The final section (vv. 39-43) of this song deals with the nature of God and final victory. At the very end, the word atonement suddenly appears. He will “make atonement for his land and people” (v. 43). They would probably think of the Day of Atonement, which is pointing forward to the coming of Jesus Christ. You see, it’s only because of the coming of Jesus Christ that you and I are ever going to escape the judgment which hangs over us. Christ shields us from all wrath; outside of Christ, we are exposed to all wrath. Moses’ great song teaches that judgment is coming, but God provides deliverance from it by making atonement. The people need to find refuge in Him. 

In verse 8 of the fourth section, a universal note is struck when it pictures God as the Most High God who gives to every nation the territory that it is supposed to have. With a very nice turn of phrase Moses says in verse 9, “For the LORD’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance.” Paul refers to verse 8 when he preaches his sermon before the Greek intellectuals on Mars Hill, telling them that God has given all the nations their own portion of land as their inheritance (see Acts 17:26).

I’ve called it a “second song” of Moses because there is an obvious parallel between this song that comes here at the very end of his life, just before the people are to enter the promised land, and the song they sang after they were delivered from Egypt forty years earlier. The song at the beginning of their desert wandering was filled with joy, while the song at the end is filled with warnings. Yet at both the beginning and the end, the people are singing.

We are fighting spiritual battles and we are doing it in a hostile environment. There are citadels of unbelief to be overcome. We need courage to do it, and we get that courage from reading the Bible, from praying, and from being encouraged by one another. We need to encourage one another. Moses is encouraging Joshua, God is encouraging Joshua, Joshua is encouraging the people, and the people are encouraging Joshua. Sometimes, life is relatively easy, but then difficulties come into our lives. We need Christian friends to say to us, “Come on, don’t be afraid now. God will be with you and He will bless you.” That’s a great ministry for any Christian to have. Ask the Lord whom you can encourage to press on. 

Don’t get into the habit of thinking you can retire in the Christian life. You may retire from your job, but as long as you are living, there is work to be done and there is a testimony to bear. This is true of Moses, and he does his work to the very end.