“He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just.”
Deuteronomy 32 (English Standard Version)
The Song of Moses
30Then Moses spoke the words of this song until they were finished, in the ears of all the assembly of Israel:
1“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak,
and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
2May my teaching drop as the rain,
my speech distill as the dew,
like gentle rain upon the tender grass,
and like showers upon the herb.
3For I will proclaim the name of the LORD;
ascribe greatness to our God!
4 “The Rock, his work is perfect,
for all his ways are justice;
Psalm 19:14 (New International Version)
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
just and upright is he.
5They have dealt corruptly with him;
they are no longer his children because they are blemished;
they are a crooked and twisted generation.
6Do you thus repay the LORD,
you foolish and senseless people?
Is not he your father, who created you,
who made you and established you?
7 Remember the days of old;
consider the years of many generations;
ask your father, and he will show you,
your elders, and they will tell you.
8When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
when he divided mankind,
he fixed the borders of the peoples
according to the number of the sons of God.
9But the LORD’s portion is his people,
Jacob his allotted heritage.
from Morning and Evening
–C. H. Spurgeon
“The Lord’s portion is his people.”
— Deuteronomy 32:9
How are they his? By his own sovereign choice. He chose them, and set his love upon them. This he did altogether apart from any goodness in them at the time, or any goodness which he foresaw in them. He had mercy on whom he would have mercy, and ordained a chosen company unto eternal life; thus, therefore, are they his by his unconstrained election.
They are not only his by choice, but by purchase. He has bought and paid for them to the utmost farthing, hence about his title there can be no dispute. Not with corruptible things, as with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord’s portion has been fully redeemed. There is no mortgage on his estate; no suits can be raised by opposing claimants, the price was paid in open court, and the Church is the Lord’s freehold forever. See the blood-mark upon all the chosen, invisible to human eye, but known to Christ, for “the Lord knoweth them that are his”; he forgetteth none of those whom he has redeemed from among men; he counts the sheep for whom he laid down his life, and remembers well the Church for which he gave himself.
They are also his by conquest. What a battle he had in us before we would be won! How long he laid siege to our hearts! How often he sent us terms of capitulation! but we barred our gates, and fenced our walls against him. Do we not remember that glorious hour when he carried our hearts by storm? When he placed his cross against the wall, and scaled our ramparts, planting on our strongholds the blood-red flag of his omnipotent mercy? Yes, we are, indeed, the conquered captives of his omnipotent love. Thus chosen, purchased, and subdued, the rights of our divine possessor are inalienable: we rejoice that we never can be our own; and we desire, day by day, to do his will, and to show forth his glory.
10“He found him in a desert land,
and in the howling waste of the wilderness;
he encircled him, he cared for him,
he kept him as the apple of his eye.
11 Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
Bald eagles build the largest nests of any bird in North America. One nest in Florida measured 20 feet deep and 9 feet across!
that flutters over its young,
spreading out its wings, catching them,
bearing them on its pinions,
12 the LORD alone guided him,
no foreign god was with him.
13 He made him ride on the high places of the land,
and he ate the produce of the field,
and he suckled him with honey out of the rock,
and oil out of the flinty rock.
14Curds from the herd, and milk from the flock,
with fat of lambs,
rams of Bashan and goats,
with the very finest of the wheat—
and you drank foaming wine made from the blood of the grape.
15“But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked;
you grew fat, stout, and sleek;
then he forsook God who made him
and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation.
Psalm 18:2 (New International Version)
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
16 They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods;
with abominations they provoked him to anger.
17 They sacrificed to demons that were no gods,
to gods they had never known,
to new gods that had come recently,
whom your fathers had never dreaded.
18You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you,
and you forgot the God who gave you birth.
Isaiah 26:4 (New International Version)
Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
19 “The LORD saw it and spurned them,
because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters.
20And 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 faithfulness.
21 They have made me jealous with what is no god;
they have provoked me to anger with their idols.
So I will make them jealous with those who are no people;
I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
22For a fire is kindled by my anger,
and it burns to the depths of Sheol,
devours the earth and its increase,
and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.
Fire and Ice
by Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
23“‘And I will heap disasters upon them;
I will spend my arrows on them;
24they shall be wasted with hunger,
and devoured by plague
and poisonous pestilence;
I will send the teeth of beasts against them,
with the venom of things that crawl in the dust.
25 Outdoors the sword shall bereave,
and indoors terror,
for young man and woman alike,
the nursing child with the man of gray hairs.
26 I would have said, “I will cut them to pieces;
I will wipe them from human memory,”
27had I not feared provocation by the enemy,
lest their adversaries should misunderstand,
lest they should say, “Our hand is triumphant,
it was not the LORD who did all this.”‘
28“For they are a nation void of counsel,
and there is no understanding in them.
29 If they were wise, they would understand this;
they would discern their latter end!
30How could one have chased a thousand,
and two have put ten thousand to flight,
unless their Rock had sold them,
and the LORD had given them up?
31For their rock is not as our Rock;
our enemies are by themselves.
Isaiah 44:8 (New International Version)
“Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”
I would like this song to be my every morning wake-up call! I just love how GLAD sings “God Is My Rock.”
32For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom
and from the fields of Gomorrah;
their grapes are grapes of poison;
their clusters are bitter;
33their wine is the poison of serpents
and the cruel venom of asps.
34“‘Is not this laid up in store with me,
sealed up in my treasuries?
35 Vengeance is mine, and recompense,
for the time when their foot shall slip;
for the day of their calamity is at hand,
and their doom comes swiftly.’
Hebrews 10:26-30 (New Living Translation)
Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us. For we know the one who said,
“I will take revenge.
I will pay them back.”
from The Cost of Discipleship
by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living incarnate.
“Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.
“Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.
“Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ‘ye were bought at a price,’ and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the incarnation of God.”
36For the LORD will vindicate his people
and have compassion on his servants,
when he sees that their power is gone
and there is none remaining, bond or free.
Luke 18:7 (NRSV)
Will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them?
37Then he will say, ‘Where are their gods,
the rock in which they took refuge,
38who ate the fat of their sacrifices
and drank the wine of their drink offering?
Let them rise up and help you;
let them be your protection!
39“‘See now that I, even I, am he,
and there is no god beside me;
I kill and I make alive;
I wound and I heal;
and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
40For I lift up my hand to heaven
and swear, As I live forever,
41if I sharpen my flashing sword
and my hand takes hold on judgment,
I will take vengeance on my adversaries
and will repay those who hate me.
42I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
and my sword shall devour flesh—
with the blood of the slain and the captives,
from the long-haired heads of the enemy.’
43 “Rejoice with him, O heavens;
bow down to him, all gods,
for he avenges the blood of his children
and takes vengeance on his adversaries.
He repays those who hate him
and cleanses his people’s land.”
44Moses came and recited all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he and Joshua the son of Nun. 45And when Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46he said to them, “Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. 47For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”
It’s puzzling that so many Christians try to live the Christian life without reading their Bible, except for sporadic perusals of God’s Word, seeking a pithy thought for the day. The Word of God is not merely a source of helpful suggestions, preventative warnings, or inspirational thoughts: It is life itself!
God gathered the children of Israel at the edge of the Promised Land to review their pilgrimage with Him. They had spent forty years in a desert because their parents had not trusted God’s word. Their parents died without seeing the Promised Land because they had not believed God’s word. Even the revered Moses was soon to leave them because he had not shown proper reverence for God’s word. Many of them knew those who had been put to death as a consequence of their disobedience to God’s word. Over the years God’s word had become the most important thing in the life of the Israelites.
God commanded His people to bind His words on their hearts, to teach them diligently to their children, and to regularly discuss them in their homes (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). So essential was His word that it was to hold a prominent place in the daily lives of His people.
Our reverence for God’s Word is revealed not only by what we say but also by what we do. Spending more time reading and studying the words of people rather than the Word of God, reveals our hearts’ condition. To blatantly disregard God’s Word is to reject life itself. To obey God’s Word is the surest way to experience all that God has in store for us.
from Experiencing God Day-by-Day
by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby
Are you sharing this blog, DWELLING in the Word, with your friends? Please do! We are eager for others to join us in our thoughtful reading of the Word of God!
Moses’ Death Foretold
48That very day the LORD spoke to Moses, 49“Go up this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, opposite Jericho, and view the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel for a possession. 50And die on the mountain which you go up, and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died in Mount Hor and was gathered to his people, 51 because you broke faith with me in the midst of the people of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, and because you did not treat me as holy in the midst of the people of Israel. 52For you shall see the land before you, but you shall not go there, into the land that I am giving to the people of Israel.”
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
El Capitan, Yosemite (California). http://www.astronomynotes.com/nature/images/yosemite8.jpg
Quite a rock! “Star of Africa” diamond, 530 carats, mounted on the Royal Scepter and on display at the Tower of London. http://www.internetstones.com/image-files/cullinan-i-diamond.jpg
I belong to Jesus. http://gospelgifs.com/clipart/images/chapel/belong1.gif
eagle nest. http://www.philadelphia-reflections.com/images/eagle.jpg
rock arch over turquoise water (Malta). http://www.internationaleducationmedia.com/malta/gallery/Rock%20formation%20and%20ocean%20uid%201014845.jpg
rocks and “baby” rock (India). http://www.thehindu.com/2009/02/04/images/2009020458540201.jpg
fire and ice. http://www.ua.com.ua/photo/images/ice&fire.jpg
wind-carved rock canyon (Arizona). http://images.timnhanh.com/photo/pictures/20070704/wind_and_sea/source/165142thewave,pariacanyon-vermilioncliffswildernessarea,arizona.jpg
He cares for you. http://www.heartfeltwishes.co.uk/images/PU90%20He%20cares%20for%20you.jpg
Study the Bible with us. http://www.uvaldebaptist.org/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/LOGO/biblestudy.gif