Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long. Deuteronomy 33:12
I wrote a letter to our children as each became a teenager. In one I talked about our identity in Christ, remembering that when I was a teenager, I felt unsure of myself, lacking confidence. I had to learn that I was God’s beloved—His child. I said in the letter, “Knowing who you are comes down to knowing Whose you are.” For when we understand that God has created us and we commit to following Him, we can be at peace with who He’s made us to be. And we also know that He changes us to be more like Him each day.
A foundational passage from Scripture about our identity as God’s children is Deuteronomy 33:12: “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.” Just before Moses died, he proclaimed this blessing over the tribe of Benjamin as God’s people prepared to enter the land He’d promised them. God wanted them to always remember that they were His beloved and to rest secure in their identity as His children.
Knowing our identity as God’s children is equally important for everyone—teenagers, those in the middle of life, and those who have lived a long time. When we understand that God created us and watches over us, we can find security, hope, and love.
How does knowing that you can “rest between his shoulders” increase your love for God? How does this deepen your understanding of who you are?
Loving Father, You created me and You hold me close. Let my identity as Your child permeate my thoughts and actions.
Moses’ blessing to the Israelites before his death follows the tradition of a father blessing his children before death (Genesis 49). He addresses each of the tribes as if they were individual sons. These individual blessings (Deuteronomy 33:6–25) are framed before and after with a poem of blessing addressed to all of Israel (vv. 1–5, 26–29). (Jeshurun, vv. 5, 26, means “the upright one” and refers to all of Israel.) Because Yahweh was their God, they were blessed—saved, secure, and strong. God was their warrior and king who defeats all foes (vv. 26–29) and rules His people through the law given to Moses (v. 4).