Growing with God’s Word in Thankfulness and Praise
Deuteronomy 33:1-17: Today’s reading is the first half of Moses’ final blessing on Israel. Moses addresses the people tribe by tribe, and each of Israel’s tribes receives an individual blessing.
The LORD loves his people and protects those who belong to him.
1These are the blessings that Moses, the man of God, pronounced on the people of Israel before he died.
2The Lord came from Mount Sinai;
he rose like the sun over Edom
and shone on his people from Mount Paran.
Ten thousand angels were with him,
a flaming fire at his right hand.
3The Lord loves his people
and protects those who belong to him.
So we bow at his feet
and obey his commands.
4We obey the Law that Moses gave us,
our nation's most treasured possession.
5The Lord became king of his people Israel
when their tribes and leaders were gathered together.
6Moses said about the tribe of Reuben:
“May Reuben never die out,
Although their people are few.”
7About the tribe of Judah he said:
“Lord, listen to their cry for help;
Unite them again with the other tribes.
Fight for them, Lord,
And help them against their enemies.”
8 About the tribe of Levi he said:
“You, Lord, reveal your will by the Urim and Thummim
Through your faithful servants, the Levites;
You put them to the test at Massah
And proved them true at the waters of Meribah.
9They showed greater loyalty to you
Than to parents, brothers, or children.
They obeyed your commands
And were faithful to your covenant.
10They will teach your people to obey your Law;
They will offer sacrifices on your altar.
11Lord, help their tribe to grow strong;
Be pleased with what they do.
Crush all their enemies;
Let them never rise again.”
12About the tribe of Benjamin he said:
“This is the tribe the Lord loves and protects;
He guards them all the day long,
And he dwells in their midst.”
13About the tribe of Joseph he said:
“May the Lord bless their land with rain
And with water from under the earth.
14May their land be blessed with sun-ripened fruit,
Rich with the best fruits of each season.
15May their ancient hills be covered with choice fruit.
16May their land be filled with all that is good,
Blessed by the goodness of the Lord,
Who spoke from the burning bush.
May these blessings come to the tribe of Joseph,
Because he was the leader among his brothers.
17Joseph has the strength of a bull,
The horns of a wild ox.
His horns are Manasseh's thousands
And Ephraim's ten thousands.
With them he gores the nations
And pushes them to the ends of the earth.”
What is Moses’ blessing for each of the tribes in today’s reading? (In verses 13-17, the tribe of Joseph is sometimes presented as the two tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim, the names of Joseph’s two sons.) According to verse 4, what is the nation’s most treasured possession? Within your community of faith, what is considered its most treasured possession?
Lord God, how happy and grateful I am that I belong to you. I treasure your Law and seek to obey your commands. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Those who prepare church constitutions
Deuteronomy 33:18-29: Moses concludes his farewell blessing.