The End of Moses and the Torah
We should take the time to reflect on all of salvation history in order to thank God for His saving work before our own times, because we are the heirs of all the blessings of the past! But that implies that we should also learn as much as we can from the past.
The whole book of Deuteronomy is set at the end of Moses' life, when the Israelites had finally come to the end of their wilderness wandering and were preparing to enter the Promised Land. So, the book's collection of Moses' words serve as a type of last will and testament of that great servant of God, and the last chapter (34) recounts the death of Moses.
For almost two months now, the daily first readings have been from the first five books of the Bible, collectively known as the "Torah" or "Pentateuch." For the Jewish people, these five books are the most revered part of Sacred Scripture, so it is inexcusable for us Christians to be ignorant of the content and significance of these books! When He was growing up, Jesus Himself would have spent many hours reading the Torah and meditating on the words we have been studying these past weeks.
The book of Deuteronomy is especially apt as the Pentateuch's finale because its verses review and recall parts of the other books of the Torah, thereby reminding us that the words of Scripture should be read and re-read. We should take the time to reflect on all of salvation history in order to thank God for His saving work before our own times, because we are the heirs of all the blessings of the past! But that implies that we should also learn as much as we can from the past.
The best known verses of Deuteronomy (30:15-20) are skipped this week because they are included elsewhere in the lectionary at the start of Lent. I encourage you to re-read them now, though, since those verses summarize the end and purpose of all Scripture, which shows us how choosing God and His life and law leads to blessings and the fulfillment of our existence, whereas turning away from God and His life and law leads to death and curses. The right choice is so clear, yet we certainly need God's loving help every day to choose Him every day of our lives!