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Deu 32:1 Give ear, you heavens, and I will speak. Let the earth hear the words of my mouth-

The echoes of Deuteronomy in the Lord’s goodbye speeches shouldn’t be missed; for Moses at this time truly was a superb type of the Lord Jesus. Deuteronomy concludes with two songs of Moses, one addressed to the Father (Dt. 32), and the other to his people (Dt. 33). It is apparent that the Lord’s final prayer in Jn. 17 is divisible into the same two divisions- prayer to the Father, and concern for His people. It has been observed that the prayer of Jn. 17 is also almost like a hymn- divided into seven strophes of eight lines each. It would appear to be John’s equivalent to the record in Mk. 14:26 of a hymn being sung at the end of the Last Supper.

The lives of both Moses and the Lord ended with a farewell discourse and prayer. Not only do the words of the Lord consciously allude to Moses’ words in Deuteronomy, but John’s comments do likewise. John’s comment that “Jesus knowing that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world…” (Jn. 13:1) is without any doubt referring to the well known [at the time he was writing] Jerusalem Targum on Dt. 32: “And when the last end of Moses the prophet was at hand, that he should be gathered from the world…”. 

 


Deu 32:2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall condense as the dew, as the small rain on the tender grass, as the showers on the herb.
Deu 32:3 For I will proclaim the name of Yahweh. Ascribe greatness to our God-
See on 1 Cor. 10:4; Jn. 17:8. "I have proclaimed the name of the Lord" (Dt. 32:3 LXX) was surely in Christ's mind in His goodbye prayer of Jn. 17:26; and those words are in the context of Moses' song, which roundly exposed Israel's future apostacy. The character, the fundamental personality of God, is declared through appreciating human weakness and apostacy. Christ's words of Jn.17:26 were likewise in the context of revealing apostacy and future weakness. Thus through recognition of sin we come to know God; this is the fundamental message of Ezekiel and other prophets. Through knowing our own sinfulness we know the righteousness of God, and vice versa. Thus properly beholding the righteousness of God as displayed on the cross ought to convict us of our sinfulness, as it did the people who saw it in real life (they "smote upon their breasts" in repentance, cp. Lk. 18:13).  As Christ declared God's Name just before His death (Jn. 17:26), so did Moses (Dt. 32:3 LXX).  Moses saw at the end of his life that there was no third way: it was either complete dedication and salvation, or rebellion and condemnation. See on Dt. 28:58.

The Lord told the Father that He had given the disciples His words, “and they have received them” (Jn. 17:8). This is evident allusion to the editorial comment in Dt. 33:3 about how all Israel received God’s words through Moses. Likewise “I manifested Your name… they have kept Your word” (Jn. 17:6,26) = “I will proclaim the name of the Lord… they have observed thy word” (Dt. 32:3; 33:9). One marvels at the way the Lord’s mind linked together so much Scripture in the artless, seamless way in which He did.

The Lord Jesus fed off the majesty of the Name of Yahweh (Mic. 5:4)- this was how inspirational He found the things of the Name. To fear the Name of Yahweh was to “observe to do all the words of this law” (Dt. 28:58). Meditation and sustained reflection upon the characteristics of God as epitomized and memorialized in His Name will of itself lead to a conformation of personality to that same Name. If we declare that Name to others, they too have the chance to be transformed by it- thus Moses comments: “Because I will publish the name of the Lord, ascribe ye greatness unto our God” (Dt. 32:3).


Deu 32:4 the Rock; His work is perfect, for all His ways are justice; a God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is He-
The Lord's final address to His people before His death was based upon these last words of Moses. “Holy Father… righteous Father” (Jn. 17:11,25) was a form of address which the Lord had in a sense lifted from Moses when he addresses God as “righteous and holy” (Dt. 32:4 LXX).  


Deu 32:5 They have dealt corruptly with Him; they are not His children any more because of their blemish. They are a perverse and crooked generation-
See on Phil. 2:15. This description of Israel is quoted about the world in Phil. 2:15. If God’s people worship this world’s idols, then they are counted by God as the world.


Deu 32:6 Do you thus repay Yahweh, foolish people and unwise? Isn’t He your father who has bought you? He has created you and established you-

The time of Num. 10 and 11 was a spiritually low period for Moses. Consider Num. 10:30; 11:11-13,22,23. Yet in these very chapters there seems almost an emphasis on the fact that God was manifest in Moses: “Moses heard the people weep”; but they wept in the ears of Yahweh (Num. 11:10,18); “it displeased the Lord; and the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased” (Num. 11:1,10) shows the connection between them; God has asked Moses to carry Israel “as a nursing father... unto the land” (Num. 11:12), although Yahweh was their father who would carry them to the land (Dt. 32:6; Hos. 11:1). That Yahweh is manifest in His servants even in their times of weakness is both comforting and sobering. It is because of this principle that an apostate Israel caused Yahweh’s Name which they carried to be mocked in the Gentile world (Ez. 20:39; 36:20; 39:7; 43:8). Yahweh did not take that Name aways from them the moment they sinned. Having been baptized into the Name, our behaviour in the world, whether they appreciate it or not, is therefore a constant exhibition of the Name.


Deu 32:7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations. Ask your father and he will show you, your elders and they will tell you.
Deu 32:8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the children of men, He set the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel-
 
- see on Dan. 10:20,21; Ex. 24:9-11.

A total of 70 bulls were offered at the feast of ingathering. Rev. 5:9 presents us with the picture of men and women redeemed from every kindred [tribe / clan], tongue [glossa- language], people [a group of people not necessarily of the same ethnicity] and nation [ethnos- ethnic group, lit. ‘those of the same customs’]. This means that, e.g., not only redeemed ‘Yugoslavs’ will stand before the throne in the end; but Macedonians, Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Montenegrans, Bosnians... every ethnic group, with every custom, will have representatives who will have believed the Truth and been saved. This idea is confirmed by considering how 70 bullocks had to be sacrificed at the feast of ingathering (Num. 29), prophetic as it was of the final ingathering of the redeemed. But 70 is the number of all Gentile nations found in Gen. 10. And it is written: “When he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel” (Dt. 32:8). A total of 70 went down with Jacob into Egypt; and thus 70 seems an appropriate number to connect with the entire Gentile world. My point is, representatives of all of them will be finally ingathered. It could be that this conversion of all men occurs during the final tribulation (Rev. 14:6); but it seems to me that the context demands that people from every nation etc. are already redeemed in Christ and await His return.

The Canaanite explanation of the family of the gods was that it contained a total of 70 gods – Ugaritic Tablet II AB 6.46 speaks of the “seventy sons of Asherah”. This is re-focused by the record of Genesis 10 – which speaks of 70 nations of men. Likewise Gen. 46:27 and Ex. 1:5 speak of the 70 sons of Jacob – and Dt. 32:8 says that the number of the Gentile nations was fixed “according to the number of the sons of God” or, “Israel” (according to some texts). The belief in the 70 gods of the Canaanite pantheon is therefore re-focused down to earth – where there were 70 sons of Jacob, 70 nations in the world around Israel, and Dt. 32:8 may imply that each is cared for by a guardian Angel in Heaven.


Deu 32:9 For Yahweh’s portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance.
Deu 32:10 He found him in a desert land, in the waste howling wilderness. He embraced him, He cared for him-
God’s search for man is a repeated theme of the prophets. “Like grapes in the wilderness, I found Israel. Like the first fruit on the fig tree, I saw your fathers” (Hos. 9:10). “He found him in a desert land… He encircled him, He cared for him, He kept him as the apple of his eye” (Dt. 32:10). “I said, Here am I, here am I… I spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people… I called, no one answered” (Is. 50:2; 65:1,2; 66:4). “I have found David my servant” (Ps. 89:20). So it’s not us as it were reaching out to God; He is fervently reaching out to us, and we have to come to realize that. We don’t so much as find God, as realize that He already is earnestly with us. Every man and woman is somehow a life “bound in the bundle of living in the care of the Lord” (2 Sam. 25:29). We come to realize that before we were formed in the womb, God knew us (Jer. 1:5).

He kept him as the apple of His eye-
One of the most sensitive spots on the body. Anyone who even comes near God’s people stimulates a natural response from God, so sensitive is He to our pain in this life.


Deu 32:11 As an eagle that stirs up her nest and flutters over her young, He spread abroad his wings. He took them, He carried them on His feathers-
The way that Israel were intended to be a missionary nation is brought out very beautifully by the way that God speaks of carrying Israel on eagles' wings out of Egypt (Dt. 32:11). Apparently, the eagle throws one of its young into the air and catches it, bearing it on its wings, until it learns to fly freely, and then the others learn from this how to fly. If this is the right track of interpretation, then we are left with the conclusion that it was God's intention that all the Gentile world were intended to be God's ultimate children, and that they would learn from the example of Israel. But Israel failed to fly as God intended, and thus they were not the intended example for others. Note in passing how God's intention is that we should fly freely- not merely be His initiative-less servants for the sake of it.

Moses is depressed by Israel complaining at how boring the manna was. He doubts God's earlier promises to him: " Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight (God said he had, in Ex.33:17)...have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto them, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child unto the land which thou swearest unto their fathers (not "our" - notice the uncharacteristic separation between Moses and Israel). Whence should I give flesh unto all this people...if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in the sight (as God had earlier promised him that he had)" (Num. 11:12). God was the father and conceiver of Israel, the one who would carry them to the land (Ex. 19:4; 33:15; Dt. 32:11,12; Hos. 11:1); it is as if Moses is saying: They're your children, you look after them, don't dump them on me. Although compare this with his earlier love for them, willing to sacrifice himself for them. God then says that He will provide more food for Israel. But Moses almost mocks God: "Shall the flocks and herds be slain for them, to suffice them?". And the Angel angrily replied: "Is the Lord's hand waxed short? thou shalt see whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not" . If he had faith, Moses surely would have realised that if God could provide manna, he could provide any food. Moses seems to have suffered from fits of depression and also high spirituality.


Deu 32:12 Yahweh alone led him, there was no foreign god with Him-
Although there was no pagan god with Yahweh at the time of the exodus, there was with Israel- for they took the idols of Egypt with them through the Red Sea, just as we are tempted to take the world with us through the waters of baptism rather than seeing it as cut off from us (Ez. 20:7,8).

Right at their birth by the Red Sea, the Almighty records that "the people feared Yahweh, and believed Yahweh, and His servant Moses" (Ex. 14:23). No mention is made of the Egyptian idols they were still cuddling (we don't directly learn about them until Ez. 20). Nor do we learn that this "belief" of theirs lasted a mere three days; nor of the fact that they rejected Moses, and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. "There was no strange god" with Israel on their journey (Dt. 32:12); but there were (Am. 5:26). The reconciliation is that God counted as Israel as devoted solely to Him.


Deu 32:13 He made him ride in victory on the high places of the earth and fed him with the increase of the field. He caused him to suck honey out of the rock, oil out of the flinty rock-
See on Ps. 81:16. The promised land was to flow with milk and honey to those who kept covenant. And yet Saul later precluded the people from experiencing the blessings of the covenant by petty legalism and a desire for personal control. The people were obedient to his word, but then totally disobeyed Yahweh's command about not eating blood as a result of it (1 Sam. 14:25,33). Tragically, Israel went back to those very “high places” to worship the local idols, as the prophets so often lament.

 


Deu 32:14 butter of the herd and milk of the flock with fat of lambs, rams of the breed of Bashan and goats, with the finest of the wheat. Of the blood of the grape you drank wine.
Deu 32:15 But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked. You have grown fat. You have grown fat. You have become covered with flesh. Then he forsook God who made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation-
See on Dt. 31:9. Moses in Deuteronomy so many times warns that Israel would become unfaithful to God once they became prosperous. This is a major theme with him. Any request for material prosperity must be made knowing that really this is not for the best spiritually. And God must struggle with those requests as a parent does with a request for something which they want to give, because they love their child, but know that it will almost certainly be misused. It’s no surprise therefore that the majority of God’s people have been poor- it is the poor who respond to the Gospel (Mt. 11:5), and the wealthy are a minority amongst us (1 Cor. 1:26).


Deu 32:16 They moved Him to jealousy with strange gods, they provoked Him to anger with abominations-
 
God can be grieved [s.w. 'provoke to anger']. He has emotions, and His potential foreknowledge doesn't mean that these feelings are not legitimate. They are presented as occurring in human time, as responses to human behaviour. This is the degree to which He has accommodated Himself to human time-space limits, in order to fully enter relationship and experience with us. As He can limit His omnipotence, so God can limit His omniscience, in order to feel and respond along with us. 


Deu 32:17 They sacrificed to demons, not God, to gods that they didn’t know, to new gods that came up recently, which your fathers didn’t fear-
Demons are associated with idols, and they are not the gods which they are believed to be (:21; 1 Cor. 10:20). The language of demon possession we meet in the Gospel records is therefore the language of the day to describe healing of illnesses attributed to demons; but demons have no real existence because there is only one God.


Deu 32:18 Of the Rock who became your father you are unmindful, and have forgotten God who gave you birth-
 
v. 15,18- see on Gen. 49:24.

Deu 32:19 Yahweh saw and abhorred, because of the provocation of His sons and His daughters-

Scripture repeatedly speaks as if God notices things and is then hurt by what He sees (Jonah 3:10; Gen. 29:31; Ex. 3:4; Dt. 32:19; Ez. 23:13; Is. 59:15 cp. Lk. 7:13). If He knew in advance what they were going to do, this language is hard for me to understand. But God is therefore hurt and 'surprised' at sin- He saw Israel as the firstripe grapes, but they were worshipping Baal even then (Hos. 9:9). Thus God can allow Himself to feel an element of surprise- and this was a shock to Jeremiah, who queried: "Why are You like a man who is caught by surprise...?" (Jer. 14:9).


Deu 32:20 He said, I will hide My face from them. I will see what their end shall be, for they are a very perverse generation, children in whom is no loyalty-
 v.
20,27 "I will see what their end shall be... were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy. . and lest they should say... the Lord hath not done this". God Himself knows the end from the beginning and need fear no man; but His Angels do not have ultimate knowledge or strength, and therefore such language is more suited to them. This ‘language of limitation’ may refer to the Angels rather than God personally.

He can see all things, and yet in the time of Israel's apostacy He hides His face from them (Mic. 3:4 cp. Dt. 32:19,20).


Deu 32:21 They have moved Me to jealousy with that which is not God. They have provoked Me to anger with their vanities. I will move them to jealousy with those who are not a people, I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation- 

We read of God being slow to anger (Ex. 34:6), at others, of Him not restraining His anger, or restraining it (Ps. 78:38; Is. 48:9; Lam. 2:8; Ez. 20:22), and holding His peace (Is. 57:11; Ps. 50:21), and being provoked to anger by the bad behaviour of His covenant people (Dt. 32:21; Ps. 78:58; Is. 65:3; Jer. 8:19). God clearly has emotions of a kind which are not unrelated to the emotions we experience, as beings made in His image. But those emotions involve a time factor in order to be emotions. We read of the anger of God "for a moment" (Ps. 30:5; Is. 54:7,8), and of His wrath coming and going, leaving Him "calm" and no longer angry (Ez. 16:42). When we sin, we provoke God to anger- i.e. at a point in time, God sees our sin, and becomes angry. This is attested many times in Scripture. But it's meaningless if God is somehow outside of our time and emotions.


Deu 32:22 For a fire is kindled in My anger, which burns to the lowest Sheol. It devours the earth with its increase, and sets the foundations of the mountains on fire.
Deu 32:23 I will heap evils on them. I will spend my arrows on them.
Deu 32:24 They shall be wasted with hunger and devoured with burning heat and bitter destruction. I will send the teeth of animals on them and the poison of crawling things of the dust-
 
- see on 1 Kings 22:22.

The whole record of Adam and Eve in Eden is alluded to multiple times in Moses' law. As they were given a command not to eat, so Israel were asked not to eat certain things. As there was a snake who was there in the 'land' of Eden, so there was the equivalent amongst Israel- the false teachers, the tribes who remained, etc., the "serpents of the dust" (Dt. 32:24- an evident allusion to the language of the snake in Eden).

 


Deu 32:25 Outside, the sword shall bereave and inside, terror shall be on both young man and virgin, the nursing infant with the grey-haired man.
Deu 32:26 I said I would scatter them afar, I would make their memory to cease from among men-

Yahweh's Name, by contrast, was to be an eternal memory (Ex. 3:15). He was to be remembered for how He had articulated His Name in how He had historically acted in saving the patriarchs, and He would be remembered for how He was going to act to save His people from Egypt. What was to be memorialized was therefore His actions, rather than simply the letters YHWH. It was His wonderful works which were to be remembered [Ps. 111:4, s.w. "My memorial"]. By contrast, the sinful works and persons of the wicked would not be remembered / memorialized, be they Amalek (s.w. Ex. 17:14; Dt. 25:19), or God's apostate people (s.w. Dt. 32:26). 


Deu 32:27 but I feared the provocation of the enemy, lest their adversaries should judge wrongly, lest they should say, ‘Our hand is exalted, Yahweh has not done all this’.
Deu 32:28 For they are a nation without wisdom; there is no understanding in them.
Deu 32:29 Oh that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!
Deu 32:30 How one could have chased a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight, had not their Rock sold them and Yahweh delivered them up!
Deu 32:31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.
Deu 32:32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, of the fields of Gomorrah. Their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter.
Deu 32:33 Their wine is the poison of serpents, the deadly venom of asps.
Deu 32:34 Isn’t this laid up in store with Me, sealed up among My treasures?
Deu 32:35 Vengeance is Mine and punishment, at the time when their foot slides; for the day of their calamity is at hand. The things that are to come on them shall make haste.
Deu 32:36 For Yahweh will judge His people and have compassion on His servants when He sees that their power is gone, that there is none remaining, shut up or left at large-
See on Dt. 31:9. Israel assembled before Moses really do represent us, for this is quoted in Heb. 10:20 as relevant to all of us coming before judgment. But our verse goes on to say that at this very time of judgment, He will have compassion upon His people. Which is a comforting thought to take with us to the judgment seat of Christ.

"For the Lord shall judge His people, and repent Himself for His servants, when He seeth that their hand is gone, and there is none shut up, or left". The hand that was with Israel was their Angel- after the Angel physically left Israel, resulting in their punishment, the very pity of their state caused the Angel to repent, and return to them. He "shall judge his people". This is quoted in Heb. 10:20 concerning the judgement seat- where we know the Angels will play an important part.

 


Deu 32:37 He will say, Where are their gods, the rock in which they took refuge,
Deu 32:38 which ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offering? Let them rise up and help you! Let them be your protection.
Deu 32:39 See now that I, even I, am He. There is no god with Me. I kill and I make alive. I wound and I heal. There is no one who can deliver out of My hand.
Deu 32:40 For I lift up My hand to heaven and say, as surely as I live forever,
Deu 32:41 if I whet My glittering sword and My hand takes hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to My adversaries and will punish those who hate Me.
Deu 32:42 I will make My arrows drunk with blood. My sword shall devour flesh with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the head of the leaders of the enemy.
Deu 32:43 Rejoice, you nations, with His people, for He will avenge the blood of His servants. He will take vengeance on His adversaries and will make expiation for His land, for His people.
Deu 32:44 Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he and Joshua the son of Nun.
Deu 32:45 When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel
Deu 32:46 he said to them, Set your heart to all the words which I testify to you this day, which you must command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law.
Deu 32:47 For it is no vain thing for you, because it is your life-
Enter into the passion of it all. The man who was willing to give his eternal life for them, about to die for the sake of their provocation- singing a final song to them, giving a final speech, which showed that he knew perfectly well that they would turn away from what he was trying to do for them, and therefore the majority of them would not be saved. As he came to the end of his speech, he seems to have sensed they didn’t grasp the reality of it all: “It is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life” (Dt. 32:47); and thus his speech rises to a crescendo of intensity of pleading with them, after the pattern of the Lord.  

The idea of not taking Yahweh's Name "in vain", 'vanity' (Ex. 20:7), is often associated with idolatry. Israel never formerly rejeted Yahweh, and never became atheists. They mixed Yahweh worship with idolatry on the basis that they claimed that they worshipped Yahweh through worshipping the idols. This is what emboldened them to later place idols in Yahweh's temple. They were taking Yahweh's Name as a form of vanity, "in vain", a kind of idol. Thus their relationship with Yahweh was not to be a "vain thing" (Dt. 32:47). 

And through this you shall prolong your days in the land, where you go over the Jordan to possess it-
"Drive out" is s.w. "possess". We must note the difference between the  Canaanite peoples and their kings being "struck" and their land "taken" by Joshua-Jesus; and the people of Israel permanently taking possession. This is the difference between the Lord's victory on the cross, and our taking possession of the Kingdom. Even though that possession has been "given" to us. The word used for "possession" is literally 'an inheritance'. The allusion is to the people, like us, being the seed of Abraham. The Kingdom was and is our possession, our inheritance- if we walk in the steps of Abraham. But it is one thing to be the seed of Abraham, another to take possession of the inheritance; and Israel generally did not take possession of all the land (Josh. 11:23 13:1; 16:10; 18:3; 23:4). The language of inheritance / possession is applied to us in the New Testament (Eph. 1:11,14; Col. 3:24; Acts 20:32; 26:18; 1 Pet. 1:4 etc.). Israel were promised: "You shall possess it" (Dt. 30:5; 33:23). This was more of a command than a prophecy, for sadly they were "given" the land but did not "possess" it. They were constantly encouraged in the wilderness that they were on the path to possessing the land (Dt. 30:16,18; 31:3,13; 32:47), but when they got there they didn't possess it fully.


Deu 32:48 Yahweh spoke to Moses that same day saying,
Deu 32:49 Go up into this mountain of Abarim, to Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab that is opposite Jericho, and see the land of Canaan which I give to the children of Israel for a possession.
Deu 32:50 Die on the mountain and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people-

Moses being gathered to his people by an Angel (Dt. 32:50) may also refer to his spirit/Angel returning to where the guardian Angels of his ancestors were. This solves the considerable difficulty of his ancestors being physically dead and decayed, and being buried in a different place from where Moses died.

In those hours as Moses stood there saying those words of Deuteronomy, and then as he sung that song of Moses to them of Dt. 32, I think we see Moses at his finest. His voice would have been that of a young man, and yet with all the passion of meaning of his 120 years. And then he blesses those assembled tribes, the love of that man for Israel flowing out, with that same wondrous voice. "Yea, he loved the people". And then, no doubt with a lump in his throat, swallowing back the tears, he turned and walked away, up that mountain, higher and higher, with the blue mountains of Moab shimmering in the distance. "That selfsame day" Moses spoke Deuteronomy, God commanded him: "Get thee up into this mountain... and behold the land... and die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people" (Dt. 32:50). Like the Lord Jesus, he received a commandment to die (Jn. 10:18; 14:31), and yet he presumably did not know how to consciously fulfil it according to his own actions. He climbed the mountain alone, that same day he spoke Deuteronomy. Presumably he spoke Deuteronomy in the morning, sung the song of Moses, and then "that selfsame day" died. It would have taken him time to climb the mountain, to be met at the top by the Angel, who then showed him the land, kissed him (see later) and buried him. Presumably he died late in the day, watching the sun setting over the promised land-  perhaps at the same hour Jesus died. The pathos of the scene is wondrous, the Song of Moses as it were can be heard still echoing. Yet in the sadness of it all, we see  prefigured the death of Christ for us. It was for their sakes that Moses didn't enter the land, remember. That is the emphasis the Spirit gives. As he climbed, for it would have taken a while, perhaps he thought back to those years in Egypt, the struggle of his soul in those years. You may think I'm being over emotional, but it seems to me as he climbed he would have thought back to his dear mum to whom he owed his relationship with God, the mother he'd doubtless disowned for forty years, admitting that he was the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He would have reflected how at age 40 he was honest with himself, how he told the world who his real mother was (probably, tragically enough, after her death, sad that her son seemed to have rejected her for the pleasures of Egypt), how he had refused to be called any longer the son of Pharaoh's daughter. I mean, if we had say 24 hours to live, and we were told to go for a walk before we died, I guess we'd think back to our childhood for at least a moment, wouldn't we. And he was a man, just like you and me, with all a man's feelings, all a man's memories, all a man's humanity. I believe, although I can't prove it, that he wept all the way to the top, climbing farther and farther away from the people he loved, knowing that the majority simply didn't understand him and what he had suffered for them. And perhaps as he sung the song of Moses, he thought back to those weak years in Midian, to Zipporah, to the arguments with her, to the pain of the divorce, to the Ethiopian woman, to the long lonely days with the animals. And then to the wonder of the Red Sea, to the nervousness of meeting the Angel, to the joy of that communion in another mountain. He knew that Angel well, they spoke face to face as men who are friends speak to each other (Ex. 33:11).  

 


Deu 32:51 because you trespassed against Me in the midst of the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah of Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because you didn’t sanctify Me in the midst of the children of Israel-
Moses truly was made spiritually strong out of weakness. His faith fluctuated, until at last he came to a spiritual height at the end of his life. We have seen something of the intensity and passion of his love for Israel, to the point where he was willing to give his physical and eternal life for Israel's salvation. In a sense, his desire was heard. Because of the sin of a moment, caused by the provocation of the people he loved, God decreed that he could not enter the land of promise. For their sakes he was barred from the land; this is the emphasis of the Spirit (Dt. 1:37; 3:26; 4:21); and Ps. 106:32,33 says that Moses was provoked to sin because Israel angered God, and that therefore "it went ill with Moses for their sakes". Truly, God works through sinful man to achieve His glory. Ez. 20:38 says that the rebels in the wilderness “shall not enter into the land”, with reference to how when Moses called the people “rebels” and beat the rock, he was disallowed entry into the land. Because he called them rebels, i.e. unworthy of entry to the Kingdom, he also was treated as a rebel. If we condemn others, we likewise will be condemned. On another level, he was simply barred for disobedience; and on yet another, his prayer to the effect that he didn’t want to be in the land if his people weren’t going to be there was being answered; and on yet another and higher level, his offer to be blotted out of the book of inheritance for Israel’s sake was also being heard. Thus God works within the same incident in so many ways! Thus Moses says that he must die “Because ye [plural] trespassed against me” (Dt. 32:51 AV). This all helps explain why Christ had to die, apart from the fact that he was mortal. He died the death of a sinner for our salvation, he felt all the emotions of the rejected, the full weight of God's curse; for "cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" in crucifixion (Gal. 3:13). Moses was a superb and accurate type of the Lord Jesus. Therefore Moses in his time of dying must grant us insight into the death of our Lord, the prophet like him (Dt. 18:18). See on :3.


Deu 32:52 For you shall see the land before you, but you shall not go there into the land which I give the children of Israel.