Journey with Daniel
“Day 37 (Deuteronomy 1)”Categories: 40 Days in the Wilderness
Once again Israel had arrived at the promised land. They are 11 days journey out (v. 2). It’s been 40 years since they were here before (v. 3). God’s words come loud and clear, “You’ve stayed long enough at this mountain.” (v. 6) It’s time to go on. It’s time to enter the land. It’s time to fulfill this promise. Though a generation had died in the wilderness due to disobedience, God had multiplied the Israelites – they had become a great nation (v. 10).
The question for them to consider is, “What’s going to be different this time?” The first few chapters of Deuteronomy is a walk through history – reminding this new generation of where they came from, and how their parent’s generation failed.
They didn’t trust the Lord (v. 32), they would not listen (v. 43), they rebelled against the command of the Lord (v. 43). Despite God’s miracles, His goodness, all the ways He demonstrated His power and that He was on their side – they didn’t trust in Him (v. 29-32). Thus they were punished. They would not be allowed into the promised land (v. 34-36). They had everything they needed to believe and trust in God, but they turned against Him.
God was willing to take this new generation into the land – to let them fulfill the promise – but they needed to learn from their parent’s mistakes – they needed to walk by faith – not by fear; they needed to trust in God to bring the victory – not in their own strength.
What’s this have to do with us? Hear how the words of Hebrews 4 fit with this context: “Therefore, let us fear, if while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had the good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.” (Heb. 4:1-2). Through His words we have everything we need to believe and trust in God – to see His power, be convinced of His goodness, to know His will and submit to His rule – will we walk by faith or by fear? Will we trust in His strength or our own? Will we submit to God’s will or go our own way? Will we enter the land of rest, or follow in the same steps of those of old?
Like Joshua’s generation – the choice is up to us. The enemies won’t be different from before. The challenges won’t be different. The temptations won’t be different from before. What will be different? Me. My heart. I will choose to trust in God and walk by faith. And thus my outcome will be different than Israel’s – I choose to enter the land of rest by the grace and strength of the Savior.
Wonderful Savior, this chapter in Deuteronomy reminds us of Your patience, Your strength, Your love, Your mercy. You were there for Israel – You led them, provided for them, rescued and redeemed them, promised them victory and a land of abundance – and they didn’t trust in You. I recognize that I can be just like Israel – forgetting all You have done for me, all the evidences of Your goodness, power, love, mercy, patience – all the answered prayers – and yet I too fail to put my trust in You. Forgive me of my sins. I believe – but help my unbelief. I trust in You – help me to trust more. Help me to listen. Help me to follow. Help me to learn from the mistakes of the past to choose a better future. You promise victory – help me to claim it through my Glorious Lord Christ – who deserves all honor, all glory, and all praise!