Saturday, May 18, 2013
The Gospel's Swansong
Deuteronomy 31:1-3,30 "So Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. (2) And he said to them, “I am a hundred and twenty years old today; I am no longer able to come and go, and the Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not cross this Jordan.’ (3) It is the Lord your God who will cross ahead of you; He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua is the one who will cross ahead of you, just as the Lord has spoken." (30) Then Moses spoke in the hearing of all the assembly of Israel the words of this song, until they were complete."
Deuteronomy 34:4-5 (4) "Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.” (5) So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord."
A Historical Gospel Swansong
In the two verses quoted above we see the conclusion and farewell of Moses to His people. After forty years of leading them through the wilderness, Moses' prophetic ministry - which began with a song celebrating God's salvation in Exodus 15, would now end with a final song in Deuteronomy 32. Deuteronomy 31 records Moses final instructions; Deuteronomy 32 - which will be of interest to us today, records Moses' final song to the nation. In Deuteronomy 33 we see Moses in the fashion of the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob delivering one final blessing to the nation, with Deuteoronomy 34 recording His death. Presumably Joshua may had picked up the divinely inspired quill so-to-speak and finished out Deuteronomy.
A swansong is officially defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary as - "a final public performance or professional activity before retirement". Moses' sawsong to this generation of Israelites is highlighted in Deuteronomy 32. This final song of Moses, as well as the first song which He composed 40 years earlier in Exodus 15, represents bookends to a remarkable ministry. Moses is regarded by Hebrews 3:5 as "faithful in all his house as a servant" who pointed the way to Jesus. The reason for focusing attention on this swansong of Moses to his generation will be apparent in a moment. But first off, let the reader see the main outline of Deuteronomy 32 to understand the profound Gospel content of Moses' final song before moving onto why the song is so hugely important.
1. Righteousness of God. Deuteronomy 32:1-4
Deuteronomy 32:4 notes for example - “The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Righteous and upright is He.
2. Rebellion of Sinful Man. Deuteronomy 32:5-35
Deuteronomy 32:5 for instance - "They have acted corruptly toward Him, They are not His children, because of their defect; But are a perverse and crooked generation."
3. Receive the Gospel by Faith. Deuteronomy 32:36-52
Deuteronomy 32:46 has Moses saying - "he said to them, “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law."
The Final Prophetic Gospel Swansong
As I mentioned a moment ago, Moses' song has huge significance - and here is why: The Song of Moses is mentioned in Revelation 15:3 in a sequence of events at the end of history before Christ's second coming! 1 In Revelation 14 and 15 we see depicted the Great Tribulation, where in the final seven years of world history all cosmic and spiritual forces will be unleashed as God pours out His wrath before Christ's Visible and Bodily Return.
From the dawn of history, God ordained ministry in song to be hitched alongside the ministry of the Word.2 As the Gospel is proclaimed one final time, the Swansong included with it is a combination of Moses' music and the Song of the Lamb. This Swansong of the Gospel includes the three same major truths we saw revealed earlier, only in reverse order:
1. Receive the Gospel by Faith. Revelation 14:6-7
The word "Gospel" is mentioned over 100 times in the New
Testament, with its final mention found in Revelation 14:6-7 "And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; 7 and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”
In a sequence of events following that final proclamation of the Gospel before Christ's parousia or Second Coming, we find the reason for such urgency....
2. Rebellion of Sinful Man. Revelation 14:8
Revelation 14:8 tells us - "And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.” After that final proclamation of the Gospel, if anyone rejects that final appeal, no other Gospel appeal will be given. Mankind by the droves will had already bought into the world system of Babylon the Great and will be mesmerized by Satan's world dictator over that system - The Anti- Christ. For those who persist in unbelief - Revelation 14-15 reveals where such unbelief will leave you - condemned, with no hope and no second chance. Time will had run out by that point. What is it that mankind is ultimately in rebellion against...
3. The Righteousness of God. Revelation 15:3-4
We these words in Revelation 15:3-4 "And they *sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; For all the nations will come and worship before You, For Your righteous acts have been revealed.” God's righteousness includes His fairness in all judgment and His ability to aquit sinners who by His grace believe and receive Christ's Person and Work as their ability to be right in His sight. God has been more than fair in revealing His acts of redemption through the cross as revealed in His Word. Romans 1:18 tells us the wrath of God is being revealed from Heaven against all unlawfulness of wicked men. People who refuse to believe the Gospel do so of their own choosing. Would it be that they would have it in their heart by God's grace to repent, turn to Christ, believe and be saved. (John 1:12-13; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 2:24-26)
What if today is your Gospel Swansong?
We have talked about a Gospel Swan song at the end of Moses' ministry. We have also talked about the Ultimate Gospel Swan song yet to come at the end of history before Christ returns. However, what if you reading today, who have never received God's graceful offer of salvation? What if this is your final chance? Whenever you attempt to gamble with time - you will be guaranteed a loss because you don't know what the next moment brings. Believe what the Bible says about your sinful rebellion and God's righteousness in stating how your rebellion has been treason against His Holy character. God has been so good and yet how often have you ignored His pleading? My prayer is that if you do know Christ as Savior, Lord and Treasure, that you would make it a point to share the truth of the Gospel - for we never know when the final time of hearing the Gospel may be.
1. The first song ever recorded in the Bible is the one we see by Moses in Exodus 15. Coupled with the one we just overviewed in Deuteronomy 32 is a representation of the entirety of Moses' ministry in song to God's people.
2. Moses' illustrated that in his life, David in His and even Jesus is described as singing in the midst of His church amidst the proclamation of His Father's name in the Word by His preachers and teachers. (Hebrews 2:12-13)