Coming to the end of Deuteronomy now and chapter 33 is just gorgeous describing the blessings on each of the tribes of Israel. Moses begins by trying to capture the glory of God appearing over and among the Israelites in verses 2 and 3. I’ve just spent a long time with verse 2 in various translations and the Blue Letter Bible mainly because of the last phrase
Moses: The Eternal came from Mount Sinai:
He glowed like the dawn over Mount Seir;
He shone like the sun over Mount Paran;
He arose in the middle of His chosen ones, gathered in their tens of thousands.
The law was a flame in His right hand
The meaning of the last line is uncertain in the Hebrew and google was not my friend leading me in circles. I thought about the law as a flame, the means by which righteousness could be obtained, the means by which they could have communion with, contact with a holy, glorious God. I also thought of His righteousness being a blazing light beyond anything mortal man could comprehend. Please meditate, consider, study and give me your ideas or insights cos that verse is not the main point today.
Moses: Naphtali, you’re satisfied with favor and filled with the Eternal’s blessing.
For me, of all the blessings Moses speaks in the chapter, this verse was the most profound.
Satisfied with favour… consider that phrase for a moment. They are satisfied by God’s favour on them and don’t seek anything beyond it. It has come down on them and satisfied them like a cool glass of water on a hot day. There’s a subtle difference between the two but both are wonderful.
Imagine not seeking anything beyond God’s approval. Imagine if knowing that He was pleased was enough let you sleep securely, enough to put a bounce in your steps, enough to have you look at your companions and smile and nod. Imagine if His will was everything you wanted to know and wanted to do. Imagine if after a day of no recognition or reward living a life walking with God His word came saying ‘well done, I love you’ and that was enough to remove all the aches and pains and woes and sorrows, enough to let you go out and do it again tomorrow knowing it might again be the only reward you got.
Filled with the Eternal’s blessing … consider that phrase for a moment. How spectacular to be filled with His blessing so that we take it with us wherever we go. We fulfill the word of God when He said to Abraham I bless you to be a blessing Things are filled in God’s world to be emptied and refilled, pressed down and flowing over. We aren’t given things for ourselves but for others. The fruit we bear is for Him and for others, the love we are given is to return to Him and be given to others. Even the lives we have are to be spent in His service ministering to others.
Imagine if all you wanted was to be filled with God’s blessing so that you could bless those around you. Imagine if every thought you had was ‘how could you love in this situation?’ Imagine if you never thought of yourself but always of God and those whom He loves because you know that His blessing will keep you and protect you and His favour is enough.
If you read Deuteronomy 33 some of the tribes get longer blessings but the simplicity of Naphtali’s is misleading – it’s a testimony to something I long for because it is God’s promise to those who seek Him.