CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE “SPOT” IN DEUTERONOMY 32:5?
by Shawn Brasseaux
Moses, speaking prophetically as the Holy Spirit leads him, declares in Deuteronomy 32:5: “They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.” What exactly is this “spot?”
Deuteronomy chapters 30-33 are Moses looking ahead to Israel living in the last days, thousands of years into the future (even beyond our day, actually). The Holy Spirit permits him and the nation Israel to see what will happen to them once they enter the Promised Land under Joshua. Moses will soon die (chapter 34), so these final chapters of Deuteronomy contain his farewell admonitions. He warns the nation repeatedly about not repeating the sins of their ancestors; they are to remain true to JEHOVAH God. What will the Jews do in God’s land once they settle in it? Deuteronomy chapter 32, according to verse 44, is a “song”—the “Song of Moses.” Moses is to teach Israel this song of doctrine: they will deliberately leave JEHOVAH God, wind up in unspeakable error, but He will still be faithful in keeping His promises to them.
Keep reading in Deuteronomy chapter 32: “ So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.  But Jeshurun [Israel] waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.  They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.  They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.  Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.
“ And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters.  And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.  They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.…  For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.  And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted,  Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.”
Based on these verses, friend, what do you suppose were Israel’s most basic sins? Unbelief and idolatry! Israel, once prosperous, became ungrateful; she forgot how God had delivered her from Egyptian slavery and blessed her so abundantly. She refused to be His people; she wanted to do her own thing, and she did it in spite of what JEHOVAH God instructed her.
Re-read it: “ They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.  They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.  Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee….  And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.  They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation….  And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted,  Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.”
This is the context of Deuteronomy 32:5, which says: “They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.” We have some built-in clues as to the meaning of this “spot.” “Perverse” here is the idea of “stubbornly contrary, obstinately unreasonable, adamantly unacceptable.” “Crooked” carries the meaning of “distorted, twisted out of shape.”
Moreover, Satan did not just come along and contaminate Israel. They “corrupted themselves.” They willfully chose to follow Satan’s policy of evil. When the Bible here says, “their spot is not the spot of his children,” the “spot” is a fault, blemish, defect, or stain. God has a controversy with Israel—she has been willfully unfaithful to Him! As a wife would be physically unfaithful to her husband, Israel has had intimate spiritual relations with pagan idols. The Jews no longer resemble JEHOVAH God’s people; in fact, centuries after Moses, He actually divorced Israel for breaking the Old Covenant (the Mosaic Law, Exodus 20:1-6, commanded Israel not to have other gods before JEHOVAH and not to make or worship idols).
Read what the contemporary Prophets Hosea and Isaiah say of Israel’s spiritual condition several centuries after Moses. Hosea chapter 1: “ The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.  The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD….  Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son.  Then said God, Call his name Loammi [“not my people”]: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.” (Moses’ prophecies in Deuteronomy were proved correct!!)
Now, Isaiah chapter 1: “ The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.  Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.  The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.  Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.  Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.  From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” (Yea, Israel is spiritually ill!)
Fortunately for Israel, God also said through Moses in Deuteronomy chapter 32: “Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.” Praise God for verse 43! Despite Israel’s sin, her breaking of the Old Covenant, and God’s divorcing her, He will (yet future) bring about a new covenant at the Second Coming of Christ. This New Covenant, based on the sinless blood Jesus Christ shed at Calvary, will be the means whereby God can cleanse Israel of her sins and make her His people forever. God will permanently get rid of Israel’s “spot!”
Jeremiah 31:31-34: “ Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
The above prophecy from the Prophet Jeremiah is quoted or alluded to on several occasions in what we call the “New Testament” Scriptures—Acts 3:18-21, Romans 11:26-27, Hebrews 8:8-13, and Hebrews 10:15-17. For more information on idolatrous Israel, see especially the “foolish nation” and “jealous” articles linked below.
In light of all this, the Apostle John penned in Revelation 1:5-6: “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Israel’s “spot,” that horrible stain, will be “washed” by the blood of Christ, and she will at last become His kingdom of priests that He originally intended her to be in Moses’ day (Exodus 19:3-6)!
» Is God finished with Israel?
» Who is the “foolish nation” in Romans 10:19?
» How can God be “jealous” and not sin?