The selection of Joshua; the word from the Lord; the song of Moses; the blessing of the Tribes; the death of Moses; the succession of Joshua.


A man like no other in all of history prepares to finish his work and die. In Moses’ case, you couldn’t say he was going to meet the Lord; he already had! He had met Him and been with Him for years. Now he is preparing to move where He is. The new leader will be Joshua, who had been selected to lead in Numbers 27. Moses now charges him and encourages him in the sight of all Israel. Moses had heard face to face from the Lord in Exodus 33 that the Lord would be with him. Moses confirms this presence of the Lord to Joshua.

Deuteronomy 31:9 leaves no question as to who wrote this law. After Moses wrote it, he gave it to the priests to preserve and to read it to the people every seven years. God wants us to know that His Word is for us, y’all, the common people of the land. (See Mark 12:37)

The Lord now calls Moses and Joshua to the tabernacle where He appears in a pillar of a cloud. With this appearance, the children of Israel knew that the Lord had chosen Joshua. The Lord tells Moses that when Israel enters the land and is filled with its goodness, they will turn from Him and serve other gods. Moses is to write a song and teach it to the children of Israel as a witness against them.

Chapter 32 is the song of Moses. God’s message is to the whole world, even the universe (verse 1). Not only does Israel need to hear and learn from this song, all men for all of time need to hear of the goodness and the wrath of the Lord. He is true and righteous and His work is perfect (James 1:17). He found Israel and blessed him, but when Israel forsook the Lord, judgment came. In verse 29, Moses wishes that they would understand and consider the results of their deeds. But sin deceives and blinds us; we have an incredibly difficult time seeing its end (James 1:14, 15).

The song continues and reminds both us and the children of Israel that vengeance belongs to the Lord. He has reserved vengeance for Himself. Romans 12:19 says: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Only the Lord knows the thoughts and intents of the heart and can rightly deliver vengeance; it is never ours to deliver.

The song concludes, Moses teaches it to the children of Israel and the Lord speaks to Moses. It is time for Moses to come up the mountain to die. But we are reminded, as the Lord uses the phrase “gathered unto your people,” that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living (Matthew 22:32)! Moses will now see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the ones to whom the promises of a nation, land, and blessings had been made.

Chapter 33 records the blessing of the tribes by Moses. God’s love is once again remembered in verse 3. It’s interesting to note that no sins of any tribes are recorded. Moses prays for blessings on each tribe. The blessings begin and end with the glory of the Lord.

In the final chapter of the book, Moses climbs to the top of the mountain where he will see the Promised Land, but he will not enter in. Moses dies according to the word of the Lord and God buries

him in a valley where nobody knows. Joshua is full of the spirit of wisdom to lead the children of Israel, but there is not another prophet in Israel like Moses.


In JOSHUA Deut. 31:7 (John 1:17; Romans 3:21, 22; Acts 13:39) In THE ROCK Deut. 32:4, 31 (Romans 9:33; I Corinthians 10:4; I Peter 2:8)