As I open the pages of Deuteronomy I once again fall in love with the Word of God. In chapter one we see Moses reflecting on all that God had done for His people. He is recounting the loving and protecting actions of the Lord. He too reminds the people that they are the ones who left God. God never once left them in the desert. The choice was all theirs. God went before them and behind them. He was with them every step of the way. When the people called out to God, He answered. He provided all their needs. But still the people cried out for more. They were not satisfied. They had forgotten the chains of bondage that held them in captivity in Egypt. They wanted more and they wanted it now. They didn't want to wait for God's timing. Yes, our Lord has perfect timing. He asked for obedience. With obedience came blessings. The people were slow to remember all the good God had done for them, but quick to anger to a God who had not forsaken them, but had led them out of bondage to a land of freedom.
The more I grow in the Lord, the more I realize that there is freedom in obedience. God only wants the best for His children. He wants us out of the desert and into a land of milk and honey. We cannot get there on our own. We need His guidance. It is a journey we must all travel. Sometimes the road seems long and difficult. This was the desert for the Israelites. A journey that should have taken eleven days took them forty years. They were still in bondage. This time it wasn't others holding them down, but themselves. It was their actions and lack of faith that held them back.
In chapter one we see Moses recall the command to enter into Canaan. The Israelites sent ahead spies and the news they brought back frightened them. They were fearful of the giants that were in the land. Ah, if we could all have faith like David, the giant killer. God wanted them to take this land, but the people lacked faith. As a consequence to their unbelief that God would continue to walk with them and slay the enemies of His people, they were not to enter into the land awaiting them. Their children would enter, but not the folks who spent all the years wandering in the desert. No one, but Caleb would enter. He was one who never lacked faith. He trusted God all the way and for his faithfulness in obedience God blessed Caleb.
In our hurried lives we don't spend a lot of time remembering and reflecting on all God has done for us. We tend to be in the worry and hurry of today, lacking faith for tomorrow. We get lost in all we don't have. Never realizing what we do, until it is gone. The Israelites had to see the, "What if", in their journey. This was a time for them to see that God had never left them. He was with them from the beginning. Why couldn't they see? What held them back from having faith? The same things that still bury us in unfaith today. Ourselves. We see what we want when we want it and when we don't get it we don't understand. We look at God as if He is a genie. All we have to do is wish and we should get all we want.
God doesn't want us to hurry through life. When we believe in Him we know that eternal life awaits us. We know that the day is coming where we spend the rest of our lives with the Lord who saved us. That should give us hope. That should give us the calm to slow down. There is so much for us to learn and grasp before we get there. This is our journey. Each of us have our own to walk, but we are never alone. Oh, we may think we are walking alone and doing it all our way, but God is there. He is all knowing and all seeing. He is guiding our steps and throwing up roadblocks. He is making way for detours and U-turns. He has given all of Himself. He has provided us the road map. We just don't want to slow down long enough to ask for direction.
"He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth. Remember His covenant forever, the word which He commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac, and confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel for an everlasting covenant." 1 Chronicles 16:14-17
"He permitted no man to do them wrong; Yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes, saying,"Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm." Sing to the Lord, all the earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations. His wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and gladness are in His place." 1 Chronicles 16:21-27
"Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!" The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."" Lamentations 3:22-26
We can learn so much from the Israelites. Most of all we can learn the blessings that come from obedience. Might we learn to slow down and reflect. May we look back on our lives and count the ways the Lord has been with us. May we look upon today and see that He is leading the way and trust that He has tomorrow in His hands.
When we reflect upon the Lord instead of circumstance we see with new eyes. He gives us a clear vision. Sometimes circumstance is because of our actions. Sometimes it is because of the actions of others. Sometimes God calls us to places along our journey so that we can learn, grow and see Him in everything. He wants to have a relationship with us. He simply wants to walk with us. Why not enjoy time with Him? Has it been a while since you traveled back in time to the Old Testament? I encourage you to stop the craziness of life and slow down. Oh, I know we are busy people, but we tend to be busy with what we want to be busy with. Could that be part of our problem?
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." Deuteronomy 6:5
"If you love Me, you will keep My commands." John 14:15
"We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray we can stop long enough in our crazy lives to see You. To know You. To have a relationship with You. May we desire Your Word as it is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Oh, may we not take You for granted and use You as wish giver, but may we see You as our holy God, who loves us, who came for us, and is with us day by day, making each morning new of mercies. May we never forget and always remember all You have done, are doing and will do for Your children. amen