We often read in the old testament how the Lord led his people guided them and protected them.
We read the stories and we already know the outcome and how every trial they faced was for their good and for God's glory. So while we read we get frustrated that the Israelites don't just get it and follow God and what he says because, he a came through for them in some huge ways and showed them time and time again that he was able to handle their every need.
But how many times do you and I do the same thing in our lives? We have seen him work and move mountains in the past. Why is it so hard to believe that he is going to follow through this time? Because we are human, and if your like me it's a new situation it's scary the road looks long and hard. But if I look back on my situations in the past and see how God used the hard times, and if I allowed Him to work His wonderful way in me that gives me the peace and comfort to trust Him all over again because I know two things
1. He is Faithful
2. He has my best in mind.
Section 1 Observe and DO
(the scriptures passage comes first then my comments on them come next)
Deuteronomy 8: 1-9
1. All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers.
2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
4 Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.
5 Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee.
6 Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.
7 For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;
8 A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;
9 A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.
We sometimes wonder what the point was of God letting the Israelites wander in the wilderness for such a long period of time. I believe it was to test their trust and obedience to him. Even him giving them manna and all the special instructions that went with how they were to gather it, they learned very quickly that obedience was the key because the manna spoiled if they disobeyed and did as they pleased and not how God said. And it was also a lesson in their need of Him because without the manna they would have starved.
He was chasening them and teaching them obediance to him was of the utmost importance. Just as your earthly father has your good in mind so does your Heavenly Father. He led them through the wilderness and their were many trials and hard times, but at the end awaited the promised land flowing with milk and honey.
And so is the same with us. God provides us with all the tools we need to not only survive but thrive here on earth below, but he brings trials into our lives so that we never forget our need of him and where we were brought from- a place of sin and slavery and captivity to a place of freedom and love in Jesus Christ, and eventually we will get to see our Promised Land-Heaven.
Section 2 Forget Not
10 When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.
11 Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:
12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;
13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;
14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
15 Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;
16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
God warns the children of Israel to never forget their roots and who brought them out of the land of Egypt and provided for their every need. He tells them that even though they are going to have nice homes, lots of food, and pretty much every conveniance that they could have on earth, they were not supposed to get prideful and think that it was because of their strength and effort that they had gained all that they had! It was their good Father who made it all possible and gave them the strength and provisions to get where they were.
We live in a society where we believe it is our right to have all that we want or could ever dream of owning and we forget who it was that made this nation what it is today. We live in a country that God has blessed abundantly, yes it may seem to be going down the tubes at times, but we must never let our prosperity and wealth take our eyes and our goals off of why we were brought or placed here in the first place.
Each one of us was born with a divine plan and purpose for our lives, but ultimatly we were put on this earth to honor and glorify God and to make disciples and witness to others in the name of Jesus. That's the whole purpose of the chastening and refining to make us better Christians so that others may see by the example of our lives that we trust and obey our Heavenly Father amidst the poverty or wealth whatever state we may be in let us never forget whose we are and where we were brought from.
Section 3 Remember the Lord
17 And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.
18 But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.
20 As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.
God warns us what happens to those who forget him and become prideful at all their success and start believing it is all because of them. Luxury has a way of making us unaware of who actually gave us all that we have, but if we continually look up to Heaven and give God the credit no matter how small the task that will help us to keep our perspective in the right place at all times.
in verses 19 and 20 God tells them that they are not above the heathen nations by any means, if they forgot him and walked away and started worshipping other gods they would end up in the same eternal destination as the heathens.
Same with us today if we forget God and start serving the world, we have the same eternal destination as the wicked around us. We may not do any horrible sins or physically bow down to an idol, but it is possible to have idols and put other things in our lives ahead of God especially in the society we live in today. What are the things you and I put before God? And what are some ways we can keep our focus on him and not let the glitz and glamour of the world around us distract us from our purpose on earth?
Until Next Time~ Rose Mary
*Some of these thoughts were taken from Christian Light Publications ADULT and YOUTH teacher handbooks