Thursday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Deuteronomy 31:30—32:27 (NKJV)
31:30 Then Moses spoke in the hearing of all the assembly of Israel the words of this song until they were ended:
32:1 “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; And hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 2 Let my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, as raindrops on the tender herb, and as showers on the grass. 3 For I proclaim the name of the LORD: Ascribe greatness to our God. 4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. 5 They have corrupted themselves; They are not His children, because of their blemish: A perverse and crooked generation. 6 Do you thus deal with the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is He not your Father, who bought you? Has He not made you and established you? 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: 8 When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel. 9 For the LORD’s portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance. 10 He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. 11 As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings, 12 So the LORD alone led him, and there was no foreign god with him. 13 He made him ride in the heights of the earth, that he might eat the produce of the fields; He made him draw honey from the rock, and oil from the flinty rock; 14 Curds from the cattle, and milk of the flock, with fat of lambs; And rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the choicest wheat; And you drank wine, the blood of the grapes.
15 “But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; You grew fat, you grew thick, you are obese! Then he forsook God who made him, and scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation. 16 They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods; With abominations they provoked Him to anger. 17 They sacrificed to demons, not to God, to gods they did not know, to new gods, new arrivals that your fathers did not fear. 18 Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful, and have forgotten the God who fathered you.
19 “And when the LORD saw it, He spurned them, because of the provocation of His sons and His daughters. 20 And He said: ‘I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end will be, for they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faith. 21 They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God; They have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols. But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation; I will move them to anger by a foolish nation. 22 For a fire is kindled by my anger, and shall burn to the lowest hell; It shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
23 “‘I will heap disasters on them; I will spend My arrows on them. 24 They shall be wasted with hunger, devoured by pestilence and bitter destruction; I will also send against them the teeth of beasts, with the poison of serpents of the dust. 25 The sword shall destroy outside; There shall be terror within for the young man and virgin, the nursing child with the man of gray hairs. 26 I would have said, “I will dash them in pieces, I will make the memory of them to cease from among men,” 27 Had I not feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should misunderstand, lest they should say, “Our hand is high; And it is not the LORD who has done all this.”‘”
The purpose of Moses’ song is for people to learn and remember the Word of God. Such is also the purpose of everything the Church is supposed to do. Christ says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you….” (Matt. 28:19-20). Unfortunately, much of modern Christendom has forgotten and ignored the example of our fathers, and the teaching of our Lord. People act as though Christ said, “Go therefore and entertain all nations….” The songs of modern congregations focus less on teaching the faith and more on entertaining itching ears.
Psalm 98: “Oh sing to the Lord a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory. The Lord has made known His salvation; His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.” The new songs in our age often fail to declare these marvelous things. But the song of Moses was for the very purpose of teaching the generations to come, so that they might hold fast to the Words of the one true God. His song spoke of the profound blessings that came from the Lord to grant them comfort and hope. It also spoke of warnings that were meant to keep them from falling into the sins of faithlessness, which would lead to troubles and destruction.
The salvation and hope of all God’s faithful people do not come from being entertained. They come from the Word of God as it is faithfully learned and practiced among His people. Therefore, may He open our lips that our mouths may always declare His praise with Words of Scripture, in order that we may remember and rejoice in the things God has done in Jesus Christ. Amen.