What Will You Do When I Am Gone?
by YahChannah Wolf

 

Just previous to the following song, Moshe had pointed out to the people how they had failed to obey and had delved into idol worship over and over, even with him there to help guide them.

He said, in essence, that if they had failed so miserably, even while he was still with them, whatever would, they do when he was gone.

He called forth the elders and the officers of the tribes to come and stand before him. He did not want to just send them a message that they might later be able to say they did not know or that ‘he did not tell me!’

It is hard to say, ‘I did not know what you said, Moshe,’ if you were standing there with him looking you in the eye. There is nothing like a face to face.

He made it quite clear to these, elders and officers of the tribes that they had not been doing the job assigned to them.  What’s more, he went so far as to ‘call the heavens and the earth to bear witness against them’.

Then they were given the following charge. (I may interrupt the flow of the text from time to time, for emphasis)

Devariym 32:1-47

1        "Listen, O heavens, and let me speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.


2        "Let my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, as the droplets on the fresh grass and as the showers on the herb.

How beautiful to compare the teaching, the words of his mouth, those words given to him from the Creator as life giving rain, sparkling dew upon the grass and herbs of the earth.

By these we also thrive, grow and live.

3        "For I proclaim the name of YHWH; ascribe greatness to our Elohiym!

4        "The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; an Elohiym of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.

Moshe makes it very clear that he gives all glory to YHWH. He tells us of the perfection of the Almighty and that upon Him and His righteousness rests all perfection, justice and truth.

He then begins to look at the people and is very direct with what he has to say both to them and about them.  I am sure he offended many with his words but perhaps they needed to be spoken to firmly although they smarted at his words.

5        "They have acted corruptly toward Him, {they are} not His children, because of their defect (spot, mark?); {but are} a perverse and crooked generation.

Here we see that because of the corruption and disobedience of the people, Moshe goes so far as to say that they are not His children. He says they are perverse and crooked and seems to say this is a defect in them.

Maybe we need to actually look at rebellion and disobedience as defects in our character and realize that these are abhorrent before YHWH to the point that He does not even consider us to be His children.

6        "Do you repay YHWH thusly, O foolish and unwise people? Is He not your Father who has bought you? He has made you and established you.


7        "Remember the days of old, consider the years of all generations. Ask your father, and he will inform you, your elders, and they will tell you.


8        "When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel .

 

How often, we look at children, in their immaturity and think how they seem to think they know it all. We know this is foolishness and shows a lack of wisdom, but we sigh and say, ‘oh well, they are young and they will grow up.’

The young very often do not respect their fathers, their elders and do not want to turn to them for guidance or regard their directions as valuable. They think it is far better to ‘learn by experience’.

From what we have just looked at, Moshe says to the elders and officers, you have not learned your lesson and neither have the tribes whom you were to lead.

Moshe reminds them who it was that wanted to guide and protect them. He never wanted them to be hurt. He wanted them to love Him so He could do only good for them.

9        "For YHWH’s portion is His people; Ya’acov is the allotment of His heritage, His possession.


10      "He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of a wilderness; He encircled him, He cared for him, He guarded him as the pupil of His eye.


11      "Like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions.


12      "YHWH alone guided him, and there was no foreign god with him.


13      "He made him ride on the high places of the earth, and he ate the produce of the field; and He made him suck honey from the rock, and oil from the flinty rock,


14      Curds of cows, and milk of the flock, with fat of lambs, and rams, the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the finest of the wheat-- and of the blood of grapes you drank wine.

Verses 9-14  tells us of YHWH’s loving kindness, protection and tender care. The best was to be Ya’acov and his progeny’s inheritance. A wonderful relationship is described in these verses. We are told how YHWH provided, for His own, even when it had to be done in a super-natural manner.

Surely this should have made the people appreciative. Surely they would be happy to stay within the bounds YHWH had set for them.

Given the best of everything, they should have clung to Him with all they were but sadly that is not what we see.

15      "But Yeshuruwn (#3484 meaning ‘upright one ..a symbolic name for Israel , describing her ideal character’)  grew fat and kicked-- you are grown fat, thick, and sleek-- then he forsook Elohiym who made him, and scorned the Rock of his salvation.


16      "They made Him jealous with strange {mighty ones;} with abominations they provoked Him to anger.


17      "They sacrificed to demons who were not Elohiym, to elohiym whom they have not known, new {elohiym} who came lately, whom your fathers did not dread.


18      "You neglected the Rock who begot you, and forgot the Elohiym who gave you birth.


19      "And YHWH saw {this,} and spurned {them} because of the provocation of His sons and daughters.

Hmm, Yeshuruwn…a symbolic name for Israel ,  meaning upright one.

Sadly when this upright one became satiated, with food, health and well being, they forgot who had caused them to be this way. Why do people constantly clamber for MORE?

Why was YHWH never enough? Why did they build idols who could not see, could not hear and who would not have cared had they been able to see and hear?

20      "Then He said, 'I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end {shall be;} for they are a perverse generation, sons in whom is no faithfulness.


21      'They have made me jealous with {what} is not Elohiym; they have provoked Me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with {those who} are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation,

How difficult for the treasured child to see its parent turn away from them and lavish all their love and attention on another child.

22      For a fire is kindled in My anger, and burns to the lowest part of Sheol, and consumes the earth with its yield, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.


23      'I will heap misfortunes on them; I will use My arrows on them.


24      '{They shall be} wasted by famine, and consumed by plague And bitter destruction; and the teeth of beasts I will send upon them, with the venom of crawling things of the dust.


25      'Outside the sword shall bereave, and inside terror-- both young man and virgin, the nursling with the man of gray hair.


26      'I would have said, "I will cut them to pieces, I will remove the memory of them from men,"


27      Had I not feared the provocation by the enemy, lest their adversaries should misjudge, lest they should say, "Our hand is triumphant, and YHWH has not done all this."'


28      "For they are a nation lacking in counsel, and there is no understanding in them.


29      "Would that they were wise, that they understood this,  that they would discern their future!


30      "How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and YHWH had given them up?

The Almighty was patient and long-suffering for the sake of His Qodesh Name. Did the people deserve it? Do we deserve it now?

31      "Indeed their rock is not like our Rock, even our enemies themselves judge this.


32      "For their vine is from the vine of Sodom , and from the fields of Gomorrah ; their grapes are grapes of poison, their clusters, bitter.


33      "Their wine is the venom of serpents, and the deadly poison of cobras.


34      'Is it not laid up in store with Me, sealed up in My treasuries?


35      'Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, in due time their foot will slip; for the day of their calamity is near, and the impending things are hastening upon them.'

 

It is pointed out that these nations used to provoke Israel were not nations obedient to YHWH, in fact, it is doubtful if they even knew Him at all.

 

As Moshe predicted, we see this throughout history even up to this day.

 

36      "For YHWH will vindicate His people, and will have compassion on His servants; when He sees that {their} strength is gone, and there is none {remaining,} bond or free.


37      "And He will say, 'Where are their ‘mighty ones’, the rock in which they sought refuge?


38      'Who ate the fat of their sacrifices, {and} drank the wine of their libation? Let them rise up and help you, let them be your hiding place!

The time will come when YHWH will again turn back from punishment and have mercy upon His own. When we no longer think we know best, that we are in control.

39      'See now that I, I am He, and there is no Power besides Me; it is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded, and it is I who heal; and there is no one who can deliver from My hand.


40      'Indeed, I lift up My hand to the heavens, and say, as I live forever,


41      If I sharpen My flashing sword, and My hand takes hold on justice, I will render vengeance on My adversaries, and I will repay those who hate Me.


42      'I will make My arrows drunk with blood, and My sword shall devour flesh, with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the long-haired leaders of the enemy.'


43      "Rejoice, O nations, {with} His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance on His adversaries, and will atone for His land {and} His people."

We are reminded by Moshe that there is no salvation outside of obedience to YHWH for He alone is our Savior.

44      Then Moshe came and spoke all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he, with Yehowshua the son of Nun.


45      When Moshe had finished speaking all these words to all Israel ,


46      he said to them, "Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, {even} all the words of this law.


47      "For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life. And by this word you shall prolong your days in the land, which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess."

Moshe, with good reason, feared what the people would do when he was gone having seen how stubbornly rebellious they had acted while he was with them.

Moshe pointed out, “"For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life.”

 

Moshe is not with us today. What are we doing, now that he is gone?

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