"He found him in a desert land, And in the howling waste of a wilderness; He encircled him, He cared for him, He guarded him as the pupil of His eye.Deuteronomy 32:10(NASB)
For nearly forty years, Moses had led the Israelites. Their futile wanderings in the wilderness resulted from disobedience, unbelief, and constant complaining. God was angry with their attitude and allowed an entire generation to die in the desert and not enter His promised rest.
The time arrived for Moses to pass the reins of leadership to Joshua. To help God's people remember His never-failing faithfulness, he taught them the 'Song of Moses' to both encourage them in the days ahead and as a constant reminder that God's work is perfect, His way is righteous, His laws are just, and His faithfulness lasts from generation to generation.
The song Moses taught, drew a stark contrast between the goodness, greatness, loving-kindness, and righteousness of their sovereign God, with His perverse and petulant people who broke their covenant, sinned against Him, and acted corruptly toward Him.
In his song, Moses recounted how the Lord found Israel in a desert land and protected him, cared for him, guarded and chose him to be His special nation from all the nations of the world. The Lord saved the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, brought them out of slavery, blessed them abundantly, and promised to protect them from their enemies and provide for them along the way. He related how precious they were to God and how He considered them 'the apple of His eye'.
The imagery and style of the 'Song of Moses' was to ensure that the people of Israel did not forget their origin, nor the goodness of God. They were directed to commit his poem to memory and were challenged to remember what God had done for them. They were to consider their roots and history, pay attention to past events, and learn the lessons of their forefathers. They were never to forget that "the Lord found Israel in a desert land, in the howling waste of a wilderness." They were to remember how God encircled them, cared for them, and guarded them as the pupil of His eye.
What a beautiful picture Moses painted of God's gracious goodness to His people. Moses wanted them to keep the words of his challenging song in their heart and pass it on to their children. He knew a divided heart causes an unstable character, which is increasingly likely to stray from the right path and adopt apostate and ungodly ways.
Along with the Mosaic Law, the feasts and festivals, the sacrificial offerings, the priestly requirements, the construction of the tabernacle, and many other lessons Moses taught the people, the 'Song of Moses' was another instrument to prevent them from going astray and to remind God's people to trust in the Lord with all their heart. This was a God-given, aide-mémoire to help Israel obey and honour Him and not rely on their own understanding, or place their hope in human strength.
The 'Song of Moses' may have been given to Israel to cause them to remember the lessons of their past and to help them avoid the same mistakes in the future, but it contains many principles that apply to the Church in this present age and there are many wise lessons we can learn from the song that Moses rehearsed in the ears of the people Israel, so many years ago.
May we never forget all the wonderful things that God has done for us and His never-failing faithfulness to His children. May we remember to keep in mind the many pitfalls we will face in our Christian life and maintain our faith in His promises to sustain and keep us. May we keep the eyes of our heart on Jesus and apply the truth of the Word, knowing that we too are the apple of His eye and have been given all we need for life and godliness.
Heavenly Father, there are so many lessons to learn from the song that Moses sang to the children of Israel. I pray that I may never become complacent in my Christian walk, and always remember Your never-failing faithfulness towards all Your children. Thank You for the Word of truth and the many lessons is contains, and I pray that I may honour and obey You in thought, word, and deed, and not rely on my own limited understanding or trust in my own fleshly strength. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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