Bible Society of South Africa

To The Word – Day 53

Deuteronomy 32–34, Hebrews 3*, Psalm 1

Bible text(s)

1“Earth and sky, hear my words,

listen closely to what I say.

2My teaching will fall like drops of rain

and form on the earth like dew.

My words will fall like showers on young plants,

like gentle rain on tender grass.

3I will praise the name of the LORD,

and his people will tell of his greatness.

4“The LORD is your mighty defender,

perfect and just in all his ways;

Your God is faithful and true;

he does what is right and fair.

5But you are unfaithful, unworthy to be his people,

a sinful and deceitful nation.

6Is this the way you should treat the LORD,

you foolish, senseless people?

He is your father, your Creator,

he made you into a nation.

7“Think of the past, of the time long ago;

ask your parents to tell you what happened,

ask the old people to tell of the past.

8The Most High assigned nations their lands;

he determined where peoples should live.

He assigned to each nation a heavenly being,

9but Jacob's descendants he chose for himself.

10“He found them wandering through the desert,

a desolate, windswept wilderness.

He protected them and cared for them,

as he would protect himself.

11Like an eagle teaching its young to fly,

catching them safely on its spreading wings,

the LORD kept Israel from falling.

12The LORD alone led his people

without the help of a foreign god.

13“He let them rule the highlands,

and they ate what grew in the fields.

They found wild honey among the rocks;

their olive trees flourished in stony ground.

14Their cows and goats gave plenty of milk;

they had the best sheep, goats, and cattle,

the finest wheat, and the choicest wine.

15“The LORD's people grew rich, but rebellious;

they were fat and stuffed with food.

They abandoned God their Creator

and rejected their mighty saviour.

16Their idolatry made the LORD jealous;

the evil they did made him angry.

17They sacrificed to gods that are not real,

new gods their ancestors had never known,

gods that Israel had never obeyed,

18They forgot their God, their mighty saviour,

the one who had given them life.

19“When the LORD saw this, he was angry

and rejected his sons and daughters.

20‘I will no longer help them,’ he said;

‘then I will see what happens to them,

those stubborn, unfaithful people.

21With their idols they have made me angry,

jealous with their so-called gods,

gods that are really not gods.

So I will use a so-called nation to make them angry;

I will make them jealous with a nation of fools.

22My anger will flame up like fire

and burn everything on earth.

It will reach to the world below

and consume the roots of the mountains.

23“ ‘I will bring on them endless disasters

and use all my arrows against them.

24They will die from hunger and fever;

they will die from terrible diseases.

I will send wild animals to attack them,

and poisonous snakes to bite them.

25War will bring death in the streets;

terrors will strike in the homes.

Young men and young women will die;

neither babies nor old people will be spared.

26I would have destroyed them completely,

so that no one would remember them.

27But I could not let their enemies boast

that they had defeated my people,

when it was I myself who had crushed them.’

28“Israel is a nation without sense;

they have no wisdom at all.

29They fail to see why they were defeated;

they cannot understand what happened.

30Why were a thousand defeated by one,

and 10,000 by only two?

The LORD, their God, had abandoned them;

their mighty God had given them up.

31Their enemies know that their own gods are weak,

not mighty like Israel's God.

32Their enemies, corrupt as Sodom and Gomorrah,

are like vines that bear bitter and poisonous grapes,

33like wine made from the venom of snakes.

34“The LORD remembers what their enemies have done;

he waits for the right time to punish them.

35The LORD will take revenge and punish them;

the time will come when they will fall;

the day of their doom is near.

36The LORD will rescue his people

when he sees that their strength is gone.

He will have mercy on those who serve him,

when he sees how helpless they are.

37Then the LORD will ask his people,

‘Where are those mighty gods you trusted?

38You fed them with the fat of your sacrifices

and offered them wine to drink.

Let them come and help you now;

let them run to your rescue.

39“ ‘I, and I alone, am God;

no other god is real.

I kill and I give life, I wound and I heal,

and no one can oppose what I do.

40As surely as I am the living God,

I raise my hand and I vow

41that I will sharpen my flashing sword

and see that justice is done.

I will take revenge on my enemies

and punish those who hate me.

42My arrows will drip with their blood,

and my sword will kill all who oppose me.

I will spare no one who fights against me;

even the wounded and prisoners will die.’

43“Nations, you must praise the LORD's people —

he punishes all who kill them.

He takes revenge on his enemies

and forgives the sins of his people.”

44Moses and Joshua son of Nun recited this song, so that the people of Israel could hear it.

Moses' Final Instructions

45When Moses had finished giving God's teachings to the people, 46he said, “Make sure you obey all these commands that I have given you today. Repeat them to your children, so that they may faithfully obey all God's teachings. 47These teachings are not empty words; they are your very life. Obey them and you will live long in that land across the Jordan that you are about to occupy.”

48That same day the LORD said to Moses, 49“Go to the Abarim Mountains in the land of Moab opposite the city of Jericho; climb Mount Nebo and look at the land of Canaan that I am about to give the people of Israel. 50You will die on that mountain as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor, 51because both of you were unfaithful to me in the presence of the people of Israel. When you were at the waters of Meribah, near the town of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, you dishonoured me in the presence of the people. 52You will look at the land from a distance, but you will not enter the land that I am giving the people of Israel.”

Deuteronomy 32GNBOpen in Bible reader

Moses Blesses the Tribes of Israel

1These are the blessings that Moses, the man of God, pronounced on the people of Israel before he died.

2The LORD came from Mount Sinai;

he rose like the sun over Edom

and shone on his people from Mount Paran.

10,000 angels were with him,

a flaming fire at his right hand.

3The LORD loves his people

and protects those who belong to him.

So we bow at his feet

and obey his commands.

4We obey the Law that Moses gave us,

our nation's most treasured possession.

5The LORD became king of his people Israel

when their tribes and leaders were gathered together.

6Moses said about the tribe of Reuben:

“May Reuben never die out,

Although their people are few.”

7About the tribe of Judah he said:

LORD, listen to their cry for help;

Unite them again with the other tribes.

Fight for them, LORD,

And help them against their enemies.”

8About the tribe of Levi he said:

“You, LORD, reveal your will by the Urim and Thummim

Through your faithful servants, the Levites;

You put them to the test at Massah

And proved them true at the waters of Meribah.

9They showed greater loyalty to you

Than to parents, brothers, or children.

They obeyed your commands

And were faithful to your covenant.

10They will teach your people to obey your Law;

They will offer sacrifices on your altar.

11Lord, help their tribe to grow strong;

Be pleased with what they do.

Crush all their enemies;

Let them never rise again.”

12About the tribe of Benjamin he said:

“This is the tribe the LORD loves and protects;

He guards them all the day long,

And he dwells in their midst.”

13About the tribe of Joseph he said:

“May the LORD bless their land with rain

And with water from under the earth.

14May their land be blessed with sun-ripened fruit,

Rich with the best fruits of each season.

15May their ancient hills be covered with choice fruit.

16May their land be filled with all that is good,

Blessed by the goodness of the LORD,

Who spoke from the burning bush.

May these blessings come to the tribe of Joseph,

Because he was the leader among his brothers.

17Joseph has the strength of a bull,

The horns of a wild ox.

His horns are Manasseh's thousands

And Ephraim's 10,000s.

With them he gores the nations

And pushes them to the ends of the earth.”

18About the tribes of Zebulun and Issachar he said:

“May Zebulun be prosperous in their trade on the sea,

And may Issachar's wealth increase at home.

19They invite foreigners to their mountain

And offer the right sacrifices there.

They get their wealth from the sea

And from the sand along the shore.”

20About the tribe of Gad he said:

“Praise God, who made their territory large.

Gad waits like a lion

To tear off an arm or a scalp.

21They took the best of the land for themselves;

A leader's share was assigned to them.

They obeyed the LORD's commands and laws

When the leaders of Israel were gathered together.”

22About the tribe of Dan he said:

“Dan is a young lion;

He leaps out from Bashan.”

23About the tribe of Naphtali he said:

“Naphtali is richly blessed by the LORD's good favour;

Their land reaches to the south from Lake Galilee.”

24About the tribe of Asher he said:

“Asher is blessed more than the other tribes.

May he be the favourite of his brothers,

And may his land be rich with olive trees.

25May his towns be protected with iron gates,

And may he always live secure.”

26People of Israel, no god is like your God,

riding in splendour across the sky,

riding through the clouds to come to your aid.

27God has always been your defence;

his eternal arms are your support.

He drove out your enemies as you advanced,

and told you to destroy them all.

28So Jacob's descendants live in peace,

secure in a land full of corn and wine,

where dew from the sky waters the ground.

29Israel, how happy you are!

There is no one like you,

a nation saved by the LORD.

The LORD himself is your shield and your sword,

to defend you and give you victory.

Your enemies will come begging for mercy,

and you will trample them down.

Deuteronomy 33GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Death of Moses

1Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Mount Pisgah east of Jericho, and there the LORD showed him the whole land: the territory of Gilead as far north as the town of Dan; 2the entire territory of Naphtali; the territories of Ephraim and Manasseh; the territory of Judah as far west as the Mediterranean Sea; 3the southern part of Judah; and the plain that reaches from Zoar to Jericho, the city of palm trees. 4Then the LORD said to Moses, “This is the land that I promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob I would give to their descendants. I have let you see it, but I will not let you go there.”

5So Moses, the LORD's servant, died there in the land of Moab, as the LORD had said he would. 6The LORD buried him in a valley in Moab, opposite the town of Bethpeor, but to this day no one knows the exact place of his burial. 7Moses was 120 years old when he died; he was as strong as ever, and his eyesight was still good. 8The people of Israel mourned for him for thirty days in the plains of Moab.

9Joshua son of Nun was filled with wisdom, because Moses had appointed him to be his successor. The people of Israel obeyed Joshua and kept the commands that the LORD had given them through Moses.

10There has never been a prophet in Israel like Moses; the LORD spoke with him face to face. 11No other prophet has ever done miracles and wonders like those that the LORD sent Moses to perform against the king of Egypt, his officials, and the entire country. 12No other prophet has been able to do the great and terrifying things that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.

Deuteronomy 34GNBOpen in Bible reader

Jesus is Greater than Moses

1My Christian brothers and sisters, who also have been called by God! Think of Jesus, whom God sent to be the High Priest of the faith we profess. 2He was faithful to God, who chose him to do this work, just as Moses was faithful in his work in God's house. 3A man who builds a house receives more honour than the house itself. In the same way Jesus is worthy of much greater honour than Moses. 4Every house, of course, is built by someone — and God is the one who has built all things. 5Moses was faithful in God's house as a servant, and he spoke of the things that God would say in the future. 6But Christ is faithful as the Son in charge of God's house. We are his house if we keep up our courage and our confidence in what we hope for.

A Rest for God's People

7So then, as the Holy Spirit says:

“If you hear God's voice today,

8do not be stubborn, as your ancestors were when they rebelled against God,

as they were that day in the desert

when they put him to the test.

9There they put me to the test and tried me, says God,

although they had seen what I did for forty years.

10And so I was angry with those people and said,

‘They are always disloyal

and refuse to obey my commands.’

11I was angry and made a solemn promise:

‘They will never enter the land where I would have given them rest!’ ”

12My fellow-believers, be careful that no one among you has a heart so evil and unbelieving as to turn away from the living God. 13Instead, in order that none of you be deceived by sin and become stubborn, you must help one another every day, as long as the word “Today” in the scripture applies to us. 14For we are all partners with Christ if we hold firmly to the end the confidence we had at the beginning.

15This is what the scripture says:

“If you hear God's voice today,

do not be stubborn, as your ancestors were

when they rebelled against God.”

16Who were the people who heard God's voice and rebelled against him? All those who were led out of Egypt by Moses. 17With whom was God angry for forty years? With the people who sinned, who fell down dead in the desert. 18When God made his solemn promise, “They will never enter the land where I would have given them rest” — of whom was he speaking? Of those who rebelled. 19We see, then, that they were not able to enter the land, because they did not believe.

Book One

Psalms 1—41

True Happiness

1Happy are those

who reject the advice of evil people,

who do not follow the example of sinners

or join those who have no use for God.

2Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the LORD,

and they study it day and night.

3They are like trees that grow beside a stream,

that bear fruit at the right time,

and whose leaves do not dry up.

They succeed in everything they do.

4But evil people are not like this at all;

they are like straw that the wind blows away.

5Sinners will be condemned by God

and kept apart from God's own people.

6The righteous are guided and protected by the LORD,

but the evil are on the way to their doom.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.16
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