As I write this blog, I am dealing with some annoyances—frustrating dental and ophthalmological annoyances! To ensure you that we can still speak for God amid provocations, like Moses, read on!
Dealing with a toothache the day before you go out-of-town is no fun. Then, when I called my dentist to try to remedy the situation, I was told she is on vacation until next week! Okay, I can deal with that. I might just need to see a dentist at my “respite” location!
Furthermore, I am dealing with a floater in my eye. To be specific, I feel like a mosquito or gnat is flying around my right eye all the time. I have even found myself slapping the right side of my face only to find it isn’t a bug flying around, but my floater. Fortunately, I was able to see an ophthalmologist and he said I have a vitreous detachment.
The Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines a vitreous detachment as, the “separation of the posterior part of the vitreous body from the retina due to contraction of the vitreous body that occurs as part of the process of aging and may occur sooner in serious cases of myopia, that is usually accompanied by the presence of floaters often seen as spots or structures resembling cobwebs, and that may result in a torn retina or in retinal detachment.”
The good news—it isn’t a retinal detachment, which may cause a permanent loss of vision. All I have is the separation of the posterior part of the vitreous from the retina.
“It’s caused by AGE”, the ophthalmologist said. GREAT, just another age-related thing to add to my list! He said, “Sometimes these floaters never go away; might go away, might become dull or you just get used to them.”
I found none of those scenarios acceptable! I wanted to hear, “take these drops and the floater will dissolve and disappear in a day or two.”
My eyes are totally important to me. I am a reader. I read all the time! I really mean it—I totally read all the time. I read church bulletins, I read the Bible, I read sermons, I read music lyrics, I read blogs, I read newspapers, I read Facebook, I read Twitter, I read books, I read tombstones, I read obituaries, I read pamphlets, and sometimes I even read instructions. Now when I try to read, I can’t concentrate because this “big black mosquito-like” floater is roaming around my right eye.
Now, on to the main topic—I wanted direction on how to pray for some upcoming speaking opportunities, so I went to my Bible, picked up where I left off, and the good Lord gave me directions on how to pray in the second and third verse I read—eliminating a vast period of “mosquito reading.” But as happens so often, God shared His wise and sound wisdom with me. I just love it when He shares His Word in such a personal way.
Deuteronomy 32:2-3 said,
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!
These verses are part of The Song of Moses. Moses worked hard and consistently for the Lord up until his dying moment. In Deuteronomy 31:23-30, Joshua is commissioned and was told that he should bring the sons of Israel into the land which God swore to them. Then in the assembly of Israel, Moses shared a song—some say a prayer—appealing to the heaven and earth concerning the important things he was about to say as he was closing his life and earthly ministry for the Lord. Moses did not want his final words to be his words. He wanted them to be God’s words—from the Holy Spirit of God. For that, he prayed.
Quite in contrast to previous speaking engagements, Moses’ brother Aaron was his spokesperson. This time around, Moses prepared this final talk fully aware that he will be speaking directly from his own mouth and not from Aaron’s. Moses’ sister Miriam and his brother Aaron had already passed away when this prayer was formalized and spoken by Moses.
Just as we speak for our Lord, let us pray that our words will be words from God. As we witness for Him, as we teach our Sunday School classes, as we preach our sermons, as we uplift our neighbors, and in whatever unique situation the Lord puts us, we must proclaim God’s greatness in all we speak.
Did I mention previously that I read commentaries too? I do!
From Deuteronomy 32:2-3
Let my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew.
Benson’s Commentary says, may “his words which were sent from heaven to them, sink into their hearts and soften them, as the rain doth the earth, and so make them fruitful in obedience.”
Moses wanted his “speech”; some versions call it “doctrine” to refresh like the rain. For that same reason, God wants our words to refresh others, so let’s pray for that.
As the droplets on the fresh grass and as the showers on the herb.
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible states, that the tender herb and grass, “may denote the multitude of persons to whom the Gospel would come, and be made useful . . .”
For I proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God!
Moses wants the people to know that all the important things he wants to share with them before his death are spoken in order to give complete honor, glory, and prominence to the LORD.
From here Moses proceeds to speak God’s words by the power of the Holy Spirit. Moses absolutely wanted the people to know that the song/prayer he was about to say were God’s words spoken through Him.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if every time we spoke and/or represented Jesus Christ, we knew our words come from God’s spirit?
Main thoughts from John McGill’s Commentary: Deuteronomy 32:2-3
To whom was Moses speaking?
- Those needing salvation
- Sensible sinners
- Tender consciences / Newborn babes . . . little children; who are just springing up in the grass
- Righteous people
- Perverse and crooked people
When we speak to others about the Lord, let us remember to whom we are speaking to and guide our words to meet their needs.
Why did Moses compare his last speaking engagement to rain/dew?
Because . . .
- Rain comes from Heaven
- Rain is a gift from God
- Rain falls by divine direction
- Rain represents the Lord’s will and pleasure with a fulness of spiritual blessings and promises
- Rain moistens and softens a hard heart
- Rain refreshes and revives the drooping spirit, and
- Rain makes the barren souls fruitful
How humbling would it be, if when we are called to speak for the Lord, that our words would provoke peoples’ hearts to be refreshed, revived, and softened as if by rain or dew?
What attributes did Moses have when speaking to the people?
- He proclaimed the name of the Lord
- He ascribed greatness to God
- He shared openly and publicly
- He shared faithfully
- He wanted people to know that the words he was about to speak were coming from God, not himself
Let us claim boldness and confidence when we share God’s word with others. Cleanse yourself, commit yourself to the Lord, and ask Him to speak through you.
In this “speaking engagement,” Moses knew he was close to the end of his life as he spoke words of truth to the people. He knew only God’s words would do.
Then Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he, with Joshua the son of Nun. When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, he said to them, “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law. For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life. And by this word, you will prolong your days in the land, which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.” The Lord spoke to Moses that very same day, saying, “Go up to this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab opposite Jericho, and look at the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the sons of Israel for a possession. Then die on the mountain where you ascend, and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people, because you broke faith with Me in the midst of the sons of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, because you did not treat Me as holy in the midst of the sons of Israel. For you shall see the land at a distance, but you shall not go there, into the land which I am giving the sons of Israel.” (Deuteronomy 32:44-52)
The next time you are called on to speak for our Lord, pretend it is the last time you may have the opportunity for God to use you and pray to be filled to the brim with His Holy Spirit. Pray that your words will fall upon the congregation, class, friends, and family in such a powerful way that idle words will not proceed out of your mouth—only words that will lead the listeners to God’s truth, holiness, grace, mercy, and salvation.
I am praying this for my next speaking engagement. I want to renew my mind, use my spiritual gifts according to the grace given to me, love who I am speaking to, and as my pastor recently said, “Serve with excellence and passion.” (Read Romans 12)
Unfortunately, I will probably still have that annoying floater in my eye the next time I speak. My prayer for that is that if my annoying mosquito-like flash shows up, it will block out the person who might have fallen asleep during my talk!
Oh yes, that is quite probable. Have I mentioned I speak from 2:45-3:45 p.m. after a big lunch? Yikes!
And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God. (Acts 19:8)
Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:11)
“When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me. (John 15:26)
Lord, I dedicate my life to You. Allow me to speak Your words and only Your words as I have opportunities to speak for You. Take away all pride and self-centeredness from my heart. Give me humility and sincerity. Thank you for providing each and every opportunity to speak and let me recognize them as privileges from You. Thank you, Lord. In Your precious name, I pray. Amen.
Biblegateway. Benson Commentary and Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible. Biblegateway.com. Accessed 17 July 2018.
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. Vitreous Detachment. m-w.com. Accessed 17 July 2018.
NASB unless otherwise noted.
Edited by E Johnson
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