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D'varim/Deuteronomy 31:4 And the L-rd will do to them as He did to Sichon and Og
Notice how the verb appears twice in the text; yet on the first occasion it is translated in the future tense, while on the second it clearly relates to the past. Both verbs are in Affix form, indicated by the qametz vowel under the first root letter, and the verb is normally translated as either 'to do' or 'to make'. The difference is the at the front of the first usage: this is called a vav reversive and inverts the sense of tense from past to future. So here we get a clear statement: what G-d has done before, He not only can but will do again.
Moshe is making this statement towards the end of his recapitulation of the laws of the Sinai covenant with the generation that is about to enter the Land. These people have grown up with Moshe as leader; for most of them, they have not known a time when Moshe was not leader - but he has announced that he is not going to be leader any more - he is just about to step down and die. How do the people feel? The only leader that they have ever known is making his resignation speech - what will happen now?Hirsch comments: "you will not miss me, it is G-d and not me Who is really your leader and Who will also lead you in the new future that lies before you". The people had seen what had happened to Sichon and Og, the Amorite kings; Moshe tells them: this was G-d, not me. Just because the human leader is about to change doesn't alter the fact that G-d is the real leader and He does not change.
During the last meal that He shared with the talmidim before the crucifixion, Yeshua set up a similar situation: "I will be with you only a little longer ... where I am going, you cannot come" (John 13:33, CJB). In the verses that follow, Yeshua first of all gives the disciples the new command to keep on loving each other, urges them to obey His commandments - which effectively come from the Father, from G-d - and then makes to important (and parallel to those given by Moshe) statements: G-d will keep on doing things, and G-d will provide a leader. The victories over Sichon and Og are paralleled in the works that Yeshua did and would continue to do through the disciples: "whoever trusts in Me will also do the works I do! Indeed, he will do greater ones because I am going to the Father" (John 14:12, CJB). As G-d provided a new leader in Joshua, so the Ruach is to lead the talmidim, "But the Counselor, the Ruach HaKodesh, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you everything; that is, He will remind you of everything I have said to you" (John 14:26, CJB). We stand in the good of this today: what G-d has done before, He will do again and continue to do forever.
Further Study: 2 Chronicles 20:1-26; Romans 8:26-27
Application: The miracles and provision that G-d did in the past for our people, He will and does do today. The victories that He won over the Amorites, that Yeshua won over sin and death, He can and does still win in our lives, if we ask and allow Him. Ask, that you may receive!
© Jonathan Allen, 2005
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