When someone is about to go on a long trip, or worse, knows he is dying, what does he do? He calls the family together and tries to tell them the things he thinks are most important for the family to remember and take to heart.
Moses is 120 years old. He can no longer “go out and come in.” God has told him, heartbreakingly, that he can’t cross the Jordan. So what does he do? He calls everyone together and tells them: Chazak v’amatz! Be strong and resolute! Be brave! Follow Joshua! God will go before you. God will not fail you. Chazak v’amatz!
Moses writes down everything he thinks needs to be said to the Children of Israel. He tells them to read it aloud to everybody, including children, every seven years, in the Year of Release, the same year when servants were freed and debts forgiven.
Then something strange happens. Moses and Joshua go over to the Ohel Moed and God appears before them in a column of cloud. I know the people will forget me, God says. They’ll go off after other gods. And I will conceal my face on that day!
God gives Moses a song to teach to the people. What was in the song? Well, you can wait till next year when we study the third trimester, or you can go to the Bible and read Deuteronomy, Chapter 32.