But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.(Deuteronomy 32:15-18)
We come now to the third stanza of the Song of Moses, (the first and second being vs 1-6, Ascribe Greatness to our God and vs 7-14, The Tender Care of God for Israel). In spite of the abundant and tender care given to the chosen nation, by God the Father, we are told by the spirit of Prophecy that Jeshuran would wax fat and kick…. .
Jeshuran is the special name given by God to His people, it means “Upright One“, and it reveals His ideal for the priestly nation. After his description of the victory which the LORD had given him, and the many delicious fruits that Israel would be able to eat as a result of God’s favor, we are warned that Jeshuran would wax fat, grow thick and become covered with fatness, like a spoiled calf which kicks at the one who fed him so well!
The blessings, security and abundance of good things would cause Israel to forget God, and to lose the fear of God, and ultimately to forsake him. This was put into the national song, which all of Israel was to learn to sing!
…thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
The Hebrew verbs are stronger than the KJV suggests; forsook could be rendered, pushing away, or abandoning in indifference, (Vayitosh). Lightly esteemed (va’nabel) contains the Hebrew root NBL which means fool. Va’nabel means to treat one as a fool.
Who did Jeshuran push away in contempt? God, lit Eloah, the God of Majesty and might! WHo was it that Israel treated contemptuously as a fool? The Rock of his salvation!
The song speaks of this defection in the past tense, the ‘prophetic perfect’, as if it had already happened, but it was composed at the very dawn of Israel’s long history.
They would forsake the Rock! The faithful, reliable, unmovable, unchanging One who had been their salvation. They would take Him for granted, and the good things He had given to them, would only make them fat and forgetful. Soon they would become wanton and lusty, as on a full stomach, and put themselves to the service of false gods, demons.
They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.
Israel is God’s wife, there was a covenant which all of the prophets would call the wayward nation to return to, as one would counsel a straying wife ;
Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:(Jeremiah 3:14)
O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.( Hosea 14:1-4)
The “strange gods” were rivals for Israel’s affections. The worship of foreign ‘deities’ which could neither save, nor even speak, was an affront, and insult to the one who had taken such tender care of them. They were utter abominations for the worship of them involved the most disgusting and degrading practices.
The jealousy of the LORD for Israel was holy, He alone has exclusive rights to the worship and affection of the Holy people. It was He who sought them, redeemed, and wedded them to Himself under the canopy on the holy mountain. How could they bring these abominations into the marriage?
They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not…
False gods are actually demons. To traffic in any spirituality but the worship of the only true God is to consort with the enemy of all that is good and holy, for behind every false God is a Demon. Baal, Ashteroth, Chemosh,Moloch may be the ancient names of the detestable gods of the heathen, but behind these “Nothings” is something, an evil entity, a fallen Angelic intelligence, an unholy being. To traffic with such is to defile oneself deeply. False worship is actually Satan worship and their can be no concord between Christ and Belial.
…to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not…
Notice that the emphasis is upon novelty. The people would become bored, restless and full, and would hunger for the new and unique. They would not want to remain in the everlasting Rock, their lusts would entice them to seek the exotic. Is this not the appeal in the formerly Christian West, to Zen Bhuddism, or to Islam? Has this not even led Christian congregations into mysticism such as the Toronto Blessing or Spiritualism>Moses predicted that the sin of Israel would manifest as boredom; fulness would lead to boredom and boredom to restless wantonness, and eventually into spiritual adultery,
Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee. Jeshuran grew careless and overfed, sated by the good things the LORD had given him, soon would forget God, and seek after other ‘gods’ who would make no moral demands upon him, and of whose worship all of the sins of the flesh were deeply involved.
Moses’ song predicts that eventually Jeshuran, the ‘upright nation’, would kick at God himself ,(The cross of Jesus?), like an angry but well fed heifer. Thus the sin of Israel would reach a climax and expose the nation to all of the sanctions of the covenant.