January 3, 2017
- By Ed Powell
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"Thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or not." Deuteronomy 8:2
God seeks to draw us to Himself in an intimate relationship so that we might share His companionship. He desires to reveal Himself to us as the All-Sufficient Mighty God. He wanted to awaken the hearts of His chosen people Israel to all they would encounter when they entered Canaan to claim their inheritance. He wanted them to know the "why" of their wilderness journey.
Moses said to them, "Remember all the way which the Lord your God led you these forty years in the wilderness!" How soon we forget the mercy and grace of God. He wanted their "hearts to obey God." Moses at the end of the Passover Feast and the Feast of Unleavened Bread gave these significant words. As they observed the Passover Feast, they were to remember that it was by sprinkling the blood of the Paschal lamb on the lintels of the doors that they were delivered from the sword of the destroying angel. It was deliverance by God's grace, mercy, and love.
Preceding this was the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which was the cleansing process. No leaven was to be in the house as they observed the Passover Feast. Leaven was symbolic of sin, and God wanted their hearts cleansed from all sin, every impediment removed as they remembered the miraculous deliverance they had from their bondage in Egypt. It was in vain to keep the Passover if they did not keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Three things express the "why" of their wilderness journey. First, to "humble you." God wanted to reveal their pride, ego, self-sufficiency, and independence. Second, to "prove you." God sought to reveal the sincerity of their faith. Was it a faith that had relevance to their daily lives? Third, to know what was in their hearts. They needed to realize the deceitfulness and degradation of their hearts. "The heart is deceitful above all things...who can know it." God sought to orchestrate their lives to be upright in their love of Him. In response, God said, "The Lord has declared this day that you are His people, His treasured possession as He promised, that you are to keep all His commands. He has declared that He will set you in praise, fame and honor, high above all the nations He has made; you will be a people holy unto the Lord your God as He promised."
As He covenanted with Israel, He has covenanted with us today. The evidence of God's grace and mercy to Israel is great, but it is nothing compared to the manifestation of His love to us in giving His only begotten Son to pay the debt of our sin. There is no way to comprehend the love of God. How should we respond to so great a love? What should be the hallmark of our life? What should characterize the whole of our being? The same as He wanted from Israel: Obedience to His will in the whole of our life, not counting anything unworthy of our notice or too difficult for us to perform, that we might have "the mind of Christ in all things." The life we live must declare whose we are and whom we serve.
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2017-01-03
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