Thursday, October 4, 2012

Israel’s God

Deuteronomy 33:26-29

“There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky.  The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.  Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew.” (Deuteronomy 33:26-28) 

There is no other God or even anything which is even similar.   Isaiah 46:9 declares, “… for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,”.  While there are many that are called gods, I Corinthians 8:4 states, “…we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.”  Isaiah 45:18 says, “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.”

This God who created the world is the God of Israel(Jeshurun).  He is the God who protects them from their enemies and supports them like a father carrying his child.  He provides so they don’t have to worry about anything.

“Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.” (Deuteronomy 33:29)

Think how blessed Israel was.  God was protecting them and fighting for them so they had no reason to fear their enemies.  He had promised to overthrow them and give Israel even their most readily defended high ground.

Moses’ Death
Deuteronomy 34:1-12

“And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar.” (Deuteronomy 34:1-3)

Obeying God’s command, Moses went to the top of Mount Nebo, to the peak of Pisgah which gave a grand overview of the land.  From there he was able to look back over the land they had already conquered on the east of Jordan.  Facing westward he could see the Mediterranean, as far south as the Negev and north almost to the border of Syria.

“And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.” (Deuteronomy 34:4)

Over six hundred fifty years before, in Genesis 15, God had promised the land to Abraham.  A hundred years later he made the same promise to Jacob in Genesis 28.  Moses has led them to the very edge of the land, and even helped them conquer part of it, but he will not be allowed to finish the job.  He can look to see what God has and rejoice that they are going to obtain it, but his sin in taking the glory for himself will prevent his getting to finish the job.

“So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.  And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. 

And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.” (Deuteronomy 34:5-7)

At a hundred and twenty, Moses was still strong and healthy, able to do whatever he needed to.  Even his eyesight was as good as ever.  It is a tremendous testimony to the benefits of obedience to God that he had preserved his health in such a manner.  As God had said, Moses died there, and God buried him in one of the valleys so no one would ever know where he was buried, ensuring that they could not go to his tomb to worship as other groups do their great leaders.

In Luke 4:8, “…Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”  God is the only one mankind are to worship.  John was forbidden to worship even angelic beings in Revelation 19:10.  “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God…”

"And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended. 

And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.” (Deuteronomy 34:8-9) 

For almost forty one years, from early in his eightieth year until well into his one hundred twentieth year, Moses had led Israel.  He had become a fixture in their lives.  Thirty days were spent mourning and remembering the things he had done and where he had led them.  Joshua did not try to hasten the process, but allowed them to grieve fully.  Knowing Moses had appointed him and seeing he had the same spiritual wisdom and power, the people found it easy to accept him as leader during that thirty days.

“And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, In all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel.” (Deuteronomy 34:10-12)

The wording here clearly indicates that this passage and perhaps the entire book was compiled long after Moses’ death, from the records others had kept of Moses’ final instructions.

Until Christ came, there had never been a prophet like Moses, yet Deuteronomy 18:15-18 prophesied, “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.  And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.  I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.”  Peter referred to this passage in Acts 3.


  1. Factor in the dispute between Michael and Satan about Moses' body and it does seem clear that Satan wanted to induce idolatry with Moses.
    I assume you're heading into Joshua next; I enjoyed Deuteronomy and look forward to following along. You have our prayers for your ministry.

  2. Great point about the dispute over Moses' body. A lot of our memorials today are to remember people, rather than God, and border on if not actually being idolatry.

    Glad you enjoyed the study. I enjoyed doing it. I am amazed at the number who don't believe the Old Testament is relevant to us today.

  3. If we don't believe the OT has relevance today that makes it awfully hard to rightly divide the word; two thirds of it is no longer relevant!

  4. Exactly. We have no background or basis for understanding many of the things Jesus or Paul taught without the Old Testament. False teachers thrive because they can distort those teachings how ever they want to, just as the Judaizers could demand Christians keep the law by ignoring the New Testament teachings.