Deuteronomy 32

Sunday Evening Bible Study

February 7, 1999

Introduction

The name Deuteronomy means "second law". It is Mosesí final address to the people. It covers the last 1 Ĺ months of Mosesí life. Heís 120 years old. Itís Godís "review" for the people to make sure they understand His ways before they go into the land.

We now look at this song that Moses was commanded to write for the nation of Israel. This song would be something they would remember and would be something to remind them about the Lord when they had failed Him.

(Deu 31:21 KJV) And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware.

Deuteronomy 32

:3 Because I will publish the name of the LORD

publish Ė proclaim

:5 their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.

(Deu 32:5 NKJV) Ö They are not His children, Because of their blemish: A perverse and crooked generation.

:6 Do ye thus requite the LORD

(NIV) Is this the way you repay the LORD

:8 When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance

When God set up the boundaries of the ancient nations. This was done in Genesis 10, the record of the songs of Noah.

(Gen 10:32 KJV) These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.

There were 70 nations.

:8 he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

We talked about this last time, how for some reason God had divided up the world by the same number as the family of Jacob. When Jacob had taken his family to Egypt, there were a total of 70 of them (Gen.46:26-27).

We then traced the usage of the number seventy to look at how the number 70 really seems tied somehow to Israel. And then we looked at what Jesus told Peter about forgiving "seventy times seven" (Mat. 18:21-22). Though Jesus might have just meant that we are to forgive a whole bunch of times, perhaps He was alluding to the fact of how He, as God, has forgiven the nation of Israel over and over and over. We are to forgive as God forgives.

:9 the LORD'S portion is his people;

Godís people are His treasure.

:10 he kept him as the apple of his eye.

apple Ė pupil

(NLT) he guarded them as his most precious possession.

This is the way that God views His people:

Zechariah 2:8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.

When someone tries to hurt you, itís like theyíre poking God in the eye. Pity them.

:11 beareth them on her wings

God has mentioned this before, regarding the time He delivered them through the Red Sea:

(Exo 19:4 KJV) Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.

An eagle teaches it's young to fly in a very different way. Eagles' nests are located on very high, out of the way places. When it's time for a flying lesson, the mother eagle will push the baby out of the nest. The baby will start flailing at the air, trying to fly, but falling like a rock to the canyon floor. At just the last moment, the mother will swoop down, and scoop up the baby on top of its wings. Then they try it all over again.

God never promises to keep us away from problems, but He always promises to rescue us in the nick of time.

In talking about how the Israelites gave us examples of how to live, and how not to live, Paul writes:

1CO 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.

He will deliver us.

:12 So the LORD alone did lead him

By pushing him out of the nest.

Lesson

Itís scary learning to fly.

Sometimes God has to make things uncomfortable for us to get us to move along. A baby eagle canít spend its entire life in the nest. There comes a time when it needs to get out on its own and fly.

:15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked

Jeshurun Ė "upright one", a term of endearment.

Weíve talked before about the dangers of riches and wanting wealth. Hereís another example of the danger. When Israel became "fat" and wealthy, they stopped seeking God.

:17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God

The other "gods" are really just demons in disguise. There are other spiritual forces out there, they are Satanic ones.

(1 Cor 10:20 KJV) But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

:20 they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.

froward Ė perverse

:21 I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people

Israel made God jealous by their worshipping other gods, so God would make them jealous by turning to other nations with salvation.

(Rom 11:11 KJV) I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

When they rejected the Lord, He turned to the Gentiles with salvation, not because Heís totally rejected them, but in the hopes of provoking them to jealousy. Hopefully theyíll want what we have.

:22 For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell

Literally, Sheol. A place in the earth for the dead, both good and bad. Jesus described it having two compartments (Luke 16). Abrahamís bosom was a place of comfort for the believing, the fire was a place of torment for the unbelieving.

:27 Were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy

This is speaking about Israelís enemies. God didnít want Israelís enemies to get the wrong idea about what was happening to Israel, as if somehow Israelís God was weaker than theirs. And so God would limit the victories that Israelís enemies would have over her.

:28 For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them.

Speaking of Israelís enemies Ö

:30 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them

How else could these things have happened if God werenít involved? How else could Israelís enemies have so easily conquered them if it werenít for the fact that God had mad it happen?

But the heathen have a hard time seeing this.

:31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.

The enemies of Israel wouldnít have any concept of what a real God of Refuge was. They had no concept of a living, powerful, real God.

:32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom Ö

The heathen came from a bad stock.

:32 their clusters are bitter

This morning (Isa. 5) we were talking about Godís desire for finding good fruit in us. When we have been born again, itís as if weíve been "grafted" to a new Vine. Instead of coming from the vine of Sodom, we now get our fruit from Jesus Christ.

:33 Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.

(Deu 32:33 NASB) "Their wine is the venom of serpents, And the deadly poison of cobras.

:34 Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures?

You get the idea that Godís plans are all locked away in a vault somewhere in heaven.

:35 To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense

Even Israelís enemies, whom God used to bring judgment on Israel with, even they will have to face Godís judgment.

Lesson

Let God take care of it.

Vengeance is one of Godís job descriptions. It is not one of yours, yet we like to think that we can handle it:

Illustration

I heard a story the other night about a truck driver who dropped in at an all-night restaurant in Broken Bow, Nebraska. The waitress had just served him when three swaggering, leather-jacketed motorcyclists -- of the Hell's Angels type -- entered and rushed up to him, apparently spoiling for a fight. One grabbed the hamburger off his plate; another took a handful of his French fries; and the third picked up his coffee and began to drink it.

The trucker did not respond as one might expect. Instead, he calmly rose, picked up his check, walked to the front of the room, put the check and his money on the cash register, and went out the door. The waitress followed him to put the money in the till and stood watching out the door as the big truck drove away into the night.

When she returned, one of the cyclists said to her, "Well, he's not much of a man, is he?"

She replied, "I can't answer as to that, but he's not much of a truck driver. He just ran over three motorcycles out in the parking lot."

Illustration

From the Business Farmer News, Scottsbluff, Nebraska: In the column under "For Sale or Trade" it says: Will trade one white wedding gown size 16 -- never worn. Will trade for 38 caliber revolver.

Vengeance is Godís job. Let go of the bitterness and let Him handle it.

(Rom 12:17-21 KJV) Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. {18} If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. {19} Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. {20} Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. {21} Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Illustration

When the first missionaries came to Alberta, Canada, they were opposed by a young Cree Indian chief named Maskepetoon. But eventually he responded to the gospel and accepted Christ. Shortly afterward, a member of the Blackfoot tribe who hated Maskepetoon killed his father. The chief rode into the murderer's village and demanded that he be brought before him. Confronting the guilty man he said, "You shall ride my best horse and wear my best clothes."

In utter amazement and remorse his enemy exclaimed, "My son, now you have killed me." The hate in his heart had been erased by Maskepetoon's forgiveness and kindness.

How do you treat those whoíve hurt you? Repay evil with good.

:35 their foot shall slide in due time

They will have their day before God.

:36 Ö and repent himself for his servants

(Deu 32:36 NLT) "Indeed, the LORD will judge his people, and he will change his mind about his servants, when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free.

Donít think that this has all been for the sake of destroying Israel. All this talk of wrath and punishment has been for the sake of seeing them come back to the Lord. Even with the nation of Israel, when we see all the Scriptures that talk about their utter destruction, keep in mind that God always has a place somewhere for when they turn around and come back to Him.

For those of you who get these ideas that God is simply out to destroy you, look at the nation of Israel. Have they been destroyed? Hasnít God restored them?

:38 let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.

When we come to the end of our rope, we find that there is no one we can trust in except the Lord. All the other things weíve looked to for help will disappoint us.

:39 neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

No one escapes God.

:44 And Moses came and spake all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he, and Hoshea the son of Nun.

Hoshea Ė Joshua (just another form of the name)

:47 For it is not a vain thing for you

Obeying God isnít a waste of time.

:49 Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto mount Nebo

Abarim Ė The range of mountains overlooking (from the E) the Jordan valley and the Dead Sea.

Nebo Ė also known as Pisgah

:51 Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh

Moses didnít represent God correctly. He struck the Rock when he should have spoken to it. (Num. 20)

:52 Yet thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel.

Lesson

Donít compromise your ministry.

This isnít about Moses losing his salvation. We know that Moses is in heaven. After all, Jesus spoke with him.

This about not being able to finish your ministry.

(1 Cor 9:24-27 KJV) Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. {25} And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. {26} I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: {27} But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.