Today our reading includes the last chapter of the Torah (also called the Pentateuch), as well was the shortest chapter in the Bible (Psalm 117). Besides this trivial information, we learn that when the end of Deuteronomy is written, Israel hasn’t seen a prophet who has known God face-to-face like Moses (Deuteronomy 34:10). Whoever wrote this last chapter in Deuteronomy— whether it was Joshua, Ezra, or someone else—we see how important Moses’ work has been in the history of Israel. God has used Moses to deliver Israel from Egypt, to receive the law, to institute the tabernacle, to form the Levitical priesthood, and to prepare Israel to take their land of promise. Moses is believed to have written all of the first five books of the Bible, save this last chapter in Deuteronomy. Moses’ importance to our ability to even read and enjoy the Bible cannot be overstated.
The Hebrew Bible is broken up into three parts, the law (Torah), the history, and the prophets. Congratulations on reading through this first and foundational section of the Bible. Without it, we would make less sense of Jesus’ life, work, and mission, not to mention the overall story God is writing. As we are thankful for Moses, I want to thank you for your work in understanding these first five books of the Bible, which is not always easy. Praise God with me for our almost four-month journey through this section of the Bible. May we continue to hear from God as we move forward.