April 7, 2014
Deuteronomy 33:25, 27
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
When considering scripture, there are interpretations and applications. Interpreting a Bible passage is when you seek out the original intended meaning in the scriptural and historical context. Application, on the other hand, is when you apply the principle of a particular scripture to whatever situation you are facing.
Deuteronomy 33:25 and 27 has long been one of my favorite passages, and part of these verses I have committed to memory: “…as your days, so shall your strength be….The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms….” The interpretation of these verses has to do with God’s prophecy concerning the twelve tribes of Israel. In this instance He is referring to the tribe of Ashur in verse 25, but to the entire nation of Israel in verse 27. Here is the whole context of the featured scripture, Deuteronomy 33:24 through 29:
And of Asher he [Moses] said: “Asher is the most blessed of sons; let him be
favored by his brothers, and let him dip his foot in oil. Your sandals shall be
iron and bronze; as your days, so shall your strength be. There is no one like
the God of Jeshurun, who rides the heaven to help you, and in His excellency
on the clouds. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the ever-
lasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, and will say,
‘Destroy!’ Then Israel shall dwell in safety, the fountain of Jacob alone, in a
land of grain and new wine; His heavens shall also drop dew. Happy are you,
O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, the shield of your help
and the sword of your majesty! Your enemies shall submit to you, and you
shall tread down their high places.”
Yes, it has to do with Ashur and Israel, and today’s blog is not long enough to begin explaining the proper interpretation of this passage. But if we take the featured parts of the verses first mentioned – Deuteronomy 33:25 and 27 – I think you will see the application is very profitable!
• Deuteronomy 33:25 – “…as your days, so shall your strength be….” The strength
mentioned here can refer to physical strength, mental, emotional, spiritual – whatever is needed to face the task at hand! This is so encouraging to me. No matter what the day may bring, I will be able to get through it! And that is not because I am a person of great strength, but because I have a strong and mighty God!
Paul said much the same thing in II Corinthians 12:7 through 10. He had beseeched God in three seasons of prayer to take away his infirmity, his “…thorn in the flesh…” (verse 7) – perhaps a chronic problem with his eyes (see Galatians 4:15 and 6:11). But God told him, “No, I won’t, Paul. If I take away your thorn in the flesh, you will be lifted up in pride and be useless to Me!” (see verse 7) And in verse 9 God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in [your] weakness.” Paul’s response? Verses 9 and 10:
Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power
of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in
reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake. For
when I am weak, then I am strong.
Did you get that? When you recognize your own weakness, then you must rely on God’s strength – especially in that weak area – which is more than enough to make up for your lack! “…when I am weak, then I am strong.” Be strong in Christ’s strength! But this is not the only secret in our scripture for having Strength to Face the Day.
• Deuteronomy 33:27 – “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the
everlasting arms….” Not only can you find in Jesus Christ Strength to Face the Day, you can also have security in Him as you apply that strength to your particular situation. And it seems when you feel safe and secure, you can concentrate the available strength more powerfull1y! Jesus always works better through a mind and heart at peace than when someone is going in six different directions at once!
Is it any wonder why Paul exclaimed in Romans 8:31: “If God is for us, who can be against us? ” And also in Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Can you see why I memorized this scripture early in my Christian life? It has helped me through many hard times.
How about you? Do you have Strength to Face the Day? And do you focus that strength from resting in His everlasting arms? Claim Deuteronomy 33:25 and 27 for your own life. It will produce for you great blessing!