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Book of Deuteronomy Chapter 32 Summary "Breakin' Up is Hard to Do"
Most of the chapter is written in verse, i.e., poetry. It is a song, after all. First, we get an intro to Moses's song. It's kind of depressing. If you sing it, try adding a nice guitar solo—that might help. The message: God is great, but his children are rebellious and degenerate. Kind of sounds like a breakup song. But even breakup songs tell about happier times. The Israelites are told to remember how God helped them get through the wilderness when no other god helped them. God blessed Israel, but Israel became fat on the blessings of God and abandoned him for other gods. Not cool. The Lord wanted to make them jealous. Typical. He thought of sending disaster and pestilence on them. It had the potential to be a really bad breakup, but God relented. He couldn't allow the other nations to defeat Israel because it would make them think God wasn't super powerful. Moses discusses how the other nations are fools who produce venom and poison. But don't worry, God will have vengeance on them. When the people are powerless, God will reconcile with them, destroy their enemies, and remind them of his nature. God is God alone, and God is the only God for Israel. Hmmm… looks like the breakup is over, and the couple is getting back together. Moses finishes the song and encourages the people to obey. After all, he says, "This is no trifling matter for you, but rather your very life" (47). That's heavy. The chapter ends as God speaks to Moses with a reminder: Moses can't see the Promised land—he'll just have to look at it from afar.
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