Read Deuteronomy 32
32 Listen, you heavens, and I will speak;
hear, you earth, the words of my mouth.
2 Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.
3 I will proclaim the name of the Lord.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.
5 They are corrupt and not his children;
to their shame they are a warped and crooked generation.
6 Is this the way you repay the Lord,
you foolish and unwise people?
Is he not your Father, your Creator,
who made you and formed you?
7 Remember the days of old;
consider the generations long past.
Ask your father and he will tell you,
your elders, and they will explain to you.
8 When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
when he divided all mankind,
he set up boundaries for the peoples
according to the number of the sons of Israel.
9 For the Lord’s portion is his people,
Jacob his allotted inheritance.
10 In a desert land he found him,
in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest
and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
and carries them aloft.
12 The Lord alone led him;
no foreign god was with him.
13 He made him ride on the heights of the land
and fed him with the fruit of the fields.
He nourished him with honey from the rock,
and with oil from the flinty crag,
14 with curds and milk from herd and flock
and with fattened lambs and goats,
with choice rams of Bashan
and the finest kernels of wheat.
You drank the foaming blood of the grape.
filled with food, they became heavy and sleek.
They abandoned the God who made them
and rejected the Rock their Savior.
16 They made him jealous with their foreign gods
and angered him with their detestable idols.
17 They sacrificed to false gods, which are not God—
gods they had not known,
gods that recently appeared,
gods your ancestors did not fear.
18 You deserted the Rock, who fathered you;
you forgot the God who gave you birth.
19 The Lord saw this and rejected them
because he was angered by his sons and daughters.
20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said,
“and see what their end will be;
for they are a perverse generation,
children who are unfaithful.
21 They made me jealous by what is no god
and angered me with their worthless idols.
I will make them envious by those who are not a people;
I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding.
22 For a fire will be kindled by my wrath,
one that burns down to the realm of the dead below.
It will devour the earth and its harvests
and set afire the foundations of the mountains.
23 “I will heap calamities on them
and spend my arrows against them.
24 I will send wasting famine against them,
consuming pestilence and deadly plague;
I will send against them the fangs of wild beasts,
the venom of vipers that glide in the dust.
25 In the street the sword will make them childless;
in their homes terror will reign.
The young men and young women will perish,
the infants and those with gray hair.
26 I said I would scatter them
and erase their name from human memory,
27 but I dreaded the taunt of the enemy,
lest the adversary misunderstand
and say, ‘Our hand has triumphed;
the Lord has not done all this.’”
28 They are a nation without sense,
there is no discernment in them.
29 If only they were wise and would understand this
and discern what their end will be!
30 How could one man chase a thousand,
or two put ten thousand to flight,
unless their Rock had sold them,
unless the Lord had given them up?
31 For their rock is not like our Rock,
as even our enemies concede.
32 Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom
and from the fields of Gomorrah.
Their grapes are filled with poison,
and their clusters with bitterness.
33 Their wine is the venom of serpents,
the deadly poison of cobras.
and sealed it in my vaults?
35 It is mine to avenge; I will repay.
In due time their foot will slip;
their day of disaster is near
and their doom rushes upon them.”
and relent concerning his servants
when he sees their strength is gone
and no one is left, slave or free.
37 He will say: “Now where are their gods,
the rock they took refuge in,
38 the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices
and drank the wine of their drink offerings?
Let them rise up to help you!
Let them give you shelter!
There is no god besides me.
I put to death and I bring to life,
I have wounded and I will heal,
and no one can deliver out of my hand.
40 I lift my hand to heaven and solemnly swear:
As surely as I live forever,
41 when I sharpen my flashing sword
and my hand grasps it in 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, with his people,
for he will avenge the blood of his servants;
he will take vengeance on his enemies
and make atonement for his land and people.44 Moses came with Joshua son of Nun and spoke all the words of this song in the hearing of the people. 45 When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. 47 They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
Moses to Die on Mount Nebo
48 On that same day the Lord told Moses, 49 “Go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. 50 There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people.51 This is because both of you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites. 52 Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel.”
Before Moses’ death, God instructed him to write a song and teach it to all Israel to serve as a witness to them. This chapter includes that song. Have you ever noticed that words set to song are easier to remember than words alone? Songs and rhymes are mnemonic devices that help us recall important information. Did you use a tune to help you remember the alphabet, the months of the year, the quadratic equation, the periodic table, or the books of the Bible? God designed our brains to work this way! In His infinite wisdom, He gives Moses a song for the people so that it would stay in their memory and they would recall it often. The method He uses here is as intentional as the message itself.
Bible teacher and author Warren Wiersbe breaks the song into four distinct parts:
- The character of God (v.1-4)
- The kindness of God (v. 5-14)
- The faithfulness of God in chastening His people (v. 15-25)
- The vengeance of God against His adversaries (v. 26-43)
Its purpose is to help God’s people remember His faithfulness, and reflecting on the faithfulness of God will help us to walk in His ways and teach them to our children. When we believe who God is and understand His character and kindness, the more we’ll trust that good is in store when we walk in His ways.
“Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess” (v. 46-47). The ESV states verse 47 this way: “For it is no empty word for you, but your very life.” It is your very life! Life is found in obedience to God—true, deep, and abundant life!
Paul comes to a similar conclusion in Romans 8:6. He says, “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” Today, we have the option to choose life and peace, by walking in the Spirit and choosing obedience to God’s Word.
- What are some ways you can remember God’s faithfulness today? Write them down and put them in a place where you can reference them when you need the reminder.
- What is a song that you love to sing as an act of worship? Give it a listen this morning to start your day in worship.
- What command of the Lord do you need to cling to and obey? Share this with a close friend or your Life Group and ask them to hold you accountable.
Check out this episode from The Bible Project for a bit more insight on Deuteronomy 32: Moses’ Final Words.
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3 thoughts on “Deuteronomy 32”
I grew up in a family where music was central and celebrated. In their early years, dad led worship and mom played the piano for their small congregation. Our family spent hours around the piano singing hymns in the evening. They were rich in theology that grew my affections for Jesus. To this day I can easily recall them. Maybe that’s why I loved the shift in the final message Moses would deliver the Israelites, away from a sermon to a song. There’s just something so beautiful about a melody that connects with the heart. This vital message would be passed down throughout the generations to remind the Israelites that God alone had led them as their shepherd and protector. Although their track record had been riddled with rebellion, Moses admonishes the people to trust God completely and not repeat their past mistakes. Speaking of music, the book of Revelations reveals that one day believers will gather in praise, both singing and with instruments, in the presence of God! “Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee, how great Thou art, how great Thou art!”
That is so beautiful, Ella! 🤗❤️
I recently attended a Women’s Conference where Teresa Harmening led a break-out session teaching us how to memorize scripture through song…just as you mentioned. We learned to sing Philippians 4:6-7 to the tune of Amazing Grace. She said she sings a verse she is trying to memorize and uses an App to record it and replays it throughout the day until it becomes familiar. It was so beautiful to listen to her sing scripture as she played a melody.
Teresa also spoke of the importance of worship and that worship means, “Who He is, and What He has done!” She also emphasized to remember your part. You have the Performers (us), the Prompter (song leaders), and the Audience (God) —of only one. Psalm 150
Great commentaries and thoughts this week!