Deuteronomy 33.26-29, (LXX) Some thoughts

“There is no one like the God of the Beloved,
Who rides the heavens and is your help,
And the Magnificent One of the firmament,

There is Protection in of the rule of God –
Who is under the strength of the everlasting arms;
He will drive out the enemy from before your face,
Saying, “Destroy!’

Then Israel shall dwell in hope,
Alone in the land of Jacob,
In a land of grain and new wine;
His heavens shall also drop dew.

Happy are you, O Israel!
Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD?
Your helper will defend as with a shield
And the sword shall be your boast!

Your enemies shall speak falsely to you,
And you shall tread on their neck.”

My immediate thought concerns the God Who has no equal – and I think upon His Church. So many times we see people attempting to turn the Church into that which is like the world. We adopt their music, their style, their doctrine and theology, and their agendas. Our God has none like Him, and yet we would turn His body into a similitude of the adversary.

This passage begins with Moses giving blessings to the tribes of Israel, but ends with a psalm of praise to God. Of all the blessings that each tribe will be given, there is none like the blessing of having the one God to rule and to protect all of Israel. There is hope and strength in God alone, or divine protection under the rule of God.

It is a reminder for Israel not to go after foreign gods and kings, for they could not provide the protection of God.

This psalm is also a summation of the Covenant – if Israel was to stay under the rule of God, in the refuge of the Eternal God, then the enemies of the People would be thrust out from before them and be destroyed.

The NRSV at verse 27 attempts to reconstruct the Hebrew, and arrives at this,

He subdues the ancient gods, shatters the forces of old;  he drove out the enemy before you, and said, “Destroy!”(Deuteronomy 33:27 NRVS)

This translation feeds the next verse, in that after these obsolete deities are driven away, after the high places are destroyed, all Israel will dwell alone in the land that God has given them. It is the same as the Church – when we remove those foreign gods from our lives, we will dwell with God alone. Would God really share His glory with another? Would we really seek to live under the protection of God and another?

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