Deuteronomy 1:1-2:37 – Will We Be The New Generation? – ‘A New Creation In Christ’
With the exception of Caleb and Joshua, the older generation – including Moses – was not to enter the land (34-38). For the new generation, there was a challenge. There must be no more failures. One wasted generation was enough. This was the time for real commitment to the Lord. He loved them – He had ‘set the land before’ them. They were to rise up in faith and ‘take possession of the land’(8). We are called to go on with the Lord. ‘You have stayed long enough’ at a low level of Christian living. God is calling us on to maturity: ‘go in and take possession of the land; (6,8; Philippians 3:13-14). Do not hesitate to move forward with God: ‘do not fear… It is a good land which the Lord gives us’(21,25). Will we be the new generation, ‘a new creation in Christ’(2 Corinthians 5:17) ?
During their wilderness years, God’s people had many problems. God is greater than all the problems! Israel’s journey began in the land of ‘bondage’(Exodus 2:23-25). From there, He led them to the land of promise, ‘the land which the Lord our God gives to us’(29). This is ‘amazing grace’: ‘Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home’(Mission Praise, 31). In the giving and taking of the land, we see both grace and faith: ‘I have begun to give… this land over to you; begin to take possession…’(31). We are not saved by grace apart from faith. We are ‘saved by grace through faith’. We are not saved by faith without grace. We are ‘saved by grace through faith’. Saved by the Lord, let us press on to a life of ‘good works’(Ephesians 2:8-10).
Deuteronomy 26:1-27:10 – The Call To Obedience Is Grounded In The Gift Of Salvation.
The people of Israel had a testimony. They had been redeemed by the God of love. Thankful for His love and salvation, they brought their offerings to the Lord (26:5-9). The call to obedience is grounded in the gift of salvation. Redeemed by the Lord, we are called to be ‘a people holy to the Lord our God’(26:16-19). There is no privilege without responsibility. Israel was privileged: God was giving them ‘a land flowing with milk and honey’. Israel was responsible: God was saying to them, ‘Keep all the commandments which I command you this day’(27:1-3). God blesses us. We obey Him. We enjoy more of His blessing. This leads us to obey Him more. Break the ‘vicious circle’. Get on to God’s ‘victorious circle’: He shows us His love. We love Him. He shows us more of His love. We love Him more… (John 14:21).
Deuteronomy 32:19-33:17 – We Are ‘In The Lord’s Hands.’ Let Us ‘Follow In His Steps.’
‘The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms’ (Deuteronomy 33:27): This is no guarantee of peaceful tranquility. For Israel, there was conflict. ‘Saved by the Lord’, Israel had found true happiness. Still, there were ‘enemies’ to be ‘thrust out’ and ‘trampled down’ (Deuteronomy 33:27,29). Knowing the blessing of God’s salvation is no guarantee that life will be easy. When the enemies of the Gospel see a believer intent on glorifying the Lord, they do all they can to create problems. We have ‘enemies’ in ‘high places’ (Deuteronomy 33:29; Ephesians 6:12). Their argument is not with us. It is with God. If God’s work is to do well, there needs to be spiritual leadership. Moses had led God’s people in his day. Joshua was to take his place (Deuteronomy 34:9). Moses was important. Joshua was important. The Lord is more important – ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ (Romans 8:31).