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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

February 27, 2024

Read to Read …Again


Daily Reading:  Deuteronomy 1-2

 

Deuteronomy 1:32

Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God,

 

The number one problem of Israel is the number one problem of all God’s children in every era. We don’t believe Him. Israel didn’t. God’s command to them was given in Deuteronomy 1:21 Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged. But they did fear, and they became discouraged, so instead of faithful obedience they sent out the twelve spies. Even Moses was happy about the spy plan (verse 23). But it was not God’s plan. His plan was for them to immediately take the land. Their plan was to send the spies.

 

You know the story, the spies came back and ten of them had an evil report of giants, walls that reached into heaven, after all the Anakims were there. Because of their lack of faith in the God that had already performed more miracles than one can imagine, they rebelled, murmured, complained, protested and resisted God’s command. For this rebellion they would spend the next forty years in the wilderness wanderings. Notice what they secretly said: And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. (1:27)

 

This was not the reality. God loved them, he brought them out of bondage in Egypt, He would have easily given them the victory over the Amorites, but they would not. They put human intellect, and worldly philosophy above the simple command and power of God. It’s easy to do. To one extent or another every child of God does this. Even Jesus had to deal with this lack of faith. The power that God displayed during the time of the Exodus, and the wilderness wanderings of Egypt is reminiscent of two other times His miraculous power was demonstrated. One being the time of Elisha and Elijah, and the other being the time of Christ’s earthly ministry.

 

Consider the miracles of Jesus. How many more could He have performed to prove He was who He said He was? But, they didn’t believe Him. Leading Him to state the problem clearly. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (Matthew 23:37) Those last three words sum up the great problem among God’s people of all ages… ye would not.

 

It's often been said that God can do anything, which is true, for nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37). The one thing, though, that hinders God is the lack of faith in Him by His people. For example, Jesus plainly stated in Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. But how many have entered into that rest? Few indeed. Worry, fretting, fear, uneasiness, fussing, feuding, and murmuring are all indications of a lack of resting in Him.  As impossible as it seemed to Israel to obey God and take the promise land, so too does it seem impossible that a child of God today could …enter into that rest (see Hebrews 4:10-11). God’s people being in that rest (the spiritual promise land of victorious Christian living) is possible but only through living by faith, believing God, instead of one’s earthly imaginations.

 

The book of Deuteronomy is a collection of three great sermons of Moses. The name Deuteronomy literally means “retelling of the law.”  It reviews, by looking back, it instructs by dealing with the present, and it looks forward to the wonderful results of living by faith or the difficulties of rejecting God’s commands. It’s the last book of the Books of Moses which is also called the Pentateuch. Congratulations for making it this far. Keep reading until we all get to that place from “I will read” to “I have read” the entire Bible.

 

Dr. William T. Howe

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