*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Song of Moses meaning

Moses completes the Song of Moses for Israel to sing and remember their covenant with Him. This is just prior to the time when Moses will die, and Joshua will lead the people across the Jordan into the Promised Land.

The song of Moses portrays Israel’s God in various ways. As a Rock, God is perfect in all His ways (v. 4). He possesses all exceptional qualities and is unimpaired. He is a just God, one who executes justice with equity (v. 4b). He is faithful in all His dealings with humanity (v. 4c) and is righteous and upright (v. 4d). The rock metaphor also demonstrates that the Suzerain (Ruler) God of Israel is a generous provider (v. 15a). He is the sole creator (v. 15c, 18), the only savior who rescued Israel from slavery in Egypt (v. 15d). He is the ultimate judge of His people (v. 30). He provides full security and protection for Israel (v. 37).

As a father, the LORD cares about His own family. He loves and sustains His people (vv. 6-10). He protects Israel just like an eagle spreads out its wings to help its young (vv. 11-13). The LORD provides abundantly for His people because He cared for them (v. 14).

As a warrior, the LORD must judge sin because He is holy (vv. 22-25). He is unique (v. 39). His people can fellowship with Him in prayer and in worship. God alone creates and sustains everything. He is also a healer, the one who kills and restores to life (vv. 39-42). He is the sole cause of everything that happens in His world. He is the righteous Kinsman-Redeemer who avenges the blood of His servants to make atonement for them (v. 43) and reconcile His people to Himself.

Moses also presented an honest assessment of Israel’s condition. Whereas the LORD is faithful, just, and perfect, the Israelites were faithless and rebellious (vv. 4-5). They refused to give undivided allegiance to their Father, the One who created them and provided for them in abundance (vv. 6-14). The Israelites were ungrateful and disloyal (v. 15). Instead of obeying the LORD’s covenantal laws, the Israelites abandoned Him and turned to idolatry, thus ascribing to pagan gods distinct qualities belonging exclusively to the LORD their God (vv. 15-18). Such an idolatrous life caused Israel to dishonor God, ignore His covenantal words, and provoke Him to anger and jealousy (vv. 19-22). Therefore, Moses declared that the Israelites were a senseless nation lacking in wisdom (v. 28). They had made wrong choices by forgetting their Father and turning to worthless and demonic gods (v. 21, vv. 28-33, vv. 37-38). Therefore, the Israelites would be severely judged by God. Nevertheless, God’s judgment would not be final because God would forgive the sins of His covenant people (Israel) and make atonement for them.

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