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David Guzik's Commentaries
on the Bible

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Chapter 33
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Deuteronomy 32 - The Song of Moses

A. The song of Moses.

1. (1-4) Introduction.

a. Moses begins by asking for attention, not only from Israel, but from all of creation (Give ear, O heavens . . . and hear, O earth)

b. He then gives praise to God (I proclaim the name of the Lord: Ascribe greatness to our God), both for who God is (He is the Rock . . . Righteous and upright is He) and for what God does (His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice)

2. (5-6) The accusation: The child has forsaken its father.

a. Moses speaks as a witness against a rebellious Israel: They have corrupted themselves.

b. Their sin is even more foolish and unwise in light of what God has done for them (Is He not your Father, who bought you? Has He not made you and established you?). How foolish and unwise to rebel against a God who has done so much for them!

3. (7-14) Moses recounts God's past faithfulness to Israel.

a. Remember the days of old: considering that this song was meant to be a witness against a rebellious Israel, Moses reminds Israel of all God's goodness to them. This is to both bring a greater conviction of sin, and to remind them of God's love and grace they can return to.

4. (15-18) Israel's response to God's kindness: apostasy.

a. Jeshurun is a title for Israel, which literally means the upright one (Isaiah 44:2).

b. In forsaking God, Israel turned to the pagan idols of the nations around them - and They sacrificed to demons. There was a dark spiritual reality behind the idols of the nations, and Israel embraced that dark spiritual reality.

5. (19-27) God's reaction: Withdrawal from and punishment of Israel.

a. I will hide My face from them: When God's people forsake Him, He withdraws the intimacy of His presence. At first, this is sometimes seen as a relief, because the conviction of sin is not so great. But then, the darkness and desperation sets in.

b. I will heap disasters upon them: When the hiding of His face does not draw God's people into repentance, God then sends His hand of correction, and allows calamity to bring the attention of His people back upon Him.

6. (28-43) The Lord states His case and makes a plea unto Israel.

a. That they would consider their latter end: When we are in a backslidden state, if only we would consider where it will lead us!

b. And have compassion on His servants: When we are in a backslidden state, if only we would see the compassion of God we could receive!

c. There is no God besides Me: When we are in a backslidden state, if only we could see the greatness of God! If only we could know more of His character and nature!

7. (44-47) Moses encourages Israel.

a. It is not a futile thing: one of Satan's great lies to us is that it is a futile thing to serve God and obey His word. It often seems that those who are against God prosper more than those who are for Him. Yet, we need to see and understand - from an eternal perspective - that it is not a futile thing to love and obey God.

8. (48-52) God's final command to Moses.

a. Go up this mountain . . . and die on the mountain: Moses, as the last act of his 120 years, will climb Mount Nebo, and die at the summit of the mountain.

b. Though Moses will not be allowed to cross the Jordan and enter the Promised Land, he can view the land of Canaan. God said to him, you shall see the land before you, though you shall not go there.

Copyright Statement
David Guzik's Commentaries on the Bible are reproduced by permission of David Guzik, Siegen, Germany. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography Information
Guzik, David. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 32". "David Guzik's Commentaries
on the Bible". <>. 1997-2003.  


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