We are in the midst of Deuteronomy in our Bible reading time. Our time together at night continues to be so precious to us a family. We usually read through a chapter or more, and we are using commentary to guide us.
I love Deuteronomy 6. The verses about teaching our children encourage me so. We have also been discussing how the chapters we have read so far are to encourage the Israelites before they cross over into the Promised Land, yet they will continue to lack faith or disobey.
Here is a snippet of commentary (from enduringword.com)
Then I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified, or afraid of them. The LORD your God, who goesbefore you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.’ Yet, for all that, you did not believe the LORD your God, who went in the way before you to search out a place for you to pitch your tents, to show you the way you should go, in the fire by night and in the cloud by day.”
a. Nevertheless: In this context, this is a haunting word. It was the exact word in the mouth of the ten fearful spies when they began to give an evil testimony to Israel (Numbers 13:28).
i. Essentially, the ten spies and all Israel said, “We went into the land of Canaan and found it to be a wonderful land, just as the LORD said it would be. God’s word was true on that point. Nevertheless (essentially saying, ‘despite all that’), we don’t believe God when He says He will enable to overcome the enemies of the land and to posses it.”
ii. Nevertheless! Despite the fact we have seen that God’s word is true, we will not trust Him for great things in the future. This is a terrible testimony.
b. You would not go up, but rebelled . . . and you murmured in your tents . . . you did not believe the LORD your God: God had done nothing but show Himself faithful to Israel. They could not point to one instance where He had let them down, though the journey had not been easy. Yet they answered God’s faithfulness with rebellion, murmuring, and unbelief.
i. They were not persuaded of the love of God, and they found it hard to trust a God they did not believe loved them. Christians today also need to be persuaded of the love of God. Many believers are hindered in their walk with God because they are not genuinely persuaded of the love of God for them. They should ask, “What would it take me finally convince me that God really loves me?” We don’t wait for God to give us everything we want before we love Him. That is the selfish demand of a short-sighted child, like the child who thinks mommy doesn’t love him because he can’t have all the candy he wants.
ii. God has already given the ultimate demonstration of His love: But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) The death of Jesus for guilty sinners is the ultimate demonstration of God’s love; He can do nothing greater than what He has already done in Jesus. Now we can simply receive His love.
c. The LORD your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes: With these words, Moses did his best to encourage the people. He called on them to specifically remember God’s past faithfulness and consider that He was able to give them victory in the land of Canaan.
i. Satan loves to make us forget what we should remember (the past victories and miracles of God on our behalf). He also loves to make us remember what we should forget (our past of sin and the self-life).
I marvel that they had seen so much provision from God, they have heard from him to be courageous and not fear or doubt, yet they do. And then I look at myself, and I know I can be exactly the same. How I need to not look back, unless only to be made stronger in my faith by seeing what God has done.
May these chapters strengthen us in our walk, knowing where we have been and we are going, and WHO walks with us.
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