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Deuteronomy 31:1-34:12

  • Rich Jones
  • Mid-Week Messages
  • November 11, 2020
  • Scripture

Moses’ Last Counsel

31 So Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. And he said to them, “I am 120 years old today; I am no longer able to [a]go out and come in, and the Lord has told me, ‘You shall not cross this Jordan.’ It is the Lord your God who is going to cross ahead of you; He Himself will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua is the one who is going to cross ahead of you, just as the Lord has spoken. And the Lord will do to them just as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when He destroyed them. The Lord will turn them over to you, and you will do to them in accordance with all the commandments which I have commanded you. Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or in dread of them, for the Lord your God is the One who is going with you. He will not desert you or abandon you.”

Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you will go with this people into the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you will give it to them as an inheritance. And the Lord is the one who is going ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not desert you or abandon you. Do not fear and do not be dismayed.”

So Moses wrote this Law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel. 10 Then Moses commanded them, saying, “At the end of every seven years, at the time of the year of the release of debts, at the Feast of Booths, 11 when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place which He will choose, you shall read this Law before all Israel [b]so that they hear it. 12 Assemble the people, the men, the women, the children, and the stranger who is in your [c]town, so that they may hear and learn and fear the Lord your God, and be careful to [d]follow all the words of this Law. 13 And their children, who have not known, will hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live on the land [e]which you are about to cross the Jordan to [f]possess.”

Israel Will Fall Away

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, [g]the time for you to die is near; call Joshua and present yourselves at the tent of meeting, and I will commission him.” So Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves at the tent of meeting. 15 And the Lord appeared in the tent in a pillar of cloud, and the pillar of cloud stood at the entrance of the tent. 16 The Lord said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to [h]lie down with your fathers; and this people will arise and play the prostitute with the foreign gods of the land into the midst of which they are going, and they will abandon Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. 17 Then My anger will be kindled against them on that day, and I will abandon them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will find them; so they will say on that day, ‘Is it not because our God is not among us that these evils have found us?’ 18 But I will assuredly hide My face on that day because of all the evil that they will have done, for they will have turned away to other gods.

19 “Now then, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the sons of Israel; put it [i]on their lips, so that this song may be a witness for Me against the sons of Israel. 20 For when I bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to their fathers, and they eat and are satisfied and become [j]prosperous, then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and spurn Me and break My covenant. 21 Then it will come about, when many evils and troubles find them, that this song will testify before them as a witness (for it shall not be forgotten from the mouth of their [k]descendants); for I know their inclination which they are [l]developing today, before I bring them into the land which I swore.” 22 So Moses wrote down this song on the same day, and taught it to the sons of Israel.

Joshua Is Commissioned

23 Then He commissioned Joshua the son of Nun, and said, “Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the sons of Israel into the land which I swore to them, and I will be with you.”

24 It came about, when Moses finished writing the words of this Law in a book until they were complete, 25 that Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying, 26 “Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, so that it may [m]remain there as a witness against you. 27 For I know your rebellion and your [n]stubbornness; behold, as long as I have been alive with you until today, you have been rebellious against the Lord; how much more, then, after my death? 28 Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, that I may speak these words in their hearing and call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against them. 29 For I know that after my death you will behave very corruptly and turn from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will confront you in the latter days, because you will do that which is evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger with the work of your hands.”

30 Then Moses spoke in the hearing of all the assembly of Israel the words of this song, until they were complete:

The Song of Moses

32 “Listen, you heavens, and I will speak;
And let the earth hear the words of my mouth!
May my teaching drip as the rain,
My speech trickle as the dew,
As droplets on the fresh grass,
And as the showers on the vegetation.
For I proclaim the name of the Lord;
Ascribe greatness to our God!
The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are [o]just;
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Righteous and just is He.
[p]They have acted corruptly against Him,
They are not His children, because of their defect;
But are a perverse and crooked generation.
Is this what you do to the Lord,
You foolish and unwise people?
Is He not your Father who has purchased you?
He has made you and established you.
Remember the days of old,
Consider the years of all generations.
Ask your father and he will inform you,
Your elders, and they will tell you.
When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
When He separated the sons of [q]mankind,
He set the boundaries of the peoples
According to the number of the [r]sons of Israel.
For the Lords portion is His people;
Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance.
10 He found him in a desert land,
And in the howling wasteland of a wilderness;
He encircled him, He cared for him,
He guarded him as the [s]apple of His eye.
11 As an eagle stirs up its nest,
And hovers over its young,
He spread His wings, He caught them,
He carried them on His pinions.
12 The Lord alone guided him,
And there was no foreign god with him.
13 He had him ride on the high places of the earth,
And he ate the produce of the field;
And He had him suck honey from the rock,
And [t]oil from the flinty rock,
14 Curds of the herd, and milk of the flock,
With fat of lambs
And rams, the breed of Bashan, and of goats,
With the best of the wheat;
And you drank wine of the blood of grapes.

15 “But [u]Jeshurun became fat and kicked—
You have become fat, thick, and obstinate—
Then he abandoned God who made him,
And [v]rejected the Rock of his salvation.
16 They made Him jealous with strange gods;
With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
17 They sacrificed to demons, who were not God,
To gods whom they have not known,
New gods who came lately,
Whom your fathers did not know.
18 You forgot the Rock who fathered you,
And forgot the God who gave you birth.

19 “The Lord saw this, and spurned them
Because of the provocation by His sons and daughters.
20 Then He said, ‘I will hide My face from them,
I will see what their end will be;
For they are a perverse generation,
Sons in whom there is no faithfulness.
21 They have made Me jealous with what is not God;
They have provoked Me to anger with their [w]idols.
So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people;
I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation,
22 For a fire has flared in My anger,
And it burns to the lowest part of [x]Sheol,
And devours the earth with its yield,
And sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.

23 ‘I will add misfortunes to them;
I will use up My arrows on them.
24 They will be wasted by famine, and emaciated by [y]plague
And a bitter epidemic;
And the teeth of beasts I will send against them,
With the venom of crawling things of the dust.
25 Outside the sword will make them childless,
And inside, terror—
Both young man and virgin,
The nursing child with the man of gray hair.
26 I would have said, “I will wipe them out,
I will remove the mention of [z]their name from humanity,”
27 Had I not feared the provocation by the enemy,
That their adversaries would misjudge,
That they would say, “Our hand is [aa]triumphant,
And the Lord has not performed all this.”’

28 “For they are a nation [ab]destitute of counsel,
And there is no understanding in them.
29 If only they were wise and they understood this;
If only they would discern their [ac]future!
30 How could one chase a thousand,
And two put ten thousand to flight,
Unless their Rock had sold them,
And the Lord had given them up?
31 Indeed, their rock is not like our Rock;
Even our enemies [ad]themselves judge this.
32 For their vine is from the vine of Sodom,
And from the fields of Gomorrah;
Their grapes are grapes of poison,
Their clusters, bitter.
33 Their wine is the venom of [ae]serpents,
And the [af]deadly poison of vipers.

34 ‘Is it not stored up with Me,
Sealed up in My treasuries?
35 Vengeance is Mine, and retribution;
In due time their foot will slip.
For the day of their disaster is near,
And the impending things are hurrying to them.’
36 For the Lord will vindicate His people,
And will have compassion on His servants,
When He sees that their [ag]strength is gone,
And there is none remaining, bond or free.
37 And He will say, ‘Where are their gods,
The rock in which they took refuge?
38 Those who 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!
39 See now that I, I am He,
And there is no god besides Me;
It is I who put to death and give life.
I have wounded and it is I who heal,
And there is no one who can save anyone from My hand.
40 Indeed, I raise My hand to heaven,
And say, as I live forever,
41 If I have sharpened [ah]My flashing sword,
And My hand has taken hold of justice,
I will return vengeance on My adversaries,
And I will repay those who hate Me.
42 I will make My arrows drunk with blood,
And My sword will devour flesh,
With the blood of the slain and the captives,
From the long-haired [ai]leaders of the enemy.’
43 Rejoice, you nations, with His people;
For He will avenge the blood of His servants,
And will return vengeance on His adversaries,
And will atone for His land and His people.”

44 Then Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he, with [aj]Joshua the son of Nun. 45 When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you will command your sons to [ak]follow carefully, all the words of this Law. 47 For it is not a [al]trivial matter for you; indeed it is your life. And by this word you will prolong your days in the land, [am]which you are about to cross the Jordan to [an]possess.”

48 Now the Lord spoke to Moses that very same day, saying, 49 “Go up to this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab [ao]opposite Jericho, and look at the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the sons of Israel as a possession. 50 Then you are to die on the mountain where you ascend, and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people, 51 because you broke faith with Me in the midst of the sons of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, because you did not treat Me as holy in the midst of the sons of Israel. 52 For you will see the land at a distance but you will not go there, into the land which I am giving the sons of Israel.”

The Blessing by Moses

33 Now this is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the sons of Israel before his death. He said,

“The Lord came from Sinai,
And [ap]dawned on them from Seir;
He shone from Mount Paran,
And He came from the midst of myriads of [aq]holy ones;
At His right hand there was [ar]flashing lightning for them.
Indeed, He loves [as]the people;
All [at]Your holy ones are in Your hand,
And they [au]followed in Your steps;
Everyone takes of Your words.
Moses issued to us the Law,
A possession for the assembly of Jacob.
And He was king in [av]Jeshurun,
When the heads of the people gathered,
The tribes of Israel together.

“May Reuben live and not die,
Nor may his people be few.”

And this was regarding Judah; so he said:

“Hear, Lord, the voice of Judah,
And bring him to his people.
With his hands he contended for [aw]them,
And may You be a help against his adversaries.”

Of Levi he said,

Let Your Thummim and Your Urim belong to Your godly man,
Whom You tested at Massah,
With [ax]whom You contended at the waters of Meribah;
Who said of his father and his mother,
‘I did not consider them’;
And he did not acknowledge his brothers,
Nor did he regard his own sons,
For they kept Your word,
And complied with Your covenant.
10 They will teach Your ordinances to Jacob,
And Your Law to Israel.
They shall put [ay]incense before You,
And whole burnt offerings on Your altar.
11 Lord, bless his strength,
And accept the work of his hands;
Smash the [az]hips of those who rise up against him,
And those who hate him, so that they do not rise again.”

12 Of Benjamin he said,

“May the beloved of the Lord live in security beside Him
Who shields him all the day long,
And he lives between His shoulders.”

13 Of Joseph he said,

“Blessed of the Lord be his land,
With the choice things of heaven, with the dew,
And from the deep waters lying beneath,
14 And with the choice yield of the sun,
And the choice produce of the months;
15 And with the [ba]best things of the ancient mountains,
With the choice things of the everlasting hills,
16 And with the choice things of the earth and its fullness,
And the favor of Him who dwelt in the bush.
Let it come to the head of Joseph,
And to the top of the head of the one who was prince among his brothers.
17 As the firstborn of his ox, majesty is his,
And his horns are the horns of the wild ox;
With them he will gore the peoples
All [bb]at once, to the ends of the earth.
And those are the ten thousands of Ephraim,
And those are the thousands of Manasseh.”

18 Of Zebulun he said,

“Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out,
And, Issachar, in your tents.
19 They will call peoples to the mountain;
There they will offer righteous sacrifices;
For they will [bc]draw out the abundance of the seas,
And the hidden treasures of the sand.”

20 Of Gad he said,

“Blessed is the one who enlarges Gad;
He lies down as a [bd]lion,
And tears the arm, also the crown of the head.
21 Then he [be]selected the choicest part for himself,
For there the ruler’s portion was [bf]reserved;
And he came with the leaders of the people;
He executed the justice of the Lord,
And His ordinances with Israel.”

22 Of Dan he said,

“Dan is a lion’s cub;
He leaps out from Bashan.”

23 Of Naphtali he said,

“Naphtali, satisfied with favor,
And full of the blessing of the Lord,
Take possession of the sea and the south.”

24 Of Asher he said,

“More blessed than sons is Asher;
May he be favored by his brothers,
And may he dip his foot in olive oil.
25 Your [bg]bars will be iron and bronze,
And as your days, so will your strength be.

26 “There is no one like the God of [bh]Jeshurun,
Who rides the heavens [bi]to your help,
And the clouds in His majesty.
27 The eternal God is a [bj]hiding place,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;
And He drove out the enemy from you,
And said, ‘Destroy!’
28 So Israel lives in security,
The fountain of Jacob secluded,
In a land of grain and new wine;
His heavens also drip down dew.
29 Blessed are you, Israel;
Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord,
The shield of your help,
And He who is the sword of your majesty!
So your enemies will cringe before you,
And you will trample on their high places.”

The Death of Moses

34 Now Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land, Gilead as far as Dan, and all Naphtali and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah as far as the [bk]western sea, and the [bl]Negev and the territory in the Valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your [bm]descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not go over there.” So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, in accordance with the [bn]word of the Lord. And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows his burial place to this day. Although Moses was 120 years old when he died, his eyesight was not dim, nor had his vigor left him. So the sons of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab for thirty days; then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses came to an end.

Now Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, because Moses had laid his hands on him; and the sons of Israel listened to him and did as the Lord had commanded Moses. 10 Since that time no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 for all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh, all his servants, and all his land— 12 and for all the mighty [bo]power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.


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