(photo by John Wilcox)
I was reading Deuteronomy this morning as the sun rose, muted by our continuing snow storm (yay!). Warm cup of coffee, flannel-lined khaki's, fleece socks and fuzzy slippers have been keeping me warm today while "the weather outside is frightful!"
But I wanted to share with you a little bit from my reading today, if I may. At the beginning of Deut, we find Moses leading the Israelites after the Exodus from Egypt, to the land that God promised to them. Yet, when God told them to take possession of this land (by first destroying the Amorites), the Israelites "rebelled", and "grumbled" and concluded that "the LORD hates us" and desires to "destroy us" (1:27). And then Moses tells the Israelites something that continues to soothe and encourage me,
"Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place." (1:29-31)I love this passage. And thus begins the theme in Deuteronomy that challenges and excites me: remembrance. Moses tells them to remember what the LORD did in Egypt, remember how he has provided for us until now. Remember, for many years, God provided for the Israelites: food, water, the 10 commandments, victory over all of their enemies, etc... And now they doubt him again (AGAIN!). If I could be a woman of remembrance, i think i could walk more confidently forward in my life. If i could hold on to God's promises and remember the life of Jesus, remember God's hand in my life, his healing, his provision, his glory that I have seen in countless lives of others.... God is the same: he is not changing: he is not a different God to Lindsey than he is to Maggie; he is God.
After this encouraging testimony and reminder from Moses, the Israelites did not "trust in the LORD your God, who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day...to show you the way you should go." (1:32-33) So God chose not to give them the promised land. He only would allow Caleb who "followed the LORD wholeheartedly" and Joshua and those children who were too young to have moral calpability to enter into this land that he had promised.
So God leads the Israelites into the wilderness for 40 more years. Yikes! And even during this time,
"The LORD your God has blessed you in all the works of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert...God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything."(2:7)And I am encouraged, that even if i forget God's promises, and doubt his leading, he will still provide for me all that I need as I wait on his timing. He will give me that time (hopefully not 40 years, eh?) to acquire the faith to follow him to bring about what he had always intended for me.
When i got onto Facebook this morning and saw some of your status updates and read some blogs, i thought to myself that this is a truth that some of you might be encouraged by. I'm not a theologian, and I am especially inarticulate in these matters, but I hope that maybe you can read these passages for yourself (Deut 1 and 2) and remember his faithfulness and see God's provision and purpose during the waiting and transitional periods of your life.