Deuteronomy 33-34 & Psalm 119G

Deuteronomy 33-34

    This is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the people of Israel before his death. He said,

    “The LORD came from Sinai
        and dawned from Seir upon us;
        he shone forth from Mount Paran;
    he came from the ten thousands of holy ones,
        with flaming fire at his right hand.
    Yes, he loved his people,
        all his holy ones were in his hand;
    so they followed in your steps,
        receiving direction from you,
    when Moses commanded us a law,
        as a possession for the assembly of Jacob.
    Thus the LORD became king in Jeshurun,
        when the heads of the people were gathered,
        all the tribes of Israel together.
    “Let Reuben live, and not die,
        but let his men be few.”
        And this he said of Judah:

    “Hear, O LORD, the voice of Judah,
        and bring him in to his people.
    With your hands contend for him,
        and be a help against his adversaries.”
        And of Levi he said,

    “Give to Levi your Thummim,
        and your Urim to your godly one,
    whom you tested at Massah,
        with whom you quarreled at the waters of Meribah;
    who said of his father and mother,
        ‘I regard them not’;
    he disowned his brothers
        and ignored his children.
    For they observed your word
        and kept your covenant.
    They shall teach Jacob your rules
        and Israel your law;
    they shall put incense before you
        and whole burnt offerings on your altar.
    Bless, O LORD, his substance,
        and accept the work of his hands;
    crush the loins of his adversaries,
        of those who hate him, that they rise not again.”
        Of Benjamin he said,

    “The beloved of the LORD dwells in safety.
    The High God surrounds him all day long,
        and dwells between his shoulders.”
        And of Joseph he said,

    “Blessed by the LORD be his land,
        with the choicest gifts of heaven above,
        and of the deep that crouches beneath,
    with the choicest fruits of the sun
        and the rich yield of the months,
    with the finest produce of the ancient mountains
        and the abundance of the everlasting hills,
    with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness
        and the favor of him who dwells in the bush.
    May these rest on the head of Joseph,
        on the pate of him who is prince among his brothers.
    A firstborn bull—he has majesty,
        and his horns are the horns of a wild ox;
    with them he shall gore the peoples,
        all of them, to the ends of the earth;
    they are the ten thousands of Ephraim,
        and they are the thousands of Manasseh.”
        And of Zebulun he said,

    “Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out,
        and Issachar, in your tents.
    They shall call peoples to their mountain;
        there they offer right sacrifices;
    for they draw from the abundance of the seas
        and the hidden treasures of the sand.”
        And of Gad he said,

    “Blessed be he who enlarges Gad!
        Gad crouches like a lion;
        he tears off arm and scalp.
    He chose the best of the land for himself,
        for there a commander's portion was reserved;
    and he came with the heads of the people,
        with Israel he executed the justice of the LORD,
        and his judgments for Israel.”
        And of Dan he said,

    “Dan is a lion's cub
        that leaps from Bashan.”
        And of Naphtali he said,

    “O Naphtali, sated with favor,
        and full of the blessing of the LORD,
        possess the lake and the south.”
        And of Asher he said,

    “Most blessed of sons be Asher;
        let him be the favorite of his brothers,
        and let him dip his foot in oil.
    Your bars shall be iron and bronze,
        and as your days, so shall your strength be.
    “There is none like God, O Jeshurun,
        who rides through the heavens to your help,
        through the skies in his majesty.
    The eternal God is your dwelling place,
        and underneath are the everlasting arms.
    And he thrust out the enemy before you
        and said, ‘Destroy.’
    So Israel lived in safety,
        Jacob lived alone,
    in a land of grain and wine,
        whose heavens drop down dew.
    Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you,
        a people saved by the LORD,
    the shield of your help,
        and the sword of your triumph!
    Your enemies shall come fawning to you,
        and you shall tread upon their backs.”

    Then 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, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the western sea, the Negeb, and the Plain, that is, the Valley of Jericho the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. And the LORD said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.” 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 the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day. Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated. And the people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. Then 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 on him. So the people of Israel obeyed him and did as the LORD had commanded Moses. And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.

(Deuteronomy 33-34 ESV)

Psalm 119:145-176


    With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD!
        I will keep your statutes.
    I call to you; save me,
        that I may observe your testimonies.
    I rise before dawn and cry for help;
        I hope in your words.
    My eyes are awake before the watches of the night,
        that I may meditate on your promise.
    Hear my voice according to your steadfast love;
        O LORD, according to your justice give me life.
    They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose;
        they are far from your law.
    But you are near, O LORD,
        and all your commandments are true.
    Long have I known from your testimonies
        that you have founded them forever.

    Look on my affliction and deliver me,
        for I do not forget your law.
    Plead my cause and redeem me;
        give me life according to your promise!
    Salvation is far from the wicked,
        for they do not seek your statutes.
    Great is your mercy, O LORD;
        give me life according to your rules.
    Many are my persecutors and my adversaries,
        but I do not swerve from your testimonies.
    I look at the faithless with disgust,
        because they do not keep your commands.
    Consider how I love your precepts!
        Give me life according to your steadfast love.
    The sum of your word is truth,
        and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.
    Sin and Shin

    Princes persecute me without cause,
        but my heart stands in awe of your words.
    I rejoice at your word
        like one who finds great spoil.
    I hate and abhor falsehood,
        but I love your law.
    Seven times a day I praise you
        for your righteous rules.
    Great peace have those who love your law;
        nothing can make them stumble.
    I hope for your salvation, O LORD,
        and I do your commandments.
    My soul keeps your testimonies;
        I love them exceedingly.
    I keep your precepts and testimonies,
        for all my ways are before you.

    Let my cry come before you, O LORD;
        give me understanding according to your word!
    Let my plea come before you;
        deliver me according to your word.
    My lips will pour forth praise,
        for you teach me your statutes.
    My tongue will sing of your word,
        for all your commandments are right.
    Let your hand be ready to help me,
        for I have chosen your precepts.
    I long for your salvation, O LORD,
        and your law is my delight.
    Let my soul live and praise you,
        and let your rules help me.
    I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
        for I do not forget your commandments.

(Psalm 119:145-176 ESV)

Something to Consider

Psalm 119: The Word of God is our heart’s desire. Our Lord once said that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed because they are the one’s who will discover true satisfaction (Matthew 5). Our hearts are born hungry, but it is man’s most notorious error to feed that hunger with food that simply doesn’t satisfy. Those who long for God’s salvation and those who delight in His Word are those who are given a great peace that prevents them from stumbling. 

If we are honest with ourselves, what would we identify as the one thing in life that we would need the most in order to be satisfied and perfectly content? If we were given this 'one thing', would we not then find ourselves under a great burden to make sure we keep it? 

How many of us simply find the psalmist’s delight in the Word of God as distant and foreign to our own personal experience? Can you say that you find the Word of God as “sweeter than honey” and more worthy of your love than “fine gold”? How many of us, if we’re honest, have not tasted the sweet satisfaction of God’s Word simply because we’ve failed to feast on the truths we find in there?

Many of us fail to find God's Word satisfying simply because we have failed to truly taste and see how good His Word really is. We will never fall in love with something we do not know. And we will never truly know something that we do not passionately pursue. 

The psalmist describes the way in which he wakes up with God’s Word on his heart and mind just as many of us wake up with an immediate craving for that morning’s first cup of coffee. Such a wholehearted desire for the things of God is only developed when we truly taste and finally see that God’s life-giving Word is the only thing that truly satisfies.