THE LORD CAME FROM SINAI: To Moses, Sinai was the place
of God's revelation to His people; he knew no other. The deliverance from Egypt
and the wilderness trek were the focal points of his life. Therefore, when he
speaks his final blessing upon the people, it is certainly fitting that "the
Lord came from Sinai... with ten thousands of saints (certainly angels and not
saints in this context! cp Psa 68:17)... and (with) a fiery law." This same
thing Yahweh has done before (Exo 19:16-19)! So there are two reasonable
interpretations of Deu 33:2,3: either (a) Moses is remembering what has already
happened, or (b) the last revelation of God to Moses follows the patterns of the
previous ones: ie, God coming out of the great fiery cloud atop Sinai. Even
assuming that, as some say, "the context calls for this to be a future blessing"
-- meaning, it is supposed, the distant future (from Moses' day) of Christ's
return... then, since the words are addressed to the twelve tribes (just as are
Deu 28; 29; etc), is not the LD fulfillment (if there is to be one) most likely
to be a re-enactment of the Exodus and the giving of the Law for the remnant of
the nation of Israel, imprisoned again in Egypt? To this Isa 11:11,15;
19:1,18-20; 63:11-19; and Mic 7:15 may well ref. See Lesson,
Judgment seat at Jerusalem.
Sitting: for rest (Luk 8:35); for communion (Song 2:3), as
disciples (Deu 33:3), in worship (2Sa 7:18-27), in resurrection (Eph 2:6), in
glory (Rev 3:21).
LET REUBEN LIVE: Moses as the mediator for weak,
unstable (Gen 49:3,4) Reuben.
BE HIS HELP AGAINST HIS FOES: Impl a rift between Judah
and the other tribes. Judah seems to have been set apart almost from
MASSAH: Moses himself (a Levite) was tested at
MERIBAH: But God strove with Moses and Aaron (Levites)
at Meribah, because they did not give God the glory: "Must we..?"
Notable Levites: Moses, Aaron, Phinehas, Samuel, Jehoiada,
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, John the Baptist.
Exo 32: The Levites rallied to Moses' side in the great sin of
the golden calf.
HE DID NOT RECOGNIZE HIS BROTHERS... CHILDREN: There is
no tie so strong as that of God's covenant.
BELOVED OF THE LORD: "Jedidiah" (2Sa 12:25).
BETWEEN HIS SHOULDERS: That is, the mountains:
Jerusalem, on border of Benjamin, chosen as God's dwelling (Dawn 42:185). (Ref
to a hammock-like arrangement by which mothers carry small children: Str Scr
ANCIENT MOUNTAINS: The mountains of Jerusalem: Psa
48:1,2; 125:1,2; Isa 2:2,3; 11:9.
BULL: Joseph associated with bull. Ancient Egyptian
hieroglyphic pictures Joseph as a bull calf with a sheaf of corn above his head
(cp Exo 32:4n).
"The Gentiles in darkness there saw a great light" (Isa
A possible reference to the route the men of Dan followed in
their conquest of Laish, in the far north (Jdg 18). "From this it may be
inferred that from Ephraim the migrants crossed Jordan and travelled north round
the east side of Galilee. Their target Laish means 'a lion', so there is fair
likelihood that it was an understanding of Moses' prophecy which led them to
this remote place in the north" (WJR).
Christ, the blessing of the LORD, preached most in Galilee
BATHE HIS FEET IN OIL: Asher received territory in the
fertile lowlands near Zidon. This led to apathy and ease (Jdg
YOUR STRENGTH WILL EQUAL YOUR DAYS: "One secret of a
happy Christian life is living by the day. It's the long stretches that tire us.
But really, there are no long stretches. Life does not come to us all at once.
Tomorrow is not ours; but when it does come, God will supply both daily bread
and daily strength."
THE ETERNAL GOD IS YOUR REFUGE: "The word 'refuge' may
be translated 'abiding-place,' which gives the thought that God is our abode,
our home. There is a fulness and sweetness in the metaphor, for dear to our
hearts is our home, although it be the humblest cottage, or the scantiest
garret; and dearer far is our blessed God, in whom we live, and move, and have
our being. It is at home that we feel safe: we shut the world out and dwell in
quiet security. So when we are with our God we 'fear no evil.' He is our shelter
and retreat, our abiding refuge. At home, we take our rest; it is there we find
repose after the fatigue and toil of the day. And so our hearts find rest in
God, when, wearied with life's conflict, we turn to Him. At home, also, we let
our hearts loose; we are not afraid of being misunderstood, nor of our words
being misconstrued. So when we are with God we can commune freely with Him,
laying open all our hidden desires; for if the 'secret of the Lord is with them
that fear Him,' the secrets of them that fear Him ought to be, and must be, with
their Lord. Home, too, is the place of our truest and purest happiness: and it
is in God that our hearts find their deepest delight. We have joy in Him which
far surpasses all other joy. It is also for home that we work and labour. The
thought of it gives strength to bear the daily burden, and quickens the fingers
to perform the task; and in this sense we may also say that God is our home.
Love to Him strengthens us. We think of Him in the person of His dear Son; and a
glimpse of the suffering face of the Redeemer constrains us to labour in his
cause. We feel that we must work, for we have brethren yet to be saved, and we
have our Father's heart to make glad by bringing home His wandering sons; we
would fill with holy mirth the sacred family among whom we dwell. Happy are
those who have thus the God of Jacob for their refuge!" (CHS).
"God -- the eternal God -- is Himself our support at all
times, and especially when we are sinking in deep trouble. There are seasons
when the Christian sinks very low in humiliation. Under a deep sense of his
great sinfulness, he is humbled before God till he scarcely knows how to pray,
because he appears, in his own sight, so worthless. Well, child of God, remember
that when thou art at thy worst and lowest, yet 'underneath' thee 'are
everlasting arms.' Sin may drag thee ever so low, but Christ's great atonement
is still under all. You may have descended into the deeps, but you cannot have
fallen so low as 'the uttermost'; and to the uttermost He saves. Again, the
Christian sometimes sinks very deeply in sore trial from without. Every earthly
prop is cut away. What then? Still underneath him are 'the everlasting arms.' He
cannot fall so deep in distress and affliction but what the covenant grace of an
ever-faithful God will still encircle him. The Christian may be sinking under
trouble from within through fierce conflict, but even then he cannot be brought
so low as to be beyond the reach of the 'everlasting arms' " (CHS).