Today’s thought “The Land promised and fear of man” (April 18)

Today’s thought

“The Land promised and fear of man”

(April 18)

Deuteronomy 1

Today we read the message Moses gave the people of Israel when they were in the desert east of the Jordan River, in the Jordan Valley near Suph, between Paran and the towns of Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab. In his farewell speech to the nation he has led now for a little over forty years he reminds the people to love and obey the Only One True God.

It was now 40 years after the Israelites had left Egypt. It was spoken during the last month of the last year of the wilderness journey. Deuteronomy summarises the events of the wilderness journey for the benefit of the new generation who are the children of those who refused to enter the land the first time [Numbers 13:31]. As such it is an exhortation to the new generation to learn from the way that God had been dealing with them in the wilderness.

We read that when the Israelites were east of the Jordan River in the land of Moab Moses began to explain what God had commanded and had required them to get ready to go as far as the great river, the Euphrates, so that they could see the land God had given them and which they could take for themselves.

The Most High Adonai had promised it to their ancestors — Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants. (Deuteronomy 1:8)

Moses let the people know he is not able to take care of them by himself. He recognises that God has made them grow in number and that there shall come many more. (De 1:10-11) He knows he cannot take care of their problems, troubles and  arguments by himself and asks them to choose some wise men from each tribe, who have understanding and experience whom can be made leaders over them. (De 1:12-13).

Some centuries later we shall see that the apostles also came to understand that they had to find some wise men (Acts 6:3). We learn that such a step is not bad.Those with the grievances had also a say in who had to help to resolve the problems. We can learn from this ourselves. When there is dispute we should think about the sensitivities of those involved when deciding who will ‘sort out’ the matter.

Moses appointed commanders over 1,000 people, over 100 people, over 50 people and over 10 people and asked their judges to listen to the arguments between their people, so that they could judge fairly between two Israelites or between an Israelite and a foreigner.

Moses thought he had a good idea to send send men before them to spy out the land so that they could tell them about the cities they could find. Though Israel refused to obey the command of the Lord their God and grumbled in their tents. They even went saying that God hated them. Moses asked them not to be frightened and assured them Jehovah their God would go ahead of them and was willing to fight for them as He did in Egypt. Strangely enough they had seen Him do it but now seemed not to trust Him. Their God had figuratively carried them like a man carrying his son and had brought them safely all the way to that place.

“22 And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, Let us send men before us, that they may search the land for us, and bring us word again of the way by which we must go up, and the cities unto which we shall come. 23 And the thing pleased me well; and I took twelve men of you, one man for every tribe: 24 and they turned and went up into the hill-country, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and spied it out. 25 And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which Jehovah our God giveth unto us. 26 Yet ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of Jehovah your God: 27 and ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because Jehovah hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. 28 Whither are we going up? our brethren have made our heart to melt, saying, The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there. 29 Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them. 30 Jehovah your God who goeth before you, he will fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, 31 and in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that Jehovah thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came unto this place. 32 Yet {1 } in this thing ye did not believe Jehovah your God, {1) Or for all this thing }33 who went before you in the way, to seek you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to show you by what way ye should go, and in the cloud by day.” (De 1:22-33 ASV)

When we see the signs of what is to come and see the Promised Land are we frightened? Are we knowing and willing to accept that God will go ahead of us?

We feel comfortable in our homes (tents) and this is where we can be boldest about how we feel in the truth, about our fellow brothers and sisters and also how we feel about our Father. This can also continue when we have our brethren and sisters to visit in our homes. We are always to be aware of the affect of our words and actions on our brethren and sisters which work both positively and negatively, and also how this can precipitate.

Today we too are on the borders of the land.  Are we preparing our lives now? For the time when the prophet who is compared with Moses comes, the Lord Jesus Christ! (Deut 18:18).

God had promised a good land to those people who went through the dessert. None of them came to see it because they were considered “evil people” by God.  Only Caleb son of Jephunneh was to see it. Jehovah gave him and his descendants the land he walked on. We read that Jehovah did so because he followed God completely. (De 1:36)

Let us make sure Jehovah does not need to be angry with us. Let us not sin against the Lord. We too have to endure many tests of faith. When we look at the books of the Old Testament we may see that our faith issues are very similar of those who were under God’s Guidance. Today many people also face challenges of faith that cause them to freeze in fear instead of moving forward in faith. We should see those in need and come to their help. We should come forward and not be afraid to show others that we love Jehovah The Most High God above all other gods and that we trust Him totally and that they too should come to trust Him and come to believe in that Promised Land.

Make sure to obey the Lord’s command.

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  3. 4 leadership principles from Moses in Deuteronomy 1

 

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