Read Deuteronomy 1 -- 2
In his first message to the new generation (Deuteronomy 1:1 -- 4:43), Moses reminded them that there are (only) eleven days' journey from Horeb (Mount Sinai) . . . to Kadesh-barnea (1:2). This message was given in the fortieth year after leaving Egypt (1:3). The actual location of Mount Sinai is uncertain, but the distance between the Mount generally assumed to be Mount Sinai and Kadesh is about 165 miles, a journey on foot of about 11 days. Moses reminded the Israelites of how their parents had blamed God for their failures and accused Him of hating them, of bringing them out of the land of Egypt, to deliver them into the hand of the Amorites, that they should be destroyed (1:27). Despite their miraculous deliverance from Egypt, the older generation sinned against the Lord in that they decided not to believe that He would give them victory over the Canaanites. Moses had urged them: Dread not, neither be afraid of them. The Lord your God who goes before you, shall fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt (1:29-30).
The generation of adult Israelites who had left Egypt did not recognize that the hardships of the wilderness journey were designed by God to develop the people's faith in Him and in His Word. As a consequence of their sin of unbelief, that first generation failed to accomplish the will of God and wasted their lives wandering in the wilderness until they all died. Now, the new generation that was assembled on the east side of the Jordan would also be tested. Would they take God at His Word -- cross the Jordan, face the giants, trust the Lord for victory, and possess the Promised Land?
We too have a choice. We can choose to be like the many Israelites who found fault with everything, or we can choose to be like Caleb and Joshua whose faith in God's Word overcame all fears and frustrations.
It can truly be said of some believers today that, although they accepted Christ as their Savior, they have made little spiritual progress since they first believed. They could be useful in fulfilling the Lord's promises; but, because of their undisciplined hearts, they do as little as possible, for they have not made Him Lord of their lives. It is our responsibility to be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves (James 1:22).
God has planned that even the weakest and the least significant Christian is intended to be a fruit bearer by the reigning life of Christ within. For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17). As He declared to the Apostle Paul, so He declares to us: My strength is made perfect in weakness (II Corinthians 12:9). Loving submission to the Lord develops our faith in His ability to guide, protect, and provide for our every need. Just as God had a plan for Israel, so He has a plan for each of us.
In the midst of "giant" problems, strength to be an overcomer through the Holy Spirit is available to all who, like Caleb and Joshua, did not trust in themselves or look to themselves to overcome their giants. God's Word is our only infallible Guide. Faith is not something we muster up, but faith comes by hearing . . . the Word of God (Romans 10:17). However, victory will not happen until we actively move out in faith to conquer our own fears as Jesus admonished: Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom (Luke 12:32). And the Apostle Paul rightly declared: We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).
Christ Portrayed: By Moses, who spoke to the children of Israel according to all that the Lord had commanded him (Deuteronomy 1:3). Jesus very faithfully told others everything God told Him to say (John 8:28).
Word Studies: 1:12 bear your cumbrance means weariness that results from your complaints; 2:9 Distress not means Do not create a problem; 2:14 were wasted means had died; host means men of war of that generation.
Government Official: Sen. John Breaux (LA) · BPM Staff: Dr. John A. Hash · Pray for your church leaders · Pray for the Bible Pathway Arabic International Radio Broadcast for the month of March sponsored by Connie Morris · Country: Zambia (10 million) in south-central Africa · Major languages: English and 70 indigenous languages · Religious freedom · 30% Roman Catholic; 25% Protestant; 24% ancestor worship, magic, and witchcraft; 19% cults · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for a greater desire to serve the Lord (Psalms 42:1-2).
Optional Reading: Luke 16
NOTE: Bible Pathway covers the Old Testament with devotional and commentary insights over a nine-month period, January through September. Each day during these months, an optional reading of one chapter a day from the New Testament will also be listed. The October, November, and December issues will provide a daily commentary on the New Testament readings. Thus, the reader goes through the New Testament twice each year using the Bible Pathway plan.
Memory Verse for the Week: Colossians 1:18