Deuteronomy 31 & Psalm 119E

Deuteronomy 31

    So Moses continued to speak these words to all Israel. And he said to them, “I am 120 years old today. I am no longer able to go out and come in. The LORD has said to me, ‘You shall not go over this Jordan.’ The LORD your God himself will go over before you. He will destroy these nations before you, so that you shall dispossess them, and Joshua will go over at your head, as the LORD has spoken. And the LORD will do to them as he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when he destroyed them. And the LORD will give them over to you, and you shall do to them according to the whole commandment that I have commanded you. Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

    Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

    Then 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. And Moses commanded them, “At the end of every seven years, at the set time in the year of release, at the Feast of Booths, when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place that he will choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”

    And the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, the days approach when you must die. Call Joshua and present yourselves in the tent of meeting, that I may commission him.” And Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves in the tent of meeting. And the LORD appeared in the tent in a pillar of cloud. And the pillar of cloud stood over the entrance of the tent.

    And the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers. Then this people will rise and whore after the foreign gods among them in the land that they are entering, and they will forsake me and break my covenant that I have made with them. Then my anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them, and they will be devoured. And many evils and troubles will come upon them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’ And I will surely hide my face in that day because of all the evil that they have done, because they have turned to other gods.

    “Now therefore write this song and teach it to the people of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the people of Israel. For when I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to give to their fathers, and they have eaten and are full and grown fat, they will turn to other gods and serve them, and despise me and break my covenant. And when many evils and troubles have come upon them, this song shall confront them as a witness (for it will live unforgotten in the mouths of their offspring). For I know what they are inclined to do even today, before I have brought them into the land that I swore to give.” So Moses wrote this song the same day and taught it to the people of Israel.

    And the LORD commissioned Joshua the son of Nun and said, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the people of Israel into the land that I swore to give them. I will be with you.”

    When Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book to the very end, Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, “Take this Book of the Law and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against you. For I know how rebellious and stubborn you are. Behold, even today while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the LORD. How much more after my death! Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears and call heaven and earth to witness against them. For I know that after my death you will surely act corruptly and turn aside from the way that I have commanded you. And in the days to come evil will befall you, because you will do what is evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger through the work of your hands.”

(Deuteronomy 31 ESV)

Psalm 119:97-120


    Oh how I love your law!
        It is my meditation all the day.
    Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
        for it is ever with me.
    I have more understanding than all my teachers,
        for your testimonies are my meditation.
    I understand more than the aged,
        for I keep your precepts.
    I hold back my feet from every evil way,
        in order to keep your word.
    I do not turn aside from your rules,
        for you have taught me.
    How sweet are your words to my taste,
        sweeter than honey to my mouth!
    Through your precepts I get understanding;
        therefore I hate every false way.

    Your word is a lamp to my feet
        and a light to my path.
    I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
        to keep your righteous rules.
    I am severely afflicted;
        give me life, O LORD, according to your word!
    Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O LORD,
        and teach me your rules.
    I hold my life in my hand continually,
        but I do not forget your law.
    The wicked have laid a snare for me,
        but I do not stray from your precepts.
    Your testimonies are my heritage forever,
        for they are the joy of my heart.
    I incline my heart to perform your statutes
        forever, to the end.

    I hate the double-minded,
        but I love your law.
    You are my hiding place and my shield;
        I hope in your word.
    Depart from me, you evildoers,
        that I may keep the commandments of my God.
    Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live,
        and let me not be put to shame in my hope!
    Hold me up, that I may be safe
        and have regard for your statutes continually!
    You spurn all who go astray from your statutes,
        for their cunning is in vain.
    All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross,
        therefore I love your testimonies.
    My flesh trembles for fear of you,
        and I am afraid of your judgments.

(Psalm 119:97-120 ESV)

Something to Consider

Psalm 119: The Word of God is the source of true wisdom. The greatest minds in the world can give you a wealth of understanding about the things of this world and how they function, and yet have nothing to offer you as it pertains to the meaning of this world and the reason we are here in the first place. The Word of God offers a wisdom that the greatest teachers in the world simply cannot supply. 

How many of us spend great amounts of time reading political, scientific and psychological articles in search of answers to the current problems facing us today? How many people assume education is the answer to helping man abandon his barbarian ways? The world has never been more educated, and yet are we socially any better off than our more "primitive" ancestors? Are there still not wars and rumors of wars? Is there more peace in this highly educated world of the twenty-first century than there has been throughout the preceding centuries?

The truth of the matter is education and politics fail to offer the wisdom needed to transform the heart of a man. Every man is a barbarian at the core of his being. The Word of God exposes the heart of a man and equips that man with the wisdom he needs to live a life that he is intended to live - for his own good and the good of those around him. May our search for answers be satisfied first and foremost in our meditation upon Scripture, and may our Lord "give us life... according to His Word."