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Deuteronomy 5:1-22

The Ten Commandments Repeated

Then Moses summoned all Israel and said to them:

“Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I am speaking today in your [a]hearing, that you may learn them and observe [b]them carefully. The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of [c]us alive here today. The Lord spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire, while I was standing between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain. [d]He said,

‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of [e]slavery.

‘You shall have no other gods [f]before Me.

‘You shall not make for yourself [g]an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above [h]or on the earth beneath [i]or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 10 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

11 ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not [j]leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

12 ‘Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you.13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who [k]stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day.

16 ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the Lord your God gives you.

17 ‘You shall not murder.

18 ‘You shall not commit adultery.

19 ‘You shall not steal.

20 ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

21 ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field or his male servant or his female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.’

Moses Interceded

22 “These words the Lord spoke to all your assembly at the mountain from the midst of the fire, of the cloud and of the thick gloom, with a great voice, and He added no more. He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.

I’m not 100% sure if this was the intent, but I think it is a point worth making regarding the Sabbath day. It’s something of a struggle in our culture in America (possibly in other countries too). We have a hard time just resting and devoting an entire day to honoring God in our rest.

There is an odd connection here, where Moses says it is because God brought them out of slavery, and God brought them out with his “strong hand and powerful arm”.

I think the latter part is key here. The Israelites weren’t supposed to rest because they had once been slaves and toiled day after day in slavery. They were supposed to rest, and trust that God could take care of things while they rested.

They are reminded that it wasn’t their strength that freed them from slavery, but the power of God. If he could do that, certainly God can be trusted to keep things in order while we rest. And indeed, God doesn’t take the other six days off, He is the one keeping things in order all the time, and He will continue to do what is best for us all our days.

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Deuteronomy 4:32-49

32 “Indeed, ask now concerning the former days which were before you, since the day that God created [g]man on the earth, and inquire from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything been done like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it? 33 Has any people heard the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fire, as you have heard it, and survived? 34 Or has a god tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, [h]as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 To you it was shown that you might know that the Lord, He is God; there is no other besides Him. 36 Out of the heavens He let you hear His voice to discipline you; and on earth He let you see His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire. 37 [i]Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose [j]their descendants after them. And He [k]personally brought you from Egypt by His great power, 38 driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in and to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is today. 39 Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.40 So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am [l]giving you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may [m]live long on the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”

41 Then Moses set apart three cities across the Jordan to the [n]east, 42 that a manslayer might flee there, who unintentionally slew his neighbor without having enmity toward him in time past; and by fleeing to one of these cities he might live:43 Bezer in the wilderness on the plateau for the Reubenites, and Ramoth in Gilead for the Gadites, and Golan in Bashan for the Manassites.

44 Now this is the law which Moses set before the sons of Israel; 45 these are the testimonies and the statutes and the ordinances which Moses spoke to the sons of Israel, when they came out from Egypt, 46 across the Jordan, in the valley opposite Beth-peor, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites who lived at Heshbon, whom Moses and the sons of Israel [o]defeated when they came out from Egypt. 47 They took possession of his land and the land of Og king of Bashan, the two kings of the Amorites, who were across the Jordan to the [p]east, 48 from Aroer, which is on the edge of the [q]valley of Arnon, even as far as Mount Sion (that is, Hermon), 49 with all the Arabah across the Jordan to the east, even as far as the sea of the Arabah, [r]at the foot of the slopes of Pisgah.

Go back and read verse 35 again. That’s a big claim, and something that tends to set Christianity apart. Many religions try to be compatible with others, or at least open the door for there to be other gods. Some even try to acknowledge Jesus as some sort of “good teacher” or a prophet from God.

But God’s word is very clear that He alone is God, that Jesus is His son, and there is no other god that exists. This ties into something that was mentioned earlier in the chapter, which is that God is a jealous God. He does not share allegiance with any other god, or with anything else in creation.

He wants our whole hearts, not just the leftovers. He created us to need Him also, so that we would be drawn to give Him our hearts. It’s an amazing paradox, that the one our souls crave is the one who we most need to be a complete person. Seek Him first and he will give you everything you need (not to say you won’t have to work for it, but he WILL provide).

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Deuteronomy 4:15-31

15 “So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, 16 so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky, 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water below the earth.19 And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. 20 But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as today.

21 “Now the Lord was angry with me on your account, and swore that I would not cross the Jordan, and that I would not enter the good land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. 22 For I will die in this land, I shall not cross the Jordan, but you shall cross and take possession of this good land. 23 So watch yourselves, that you do not forget the covenant of the Lord your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the Lord your God has commanded you. 24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

25 “When you [d]become the father of children and children’s children and have remained long in the land, and act corruptly, and make an [e]idol in the form of anything, and do that which is evil in the sight of the Lord your God so as to provoke Him to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that you will surely perish quickly from the land where you are going over the Jordan to possess it. You shall not [f]live long on it, but will be utterly destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord drives you. 28 There you will serve gods, the work of man’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. 29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice. 31 For the Lord your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.

Moses is practically telling the future here, and no doubt he was inspired by God to say these things, though I’m sure he hoped the people would not be so fickle after his death.

The story of Israel is a huge display of God’s mercy. As they occupy the land of Canaan, and have various leaders, and then kings (both good and bad), they will indeed be fickle. But God will be faithful, and He will be merciful.

Time and again he will warn them to turn their hearts back through prophets, and when he finally allows them to be deported, it almost seems overdue. But God’s timing is not ours, and his faithfulness is not ours (so much greater), and his mercy is not ours (again, so very much greater).

Ultimately, God loves us, almost to a fault, as we would say of a human parent. But God’s love is always working things for our best, and it works a lot better when we are seeking Him first.

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Deuteronomy 4:1-14

Israel Urged to Obey God’s Law

“Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. Your eyes have seen what the Lord has done in the case of Baal-peor, for all the men who followed Baal-peor, the Lord your God has destroyed [a]them from among you. But you who held fast to the Lord your God are alive today, every one of you.

“See, I have taught you statutes and judgments just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do thus in the land where you are entering to possess it. So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the Lord our God whenever we call on Him? Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today?

“Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.10 Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when the Lord said to me, ‘Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to [b]fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’ 11 You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the very heart of the heavens: darkness, cloud and thick gloom. 12 Then the Lord spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words, but you saw no form—only a voice. 13 So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten [c]Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone. 14 The Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might perform them in the land where you are going over to possess it.

One verse just stands out here, as it says “For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the Lord our God whenever we call on Him?”

For God to come near to his creation was unheard of, astounding, and incredible. Yet, they were still at arms-length, none but the high priest could ever enter the most holy place in the tabernacle (and later the temple).

But when Jesus sacrificed himself, once for all, God came even nearer. He came so near that he lives inside us, as His word calls us the temple now.

That’s big, so big, it’s a little tough to wrap your mind around. That the God who created everything, who created you, wants to know you so much that He puts His spirit inside you. That anytime, you can come boldly before the throne of your God, before your Father, before your Daddy, and He will listen to you. Not like the kings of old, or even dignitaries of our age, cold and aloof. God came near, to know and to be known. Do you know him yet? He’s waiting for you every day, every moment.

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Deuteronomy 3:12-29

12 “So we took possession of this land at that time. From Aroer, which is by the [l]valley of Arnon, and half the hill country of Gilead and its cities I gave to the Reubenites and to the Gadites. 13 The rest of Gilead and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh, all the region of Argob (concerning all Bashan, it is called the land of Rephaim. 14 Jair the son of Manasseh took all the region of Argob as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and called [m]it, that is, Bashan, after his own name, [n]Havvoth-jair, as it is to this day.)15 To Machir I gave Gilead. 16 To the Reubenites and to the Gadites I gave from Gilead even as far as the [o]valley of Arnon, the middle of the [p]valley [q]as a border and as far as the [r]river Jabbok, the border of the sons of Ammon; 17 the Arabah also, with the Jordan [s]as a border, from [t]Chinnereth even as far as the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, [u]at the foot of the slopes of Pisgah on the east.

18 “Then I commanded you at that time, saying, ‘The Lord your God has given you this land to possess it; all you valiant men shall cross over armed before your brothers, the sons of Israel. 19 But your wives and your little ones and your livestock (I know that you have much livestock) shall remain in your cities which I have given you, 20 until the Lord gives rest to your fellow countrymen as to you, and they also possess the land which the Lord your God will give them beyond the Jordan. Then you may return every man to his possession which I have given you.’ 21 I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the Lord your God has done to these two kings; so the Lord shall do to all the kingdoms into which you are about to cross. 22 Do not fear them, for the Lord your God is the one fighting for you.’

23 “I also pleaded with the Lord at that time, saying, 24 ‘O Lord [v]God, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand; for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Yours?25 Let me, I pray, cross over and see the fair land that is beyond the Jordan, [w]that good hill country and Lebanon.’ 26 But the Lord was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me; and the Lord said to me, ‘[x]Enough! Speak to Me no more of this matter. 27 Go up to the top of Pisgah and lift up your eyes to the west and north and south and east, and see it with your eyes, for you shall not cross over this Jordan. 28 But charge Joshua and encourage him and strengthen him, for he shall go across [y]at the head of this people, and he will give them as an inheritance the land which you will see.’ 29 So we remained in the valley opposite Beth-peor.

This last section is interesting, as Moses had already been told he couldn’t enter the promised land, because he had disobeyed God. Twice now, he has made it seem like it was because of the people themselves. While they certainly didn’t help, and drove him to it somewhat, ultimately he made the choice to strike the rock instead of speaking to it as God commanded.

Sometimes we mess up, and we have to face the consequences. While God is more than capable of making life easy for us, that is not usually best for us. God uses trials to turn us into the men and women he has called us to be. Not just pastors, or missionaries, but everyone that is called by His name.

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Deuteronomy 3:1-11

Conquests Recounted

“Then we turned and went up the road to Bashan, and Og, king of Bashan, [a]with all his people came out to meet us in battle at Edrei. But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not fear him, for I have delivered him and all his people and his land into your hand; and you shall do to him just as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.’ So the Lord our God delivered Og also, king of Bashan, with all his people into our hand, and we smote [b]them until no survivor was [c]left.We captured all his cities at that time; there was not a city which we did not take from them: sixty cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates and bars, besides a great many [d]unwalled towns. We [e]utterly destroyed them, as we did to Sihon king of Heshbon, [f]utterly destroying [g]the men, women and children of every city. But all the animals and the spoil of the cities we took as our booty.

“Thus we took the land at that time from the hand of the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, from the [h]valley of Arnon to Mount Hermon(Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir): 10 all the cities of the plateau and all Gilead and all Bashan, as far as Salecah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 11 (For only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his [i]bedstead was an iron [j]bedstead; it is in Rabbah of the sons of Ammon. Its length was nine cubits and its width four cubits [k]by ordinary cubit.)

Now, it doesn’t tell us how many soliders King Og had, but he controlled sixty towns (possibly more villages, that isn’t quite clear). Beyond that, King Og was a formidable figure, being the last of one of the races of giants (the Rephaites).

These were the type of people that had made the Israelites turn back in fear 40 years ago, but when they trusted in God, there was no army that could stand against them.

It sounds so simple, just trust in God. But we see it with the Israelites time and again, and we see it in our own lives over and over: it is far too easy to get going on your own steam. Then once you’ve got going, you think you need no one and nothing else, and can do all things on your own.

But Paul reminds us “I can do all things… through Him who strengthens me.” Yes, we can and will do incredible things, but only if we trust in the one who can give us the power to do His will. “Trust in the Lord will all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, and He will direct your path.”

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Deuteronomy 2:26-37

26 “So I sent messengers from the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying, 27 ‘Let me pass through your land, I will [q]travel only on the highway; I will not turn aside to the right or to the left. 28 You will sell me food for money so that I may eat, and give me water for money so that I may drink, only let me pass through on [r]foot, 29 just as the sons of Esau who live in Seir and the Moabites who live in Ar did for me, until I cross over the Jordan into the land which the Lord our God is giving to us.’ 30 But Sihon king of Heshbon was not willing for us to pass [s]through his land; for the Lord your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, in order to deliver him into your hand, as he istoday. 31 The Lord said to me, ‘See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his land [t]over to you. Begin to [u]occupy, that you may possess his land.’

32 “Then Sihon [v]with all his people came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz. 33 The Lord our God delivered him [w]over to us, and we [x]defeated him with his sons and all his people. 34 So we captured all his cities at that time and [y]utterly destroyed [z]the men, women and children of every city. We left no survivor. 35 We took only the animals as our booty and the spoil of the cities which we had captured. 36 From Aroer which is on the edge of the [aa]valley of Arnon and from the city which is in the [ab]valley, even to Gilead, there was no city that was too high for us; the Lord our God delivered all [ac]over to us. 37 Only you did not go near to the land of the sons of Ammon, all along the [ad]river Jabbok and the cities of the hill country, and wherever the Lord our God had commanded us.

The description of how God made King Sihon stubborn and defiant sounds a lot like the Pharaoh of Egypt. While we don’t know why, God had marked these leaders for destruction, and now the time of judgment had come.

The theme is similar again, it was God who gave them the victory. While it might seem like an army of 600k men could do whatever they wanted, there are several examples where they fought when they were not supposed to. The results were not pretty, and always included a resounding defeat.

When we seek God’s heart and plan for our lives, we can trust that he will be with us every step of the way. When we go our own way, refusing to listen to God, we may end up like the Israelites were at times, or even worse, like King Sihon.

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Deuteronomy 2:1-25

Wanderings in the Wilderness

“Then we turned and set out for the wilderness by the way to the [a]Red Sea, as the Lord spoke to me, and circled Mount Seir for many days. And the Lord spoke to me, saying, ‘You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn north, and command the people, saying, “You will pass through the territory of your brothers the sons of Esau who live in Seir; and they will be afraid of you. So be very careful;do not [b]provoke them, for I will not give you any of their land, even as little as a [c]footstep because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession. You shall buy food from them with money so that you may eat, and you shall also purchase water from them with money so that you may drink. For the Lord your God has blessed you in all [d]that you have done; He has known your [e]wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing.”’

“So we passed beyond our brothers the sons of Esau, who live in Seir, away from the Arabah road, away from Elath and from Ezion-geber. And we turned and passed through by the way of the wilderness of Moab. Then the Lord said to me, ‘Do not harass Moab, nor provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of [f]their land as a possession, because I have given Ar to the sons of Lot as a possession.’10 (The Emim lived there formerly, a people as great, numerous, and tall as the Anakim. 11 Like the Anakim, they are also regarded as Rephaim, but the Moabites call them Emim. 12 The Horites formerly lived in Seir, but the sons of Esau dispossessed them and destroyed them from before them and settled in their place, just as Israel did to the land of [g]their possession which the Lord gave to them.) 13 ‘Now arise and cross over the [h]brook Zered yourselves.’ So we crossed over the [i]brook Zered. 14 Now the [j]time that it took for us to come from Kadesh-barnea until we crossed over the [k]brook Zered was thirty-eight years, until all the generation of the men of war perished from within the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them. 15 Moreover the hand of the Lord was against them, to destroy them from within the camp until they all perished.

16 “So it came about when all the men of war had finally perished from among the people, 17 that the Lord spoke to me, saying, 18 ‘Today you shall cross over Ar, the border of Moab. 19 When you come opposite the sons of Ammon, do not harass them nor provoke them, for I will not give you any of the land of the sons of Ammon as a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot as a possession.’ 20 (It is also regarded as the land of the Rephaim, for Rephaim formerly lived in it, but the Ammonites call them Zamzummin, 21 a people as great, numerous, and tall as the Anakim, but the Lord destroyed them before them. And they dispossessed them and settled in their place, 22 just as He did for the sons of Esau, who live in Seir, when He destroyed the Horites from before them; they dispossessed them and settled in their place even to this day. 23 And the Avvim, who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the [l]Caphtorim who came from [m]Caphtor, destroyed them and lived in their place.) 24 ‘Arise, set out, and pass through the [n]valley of Arnon. Look! I have given Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land into your hand; begin to take possession and contend with him in battle. 25 This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you [o]upon the peoples [p]everywhere under the heavens, who, when they hear the report of you, will tremble and be in anguish because of you.’

There is something that pervades through this whole passage, and that is the act of God “giving the land”. It would be easy to look at this and think that it is just tribes warring against tribes. One comes out on top, takes the land, and the surviving losers slink to some forgotten corner, if there are any remaining.

But this is a reminder that nothing happens without God knowing it. He is ultimately on control, and though we don’t always understand why He does things, ultimately it is for the good of all humanity. God desires to draw as many people back to himself as possible, and sometimes that requires tragedy and sacrifice.

For it is seldom that blessings push us towards God. Too often, we think it is our own skill, we are so amazing that we just did it all ourselves. But when we are struggling, when we are hurting, we cry out to Him, and seek refuge and restoration. In all of it, blessings and pain, He is in control. Perhaps if we sought him more on the mountain, we wouldn’t have to travel through so many valleys. Perhaps…

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Deuteronomy 1:19-46

19 “Then we set out from Horeb, and went through all that great and terrible wilderness which you saw on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, just as the Lord our God had commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-barnea. 20 I said to you, ‘You have come to the hill country of the Amorites which the Lord our God is about to give us. 21 See, the Lord your God has placed the land before you; go up, take possession, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has spoken to you. Do not fear or be dismayed.’

22 “Then all of you approached me and said, ‘Let us send men before us, that they may search out the land for us, and bring back to us word of the way by which we should go up and the cities which we shall enter.’ 23 The thing pleased me and I took twelve of your men, one man for each tribe. 24 They turned and went up into the hill country, and came to the valley of Eshcol and spied it out. 25 Then they took some of the fruit of the land in their hands and brought it down to us; and they brought us back a report and said, ‘It is a good land which the Lord our God is about to give us.’

26 “Yet you were not willing to go up, but rebelled against the [p]command of the Lord your God; 27 and you grumbled in your tents and said, ‘Because the Lord hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us. 28 Where can we go up? Our brethren have made our hearts melt, saying, “The people are bigger and taller than we; the cities are large and fortified to heaven. And besides, we saw the sons of the Anakim there.”’29 Then I said to you, ‘Do not be shocked, nor fear them. 30 The Lord your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, [q]just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, 31 and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place.’ 32 But [r]for all this, you did not trust the Lord your God,33 who goes before you on your way, to seek out a place for you to encamp, in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go.

34 “Then the Lord heard the sound of your words, and He was angry and took an oath, saying, 35 ‘Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers, 36 except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and to his sons I will give the land on which he has set foot, because he has followed the Lord fully.’ 37 The Lord was angry with me also on your account, saying, ‘Not even you shall enter there. 38 Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter there; encourage him, for he will cause Israel to inherit it. 39 Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it. 40 But as for you, turn around and set out for the wilderness by the way to the [s]Red Sea.’

41 “Then you said to me, ‘We have sinned against the Lord; we will indeed go up and fight, just as the Lord our God commanded us.’ And every man of you girded on his weapons of war, and regarded it as easy to go up into the hill country. 42 And the Lord said to me, ‘Say to them, “Do not go up nor fight, for I am not among you; otherwise you will be [t]defeated before your enemies.”’ 43 So I spoke to you, but you would not listen. Instead you rebelled against the [u]command of the Lord, and acted presumptuously and went up into the hill country. 44 The Amorites who [v]lived in that hill country came out against you and chased you as bees do, and crushed you from Seir to Hormah. 45 Then you returned and wept before the Lord; but the Lord did not listen to your voice nor give ear to you. 46 So you remained in Kadesh many days, [w]the days that you spent there.

It had to be a sobering reminder, what all happened because of this one rebellion against the command of God. He had promised to be with them, had literally led them with a cloud and a pillar of fire, and they complained that they could not conquer the promised land.

Lest we be too proud of ourselves, we need to be mindful of what God has promised us. Don’t go back to Egypt, fruitful though it may have been, to the land of slavery, but always move forward into what God has promised.

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Deuteronomy 1:9-18

“I spoke to you at that time, saying, ‘I am not able to bear the burden of you alone.10 The Lord your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are this day like the stars of heaven in number. 11 May the Lord, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand-fold more than you are and bless you, just as He has [g]promised you!12 How can I alone bear the load and burden of you and your strife? 13 [h]Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.’ 14 You answered me and said, ‘The thing which you have said to do is good.’ 15 So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and [i]appointed them heads over you, leaders of thousands and [j]of hundreds, [k]of fifties and [l]of tens, and officers for your tribes.

16 “Then I charged your judges at that time, saying, ‘Hear the cases between your [m]fellow countrymen, and judge righteously between a man and his [n]fellow countryman, or the alien who is with him. 17 You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not fear [o]man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’ 18 I commanded you at that time all the things that you should do.

It had to be a sobering reminder, that there was so much bickering and complaining that Moses couldn’t handle it. To be fair, there were over a million people involved here, way too many for Moses to handle.

And certainly human nature hasn’t changed, but there is something in here that is interesting. That is the instructions to the judges. Be impartial, and do not favor the poor or the rich. Then he says to not be afraid of anyone getting angry, because the decision they made was God’s decision.

Now, you can’t just blindly say, “oh, I made God’s decision, go away!” You actually had to listen to what God was telling you, and that is something we should do daily. In our decisions, listen for God’s voice, his leading, his direction, and let the rest sort itself out.

When you seek him, you don’t have to be afraid of the consequences. Not that there won’t be any, or that the crap might not fly, but it’s not your responsibility, and you can trust God to take care of business.