I finished reading the book of Deuteronomy in the Bible today.
I was struck with a thought and it's stayed with me all day.
In the beginning of Deuteronomy and even all through the book, Moses preaches to the children of Israel and gives them their duty to God and reiterates the law of God.
Included in all of this were the laws and judgments, a call to obedience to God, recounting of Israel's rebellion, observing of the feasts, the priestly inheritance, the rules of war, the blessings for their obedience, and even the curse if they did not obey, etc.
Moses exhorts so much to the children of Israel. I picture him pleading with them to be obedient; I picture the compassion he must have had for every one of them.
The Lord says the following phrase to Israel: Be strong and of a good courage (Deuteronomy 31:6, ). Why?
Verse 6 goes on to explain. Verse 6 "...fear not, nor be afraid of them (Israel's enemies): for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."
Moses then says the same thing to Joshua when Joshua is about to become the leader of the Israelites.
Verse 7 "...Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.
Verse 8 "And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed."
Verse 23 "And he (Moses) gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them (Israel): and I (the LORD) will be with thee."
I guess there are a couple of things that have sat with me today.
The first is this. This was Moses' last sermon. His life on earth was over and God would lead him up into a mountain and Moses would die. After Moses finishes his sermon, God then revealed something to him and it is found in Deuteronomy 31:16, "And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them."
Wow! After everything God had done for them, this is the thanks He gets. That boggles my mind. And then my husband reminded me as we were talking about this...that's much, if not exactly, like we are today. Pastors all over the world are exhorting to us to walk with God, to follow after Him, to be obedient, etc. and what do we do? Are we not like the children of Israel? Do we not go a whoring after the gods of this world? I realize that some of us will change and not be like that, but just how many...I don't know.
The second thought is this. God says, "...be strong and of a good courage..." Why? Yes the task before Israel was huge. How were they going to receive their inheritance God had promised them when other nations were occupying that land? God would provide a way. How? His answer was, "I will be with thee." See, God doesn't want us just to obey like little robots. He wants to walk along side of us. God is the one who gives the victory. We cannot accomplish His will in our own strength. We must have God's strength to accomplish the task that is set before each one of us.
Do you know the will of God for your life? Do you really know or even care what the will of God is for your life? I cringe as I write that last sentence because I ask that question of myself.
We had a missionary at church this morning. I don't think I've ever heard a sermon as necessary (outside of salvation) as the one preached today. It was on knowing the will of God for our lives.And then tonight our pastor preached just about on the same thing.
I want to be used of God. I don't want God to use someone in my place because I refuse to surrender my life to Him and what He wants for me. Just thinking of the possibilities of what can be done when I am in the exact center of God's will puts a giant smile on my face. Oh, the task may not be easy at times, but walking hand in hand with God to accomplish it will see the victory! Oh, the victories that await us!