Moses is prophetic- telling the near and distant future of Israel

It prophesies her idolatry and unfaithfulness to God.
It prophesies the judgment of God she would face for this.
It prophesies the salvation of the Gentiles (which Paul speaks of in Romans 10:19).
It prophesies the future deliverance and salvation of the Jews and of all the followers of God.

BIG TAKEAWAY--- God's Word always comes to pass. Fulfilled prophecy is a great reason to believe the Bible and to follow God.

3. The Song is filled with arresting and powerful imagery

Note v1-2, 10-12 for example. Also note that the dominant image of God in the text is that of an un-moveable and majestic ROCK

4. Contrast is a key literary device in the Song

i. God's faithfulness versus the unfaithfulness of Israel
ii. The strength and security of God versus the weakness of false gods
iii. The blessings of God that come from obedience versus the curses and hardship that come with disobedience

5. There at least 23 quotes or allusions to Deuteronomy 32 in the New Testament

v.8 and "he set up boundaries for the people" connects to Acts 17:26
v.21 and "I will make them envious by those who are not a people" connects to Romans 10:19
v. 32-33 The vine of God's enemies contrasts to Jesus the true vine John 15:5
v.35 It is mine to avenge; I will repay connects to Romans 12:19

6. On the very day that Moses finished teaching this song to the people, he, by the command of God ascended Mount Nebo, looked over the Promised Land and died. v.48-52


READ TEXT

SOME ADDITIONAL LESSONS FROM THE SONG OF MOSES

1. We must ensure that we are a people of God's Word- committed to being DOERS OF IT

-Note how the Song begins at is ends v.1-4 and v.44-47
-Note the imagery of v.2 and its implications- constancy in the word of God is life transforming (Romans 12:2)
-Note v.47 "They are not just idle words for you-- they are your life". This is not empty hyperbole.

Why are they life? Because they are a light for our path. Because they are words of God. Because they teach us how to live rightly before God. Because they make us wise unto salvation, leading us to Christ who is the Way, the Truth, the Life***

Be a person of God's Word-- learn it, study it, meditate upon it, read it regularly, stay under its teaching, do no resist it, do not ignore it, no not attempt to change it, DO it.


2. Idolatry, unfaithfulness, dabbling in the false religions and philosophies of this world: Such stirs the anger of God. Note v.15ff

The big sin of the Israelites that Moses prophesies - because as is said of them in Deuteronomy 31:21 "I know what they are disposed to do, even before I bring them into the land I promised them on oath"-- is idolatry (turning to the false gods of the inhabitants of the land of Canaan.

The result of that was the judgment of God and the casting out of the Israelites from the land (70 years in Babylon). The destruction of the 10 northern tribes.

God has not changed. As ones who are in relationship with Him, He requires 100% commitment to Him and faithfulness.

We are absolutely forbidden from having anything to do with any other religion. We are not to adopt their ways or practices. We are to keep our faith pure-- for the church is the bride of Christ. So: We must examine ourselves and root out anything to do with the occult or any other religion. Faithfulness is required of us.

3. We need to be especially vigilant during times of prosperity and blessing-- for our hearts are prone to wander. See Deuteronomy 32:15 and v.6

Read v.32 then v.6

Irony: Jeshurun means "righteous nation"

We are prone to wander. We are prone to leave the God who we love and loves us and who has blessed us in so many ways. Faithfulness to God is a constant struggle for us.

How strange it is that we are most prone to abandon God when times are good and when the blessings are abundant.

What is to be our reflex action to this? God, I am going to be faithful. Strengthen me. Help me to stay on the narrow way and true to you. Help me to see through Satan's deceptions and to cling to what is pure and holy and right.

4. There is one true God and ROCK: Take refuge in Him

The dominant image in the text is used of God. Herein he is likened to as a ROCK v.4, 18, 30-31, 37

This is the unifying image of the Song of Moses. No matter what happens to Israel-- God is a ROCK. He is a fortress. He is a tower of strength and power. He is the ultimate refuge to those who draw near to him.

The sin of the Israelites, as the text traces: They rejected their ROCK and chose others to be their guardian and strength--- others who were but demons and false gods.

Throughout the rest of the Scriptures God as a ROCK is a theme. In the Psalms. In Daniel 2 (Christ's kingdom a rock that fills the whole world).

Jesus is also identified as a rock who travelled with the Israelites when they were in the wilderness. 1 Corinthians 10:4 "for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ"

Jesus is the rock upon which we -the church are built. As Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 16:18 "And I tell you that you are Peter (his name meant rocky), and on this rock (Jesus is referring to himself) I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it."

The call of God's Word: Take refuge in Him. Turn to Christ and be saved. Come under the shadow of His wings, His shade, His strength--- do not turn to another- for they are no rock


5. GOD IS GREAT. See Deuteronomy 32:3-4 for starters

One thing that Moses weaves through this song is the wonderful attributes of God and His worthiness of our praise

Note His attributes

-He is the ROCK v.4
-His works are perfect v.4
-All His ways are just v.4
-He is faithful v.4
-He does no wrong v.4
-He is upright v.4
-He is our Father and Creator v.6
-He is one who guards, protects, and provides for his children
-He is tender and generous
-When stirred to anger, it is a righteous and just anger
-He is a jealous God who does not tolerate unfaithfulness v.16-18
-He is the ultimate judge- just and true. Note v.35 "It is mine to avenge, I will repay" Paul quotes this in Romans 12:19 reminding us that on a personal level we are to leave the payment for sin and injustice in the hands of God.
-His timing is perfect v.35
-He alone is God v.39 That there is one true God is a constant refrain of the scriptures: We are to trust in Him
-He is compassionate v.36
-He is eternal v.40
-He is merciful and has made provision for the atonement of sins v.43 (Such is fulfilled in the person and work of Christ!)

CONCLUSION

At its core the Song of Moses is a prophetic work- telling the Jews their future and why their future would be like it is and has been.

The ultimate fulfillment of the prophecies of the Song of Moses remain to be fulfilled-- for the Jews as a nation have not yet turned to Christ and Jesus has not yet returned to earth to judge the oppressors of the saints. Yet: God's Word will come to pass.

While the Song of Moses is prophetic, it's also incredibly practical-- reminding us of the need to stay in God's Word and be doers of it, reminding us of how important staying faithful to God is in terms of our practice (not mixing our faith with any other religions), reminding us of how important it is to stay true to God in good times (and bad), reminding us of some incredible trues about Christ (he the solid Rock and the true vine). In Him alone are we to take refuge.

If you have not yet committed your life to Christ-- don't hesitate. Be reconciled to God!

Close by singing...