May my teaching drop as rain, my speech distill as the dew, as the gentle rain upon the tender grass, and as the showers upon the herb. For I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is he. (Deuteronomy 32:2-4)
When Moses speaks these words, he’s very near the end of his life. He’s spent his last forty years as:
- rescuer and mediator — He’s been used by God to rescue from and mediate before Pharaoh, the world’s most powerful ruler and slave-owner.
- leader, advocate, intercessor and deliverer — Through good and bad, he’s been the people’s leader: he’s advocated and interceded for the children of Israel before God himself, and delivered God’s law to them.
- prophet, shepherd and life-giver — He’s spoken God’s words to the people, been their shepherd, and served them, over and over, in life-giving ways.
But after 40 years of wilderness wandering, Moses will not be allowed to cross into the Promised Land. Not in this life. Because Moses rebelled against God’s instructions concerning the water at Meribah, he’ll not be with those who cross the Jordan (Numbers 20:12,24).
Yet, we hear no old-age temper tantrum from Moses. We hear only praise. His eyes are on his God, his Rock. We hear surety of God’s faithfulness. We hear steady, deeply-rooted, personal knowledge of God. God, Moses declares, is magnificent and right and worthy. As Moses’s last song reaches my ears, I listen.
And in the hearing, I want three things:
- I, too, want my teaching (all the words I speak, for we’re always teaching) to be as dew distilling on a petal. As dew distilling with relieving moisture in a dried land. Enriching dew, landing gently where help is needed.
- I, too, want to have believed God all the way to the end of my life, no matter what. I want my sap to remain green even to old age (Ps. 92:12-15).
- And I, too, want — even if don’t get “my way” — not to throw any old-age temper tantrum. I want to proclaim God’s rightness. I want to love His authority. I want to speak, in all circumstances, of His right to decide my fate.
I want to proclaim that God is good. He is the Rock, the faithful and the perfect. Proclaim with me?