Life-Study of Deuteronomy, by Witness Lee

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In 32:1-43 we have the contents of the song of Moses. These contents are deep, and certain matters are difficult to understand.

A. Moses Asking Heaven
and Earth to Hear His Words

In 32:1 Moses asked heaven and earth to hear his words.

B. Moses’ Words Dropping
like the Rain and Distilling like the Dew

Moses’ words dropped like the rain upon young grass and like the dew upon herbage (v. 2). This indicates that Moses realized that whatever he spoke, either a blessing or a curse, was like rain and dew. If as we read the song of Moses we merely exercise our mind, we will not sense the rain and the dew. But if we exercise our spirit as well as our mind, we will sense that Moses’ words are like dropping rain and distilling dew.

C. Moses Declaring
What Kind of God Jehovah Is

In verses 3 and 4 Moses declared what kind of God Jehovah is. Jehovah is a God of greatness. He is the Rock, whose work is perfect and whose ways are justice. He is a God of faithfulness and without injustice; He is righteous and upright.

Moses’ word here was actually his vindication of God. Quite often during the forty years in the wilderness, the children of Israel complained against God, saying that He was wrong in bringing them out of Egypt and into the wilderness. Thus, Moses vindicated the very God whom he served, declaring that He is the Rock and that His ways are not only just but justice itself. He is righteous and upright, and He is right in whatever He does.

D. The Children of Israel
Dealing with Jehovah God Corruptly

In verses 5 and 6 we see that the children of Israel dealt with Jehovah God corruptly, having blemishes not like His sons, being a twisted and crooked generation, and repaying Jehovah as foolish and unwise people. All the children of Israel were supposed to be God’s sons, but in their living they did not behave like God’s sons. Instead, they were twisted and crooked. Although God had done so much for them, they repaid Him as foolish and unwise people.

E. Moses Tracing Back
Jehovah’s Favor and Love to Israel

Moses traced back Jehovah’s favor and love to Israel (vv. 7-14). Jehovah considered Israel as His portion, His inheritance. He encircled them, cared for them, and guarded them like the pupil of His eye. As an eagle He bore them up upon His pinions, and He made them ride on the high places of the earth and enjoy the fruit of the field and the produce of the cattle. Here we see that God was not only righteous with the children of Israel but was also very good to them.

F. Israel, Growing Fat and Thick,
Forsaking God, Who Made Them,
and Neglecting the Rock Who Begot Them

Israel, growing fat and thick, forsook God, who made them, neglected the Rock who begot them, and angered Him with strange gods, with abominations, sacrificing to demons (vv. 15-18).

G. Jehovah Being Provoked to Anger by Israel

Jehovah was provoked to anger by Israel, His sons and daughters, and said that He would hide His face from them (vv. 19-20). A fire was kindled in His anger toward them (v. 22), and He would send the teeth of beasts against them with the venom of those that crawl in the dust (v. 24b). The sword would bereave outside, and inside, terror (v. 25a). He would scatter them and cause the memory of them to cease among men, lest their adversaries misjudge, saying that it was their hand and not Jehovah who had wrought all this (vv. 26-27). For the children of Israel were destitute of counsel, with no understanding in them (v. 28). If they had been wise, they would have comprehended that it was Jehovah their Rock who sold them and delivered them up to their enemies (vv. 29-31).

H. Jehovah Vindicating His People
and Having Compassion on His Servants

In verses 36 through 43 we see that Jehovah would vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants when He saw that their support (strength) was gone. He would say, "Where are their gods...? /Let them rise up and help you; /Let them be a shelter over you. /See now that I, I am He, /And there is no god with Me. /I kill and I make alive; /I wound and I heal; /And there is no one who can deliver from My hand" (vv. 37-39). He would avenge the blood of His servants, repay His adversaries with vengeance, and cover the guilt of His land and of His people.

Many things in the song of Moses are severe, but the ending is very positive. No matter how evil the children of Israel might be and no matter how much God might be provoked in His anger toward them, the result, the issue, will be good. Instead of forsaking His people, God will eventually come in to vindicate them. This is true concerning Israel and also concerning the believers in Christ.

(Life-Study of Deuteronomy, Chapter 29, by Witness Lee)