The First Closing Hymn

 

Deuteronomy 32

 

Deuteronomy 32 and Exodus 15 are both today referred to as The Song of Moses, almost as though nobody knows that there are two of them. Since Exodus 15 occurs immediately after the Red Sea crossing, they bookend the journey of Moses. They appear to be two distinct songs (Deuteronomy 31:32).

 

Deuteronomy 32 tends to remind me of “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” though the similarities are a bit obtuse. Both songs are really narratives set to song. We cannot delete any stanzas (A Hebrew “stanza” is called a “strophe.” The ‘e’ is pronounced, as in apostrophe.) or else the lyrics will not make sense. And battles are chronicled. Deuteronomy 32, however, spends more time dwelling on the singer’s guilt.

 

And when the Lord saw it, He spurned them,

Because of the provocation of His sons and His daughters.

And He said: I will hide My face from them,

I will see what their end will be,

For they are a perverse generation,

Children in whom is no faith.

They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God;

They have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols.

But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation;

I will move them to anger by a foolish nation.

Deuteronomy 32:19-21

 

We sing about our own guilt today (“a wretch like me”; “all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer”). But not in such gory detail.

 

© 2012, On Beyond Sunday School, All Rights Reserved.