Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Deuteronomy 33-34 - The Life of Moses

Last week Moses told Joshua and all of Israel to be strong and courageous.  Then he wrote a song for the people to sing to remember God’s love for His unfaithful people.  

This week we see Moses at the old age of 120 years and about to die.  He still is thinking about the people he loved and gives each tribe a blessing.  Before he blesses them, he gives praises to the Lord.  Then we see the death of Moses.  No one has ever been like Moses.  He had a special relationship with God.  God spoke face to face to only him. 

Deuteronomy 33 – Moses’ Blessings

Moses was a “man of God”.  (Deut. 33:1) 

Who do you know is a “man or woman of God”?
Will others say you are a “man or woman of God”?
If not, what do you need to do?

Moses blessed all the tribes of Israel before he dies.  He starts out by praising the Lord and describing the Lord saying the Lord came down over them and shown Himself from Mount Paran.  He said the Lord loves the people and the holy ones are in His hands.  He gives them instructions and the law.  He is the King over them. (Deut. 33:1-5)

What do you learn about God’s character from these verses?
Is He your King?
How do you remind others about God?

How do you praise the Lord?  A good way to praise Him is when you pray, start by giving Him praise.  Use words that reflect who He is and His character.  Words you might use are:  King of Kings, Provider, Great Physician, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty, Powerful, Unchanging, Son of God, Savior, Friend, Anointed One, Judge, Sanctuary, Sure Foundation, Lord Most High, Bread of Life, Shepherd, Holy One.  You get the idea.

Then Moses blessed the tribes (Deut. 33:6-25):
Reuben – Let him live and not die and his men not be few
Judah – hear his cry, help him against his enemies
Levi – bless all his skills and work of his hands
Benjamin – rest secure in the Lord and He rest between his shoulders
Joseph – bless his land with the best gifts of the earth
Zebulun & Issachar – to rejoice everywhere they goes
Gad – will enlarge God’s domain and live like a lion
Dad – a warrior - is a lion cub springing out of Bashan
Naphtali – bless with favor of the Lord
Asher – bless with prosperity - most blessed of sons of Asher, will be favored by his brothers, his strength will equal his days

You will notice that Simeon is not mentioned and the list is not in the same order as in Gen. 49 when Jacob gave his blessings.  Simeon’s tribe was absorbed with the tribe of Judah (Joshua 19).

Moses ended his blessings with more praises to God.  He recognized where the blessing came from.  He told them to lean on God’s everlasting arms.  There is no god like our great God.  He is the one true God and He alone is the source of every blessing!  This reminds us that God is for us, not because of our goodness but God’s grace.  We can rest between His shoulders.

How do you bless others? 
How has God blessed you?
How do Moses’ blessings encourage you?

Deuteronomy 34 – Moses’ Legacy

Moses climbed Mount Nebo.  The Lord showed him the Promise Land for the last time.  “Then the Lord said to him, This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, I will give it to your descendants.  I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.”Deut. 34:4.  Then Moses died and God buried him in Moab.  To this day no one knows where his grave is.  This is probably because God knew the Israelites were prone to idol worship and they would have probably tried to worship Moses grave.  He was 120 years old, but his eyes and strength were not gone.  The Israelites mourned his death for 30 days. (Duet. 34:5-8)

Now Joshua was to be the new leader.  He was filled with the spirit of wisdom, because Moses had laid hands on him.  (Deut. 34:9)

There has never been a prophet risen in Israel like Moses.  God spoke to Moses face to face.  God did miraculous signs and wonders through His servant, Moses.  He was the greatest spokesman for God and the greatest worker of miracles by the power of God in the Old Testament.  “For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.”  (Deut. 34:10-12)  We are not certain who wrote these last verses in Deuteronomy, but we are certain of Moses’ relationship with God.  We are part of his legacy.

Moses finished well and so can we.  God’s grace gives us power through difficulties and strength to finish well.  Part of leaving a legacy is to disciple others.  It’s modeling obedience and love for God’s Word.  It’s letting others see you in your weaknesses.  It’s letting others see your dependence on God. 

How will you be remembered after your death?
What will others say about you?
Will they say you were a faithful servant of God?

Principle:  “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms…”Deut. 33:27

I leave you with a blessing that God will give you a lasting legacy.

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