God is with us
“The Lord will vindicate his people and relent concerning his servants when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free.
He will say: Now where are their gods, the rock they took refuge in, the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offerings? Let them rise up to help you! Let them give you shelter!
See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.” – Deuteronomy 32:36-39
The cross itself stands as a reminder of what sinners are capable of doing. It is also a call to repentance of our sins against God.
Sunday past was Palm Sunday or Sunday of the Passion. For Palm Sunday, the above text, the song of Moses, is most appropriate.
There is a message of hope in the song of Moses. Our God offers Christ on the cross and his forgiveness as the solution to our unfaithfulness and rebellion.
This text reminds us of the basic theme which runs through the Old Testament – that is, God is faithful to his people, even though people constantly ignore God to follow and worship idols.
God gave birth to Israel, his people. He led them out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and guided them through the desert as they journeyed to the Promised Land.
Moses wrote this text as a reminder to the people who were getting ready to enter the Promised Land. He would not cross over with them, yet, he taught it to them. Then he gave it to Joshua who would later lead the people into the land God had promised their forefathers.
The land into which the Israelites were going was rich and fertile. There was also a prevalence of idolatry in this land.
A section of this song tells the tragedy of the people’s sacrifices to demons, which were not gods. There is only one God. He is the God of creation; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Notwithstanding this, Israel was constantly unfaithful. She resisted God and turned to idol worship. In studying this song, we should be cognizant of Israel’s past and, in our spiritual life, be guided by it.
We the people of today are similar to the Israelites of the Old Testament. Like them, we often break God’s law and refuse to trust him above the things of this world.
Our God is merciful. He is gracious. He loves his creation and wants all men to repent and come to saving grace. The song of Moses teaches that God is merciful and faithful and that he will vindicate and have compassion upon those who call upon his name.
Yes, God is with us. Through his spirit, he reaches out to human kind, asking us to trust him. Our Christian faith enables us to deal with the difficulties of life or face death, not because we can see God, but because we have the certainty that God sees us.
God’s grace and mercy comes to us not because we know all the answers. It comes because the father knows us and guides us in our earthly journey.
As we recall the passion, and death of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, this song of Moses, stands as a most appropriate text for Holy Week. It reminds us that: “There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, … no one can deliver out of my hand.”
Holy Week is a Christian journey. We journey with Christ to Jerusalem. The passion of the cross stands as the greatest tragedy in the history of God’s dealing with his people. It is the tragedy brought to its climax. The father sends his faithful son to take upon himself the sins of this unfaithful people. I pray you a blessed Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau,119 John F. Kennedy Drive can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas, or telephone: 426-9084; E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.