31:6, 8 So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you." Wherever the Lord takes you, He goes ahead of you to prepare the way. He has been ahead of you always. Nothing is a surprise. Also, God repeats that He will never fail us or forsake us at least 6 times in the Bible. And He never has!
31:7 This passing of the torch to Joshua, I believe, could be symbolic for Jesus returning to the Father (Moses dying on this side of the PL), and sending His Spirit to guide us (Joshua guiding them into the PL).
31:20 A great warning to all of us. When God's blessing is on our lives, we must not forget, get lazy, or turn away. Stay dependent on Him.
31:29 I know that after my death you will become utterly corrupt and will turn from the way I have commanded you to follow. May it never be so for us or for our children! Unfortunately, the way of man is stubbornly rebellious! Historically, only a small remnant has followed God wholeheartedly.
32:10-12 He found them in a desert land, in an empty, howling wasteland. He surrounded them and watched over them; he guarded them as his most precious possession. Like an eagle that rouses her chicks and hovers over her young, so he spread his wings to take them in and carried them aloft on his pinions. The LORD alone guided them; they lived without any foreign gods. What a great prayer for our children! I don't know about you, but I see a great prophetic picture in this verse of the whole Story—lost in our sins, He finds us, He guides us, and eventually we live without any foreign gods.
32:15-27 See how seriously God regards idol worship. Many Christians today don't think it's that big of a deal, to worry about a few habit sins. We may never rid ourselves fully of our habit sins, but God wants to see us making serious attempts! We can't willingly allow anything to take His place-other people, possessions, food, entertainment, sports, studies, friends, spouses. I know I sound like a broken record, but these things should be at the forefront of our mind always—keeping our hearts steadfastly on our Almighty God and how we might serve Him more faithfully.
12:8-9 I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man will also acknowledge in the presence of God's angels. But anyone who denies me here on earth will be denied before God's angels. This can't possibly be a permanent denial, because even Peter was guilty of this sin! But God gave him a do-over when he was being martyred. If Peter had a do-over, and the Israelites had 40 years of do-overs (around the mountain), why can't any person have as many as they need until they get it right?
78:32-33 Unbelief leads to failure (sort of a theme today, huh?).
78:36-37 Our hearts dictate our behavior, not our words. I know many people who tell me what I want to hear, but their words don't match up. After awhile, their words mean nothing to me. It must be the same for God, although He already knows what's in our hearts.
78:40 Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland. What brings our Father grief? When His children live in rebellion.
Proverbs 12:21 No harm comes to the godly, but the wicked have their fill of trouble. Some people say, "Why bother living a life of obedience?" On the other hand, when Jesus is your reward, nothing that happens is that bad.
Questions for reflection:
As we have seen in our studies, only a remnant have historically followed God wholeheartedly. Will you be one of the remnant...or one of the casualties?
What was your "desert, howling, wasteland?" How did you sense God guiding you back into the safety of His wings?
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