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Deuteronomy 31 – 34
Moses has finished declaring the law to the people. He has finished his journey to the border of the promised land. He has lived 120 years. What has he to show for all that time?
By God’s hand, he led the people out of slavery in Egypt. By God’s power, he sent the ten plagues against their captors. By God’s word, he showed the way to Life for the people of Israel. In God’s patience, he shepherded them across the desert and provided all their needs.
Now he hands over this task to Joshua the spy who feared God and would have entered Canaan when the Israelites first reached its borders.
Moses true last words come.
The first is a song given by God to be a witness against the people. They are to learn it and keep in their hearts every day of their lives. It the song of all God has done for them and what He will do if they don’t keep His commands. God gives this to them through Moses, because God tells him that He already knows that it won’t take long for the people to follow after other gods and forget the ways of the One who is their salvation.
Still, Moses blesses them, praying that God will be with them and conquer all their enemies.
His greatest reminder to the people is that,
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
God says the same to Joshua.
“Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you.”
What a comfort to know that no matter how many people around us we lose, the people we love and respect may all die, but the LORD is forever by our side.
Is it any wonder then that our lives should reflect His praise, that our actions and words should declare His majesty? Is it a great mystery that man’s purpose in life is to shine forth the glory of the LORD?
How hard it is to live this way! I know that much is true. In the easy times, we forget His provision and His arms of refuge. In the hard times, we cry out to Him asking what we have done to deserve such pain.
The attitudes of our heart mirror the responses of Israel on their journey through the desert. Listen to their complaining! Does it not frustrate you as it frustrated God? Apply that frustration to your life. What does God see in your heart attitude towards Him? Should He be turned to anger by what you both see there? Or does your heart long after Him and fight to walk in all His ways.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Tomorrow we start Joshua. Are you ready to enter the promised land?