Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Song of Moses: Bible Comment on Deuteronomy 32 with poem by Emily Dickinson, It Always Felt to Me

Daily Readings
Proverbs 14, Joshua 3, Deuteronomy 32, II Corinthians 9

Daily Text: Deuteronomy 32

Song of Moses
The Song of Moses is an expression of the great Name of God. That is what Moses says he is setting out to sing and that is what he does. Whether he broaches the subject of the just and faithful God, details his five-fold redemptive activity (6b-14), makes his indictments against Israel and her enemies or mounts the vindication of God’s people for God’s own sake, the Name of God is beautifully exalted. While Deuteronomy 32 assumes that Israel will abandon the God who made him and laugh scornfully at God who loves her, this same YHWH, this same steadfastly loving God will ultimately vindicate his own. The God that claimed his name as ‘I will be what I will be’ in Exodus 3:14 brings his name into the present tense in Deuteronomy 32:39 as ‘I, even I, am He.’ There is no other beside Him. In Exodus He had yet to cut the covenant; now it not only has been ‘cut,’ but the Lord has delivered on it and the people are on the threshold of entering the covenanted land. This is indeed a faithful God , let us sing his praises ourselves for His sake.

It Always Felt to Me
Emily Dickinson

It always felt to me—a wrong
To that Old Moses—done—
To let him see—the Canaan-
Without the entering—

And tho’ in soberer moments—
No Moses there can be
I’m satisfied—the Romance
In point of injury—

Surpasses sharper stated—
Of Stephen—or of Paul-
For these—were only put to death—
While God’s adroiter will

On Moses—seemed to fasten
With tantalizing Play
As Boy—should deal with lesser Boy—
To prove ability.

The fault—was doubtless Israel’s—
Myself—had banned the Tribes—
And ushered Grand Old Moses
In Pentateuchal Robes

Upon the Broad Possession
‘Twas little—But titled Him—to see-
Old Man on Nebo! Late as this—
My justice bleeds—for Thee!
Collect for the Day
Blessed is the Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, who shares His wisdom with those who revere Him. [471:697]


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