These words are among the last ever spoken by Moses under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Not only as a man of God, but also as a seasoned veteran of life, he has something to say. Moses has lived nearly twice as long as the average man. He has experienced the whole spectrum of the colors of life. He has been a prince and a pauper, a servant and virtually a king. He was a shepherd of sheep, and now he is a shepherd of men. He has seen and known Jehovah in a manner unlike any man before – or since. There is not a man of his generation yet alive and only a couple from the generation which immediately followed him could say “amen” to these comments. He has lived through the desert wilderness and through the water of the Red Sea. He has seen virtually all that there is to see.
And now this man, whose eyes, mind and heart are as sharp as they have ever been, reaches back and draws some forward-looking conclusions about God and about Israel. Since Jehovah God is the same yesterday, today and forever, these things about Him are still true. And although we are not Hebrews and the church is not the successor to Israel, it is not illegal to apply these things about the Lord to the children of God’s election today.
Do you see the word “Jeshurun”? Sound it out; let it roll off your tongue; it is a wonderful word. In this case it is obviously a name – a name applied to the nation of Israel. It is a rare word and a rare name in our Bibles – or anywhere else for that matter. In the Greek version of the Old Testament, the LXX, this word is sometimes translated “beloved.” But its Hebrew root is found in the word “righteous” or “upright.”
Balaam, an enemy of Israel and a traitor to God, prayed that he might die the death of the righteous. In the LXX version of Numbers 23:10, he asked to die the death of “Jeshurun.” Which, by the way, he did not die. In Isaiah 44:1-2 the KJV reads: “Yet now hear, O JACOB my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, JESURUN, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.” We remember that Jacob was a slippery, slimy sinner – until Lord broke his spirit. After his repentance and new birth, his name was changed to “Israel.” “Israel” means: “Prince of God,” or “Prince with God.” And “Jeshurun” was given to Israel, referring to the new nature which had been given to him by the grace of God. Jeshurun is the name of the Lord’s chosen, regenerated, redeemed people.
“And such were some of you, but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” Learn that name, it is your name if you are a Christian; use that name – “Jeshurun.” It speaks of someone beloved of God because righteousness has been given to him by divine grace. It is a nickname for those who have been justified. These last words of Moses may be taken by any of the tribe of Jeshurun. In the few words of verses 26 and 27 there is far more than we could ever cover in one short message. But at the least let us begin.
There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun.
Despite the glorious new name – this is not about any of US – it is about the GOD of Jeshurun.
There used to be a day when every nation had its panoply of gods. With every passing day the United States is joining the rest of that league of nations. Our nation is fast becoming more heathen than any heathen nation has ever been. We, as a society, are doing our best to be a people without any kind of god, and at the same time becoming polytheists, reverencing every kind of God. After being religious on Sunday, most Americans want to be heathen in their day-to-day lives. And as a result this statement of Moses doesn’t mean as much today as it once did.
Never-the-less, the God of Jeshurun – “Jehovah” by name – is incomparably beyond any and every other deity. In the imaginations of fallen man some of their pretended gods are as powerful as our Elohim. But in reality no society’s mythology has ever described a false god like the one true and living God. The God of Jeshurun has proven Himself to be not only powerful – but omnipotent. The gods of the Egyptians transformed stakes into snakes just as Moses did, but only the God of Jeshurun held back the Red Sea and the Jordan River. The gods of the Greeks appeared to eclipse the sun, but the God of Jeshurun made the sun to stand still. The gods of Norse were said to have anvils on which to \sect fs22 forge lightning bolts, but the God of Jeshurun needed only to speak ligtning into existence and direct them to their targets with His eye. The mythologies of the heathen are filled with fanciful stories about their deities. They visited with men, co-habited with women and often looked like animals. Some, if not actually most, were hideous to look upon. Like the 500 pound man of the Hindus, and the 20 breasted woman of the Greeks. Some had man-like heads and chests, but fish, or horse, or snake-like bodies. And often their behavior was more like that of a criminal, lunatic or beast.
Contrast those with the God of the Bible. Jehovah’s character, as portrayed in the Bible is the most beautiful and perfect conceivable. He is depicted as both righteous and merciful; a just God and yet a Saviour of sinners. My soul demands that I reverence a being greater than myself. And evolution doesn’t supply the need that my soul requires. Neither do any of the gods of the heathen. And the poor atheist is foolish and blind; he is worse than the mole or the bat. Drive down the middle of this valley at 7:30 in the morning and behold its beauty. There must have been a creator to form a place like this. Or spend a few minutes in awe watching the little child and then tell me there is no God.
Think once again about the universe: At the speed of light, 186,000 miles per second, sunlight takes 8½ minutes to reach earth. And that same light takes another 5½ hours to reach the farthest planet in our solar system. After leaving our solar system that same sunlight must travel for 4½ years to reach the closest star. But that closest star is one of 200 billion stars in our galaxy. And science says that there are between 100 billion such galaxies beyond our own. If you are overwhelmed with the grandeur and majesty of the universe, you with say with David: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which Thou hast ordained, what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou visitest him?”
If you think that in the vastness of the universe God might forget about us, you need only remember – Scripture also says: “Yet thou hast made man but a little lower than the angels, and has crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over all the works of thy hand; Thou has put all things under his feet.” The realization of both these things should bring tears to our eyes and awe into our hearts.
But the thing which most sets apart the God of Jeshurun is His “holiness.” It is an indisputable fact that “there is none holy as the Lord.” Not only is the Lord good, and everything that the Lord does is good, but there is no reason even to think that he would EVER do anything evil. Whereas the gods of the Greeks and Romans, Persians and Pakistanis, carried out horrible practical jokes and crimes against humanity, it is impossible to lay the charge of any such thing at the feet of Jehovah. The gods of the heathen may have been considered frightening and unapproachable at times. But it wasn’t because of their holiness. Rather it was just the opposite; it was their fickleness and their utter meanness – wickedness. He who is the true God is unapproachable and awesome because of His character of perfection. Jehovah is absolutely holy and inaccessible by any creature who is not absolutely holy himself. So the Biblical exhortation is: “Be ye holy for I am holy.” Paul tells us, “Seek peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see God.”
The word “holy” literally refers to “separateness.” God is holy, that is, separate and distinct from sin and sinners. Where He abides there is no sin. “There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun.” Only Jeshurun people can approach this holy God. And that is true only because God has graciously chosen to make them “Jeshurun.” “Jeshurun” is “Jeshurun.” – upright and righteous, because God has made him so. “There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun.”
Who rideth upon the heaven in thy help.
It is a wonderful thing that God is so wonderful. He should be and shall be praised throughout eternity for His majesty, grace and holiness. But there is a sense in which He is worthy of such praise because He has chosen to BLESS us.
I want you to do something with me. I want you to take a deep breath with me right now; breathe deeply. What you drew into your lungs was a mixture of oxygen and other gases. And while you took that breath, so did a few billion other people. Over in Irkustk, Russia the members of God’s church in that community breathed the same basic mixture of oxygen and other gases. And Raul Enidi was breathing the same kind of air in Romania. And Mrs. Mike Meredith was breathing the same not far from Perth, Australia. Our globe is blanketed with life-sustaining air, reaching up several thousand feet above us.
Now think about your computer – even your phone. With a few key strokes you can link your computer to information from millions of other computers. I don’t even have to type for that information, I can just talk to my phone. We can access information from a computer in Tokyo, or Johannesburg, or Helsinki while we never leave our home. Air and information from around world, are drawn right into our lives almost instantaneously.
But that is nothing compared to “the God of Jeshurun.” Information is nothing more than that – ideas and words. But our God is both omnipresent and omnipotent – He can supply any need, and overcome any problem.
“The God of Jeshurun rideth upon the heavens in our help.” He is more present with us than the air we breathe or the cloud which our computers access. The gods of the heathen are made of imagination – and wood, silver and gold. But the “God of Jeshurun” is real, universal, more instantaneous and more powerful than the air we breathe or the information we access. Lay aside for a moment the poetic liberty of Moses describing Jehovah riding upon the heavens. He is not riding a white stallion, or a sterling silver space shuttle. He is not in a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer. Or being drawn with a rope behind the sun or a passing comet. The universe, with all of its billions of galaxies is contained within our God. There is not an atom of oxygen or a molecule of air that is not directed by the Lord. There is not a drop of rain that isn’t known, bar-coded, ordained and aimed by God. If the Lord shakes the earth, buildings come down and roads are torn up. And if He doesn’t want a tsunami generated by the earthquake there will be no tsunami.
And this “God of Jeshurun” rides upon the heavens in order to bless Jeshurun. Hebrews 13:5-6 says, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” “There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun.” “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusteth in Him and I am helped” – Psalm 28:7. “I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me; thou art my help and my deliverer” – Psalm 40:7. “Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” – Isaiah 41:10.
We live in a very dangerous world. There are earthquakes which strike without warning. Volcanos awaken and send people into eternity. There is the evil which wicked men inflict upon other men. On the news the other night I heard of a man who shot to death his brother and his wife, then he stabbed their children to death and then set fire to their house. After that he went to his own house and set fire to it, with his own wife and children in it. He was hoping to deflect attention away from the first murders. We live in a dangerous world. But I live in peace because I know that the God of Jeshurun rides upon the heavens in my help. Isn’t that a glorious thought?
But the God of Jeshurun is not the God of everyone.
Oh, He is the God of the universe and as such He rules over all. But He is not the blessed God and blessing God except to those of Jeshurun.
If “Jeshurun” means “righteous” the question boils down to this: Are you righteous? If the Lord has said, “without holiness no man shall see me,” how can any of us hope that He that rideth upon the heavens is our help? I know that when the Epistle to the Romans says “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” it is speaking the truth. How then can I be Jeshurun?
Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Verse 10 adds, “There is none righteous, no not one.” How can the people of Romans 3 ever be “Jeshurun?” The answer is in verses 21-22; “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” The scriptures go on: 4:3-4. “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
The Judge of the quick and dead becomes the God of Jeshurun when we humbly repent of our sin before Him and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for cleansing and forgiveness. Scripture says, “As many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the Sons of God.” Practically speaking, the subject boils down to whether or not we want to be “Jeshurun” – “righteous.” The natural soul loves to live in its defilement and sin. But the soul touched by grace yearns for the righteousness of the Lord. With Christ as our Saviour, Jehovah becomes our “God of Jeshurun” riding upon the Heavens to save us. Has Christ Jesus become your Saviour? Repent before God, and put your faith in the Christ who died on the Cross.