Today, we’ll explore the beginning of Deuteronomy. In this Scripture lesson, Israel learns how to follow God. The story begins with the end of Exodus.
First, it took an astounding 40 years for the people to cover an 11 day trek.
Well, as we will discover in future lessons, God prepared the people to settle in the land He mentioned in the covenant so many years before.
We now know it as “The Promised Land.”
Israel Learns How to Follow God – Moses Speaks to Israel about the Promised Land
These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel and Laban and Hazeroth and Dizahab.
It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea.
In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the children of Israel, according to all that the Lord had commanded him to give to them, after he had defeated Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth and Edrei.
Across the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to expound this law, saying,
“The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain.
Turn and set your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites, and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the lowland and in the Negev and by the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates.
See, I have placed the land before you; go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to them and their descendants after them.’ – Deuteronomy 1:1-8 NASB
Study of Deuteronomy Begins
I’m excited to begin this new area of study which begins with Moses giving an account of what God has done for His people.
Without hesitation, let’s dive in and see what God has in store for us.
Change of Heart
As mentioned above, the people had to wander in the wilderness for forty years to get to the border of the land God had promised.
Why were they made to wait so many years?
It certainly wasn’t the distance (about an eleven day journey) they had to travel in order to get there. No, God waited for a change in their hearts before He allowed them to conquer the new land.
In the wilderness, the Israelites had to learn how to follow God. And, they had to trust Him to provide for them (remember the manna and quail?). Next, they had to realize who God really was before they could inhabit a land full of wicked people.
The people of Israel had to be pure of heart by abiding by the law (ten commandments) in order to understand how to follow and relate to the living God.
Our Follow ship
Many people believe that to become a Christian means that there will be no sorrow or hardships in their lives.
In reality, the opposite is true.
In reality, Christians face many of the same trials and tribulations as the rest of the population. And, many still die for their beliefs today.
We know that at least a few of the disciples were put to death. Paul was beaten, sent to prison, and finally beheaded because he chose to follow Jesus.
When pain comes our way, God can use this time to prepare us to follow Him. It’s during the tough times that we reach out to Him in desperation.
The hardships we face in life bring us closer to God because we are ready to humble ourselves before Him.
God Uses Broken People
Just like Israel, we learn how to follow God after we have been through traumatic times in our lives. Only then can we be more sympathetic towards others.
Let’s share the benefit of how God helped us through difficult times with those who are going through the fire today.
Love in Christ
Discover more about Christ’s’ gift to you. Please take a moment to read John 3:16.