Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, the shield of your help, and the sword of your triumph! Your enemies shall come fawning to you, and you shall tread upon their backs. (Deuteronomy 33:29)
Have you ever felt as though the world is on your shoulders and you’re getting grief from every side? If it’s not one thing it’s another and no rest can be found. The last words recorded of a man called Moses offer are a blessing of assurance and promise of protection. Whatever opposes you today whether external or internal you likewise can experience this triumph and peace today.
I wonder what would happen if we took these words seriously? I think about Israel and how much Moses had endured to get them to the brink of the Promised Land. When you consider Deuteronomy to be the longest farewell address in scripture you have to feel for Moses. Here’s a guy who agonised over his distinct call as a man of God. Here’s a pensioner in the wilderness making excuses as to why he couldn’t lead the Lord’s people out of Egypt. Here’s a bloke who every step of the way is the source of complaints, criticism, rejection, rebellion and mistreatment. Here’s a hombre who through one fatal moment of misplaced anger (you would have thought he’d have learnt the lesson from 40 years previously then again you would have thought I’d have learnt from the mistake(s) I made years ago) missed out on entering the goal of his ambition. Here is this critical and crucial leader in Israel history. Here he is entreating and blessing his people and for all that he speaks within three generations they’ve already forgotten or more accurately forsaken all this.
Still all this is written that I would learn from the lessons of these men and nations. So when I think about being a people saved by the Lord I don’t have to think very far. I don’t have to refer to a physical nation and its cultural distinctions. I can go straight to the cross and how Christ’s sacrifice saved me from the power of sin and is now my shield and sword. I can go straight to the fact that His sacrifice now makes me part of a wonderful community of fellow sojourners who are making that ultimate pilgrimage to the promised land to come whose architect according to the writer of Hebrews is God. Oh how I wish I could just live in the light of this fact and overcome and tread on the backs on the enemies within and without.
Yet, you know, victory by victory and with every moment that I am reminded that God’s grace is ever near me I feel that assurance and rejoice in the triumph achieved at Calvary to be celebrated for eternity starting now.
For His Name’s Sake
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