Isaiah 55:6-56:8, 2 Samuel 22:1-51
2 Kings 22-23
Yom Kippur and the Song of Moshe
It has been a long sermon for Pastor Moshe. The thirty-one chapters of what we know as the Book of Deuteronomy all came forth during this sermon. He has given the people a summation of the Torah and repeatedly told them the choice they have: to follow it or not. Whether they receive the blessings or the curses and the life or the death will result from their choices.
But how should a message like this end? How about with a song? It would not be just any song, but rather a song Moshe would compose, right there on the spot. It was much more than just a song, much more than lyrics attached to a melody. The song would have the purpose of once again telling them and generations to come, the choice they have regarding following Torah, and the blessings and curses which would come from their decisions!
In this Song of Moshe, a song which is sung by those in the Book of Revelation, the summation is not of the Torah, but rather of the fall and redemption of mankind. We see the love of a Dad to his children and the judgment of a Father when they get out of line. We see the protection and nurturing on one hand and the deserved judgment on the other. It is a song of the highs of obedience and the lows of correction. It is a song which brings the assurance of victory in the end and confidence of eternal reward for those who remain faithful. No wonder it is a song sung during the time of Revelation!
After the last note of the song rings out, reality sinks in. Moshe is reminded of the walk he must soon take. It is a walk he will make alone, the last walk that he will ever take in his lifetime.
I cannot imagine the emotions Moshe must have felt during this time. He had failed to “demonstrate My holiness” to the people. Striking the rock had, and would, cost him dearly.
With this very sobering image in our minds, let’s consider a question for ourselves. How are we doing at “demonstrating His holiness” to the world around us? How are we doing in this task with our spouse, our family, our co-workers or just any person we come in contact with on a daily basis? After the closing song is sung, what image of The Father is being seen in our lives on a daily basis?
At this point I could continue about what it means to demonstrate His holiness, or how Moshe was apparently judged more harshly because of his failure, or any number of other avenues available, but I won’t. I simply end this rather brief but direct Torah commentary with a short and direct question for each of us to answer privately to ourselves and also to Yah: “How am I doing at ‘demonstrating His holiness?'”
On a final note, it is interesting that this Torah portion falls in the days between Yom Teruah and Sukkot. The fall feasts prior to Sukkot are all about repentance and preparation, and I believe it is appropriate to get our hearts right before having the opportunity to “live out” our preparation by demonstrating His holiness at the gathering of Sukkot, all in practice of standing before Him on The Yom Kippur to come.