The Scriptorium

The Grace of God

How He loves His people. Deuteronomy 32.5-14

The Song of Moses: Deuteronomy 32 (2)

Opening Prayer: Deuteronomy 32.9, 10
For the LORD’s portion is His people;
Jacob is the place of His inheritance.
“He found him in a desert land
And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness;
He encircled him, He instructed him,
He kept him as the apple of His eye.

Sing Deuteronomy 32.9, 10, 3

(Sagina: And Can It Be)
God has His people made His own, the place of His inheritance –
found in the desert, all alone, and in the howling wilderness.
God came and taught them and drew them nigh, and kept them the apple of His eye.
Refrain, v. 3
I will proclaim our Savior’s fame, and sing the greatness of His Name.

Today’s Text: Deuteronomy 32.5-14

Preparation

1. How many ways is the grace of God evident in these verses?

2. Which aspects of Israel’s history are recalled here?

Meditation
These verses begin to look ahead to what will be the primary theme of this song, the ingratitude, idolatry, and rebellion of God’s people (v. 5). Before that, however, having sung of God’s greatness, Moses now turns to recall the abundance of God’s grace toward Israel.

God bought Israel out of captivity and established them as His people (v. 6), as any of their parents or elders could tell them, He separated them from all the other nations to be His people (vv. 7-10). In the wilderness He hovered over and protected them, and led His people in the way they should go, providing for them every step of the way (vv. 11-13). Looking ahead now, Moses sings of what God has promised He will do, bringing abundant blessings to the people in the land of promise (vv. 13, 14).

God has cared and provided for His people consistently, so that they wanted for nothing; yet they will corrupt themselves from His holy way (v. 5). This is no way to respond to the grace of God.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
The grace of God abounds. Always. And in these verses of Moses’ song, we see a loving and tender recurrence of doting love. A parental love found in nature that is given of necessity, not because it is deserved. One exemplified by a bird for its offspring: “As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings, so the LORD alone led him” (Deut. 32.11, 12). In Psalm 91 we find the same image: “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler” (v. 4). A dear friend once told me, “We should not love because of the worthiness of the target, but because of the love God generates in our hearts.” Just love. That’s how God loves us. Jesus proclaimed this same idea when He said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Lk. 13.34) We are loved by God. Not because we deserve it, but because He chooses to. We would do well to be willing to receive it, cherish it, and rejoice eternally to be the apple of His eye. That is grace.

Reflection
1. How many ways can you identify that God has extended His grace to you already today? Thank Him for each one.

2. How do you anticipate needing the grace of God to help you through this day? Ask Him for it now.

3. How will you be a channel of God’s grace to others today? Prepare for each opportunity by asking God to generate the love in your heart.

Moses again shows how God had acquired this people, viz., because he had chosen to separate them from other nations according to His own good pleasure. But, since the Israelites might be inflated by their present superiority, they are reminded of their origin, and Moses commands them not to consider what they now are, but also from whence they had been taken, and with this view he says, Remember the old times; ask the elders, etc. John Calvin (1506-1564), Commentary on Deuteronomy 32.7

Thank You, Lord, for all the grace You show me each day, so that I…

Closing Prayer: Deuteronomy 32.5-8, 11-14
In prayer, review all the ways God has reached you with His grace, using today’s text as your guide.

Sing Deuteronomy 32.5-8, 11-14
(Sagina: And Can It Be)
See how His children go astray, corrupt and blemished one and all;
wicked and crooked in every way, He will not them His children call.
Fools and unwise, His love to spurn, and from Your Creator and Father turn!
Refrain, v. 3
I will proclaim our Savior’s fame, and sing the greatness of His Name.

Think now on all the days of old, the generations passed above,
how, by our fathers and elders told, we learned of God’s redeeming love.
When He the nations set apart, He kept His people in His heart.
Refrain, v. 3
I will proclaim our Savior’s fame, and sing the greatness of His Name.

Just like an eagle guards its nest, and spreads its wings to shield its own,
takes them and shelters them in his breast, so God preserved them all alone.
No foreign god assistance brings: He carries them on His own wings.
Refrain, v. 3

I will proclaim our Savior’s fame, and sing the greatness of His Name.

He made His people lords of earth, to eat the produce of their fields,
lavished them all with creation’s worth, and blessed their harvests and their yields.
He made their flocks and herds abound, and blessed the vintage of their ground.
Refrain, v. 3
I will proclaim our Savior’s fame, and sing the greatness of His Name.

T. M. and Susie Moore

Listen to our summary of last week’s study in Deuteronomy by clicking here. You can download all the studies in the series by clicking here. And check out our current ReVision series on encouragement.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy: Ancient Christian Commentary Series III, Joseph T. Lienhard, S. J. ed. in collaboration with Ronnie J. Rombs, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2001). All quotations from John Calvin from John Calvin, Commentaries on The Four Last Books of Moses Arranged in the Order of A Harmony, Rev. Charles William Bingham M. A., tr. and ed. (Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society, 1863. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore