The Lord our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount: Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates. Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them (Deut. 1:6-8).
A second chance; a do-over; a re-take - whatever we call it, the opportunity to right a wrong or re-do a mistake is valuable and rare. The first generation of Israelites, the ones that the Lord had freed from slavery in Israel, had been given a tremendous gift from the Lord: Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers. Yet, ruled by fear, they had refused to accept it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we (Num. 13:31). As a result, they wandered the wilderness for an additional 38 years, and all except two of that original generation died. And the space in which we came from Kadesh-barnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, was thirty and eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, as the Lord sware unto them (Deut. 2:14). Now, though, the second generation was being presented with the same gift. This time, standing before God, they had the opportunity to renounce the cowardly choices of the past and say to their God, "We trust and obey." Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Prov. 3:5-6).
The first generation had seen giants and balked. It was inconceivable to them that the God they followed was "big" enough to overcome such monsters. This generation had the same obstacles in front of them, yet they chose to believe Moses when he said; The Lord thy God, He will go over before thee, and He will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt possess them: and Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the Lord hath said (Deut. 31:3).
The world we live in today is filled with "giants" and "fierce warriors" and "walled cities" - the enemies of God are everywhere, just as they were in the land of Canaan. It takes a remarkable amount of faith and courage to stand today and say, "I believe the Word of God, and I will follow Christ in all things." Yet that is precisely what God is calling us to do. Just as the Israelites stood on the boundaries of the promised land, we stand at the threshold of Heaven. The gift of eternal life is ours - no strings attached - as long as we are willing to place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ our Lord. Will you make the mistake of the first generation, or will you have the faith of the second? Is your God "big" enough?
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand (John 10:27-28).
Thought for Today:
The "giants" of these turbulent economic days are fearsome. Only if we read and obey the Word of God will the Holy Spirit guide and bring us through.
By Moses, who spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the Lord had given him in Commandment unto them (Deut. 1:3). Jesus faithfully told others everything God told Him to say. I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things (John 8:28).
1:12 bear = endure; cumbrance = disputes; 1:27 murmured = complained, criticized; 1:39 should be a prey = would be taken captive; 1:42 smitten = defeated; 2:1 compassed = went around; 2:14 wasted out from among the host = had died from this camp; 2:18 coast = border; 2:33 smote = defeated; 2:35 for a prey = as a prize of war; spoil = plunder.
Romans 12: 15 - 21
Romans 12: 15
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.