Deuteronomy could be said to be the final will and testament of Moses, relaying both the blessing and the curse. However, the story is always on a marked path; and that is the love that God has for his people and the love He seeks from them in return. Inside this greater picture is the strong support of the family, the orphan, the widow and the sojourner in their midst. Moses reminds the people they were once slaves in Egypt and not to forget where they came from. From Egypt to Mt Sinai, into the wilderness of 40 years and now to the edge of the Jordan River; the greatest question is being asked: “When will our adventures become His adventures?” Will their love of Yahweh, his compassion, his care, his love, ever become so great within them, that they can no longer see the adventures lying ahead for them as His alone and not there own? This is the sacred romance.
God tells Moses to write a song. The words foretell a story of just how stubborn the people will become and how God will have to turn away from them because they will become so vile. “For they are a nation devoid of reason, having no understanding.” Ch. 32: 28. Moses will sing this song and teach the people the words; so they know what will become of them if they fail to keep God’s commands. Astonishing! Even more so, Moses will plead with the people in Ch. 32: 45-47 to not forsake God’s commands. But they will forsake them!
So they proceed to the land their ancestors were promised with a song, the full pageantry of a great dance; without anticipating the price their offspring will pay for failing to keep in rhythm. This ancient history reveals our own difficulty with original sin. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;” Gen 3:15. From this time forward, as they cross the Jordan, the events in Israel will begin to draw the people to seek after a coming Messiah.
The man who is chosen to lead the people across the Jordan, is Joshua. Commissioned by God in the tent of meetings, afterward Moses will lay his hands upon Joshua for all the people to see while reciting these words: BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS! In Hebrew it is “Rak Chasak Amats”. These words will become their battle cry; and, for a while, the Israelites will walk in God’s paths and adventures and Yahweh will fight for them as He promised.
Like the old gospel hymn reposes: “Deep river, my home is over Jordan”. Ain’t it so!