DEUTERONOMY 33:1 – 34:12 and LUKE 1:39–80
Moses now is about to bless the children of Israel before he dies. He makes mention of how he encountered God at Sinai, received the law of God from His hand and went before Israel throughout the wandering years in the wilderness. It is similar to what Jacob did before he died in Egypt. There is something about the laying on of hands from one who is about to enter glory. Moses who had a very close relationship with God is going to give words that will have deep meaning to the tribes of Israel. We see in Reuben; (vs 6) though there was great transgression at the beginning they will not become extinct as a tribe. They clearly lost stature and forfeited privileges yet you see the mercy of God in preserving them. Judah shall have a certain authority over their enemies. This is similar to what was spoken over them by Jacob (Gen 49:9).They were to be a people who seek the Lord for help and the Lord would respond on their behalf. We will see Judah going forth before the armies of Israel in battle (2 Chr 20:20-24).
In verses 8-11 we see very strong blessings for the tribe of Levi. The first mentioned area is concerning the Urim and Thummim which speak of making holy and righteous judgements. They are cited in verse 9 for putting God above their own flesh and blood. Personally, I feel this could apply to what distinguished the Levites in the first place. They responded when the cry went forth “Who is on the Lord’s side” (Exo 32:26)? It was this act that gave them the privilege of becoming priests before God.
Aaron had to hold his peace when his two sons, Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire (Lev 10). There is a cost in being a true Levite, a priest unto God. There will be testing’s that will prove as to who has our ultimate allegiance; man or God. They will teach “Jacob” or Israel God’s law and represent the nation before God (vs 10). They will be blessed and their enemies will be opposed by God Himself (vs 11). This is a tremendous word that is being brought upon Levi. It again makes clear as to the prominence and esteem that God places upon His law and the priesthood, especially for the last days. There is an interesting thought concerning what is mentioned over Benjamin. “he shall dwell between his shoulders” God dwelt in the temple that was built upon Mt. Moriah which was located within the boundaries of Benjamin. Mt. Zion, where David’s Tabernacle was established belonged to Judah. There are many wonderful blessings spoken over Joseph (vs 13-17). One word that summarises the blessings upon Joseph is that of Fruitfulness.
Gen 49:22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
You see God’s abundance in virtually every facet of his life. What was seen in the life of Joseph is an illustration of the blessings pronounced over this tribe. Joseph paid a tremendous price; he was left for dead by his brethren and falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife, forgotten in a prison for several years and by all accounts, left for dead. Yet, it was the Word of the Lord that tried and prepared him for a greater day (Psa 105:19). In one day, due to a sovereign act of God, he was brought to the throne in Egypt. This one man, through his wisdom saved Egypt and surrounding nations. His example is noteworthy and to be observed by the church of our day. How many of us would submit to these kinds of dealings in our lives? We have too many “ear tickling” doctrines that would circumvent the path that Joseph experienced. How many Joseph’s are being hidden in the shadows; being tried by the Word of God for what is about to come upon the earth today? Moses speaks over the remaining tribes in verses 18-25.
Moses again speaks of the greatness of God and His ability to keep Israel and preserve them due to His great love. He also speaks of God’s ability to ride forth on their behalf as they are about to prepare for battle against the enemies in the land of their inheritance. This is a pivotal moment! Remember they are about to go against some fierce and intimidating enemies. It will require courage on the part of leadership and of the people themselves. Moses, after pronouncing the blessing upon all of Israel reiterates one more time the greatness of God. It is a time of great rejoicing in what God is about to do. It is also a pleasure that is brought to God in having a people who go forth in His name to battle. God desires to displace these enemies through His chosen people. Do we appreciate this wonderful privilege and opportunity that God is giving to Israel? Do we fully appreciate the opportunity and privilege being given to us in this unique moment of history? The Words to Israel are words to us. In fact, all of Deuteronomy is a message for the church of the last days. Lord, please help us to hear and to heed. We are being given a most precious opportunity. It is an opportunity that many of the men and women of old looked forward to. We can be part of Heb 11 if we are found to be faithful.
Heb 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
Heb 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
The Lord now brings Moses to the top of Mt. Pisgah to show the land of Israel’s inheritance. The Lord must have supernaturally touched his eyes in being able to see the vastness of the land of Gilead. It is a blessing that God gives to Moses. One can only imagine the sentiments of Moses as he was being shown that which God had promised to Abraham and his seed. It had to be a time of reflection of the journey in which the Lord had led him through his 120 years of life. There was no doubt the regret of not being able to personally enter in nonetheless it had to be with great satisfaction and joy to reflect upon the goodness of God. What will it be like as we enter our latter years? Will there be that satisfaction of knowing that we have fulfilled our course? The Apostle Paul experienced this.
2Ti 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
This is one of the reasons why vision is so very important. The spirit of this world seeks to focus man’s attention on the here and now. This results in our making decisions based on circumstances without being able to see a bigger picture. What went through the mind of Moses when his own people rejected him (Exo 2:14)? How did he feel when he heard that Pharaoh was now seeking to slay him (Exo 2:15)? How did he feel when he went into obscurity having lived in Pharaoh’s court for 40 years; choosing to forsake the luxuries of Egypt so as to identify with his people? The Bible said he made these decisions by faith (Heb 11:24-27). Moses had vision and this helped to sustain him through his times of adversity. Moses was 120 years old at his death and the Bible makes two amazing statements concerning him at the end.
1) His eye were not dim. This means he had clarity of vision. We will later see examples of people whose vision was diminished at the end of their lives. Eli, the high priest at the time of his death had diminished vision (1 Sam 4:15). He allowed his sons as priests to function in their office while being corrupt and immoral. We must have a vision for eternity. An eternal vision will aid in making right and proper decisions, even when it affects our own house. Consider what the Apostle Peter says about keys to an eternal vision.
2Pe 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2Pe 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
2Pe 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Pe 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
The keys for a proper vision are found in building upon the foundation of faith. There are 8 steps listed above which serve as steps to ensuring a vision that allows us to see beyond the day to day circumstances of life. An eternal vision helps in making right choices. This is why the prayer of Moses in Psalm 90 is such a blessing. Lord, teach us to number our days; to apply our hearts unto wisdom.
2) His strength was not abated. One would think at 120 years of age a person would have slowed down but not so with Moses. This should serve as an encouragement to the church of the last days. I personally feel that there will be a renewing of strength (Isa 40:31). The physical body does wear down over time so what was it about Moses that enabled him to have such strength in his latter years? Remember, he had an access to God that others did not know. I feel it is a product of being in the presence of God. When Moses came down from the mountain at Sinai he had a glory and strength about him. We also saw this with the Lord at the Mt. of Transfiguration. He received affirmation from the Father while at the same time being strengthened and ministered to. There was a strengthening that came upon Him to prepare for the final thrust of His earthly mission. One of the 7 spirits of the Lord is that of might. The church of the last days needs to apprehend this anointing so that we too can finish our race with resolve and purpose.
Moses died and was buried by the Lord himself. His resting place was never to be discovered due to the Lord preserving him for another day. He will come on the scene again during the time of the tribulation period. He was seen at the Mt. of Transfiguration and has been described prophetically for a last day mission. He is known to have been the greatest teacher regarding the law (Exception of Christ). He was known to have been the meekest man in all the earth (Num 12:3). (Exception of Christ) He was a man who truly was the fulfilment of being “Called, Chosen and Faithful” (Rev 17:14, Heb 3:2). Moses was a might man of God; a man whom the world will once again see in the lead-up to the 2nd coming.
Luke 1 – Read day 73 commentary