Israel’s Ingratitude and God’s Wrath

Deuteronomy 32:15-43

In contrast to God’s steadfastness, Israel, Moses predicts, will become accustomed to God’s blessings and rebel. The nation will abandon God’s ways and provoke Him with idolatry. Then God will hide His face and cease to offer His protection for the threats of the outside world. Famine, suffering and war will besiege the people.


Moses says God will threaten to wipe out the nation, as he did during Moses’s own time, but ultimately He will refrain, if but to prevent the nations from believing they defeated God.


Moses then reminds the people there is always hope. God will relent of the suffering of His people, and turn against their enemies. He will demonstrate to the world that He alone possesses the power to alter the universe. He will rain havoc and death upon those who rose up against Israel and avenge them. Moses advises the nations of the world to sing the praises of the Children of Israel, for those who stand against the Israelites will ultimately suffer.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think God will seek retribution from the nations if He is the one Who decided the Israelites should suffer at their hands?

Comments ( 13 )

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  • Damian Sco

    Didn't you answer it yourself? : "but to prevent the nations from believing they defeated God."

  • Richard M Scott

    Free Will. The nations could have chosen not to go along with this retribution, but because f their disdain for God , He requires retribution from them. It is as it was when God Hardened the heart of Pharaoh. He then also punished Pharaoh and wiped Egypt's army however this time He is doing it on a world wide scale. My question is what evidence exists that the Jews of Germany had forsaken God to such an extent that He brought the Holocaust upon Israel? Is there some history we can read about that could have so angered God in 1939 -1945 where Jews en masse stopped believing in God and started looking toward other gods? Or is there some culminating point in history that added up to such a point that God's retribution was justified in the Holocaust?

  • Susan Kerbel

    God meant it for the good to turn them to him , but the nation's meant it for evil

  • Nadejda

    the prophet ISAIAH have the answer for this:Yes our Lord God decided that the Israelites should suffer at nations hand,but He can not decided at nations heart. I mean: God gave freedom of choice to anyone: so the nations can choose to have mercy on Israel. How can nations think that God who swore to love Israel forever can look at there suffering without compassion? So where is the nations compassion towards Israelites? Where is the nation humility? Are they better than Israel ? But,they did not have mercy, they thought that God abandoned them so they make fun of them and repress them…For that reason God will seek retribution from the nations.

  • Israel should be the light of the world. When Israel goes wrong, the light will gradually be extinguised. To return Israel back to be the light of the world G-d sent nations to punish. Why ? In order that their focus is set on Israel and her ways, especially to the times that Israel was a happy country. These nations should be struck by that fact and convert themselves. esp. not taking over the bad example of Israel at that time. When they do not convert, these nations get the punishment G-d meant for israel.(when Israel does return from their wicked ways.) So the involvement in the punishment of Israel is the chance for those nations to change their unholy ways. (It is almost the same when we talked about about the consequences that children OF BAD PARENTS will be punished till the 3rd and 4th generation (IF THEY FOLLOW THEIR PARENTS IN WICKED WAYS )

  • Well, my thoughts not very different from the above; it is because some vessels were made for honor and some for dishonor, Yahweh is the potter.

  • It is a frightening thing to have the Lord take away His protection. I don't believe He makes the enemy harm Isreal, He just takes away His protect and allows the evil to come. Evil is still evil. His Word is so important to follow, it is moral, just, and HaShem cannot go against Himself, ever.

    • Damian Sco

      Yes I think you are onto something. This is a war between Hashem and Lucifer having turned into Satan. The Lord would use Israel , a small powerless country, to show the World and all those who follow Satan that the Light of the World comes through the Messiah IF you follow Him. If you don't, then exactly so! God will no longer provide protection from Satan. It is not the Wrath of Hashem that we are seeing directly happening to Israel (although God's Wrath is real) but the effects of Satan HE is allowing to visit upon the nation. Satan wants to rule Earth! It is that simple. He has no place else to go now!

      There was a time that Satan could walk up to heaven and visit as he did when Job was under the gun, but since Jesus died for our sins, Satan's entree to Heaven ENDED! It was finished!. Now, exiled to Earth with the rest of us, Satan is working through the cracks that our disobedience to God is creating, in hopes of still winning the battle between Light and Darkness.

  • Sheila

    Commentary — Apologetics Bible —For God to destroy His covenant nation would open Him and Israel to the charge that He was unreliable. It was His people not He that would suffer the brunt of ridicule should it appear that He had abandoned them. Out of concern for them the Lord must keep His word——- thought that God’s great name and character were also at stake.

    • That’s a great point, Sheila. Moses himself offers much the same argument after the sin of the golden calf to convince God not to destroy the Israelites and start over again with him.
      The issue is discussed at length, actually, regarding the Egyptians. God tells Abraham that his descendants will be strangers in a strange land for 400 years, and when He takes them out, they will leave with riches and God will punish their oppressors. Several commentators are troubled by the seeming injustice of punishing the Egyptians for fulfilling God’s will. Nachmanides suggests that while God decreed the Israelites would suffer, he never indicated who should impose that suffering, or to what degree, and for that the voluntary perpetrators are judged.

      • Don Mueller

        I also see where He turns that which is intended for evil into good. When they relocated to Egypt they were 70, set apart in the best part chosen by the son – Joseph. This allowed them to live as their father Jacob/Israel instructed them, away from the Canaanites evil distractions and isolated from the Egyptians. They did come away with the riches (back wages?)of Egypt & got the opportunity to Hear and see the Glory of the Almighty for about 40 years (no planting, watering, weeding, harvesting, or even cooking). The shoes didn’t even wear out, …and…Not even task masters!
        It seems that they fell into idolatry after Jacob & Joseph’s passing, hence the enslavement. Then, later, their failure to honor the Shemittah also resulted in 70 years away from that good land. But, HaShem keeps His Word, HalleluJah! He is Pure, Good, Light (no shadow), and Just! Vengeance is His and the scales will be balanced.

  • Herman

    Because of the Almighty’s love for His People on behalf of His commandments they should be punished, but woe to those who make the apple of His eye suffer. It is more or less their fate to do so…(?)

    • Possibly, but that doesn’t seem very fair…why should someone be punished for something they had no choice but to do? I’ve learned some beautiful explanations for this phenomenon which I will share, but first let’s see if anyone else has any ideas.

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