The Scriptorium

God of Judgment and Compassion

Moses' song for the ages comes to a close. Deuteronomy 32.32-43

The Song of Moses: Deuteronomy 32 (5)

Opening Prayer: Deuteronomy 32.42, 43
“I will make My arrows drunk with blood,
And My sword shall devour flesh,
With the blood of the slain and the captives,
From the heads of the leaders of the enemy.”
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people;
For He will avenge the blood of His servants,
And render vengeance to His adversaries;
He will provide atonement for His land and His people.”

Sing Deuteronomy 32.42, 43, 3
(Sagina: And Can It Be)
God makes His arrows drunk with blood; all wicked flesh shall feel His sword.
All who oppose Him and hate the good, will know the judgment of the Lord.
Come, nations all, rejoice with us in Him who delivers those who in Him trust.
Refrain, v. 3
I will proclaim our Savior’s fame, and sing the greatness of His Name.

Today’s Text: Read Deuteronomy 32.32-43

Preparation
1. When does God have compassion on His people?

2. How does God identify Himself in this passage?

Meditation
God’s judgment of His people is just and thorough (vv. 32-35). He will not stand by and allow us to destroy ourselves with sin. He moves to bring us the consequences of our choice in forms of discipline and judgment that are never pleasant.

But these not His last word. Though He brings discipline upon us from time to time, His compassion never fails; He will restore us to Himself when He sees that we have stopped trusting in our own power and have acknowledged our need to be set free from our sin (v. 36).

His compassion comes with a reminder of the futility of trusting in false gods of any kind (vv. 37, 38). He alone is God, Who makes alive and heals (v. 39). He stands ready to judge His people, because He has called us to righteousness (Matt. 6.33), and He intends to see that calling through to glory (Heb. 12.3-11; Ps. 115.1). Remember this, and remember how bitter the judgment of God can be against our bitter and poisonous sins (vv. 39-42, 32, 33).

As you experience the renewing, refreshing, and restoring grace of God, don’t keep it to yourself. Tell it to others, and call on them to join you in celebrating the greatness, graciousness, power, and faithfulness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Moses’ intro was soft and plaintive: “Give ear…hear…Let my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, as raindrops on the tender herb, and as showers on the grass” (Deut. 32.1, 2). Cue up the sound of violins sweetly playing back-up. Moses’ outro was loud and forceful: “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement for His land and His people” (Deut. 32.43). Bring in the concert organ, trumpets, and kettle drums for accompaniment.  Then Jesus, with a choir of thousands sings:
“And behold, I am coming quickly,
And My reward is with Me,
To give to every one according to his work.
I am the Alpha and the Omega,
The Beginning and the End,
The First and the Last.”
“Surely I am coming quickly.” (Rev. 22.12, 13, 20)

The Song for the Ages. Let’s learn it and sing it!

Reflection

1. What do the Scriptures mean when they tell us that God is compassionate? Can you give an example of how His compassion has reached you?

2. It might be easy – and we might be tempted – to take advantage of God’s compassionate nature. How can we keep from doing that?

3. How does the Song of Moses call you to take your place in God’s covenant?

…so conspicuous was the favor of God towards the Israelites, that the knowledge and favor of it should diffuse itself far and wide, and be renowned even among the Gentiles. For Scripture thus magnifies some of the more memorable exertions of God's power, especially when reference is made to the redemption of the elect people, and commands His praise to be proclaimed among the nations, since it would be by no means fitting that it should be confined within the narrow limits of Judea.
John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Deuteronomy 32.43

Lord, use me today to bring the Good News of Your delivering grace to…

Closing Prayer: Deuteronomy 32.32-41
Call on the Lord for cleansing from sin, to keep your foot from slipping today, and to have compassion on and bless you with His Presence.

Deuteronomy 32.32-41, 3
(Sagina: And Can It Be)
See the corruption of the land; like Sodom and Gomorrah they shall fall.
Bitter the fruit on every hand, their poisonous venom is over all.
God stores this up within His heart, to give His people their woeful part.
Refrain, v. 3
I will proclaim our Savior’s fame, and sing the greatness of His Name.

What, though He judge His people sore, He will have compassion on their soul,
Once they repent to sin no more, and turn to the Lord to make them whole.
Let them no longer vain idols trust, but look to God alone as just.
Refrain, v. 3
I will proclaim our Savior’s fame, and sing the greatness of His Name.

“Now see that I am God alone; no other gods exist but Me.
I have the power, all on My own, to heal, deliver, and set you free.
All those who hate Me I will repay with vengeance and judgment on that day.”
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