The warning and consoling words of God sent down from heaven should sink into our hearts and soften them as the rain softens the earth,
so make us fruitful in obedience.
1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:
3 Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.
4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
5 They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.
6 Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?
7 ¶ Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.
8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.
9 For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.
10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.
11 As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:
12 So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.
13 He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock;
14 Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.
15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
16 They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.
17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.
18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.
19 And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters.
20 And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
21 They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
22 For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
23 I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.
24 They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust.
25 The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs.
26 I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men:
27 Were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely, and lest they should say, Our hand is high, and the LORD hath not done all this.
28 For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them.
29 O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!
30 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?
31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.
32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter:
33 Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.
34 Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures?
35 To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.
36 For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.
37 And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted,
38 Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.
39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.
40 For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever.
41 If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.
42 I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy.
43 Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.
44 ¶ And Moses came and spake all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he, and Hoshea the son of Nun.
45 And Moses made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel:
46 And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law.
47 For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.
48 And the LORD spake unto Moses that selfsame day, saying,
49 Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession:
50 And die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people:
51 Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel.
52 Yet thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel.
Deuteronomy 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Deuteronomy 32:1-14 – Moses’ Song: the Lord’s Favor upon Israel
The song of Moses, like the fabled song of the swan, was his last and sweetest. It is probably the noblest ode in the whole compass of the Bible, and is the source from which subsequent singers derived suggestions for their noblest outbursts. The marginal references prove how deeply it dyed the national sentiment.
It excels in the names and designations of the Almighty. He is the Rock: Deuteronomy 31:4, 15, 18, 30; Jehovah: Deuteronomy 31:6; Father: Deuteronomy 31:6; the Most High: Deuteronomy 31:8; God: El, the strong, Deuteronomy 31:15, etc. What a study are the names of God, scattered through the Bible! Each was coined to meet some need of the human soul. What the rocks of the desert are to its shifting sands God is amid the changes of this mortal existence.
This earlier part of the song is very tender. We are God’s portion; the apple of His eye; as young eaglets, whom the mother-bird is carefully teaching to fly, the favored recipients of God’s richest gifts, Deuteronomy 31:13, etc. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Deuteronomy 32:11—As an eagle stirreth up her nest, that fluttereth over her young.
Three references are made to the eagle in this passage.
She stirs up her nest.—When her fledglings are old enough to fly, but linger around the few bits of stick, dignified as a nest, the mother-bird breaks it up, and scatters them. How much better this, than that they should miss the luxury of flight on outspread pinions in the blue vault, and of basking in the eye of the sun. So when the Father sees His children clinging to earth’s bare rocks, captured and held by the poor sticks they have gathered, and missing the ascension—glory, He breaks up the nest. The fortune is dispersed, the home broken up, the aspect of the life changed. We are then able to enjoy the bliss of life in the heavenlies with Christ Jesus.
As flutters over her young.—They stand seared and wretched on the edge of the rock, but she careers gently above them, now edging around, now mounting, then dropping far below to rise again. So would she allure them to follow her example. Here again we have an emblem of God’s efforts to make us imitators of Himself, to teach us the possibilities that await us in Jesus.
She spreads forth her goings and takes them.—Incited by the mother’s endeavors, the eaglet may venture on the untried air, and lo! the unaccustomed wings fail beneath its weight. It falls, but not far, for the mother swoops beneath, and bears it up and away. Trembling soul, God is beneath thee. If thy faith fails, and thou art falling, like another Peter, into a bottomless abyss, He will catch thee, and bear thee up, and teach thee the mystery of the more abundant life. —Our Daily Homily
Deuteronomy 32:15-35 – Moses’ Song: Israel’s Response
“Jeshurun” is a pet name for Israel, implying affection and endearment. The metaphor employed is derived from a pampered animal which, in consequence of rich and plentiful feeding, becomes mischievous and vicious.
Let us be warned by these denunciations against backsliding and willful sin. The greatness of our privileges will be the measure of the anguish of our doom. They who are exalted to Heaven by privilege must be cast down to Hades if they refuse and reject. The most fervent love becomes the hottest fire when it turns to jealousy. O my soul, it becomes thee to fear God as well as love Him. Remember Hebrews 10:26.
But what privileges await those who obey! When we abide in God, no enemy can stand against us. Five, strong in His miraculous fellowship, can chase a hundred, and a hundred, ten thousand. See Leviticus 26:8; also I Samuel 14:1, etc. God shows “himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” See II Chronicles 16:9. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Deuteronomy 32:36-52 – Moses Views What Others Shall Possess
Sometimes God leaves us to ourselves that we may learn our weakness and sinfulness. Then, when our power is gone and we seem destined to be destroyed, we begin to repent of our idolatry and apostasy and to long after our former blessed experiences. At such times He draws graciously near to us again, to heal, to quicken and to deliver. He renders swift vengeance to the evils that have desolated us, and is merciful with a great compassion. See Deuteronomy 32:43. In that remarkable verse, quoted in Romans 15:10, the appeal goes forth to all the world to join with God’s people in glad acknowledgment of His saving mercy.
This noble song declares for all ages the way of life and peace as contrasted with soul-death and misery. Every line of it has been fulfilled in the history of the Jews. May we not hope, also, that the time is not far distant when Jew and Gentile shall rejoice together in the bonds of common Christian fellowship? Note Deuteronomy 32:46-47. The love and service of God are life. —Through the Bible Day by Day