Thursday, November 20, 2008

Deuteronomy Reminds

In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses recounts the journey of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land, from 430 years of slavery to the land of milk and honey God promised to Abraham and his descendants. It is presented as a series of sermons given by Moses to remind Israel of their difficult, 40-year journey through the wilderness, to recall the lessons of preparation as they stand on the edge of God's Promise, just before they enter their Promised Land. In the next few entries, I want to study Chapters 1 and 2 which concentrate on Israel's initial opportunity to enter their Promised Land and their lack of faith despite God's multiple miracles to rescue them.

Read Deuteronomy 1:1-8

. . . When we were at Mount Sinai, The LORD our God said to us, 'You have stayed at this mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on. . . Go to the land of the Canaanites . . . I am giving all this land to you! Go in and occupy it, for it is the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to all their descendants. (Deuteronomy 1:5-8 NLT)

The first 4 verses comprise the prologue to the entire book, but it reveals an interesting timeline. After the Israelites cross the Red Sea, one of God's miracles in their rescue from the Egyptians, their journey takes them to Mount Sinai, where God gives them The Law (Ten Commandments). In this introduction summary we learn that it takes only eleven days to travel from Mount Sinai to the edge of the Promised Land, but it would be 40 years before they would enter. In verses 5-8 we find God's directions to His favored people, hear His instructions to go in and occupy the land He promised.

These are the lessons Deuteronomy teaches:
  • When reminded of God's Actions ~ we find hope in following Him
  • When reminded of God's Expectations ~ we should listen and obey
  • When reminded of God's Character ~ we can love Him completely

Consider this!

  • What promise did God make to Israel?
  • What promise does God make to you?

LORD, remind me how You provide for all my needs. Remind me why I can trust Your promise for me. Remind me of the land chosen for me, of the place You choose for me to serve. Amen. ~dho

[Additional reading ~ Exodus: the life of Moses and how he lead the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land]