John Rizzo, Care Ministries and Freedom in Christ
These readings are both out of the “Moses songbook.” We don’t often think of Moses as a songwriter like Bob Dylan, but here we have this “Song of Moses” in Deuteronomy and the “Prayer of Moses” from Psalms, the Hebrew songbook for worship. (By the way, it’s the oldest Psalm in the book). Although they’re different in tone, these readings have similarities. They both open and close with praise and worship, and have God’s anger in the middle.
In Moses’ song, God’s anger with Israel’s idolatry is fearsomely described. This song is part history and part prophecy of future judgment (that came to pass in the days of Isaiah). Moses urges the people to take these warnings to heart (Deut 32:45).
In Moses’ prayer, he’s pleading for the people. What strikes me is how short our lives are (Ps 90:5-6). We’re like grass. Life is short and eternity is long. We need to invest our precious time in what matters for eternity. We can’t afford to squander it on idolatry. We need to grow in wisdom (Ps 90:12).
Are we practicing idolatry? We’re probably not bowing down to a stone statue named Bobo. But what about modern day idols such as money, food, sports, possessions? Our greed, gluttony, and quest for pleasure can easily knock God out of the first-place spot he deserves. I know I’ve been guilty of this too often. Are you as crazy about God as you are for the Patriots? God is a jealous god. He wants first place in our affections.
Thinking how God must feel reminds me of when my two daughters were little. We had a safety gate at the top of the stairs so they wouldn’t fall down. When I came home from work they’d be up against it, excitedly shaking it, saying “Daddy’s home! Daddy’s home!” No matter what kind of day I had, I was on top of the world, knowing I was that high in their affections and they showed it. As they grew up, I was saddened as friends and other things began to compete for their affections, eventually to the point where my coming home was nothing special. I know this isn’t a perfect analogy. My daughters are adults now and still love me, but it was great being seated on the throne of their hearts while it lasted.
Our Father wants our hearts. He wants us so much that He sent His son to satisfy His just wrath against our sin so we could have a relationship with Him. Thank God, Christ paid the price, so we wouldn’t have to. The least I can do is give Him my heart and enjoy some quality time with Him.