They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation. Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee? (Deuteronomy 32:5-6)
The Song of Moses, given to him by God himself, to impress upon the memory of Israel forever, opens with a contrast. The greatness, faithfulness, perfection and beauty of God is contrasted with the faithless treachery of the chosen people in their dealings with Him who is Holy,Just and Good.
The nation of Israel was created by a miracle, for a barren couple, Abraham and Sarah received strength to concieve a miracle child. The True and living God revealed himself to Abraham, when he was Abram, a moon worshipping Sumerian. God chose Him and blessed He and his miracle son Isaac, granting them favor and blessing in all of their travels.
Isaac had twin sons, Jacob and Esau.God chose Jacob also, calling and blessing him. Jacob had 12 sons, one of which Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt, by his shepherd brothers. God used that act of treachery to preserve the family, bringing them into Egypt during the worldwide famine, and giving them favor with Pharaoh.While in Egypt, the family was isolated, in their own sector, Goshen, where they grew from 70 members, into a nation of more than a million!
With a mighty arm and in great power, God judged Egypt for enslaving the nation, bringing them out of Egypt with great wealth. Out in the wilderness, the LORD married the nation; Israel would be the wife of Jahweh.Under a canopy of glory, he gave them His law, and pledged himself to them there.
Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.(Exodus 19:3-6)
But as the Song of Moses predicts, (from the beginning), Israel would for the most part , only act corruptly towards the Rock, the faithful one who gave her life, and blessing.
But Israel is a microcosm of the entire human race.
David Baron talks about the difficult translating the first five words of verse 5;
The first five words of the fifth verse have been variously rendered and interpreted, and by some commentators have been given up as almost hopeless, because of the great variety of possible interpretations.Yet they are in themselves sinoke enough…
(1) shicheth – “He hath corrupted”; (2) Lo – “to Him”; (3) lo– “not”; (4) banav – “his sons”;(5) Muman- “Their spot”, or “blemish”.
(Israel In The Plan Of God,David Baron, Kregel)
Baron points out that the verb Shecheth means not ony to corrupt, but to destroy, as in Hosea13:9 “O Israel thou hast destroyed thyself., but in me is thine help”. or possibly as the Revised Version renders the same verse; “It is thy destruction,O Israel that thou art against me, against thy help”.
The next phrase lo-Banav means “not his Sons”.
The last word of the five is simply “their blemish”.
The KJV renders this awkwardly in my view- “…their spot is not the spot of his children”.
Baron points out that the Revised version is a better rendering-“They are not his Sons, it is their blemish”.
Though this is written in past and present tense, keep in mind this is prophecy, this is what Moses saw concerning the future of Israel. She would corrupt herself more and more in relation to God, as the centuries progressed, in the face of countless mercies and deliverances, and in spite of the utter reliability of the Rock who saved her time and again, and who called and favored her, Israel would ruin herself. It was all laid out for Moses to see.
Though called, elected and adopted by God, there is no likeness to the Father, Israel does not bear the mark of Sonship, rather they are “A perverse and crooked generation”. This perversion is in the very face of the faithfulness of God, His miracles, provision, favor, love, mercy and goodness.
The Song then asks of the foolish and unwise people,
Is He not thy Father that hath bought thee?
Didn’t Jahweh redeem Her? Hasn’t he purchased her from slavery time and again?
Didn’t Jahweh create her out of nothing? Has He not established her into a mighty nation?
We should all fear God dear reader, for this song isn’t merely the airing of Israel’s sordid history of failure and faithlessness. One cannot appreciate this song unless we realize that Israel is but a microcosm of the human race, and that God’s dealings with her, are a billboard written large of his dealings with all of mankind!