In this third session from the Life of Moses series, Moses turns his attention to the Nation of Israel and he leaves them with God’s words of blessing prior to his death. Moses shows us that God blesses his people.
Though the people would disobey and reject God, we see the faithfulness of God to bring blessings, despite their disobedience and suffering the consequences of it.
God Blesses His People
This helps us to see that God intends to bless His chosen ones, though they don’t deserve it! God blesses His people because He loves them and because He has chosen them as His own.
Do you know that God loves you? And that He has chosen you as His own? Are you suffering the consequences of rebellion against God? Won’t you turn to Him and confess your wrong and walk in the blessings of obedience. They are there waiting for you, but you must turn from your own ways and lay down your selfish desires and turn to Him in surrender and commitment to follow Him no matter where He leads you!
Please join me in Deuteronomy Chapter 33 as we begin today’s study.
Deuteronomy 33:5 tells us that Moses begins by blessing Reuben…
Reuben was the oldest son of Jacob, so he is mentioned first, though briefly. Reuben had forfeited his birthright because of his sin with Bilhah, his father’s concubine (Genesis 35:22) but though he had lost his birthright, he did not lose his place among the tribes of Israel. In fact, Moses words prove blessings and prosperity were to be that of the tribe of Reuben. Moses speaks these very promising words; “Let Reuben live and not die, nor his men be few.” So God was gracious and kind to Reuben and his tribe even though He knew their background and sin.
This same God is gracious and kind to us today, extending His grace and forgiveness over us as we confess and repent of of our sins! He then remembers them no more and neither should we!
Deuteronomy 33:7 Judah was the royal tribe, since the kings of Israel came from it. Moses prayed that these men would be successful soldiers. Judah was the tribe that marched ahead of the other tribes and would be the first people to meet Israel’s enemies. Moses blessing was a prayer that God would help them win their battles and gain victory over their enemies. Simeon who is not mentioned here became a part of tribe of Judah as prophesied by Jacob before his death and scattered along with the Levites as a result of their earlier sins in Jacob’s time.
In Deuteronomy 33:8-11 Moses blessed the Levites…it is understandable that Moses spends more time talking about Levi since out of this tribe all the priests of Israel would come and they had three main responsibilities.
- First, Levi would reveal God’s will through the use of the Thummim and Urim, we don’t know much about these, but it is thought that they were probably two precious stones kept in the high priest breastplate and used to help determine the will of God. (I Samuel 23:6-9)
- Second, they would teach the Israelites the law of God.
- Third, they were responsible for all the duties of offering incense and sacrifices to God in worship. Moses prayed that the tribe of Levi—his own tribe—would be given strength for their many ministries and be protected from their enemies.
You may remember that earlier in the desert Moses was greatly tested at Massah and Meribah and the Levites were the ones that stood with him. They killed all the idolaters after the golden calf episode—showing their zeal and love for the Lord by obeying God and His will ahead of their love for their own families and their own nation. They had been given the greatest responsibility in giving out, guarding and guiding the Israelite Nation under God.
This is a beautiful prayer and blessing for your Pastors and for the teachers of God’s Word, whether it’s to adults or children.
Deuteronomy 33:12 Next Moses speaks about Benjamin, and he refers to him as the “beloved”. Benjamin was the beloved son of Jacob, the second child of Rachel, whom Jacob loved dearly, but more importantly Moses refers to Benjamin as the “beloved of the Lord.” Don’t we all yearn to be loved?
God created us to be loved and to love others! Yet the greatest love we can experience is the love of God. His love is perfect and pure and His love will never change or fade away.
Moses prayer paints this beautiful picture for all those who are called the “beloved of God” through faith in Jesus Christ and belief in His sacrificial life. His beloved rest secure in Him, for He shields them all day long, and they find rest between His shoulders, in His everlasting arms!”
There is no greater love than this, that He laid down His life for us, that He who knew no sin might become sin that we might rest safe and secure in Him and experience eternal life, both now and forever more!
Do you know Him as your Lord and Savior? Are you weary from carrying your load or burden of sin? Won’t you cast all your cares, all you concerns and all your sins on the one who died for you, that you might love and be loved. Friends, there is no greater love than this!
We’ll pick up with the other tribes’ blessings in the next post. Which blessing did God use to speak to your heart today?