Today you will finish reading not only Deuteronomy, but also the Pentateuch, what is elsewhere called the Books of the Law, the Books of Moses – the Torah. The stories, laws and covenant herein lie beneath everything else in the Bible.
Think about the great book series you’ve read, and imagine what it would have been like to start in book five or six, having no idea what happened before. Or take movie series – even if a sequel makes sense on its own, it’s still a sequel, filled with inside knowledge and connections to dots that have a beginning.
This is the gift of walking through these “Books of Moses,” of taking them on their own. You’ve allowed them to tell their own story, to prepare you, as the author intends, for everything that comes after. And you’ve made it to the finish line.
Chapter 32 picks up with a song introduced at the end of yesterday’s reading: “Then Moses spoke the words of this song until they were finished, in the ears of all the assembly of Israel:” As when he recounted their escape from Egypt in Exodus 15, here Moses employs verse to remind Israel of the importance of remembering the LORD’s goodness to them and of observing His law. Listen in this song to how Moses refers to Israel as Jeshurun, an obscure word that could mean “Upright Child.”
When the LORD tells Moses that his moments on earth are dwindling, Moses gives a final blessing to the nation and to its tribes. Notice that Simeon, curiously, is not mentioned. Notice also that his blessing is much kinder, and hopeful, than that of Jacob’s at the end of Genesis.
And then the end comes. We’ve been prepared for this, known about it for some 50 chapters, yet it still moves me and I read Deuteronomy 34 slowly each time. Moses is a unique and profound character, “none like him for all the signs and wonders that the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt…”
His life ends on Mount Nebo, looking out over all the land “as far as the western sea,” at the intersection of all he had seen and done and all that lay before, just beyond his reach, his eye undimmed, and his vigor unabated.
Our verse for this week is Galatians 3:29: And if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.
Deuteronomy 32 through 34. Now let’s read it!
And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.