Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thursday - Deuteronomy 33 - Moses' Blessing of the Tribes

Moses blessed each of the 12 tribes of Israel... with the exception of Simeon (the smallest tribe according to the last census). As in all of the Jewish tribal lists in the Bible, there were 12 - here, Joseph being named but divided according to the names of his 2 sons (Ephraim and Manasseh), who had become tribal chiefs in his place. It would be interesting to compare this section to the blessing of Jacob in Genesis 49. Interestingly, Simeon was lumped in with Levi even then and received no particular prophecy. His tribe is not forgotten though. Simeon did later receive an inheritance (with Judah) in the book of Joshua and is even listed in Revelation as one of the 12 tribes contributing 12,000 virgin males to preach during the Tribulation.

Now, I know that the basic theme here is a national blessing and that the promises relate to Israel as a nation. Yet, if you'll take the time to read Deuteronomy 33:3, 27 & 29 I think you'll quickly see an unmistakable gospel connotation. A discussion of God's love, His everlasting faithfulness and His salvation should be enough to put any believer in a “gospel mood” of reflection and worship.  So, let's go there.

If John 3:16 is the gospel in a nutshell, then Deuteronomy 33:3 points unmistakably in a gospelish direction. It can be reasonably argued that the God who CAME to the Jew first, also loved the Jew first. God's love is the source and substance of THE good news. God loved. God loves. God is love. God's love is forever (Ecclesiastes 3:14 and Romans 8:35, 38 & 39).

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