What a beautiful picture Moses paints at the beginning of his parting speech. I’m sure we would all like our words to settle on people gently and reach as broadly as a rain shower. But pay attention to the subject of Moses’ proclamation—the name of the Lord.
Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak;
And let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
Let my teaching drop as the rain,
My speech distill as the dew,
As the droplets on the fresh grass
And as the showers on the herb.
For I proclaim the name of the Lord;
Ascribe greatness to our God!
The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are just;
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Righteous and upright is He. (Deuteronomy 32:1-4)
The little phrase, “the name of the Lord,” is saturated with meaning beyond the simple verbal label, Yahweh (or Jehovah as some versions have it). “The name of the Lord” is shorthand for the entire person of God: the character and attributes of God and the actions that are an expression of His character. Moses immediately singled out God’s greatness, His perfect work, His just ways, and His righteousness. By then, Moses had seen God deliver Israel from slavery and repeatedly provide for the nation in the wilderness.
Each of God’s names tells of a part of who He is or what He does. Together all the names of God form a broad mosaic that is about the best description of God we can have in this life. Moses mentioned two names for God: the Rock and the God of faithfulness. Moses testified that God is stable and reliable.
I say “about the best description” because there is a better one. Jesus came in the flesh to demonstrate what God is like and to teach us how to live in His will. Jesus was a living proclamation of “the name of the Lord.”
What do you and I communicate? Are our statements fluffy, like summer rain falling from clouds but evaporating before it reaches the ground? Do they hammer down like torrents in a thunderstorm, causing people to run for cover? Or are we devoting every word and the entire message of our lives to be an expression of the character and will of God just as Moses and Jesus did?
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