A Song and a Blessing
I recently finished Deuteronomy. What a book! Moses recites God's Law to Israel, reminding them that success rides on obedience rather than strength of arms. He calls them to live obediently, rejecting the ways of the nations. He challenges them to love God only.
Deuteronomy ends with Moses delivering a song and a blessing. The song celebrates the way God fights for his people, delivering them from enemies. It ends thusly:
"Rejoice with him, O heavens;
bow down to him, all gods,
for he avenges the blood of his children
and takes vengeance on his adversaries.
He repays thsoe who hate him
and cleanses his people's land."
The blessing spreads hope for the ways God will bless individual tribes. It ends in a similar way;
"Happy are you, O Israel!
Who is like you,
a people saved by the Lord,
the shield of your help,
and the sword of your triumph!
Your enemies shall come,
fawning to you,
and you shall tread upon their backs."
These two pieces remind Israel of the most important thing, just before they enter the Promised Land: God fights the battles. He is the Sovereign One, success depends on Him alone, and their hopes for peace and prosperity rest on their relationship to him.
I love this thought, because it highlights truths that we can appreciate just as much today as the Israelites then. God fights our battles. We cannot look to worldly means for success, we can only live faithfully and trust God's direction for us. Our response to every challenge must be the same; faithfulness and obedience.
It is also beautiful and sad to remember throughout that Moses knows some key things:
1. He will not enter the Promised Land.
2. He will soon die.
3. Israel will fail to walk in obedience.
And yet he delivers this powerful oration with joy and strength, knowing that God will use his faithfulness rightly to bless the world with the knowledge of the Master of the Universe.
Deuteronomy is a powerful book for interacting with the character of God, and I've greatly enjoyed sitting under its teaching.
Next up; Micah.