Sad Song or Hopeful Hymn – Deuteronomy 32:36

TragicSong“The Lord will indeed vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants when He sees that their strength is gone” (Deuteronomy 32:36, HCSB).

Deuteronomy 32 is called the Song of Moses. It is a song that was intended to warn Israel through the ages of the consequences of apostasy and disobedience to God.

Sadly, Israel’s future behavior mirrored her past and the Song became forever a constant reminder of Israel’s disobedience, sin, and rebellion even though they were God’s chosen people: “But the Lord’s portion is His people, Jacob, His own inheritance” (vs. 9).

The Song of Moses sounds like an aria from a tragic opera. The Song recounts how God made Israel His people and blessed them and yet they rebelled and turned away from God.

According to the lyrics of the Song, God will send disaster on Israel until they learn their lesson. Once their strength is gone, once they realize that they need God’s help, then He will have compassion on His people and vindicate them.

There’s a fundamental lesson in the Song of Moses for all of us. It expresses the human drama of God’s interaction with His people in all generations–individually and collectively.

God chooses us and blesses us.

Then we enjoy the blessing to the extent that we forget to acknowledge and honor the One who is the source of the blessing.

We become apathetic and disobedient–even rebellious.

Then tragedy strikes and we plead for God’s help!

And it’s when we are at the end of ourselves, of our own strength, that we best realize we can’t handle the disparities of life apart from God.

So we call on God for help. We cry out to God to intervene.

And His grace again begins to flow through our lives. God helps the helpless, enables the disabled, empowers the powerless!

It seems that God can help us best when we are at our worst.

Moses’s sad song is also a hymn of hope.

You see, the Kingdom of God comes especially to the distressed, grief-stricken, weak, oppressed, or victimized.

These down-and-outters have discovered that the solution to their problems is beyond their own abilities, greater than their own self-confidence, more formidable than their own self-will.

So, the Kingdom of God comes to the distressed and distraught because they are ready and willing to relinquish everything including their own self-will for divine intervention.  They know they need the help of an awesome God!

And at the point of relinquishment is when God rushes to the rescue!

“The poor in spirit are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Those who mourn are blessed, for they will be comforted. The gentle are blessed, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:3-5, HCSB).

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