Deuteronomy 33 … Consider His Love for the People

Moses, the man of God, pronounces a blessing over the people; Moses, the man who walked forty years with Almighty God; the man who spoke to God face to face; the man who was His mouthpiece.

And now, as Moses prepares for his own departure, his parting words express the heart he has come to know so well, the heart of God for His people.

It’s breathtaking, considering such a magnanimous blessing on the nation; this nation so often referred to as rebellious and stiff-necked.

But here we find no corrections or curses, no condemnation; only a blessing over the people, pouring forth from an everlasting Love, a Love beyond comprehension, a tender, affectionate Love, a Love that will not be quenched.

Consider His Love for the People

The Lord came from Sinai,
And dawned on them from Seir;
He shone forth from Mount Paran,
And He came from the midst of ten thousand holy ones;
At His right hand there was flashing lightning for them.
3 Indeed, He loves the people;
All Your holy ones are in Your hand,
And they followed in Your steps;
Everyone receives of Your words,
(33:2-3).

God, incomparable, all-powerful God, Who holds lighting in His hand, came down to Love the People. And with the very hands that hold lighting, He holds His holy ones; His who have been set apart, consecrated, sacred in His sight. He holds them, that they might follow Him and receive His Word.

Something led me to look up the original language of this word, love, a word so often diminished in its inherent value in our own language.

From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: 2245. חָבַב ḥāḇaḇ: A verb meaning to love. This word occurs only once in the Old Testament, in which it describes God’s love for the people of Israel (Deut. 33:3). This verse is in a poetical section of Scripture, which helps to explain why this word is used only once. It is related to ḥōḇ (2243), meaning bosom, which is used only in Job. 31:33. Thus, the love expressed here probably signifies an embracing, motherly affection.

I think I stopped breathing for a moment while reading this definition. Only one time in all the Old Testament is this particular word used to express His Love for the People. I can’t get over it; how tenderly and uniquely personally He Loves. This same God Who holds lightning in His hands, embraces His people with the tender affection of a mother’s love.

As you read through the following abbreviated list of pronounced blessings, consider His Love for the People.

  • Long abundant life (33:6)
  • Help against adversaries (33:7)
  • Set apart as teachers and priests (33:10)
  • Enemies are shattered (33:11)
  • Beloved security between His shoulders (33:12)
  • His favor and the choice things of heaven and earth (33:13-17)
  • Righteousness (33:18)
  • Abundant treasure (33:19)
  • Enlarged territory (33:20)
  • Agents of His justice (33:21)
  • Strength of a young lion (33:22)
  • Satisfied with favor and blessing (33:23)
  • Favored by his brothers (33:24)
  • Leisure and rest (33:25)

How do we respond to His Love for the People?

His heart, oh His heart! How can we not fall on our faces in thanksgiving and adoration?

  • Let our lives praise Him as we acknowledge there is none like Him.
    • There is none like the God of Jeshurun,
      Who rides the heavens to your help,
      And through the skies in His majesty,
      (33:26).
  • It can be difficult to accept the reality that He, the great matchless and majestic God, Loves us so. But if we have placed our faith in the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, He Loves us with a never-ending love. He holds us in the same hands that hold lighting; and in His presence, His everlasting arms tenderly hold us for all eternity.
    • The eternal God is a dwelling place,
      And underneath are the everlasting arms;
      (33:26-27).
    • For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life, (John 3:16).
  • The voice of the deceiver, the accuser, is always attempting to foster doubt regarding His Love for the People. There is coming a day when that disparaging voice will be eternally silenced. Until that day, we are the ones who must silence the voice of doubt. God has given us His Word that we would confidently follow Him. By faith in His Word we overcome; His very Word giving witness to the truth of His Love for the People who belong to Him, the people who have been purchased by the blood of the Lamb.
    • Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death, (Revelation 12:10-11).
  • As we intentionally remind ourselves of His Love for the People, we grow in the assurance of our eternal security only He can give.
    • So Israel dwells in security, (33:28).
    • …having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory, (Ephesians 1:13-14).
  • As we determinedly fix our thoughts on His Love for the People, we grow in the assurance of His ever-present help and promised victory.
    • Blessed are you, O Israel;
      Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord,
      Who is the shield of your help
      And the sword of your majesty!
      So your enemies will cringe before you,
      And you will tread upon their high places,
      (33:29).
  • As we come to grips with the amazing truth of His inexplicable Love, His Love based not on anything at all we have done, His Love perfectly expressed through the sacrifice of our sinless Savior, may we respond by answering His call to holy living revealed in His Word. May we sincerely grow in His grace and His purpose as we remember His Love for the People… His Love for us!
    • Indeed, He loves the people;
      All Your holy ones are in Your hand,
      And they followed in Your steps;
      Everyone receives of Your words,
      (33:3).
    • But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, (Romans 5:8).
    • He has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace… (2 Timothy 1:9 NIV).

Let’s Grow Together!

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