What Wisdom Would You Impart?*
Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. Deuteronomy 32:3-4
On September 18, 2007, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University delivered his “last lecture.” It generated a global response because the professor, Randy Pausch, had just been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. He was dying, but his lecture focused on living—“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.”
Around 1400 BC, another man gave a series of last lectures. He, too, knew that he would soon die. He could have used the same title Dr. Pausch did, for he also spoke about overcoming obstacles and achieving dreams. His name was Moses and we call his lectures Deuteronomy.
What I find so compelling about Deuteronomy is Moses’ refusal to do what most humans do when they know they are dying: talk about their personal accomplishments and their unfulfilled dreams. Instead, Moses directs his listener’s attention to the “LORD your God [who] carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place” (Deuteronomy 1:31). In the climatic moments of Moses’ final lecture, he refers to God as tsuwr, “the Rock,” five times.
Hundreds of years later, in 1834, an English clergyman, Edward Mote, also paid tribute to “The Rock.” He wrote the lyrics to The Solid Rock: “On Christ the solid rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand.”
In the first chapter of Randy Pausch’s bestseller memoir, The Last Lecture, he asked, “What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance?” Moses and Edward Mote answered that question simply, but emphatically: Cling to the Rock. Hopefully, that is the legacy all of us who love Jesus Christ, the Solid Rock, will leave behind.
What attributes of God is Moses emphasizing when he refers to the Rock in Deuteronomy 32: 4, 15, 18, and 31?
Moses had two memorable experiences with massive boulders. Read Exodus 17:1-7 and Numbers 20:1-13. Paul comments on the Meribah-Kadesh incident in 1 Corinthians 10: 3-4.
David also pays tribute to the Rock in Psalm 18. In what ways is his psalm similar to Moses’ lecture?
To learn more about Edward Mote and The Solid Rock go tohttp://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/m/y/myhopeis.htm
Denise K. Loock
*Note: This devotion appears in a slightly different form in Open Your Hymnal: Devotions That Harmonize Scripture With Song. Order a copy at http://tinyurl.com/ctfxtko