March 12

Read Deuteronomy 32 -- 34

The Israelites were to proclaim greatness to our God. He is the Rock (unchangeable), His work is perfect (Deuteronomy 32:3-4). The Almighty Rock will never forsake the faithful. His work is perfect . . . a God of truth and without iniquity (32:4).

Moses foretold of the blessings of prosperity and happiness that could be theirs if they would live in obedience to the Word of God (33:6-29). He urged them to set your hearts to all the words which I testify among you this day, which you shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this Law. . . . because it is your life (32:46-47). However, he also reminded them that, if they failed to put their trust in God's Word, it would lead to future misery, trouble, distress, and eventually to their downfall (31:19-21).

The first prophetic "blessing" was upon the firstborn: Let (the tribe of) Reuben live, and not die; and let not his men be few (33:6). Because early translators could not believe that Moses meant to say of Reuben: Let his men be few, they inserted the word "not," in italics, into the translations -- thus indicating that the word was not in the original Hebrew text. But Moses was inspired by God when he said: Let his men be few, as history has recorded. This prophecy may seem very severe; but, according to the greatness of our opportunities, so is the measure of our responsibilities. Reuben lost the privileged birthright of the firstborn son through his sexual sin (Genesis 35:22; 49:3-4). In the history of the tribe of Reuben, there never was a prominent leader, judge, prophet, or national hero, and thus the prophecy of Jacob concerning his son Reuben: You shall not excel (49:3-4) was fulfilled. Reuben's adultery with his father's wife did not seem at the time to be so serious, but he and his posterity suffered irrevocable physical and spiritual consequences.

After conferring spiritual blessings upon each of the tribes, Moses concluded with praise to God: The Eternal God is your Refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27). Although it is written: There has not arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face (34:10), Moses forfeited the privilege of leading Israel into Canaan because of his sin (32:48-52; compare Numbers 20:1-13). Thus Moses became an example for all Israel that God is Holy and cannot allow His Law to be broken without consequences. Moses' life had been almost perfect. However, even though he had been the lawgiver, he had also broken the Law once, and the Law did not permit exceptions. Moses is last seen alone, climbing one of the most prominent mountain peaks in Moab from which he was allowed to view the Promised Land, though he could not enter it. Moses' penalty illustates that even forgiveness of sin does not remove its earthly consequences (James 2:10).

Centuries later, Moses, symbolizing God's Law, stood on Mount Hermon in the Promised Land with Elijah, symbolizing God's prophets. Together they talked with Jesus as He was transfigured before them. And suddenly, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, said, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear Him (Matthew 17:2,5).

Christ Portrayed: As our Rock (Deuteronomy 32:31). Christ was that spiritual Rock that followed them (I Cor. 10:4).

Word Studies: 32:6 requite means repay; 32:15 Jeshurun means Israel as complacent people; waxen fat means became prosperous; 32:44 Hoshea means Joshua; 33:17 unicorns means wild oxen; push means drive.

Prayer:

Government Official: Sen. Kent Conrad (ND) · BPM Staff: Steve Harle · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WOMI-AM, Owensboro, KY · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by Mrs. Robert Miller · Country: Austria (8 million) in central Europe · Major language: German · Religious freedom · 83% Roman Catholic; 5% Protestant; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Thank God for guiding you to sacrifice freely for what pleases Him (Psalms 54:6).

Optional Reading: John 3

Memory Verse for the Week: Colossians 2:9