July 2, 2020 · 6:52 pm
We pick up in Deuteronomy 8-12; the Second Law as the book has been called, finds its purpose in reminding the New Generation about what their parents generation forgot. The Law that was given to Moses up on Mount Sinai, is repeated here for the New nation of Israelites. The People who have been born in the last 40 years of wandering in the wilderness because of disobedience. God’s Word is eternal, it is everlasting and it is established. The Law of governing the people and their behavior was/is still valid. I don’t mean that we are under the Law to do the Law, but that God gave specific instructions of what to do and how to live in the Promised Land. God the Father was going to dispose the tribes and Canaanite nations out of the Promised Land that He gave to Abraham years ago. I guess we could also say that the Promises of God are eternal and effectual u=in accomplishing the Father’s Will. The Parents of this New Generation did not listen and obey the Law, God tested them several times to determine if they would obey and love Him – they failed the tests time after time. It is important to remember that God’s Will was that Israel go into the Promise Land; even though the first generation failed to get in – God was longsuffering and through Joshua, brought in the generation who believed in the Promise of God.
This brings to mind; especially with the need for revitalization in current churches, will God have to wait for another Generation to die, before He can accomplish His Will for the people? Too many churches die today [approximately 18 everyday] – why do they die? Numerous reasons, but many die because they to are stiff-necked and stubborn like the original Israel that was delivered out of Egypt. The nation of freed captives always wanted to return to bondage instead of moving forward in the Plan of God.
In chapter 8 the word -Remember is repeatedly used. The nation had to remember who they were, where they had been and Who it was that was taking can of them. Moses jogs their memory with some examples of how God was with them, but also how they left God at the drop of a hat. Israel provoked God to anger many times, at one point He was willing to destroy all of them and start over with Moses. Stubborn is another word that is repeated again and again. I wonder can that word be applied to the Church today? Are we more interested in our comfortable living than in the service to God? We do what we want in worship services. It has come to the point where Churches do only that which their members will allow and accept. This is wrong , we all know that, yet we continue to repeat the same mistakes from one generation to the next.
Now I would love to tell you that the New Generation listened to what God reminded them of – well okay they did until Joshua left the scene and even remained faithful until all who were brought up under Joshua – but then in Judges 21:25 – they forgot again! Doing that which was right in their own eyes. Have we forgotten that we serve God? Are we guilty of self-serving church programs and services? I think we all know the answer.
In chapter 10:12 we are given the formula to keep our memory active and responsive. The words “fear, walk, love, serve and keep” are words to live by. Words which we can set as a foundation for living. Those words though have to be centered on God and His Plan for our lives and the world we live in. This new generation is being taught by an 120 year old man in Moses. I know today, there seems to be a movement to eliminate the “traditional” and replace it with “progressive.” I would say that is like “throwing the baby out with the bath water.” The Church is the Lord’s. We serve at His pleasure not our own. God gave statutes, ordinances and laws to live by – going forward into the Promised Land. We today have the Law of God written on our hearts; we have no need that one should teach us. The Holy Spirit is our teacher. I believe we are on the verge of becoming a “forgetful people” and soon to become a “forgotten people” if we do not remember from whence we came!
June 18, 2020 · 8:52 pm
Numbers 32-36; a sad passage of scripture. We learned last week there was a census taken and 601,730 people over the age of 20 years old. The LORD had told the people no one over the age of 20 except Caleb and Joshua would enter into the Promise Land. They would all die in the Wilderness, including Moses because of his disobedience. We have the book of Deuteronomy before the conquest of the Promise land in Joshua, but Numbers is the last expose’ on the movement and journey to the River Jordan. I counted the various moves of the nation of Israel, some 44 times they moved. Wandering around waiting to die. The last person to die before Israel entered into the Promise of God to Abraham was Moses. He got to see the view from Mount Nebo what could have been, but never got to go in. This is somewhat of an analogy of the Christian life. We get out of Egypt [sin and bondage], journey through the wilderness [carnality] but never enter in to the Promise Land [Abundant Spirit filled life]. So many believers get out but never get in! Living in the Wilderness is living in a carnal state of disobedience. Think about this for a moment, a person through Faith in Jesus Christ, is delivered through the Blood on the Cross – the Lamb of God. Salvation! Forgiveness of sin and restored and reconciled back to God. The old slave master sin has been defeated. The Emancipation of the Sinner! Only to be enslaved again by the fleshly lust of the human nature. Israel always wanted to go back, to live in the past – a sort of nostalgic life. But the OLD SINNER life isn’t worth going back into; yet so many elect to live there. Israel was never meant to live in Egypt or the Wilderness, they CHOSE TO!
Salvation isn’t just about being forgiven and redeemed, it is about Abundant living in Jesus Christ. To settle for anything less is frustration to the Holy Spirit living inside us!
No only do we have in these chapters the culminating story of the dying generation, but we have the choice of Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh to live on the WRONG side of the Jordan River! They literally begged Moses to let them live in the area east of Jordan. They acted like Lot when he chose to dwell in Sodom. He looked with human eyes and lusted – 1 John 1:15-17. They said it was because of the great herds of animals and such – but they SETTLED for what they could get instead of what GOD had Promised. Moses allows them to forfeit their Promised Land inheritance, but they had to help the other tribes conquer the land.
We have the death of AARON THE PRIEST and brother of Moses at the age of 123. In chapter 34 we have the apportioning of the Canaan land to each of the tribes. Then there is the Cities of Refuge for those who unintentionally killed someone. A place where they accused could be protected until the “case” was heard by the congregation. There is the dividing up of property to the Levitical Priests who didn’t have any inheritance in the Land; but would be supported by the other tribes.
This is the final instructions to the NEW GENERATION going into the Inheritance of God. In the book of Deuteronomy, we get the “2nd Law” which really is a reminder to the New Generation about what the DEAD Generation forgot. Most of it is about living Holy Lives before the LORD GOD and the inhabitants of the Land they were conquering. The Command “Do not pollute the LAND” with you sin is huge. I believe that is what happened over the course of time by Israel which ultimately resulted in Babylonian Exile for 70 years. God removed the Remnant so He could cleanse the LAND. The Land had become so polluted by the excesses of idolatry and immorality, God had to evict them so he could cleanse it thoroughly.
We will see that Promised Land Living [Abundant Life] is not without its trials and tribulations, But God Said, everywhere the sole of your foot should touch, is Land I have already given you. We today must remember also that we are meant to go and conquer the land before us – knowing that God has preceded and prepared us to LIVE ABUNDANTLY IN CHRIST.