“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then leading you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bead alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.” (Deuteronomy 8:2-5)
God’s history lessons are not always obvious. We need God’s inspired interpreter. Moses interpreted God’s reasons for the long wilderness journey as a testing period for a fickle and inconsistent people (Exodus 16:2, 32:11)). Life’s tough times may contain God’s revelation if we are ready to learn from them. History tests the commitment of the heart not the knowledge of the head.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You took Your people on a forty year walk through the wilderness desert, that was essentially a walk of only about a two day journey. The people were disobedient, uncommitted, resistant to change, and outwardly untested for the trip. Those of whom entered the Promised Land, did not include any of the people who began the trip, due to a complete lack of discipline. Those who entered the Promised had been disciplined to follow You will and to be obedient to Your leading. For it is in Your precious name that we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Try to live your life in such a way, that your preacher won’t have to lie at you funeral!”
“I spoke to the prophets, gave them many visions and told parables through them. Is Gilead wicked?? Its people are worthless! Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal? Their altars will be like piles of stones on a plowed field. Jacob fled to the country of Aram; Israel served to get a wife, and to pay for he he tended sheep. The Lord used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt, my a prophet he cared for him. But Ephraim has bitterly provoked him to anger; his Lord will leave upon him the guilt of his bloodshed and will repay him for his contempt.” (Hosea 12:10-14)
God described Israel’s history and His loving persistence in saving her. Moses was a prophet called to guide God’s children to safety from Egypt and to reveal God’s deep care for His children. God manifested His care also through guiding visions and parables which prophets delivered. In ac and word God’s history with His people is a call to salvation, God’s people too often make it a history of God’s disciplining anger. In truth, God’s anger with his disobedient people led directory to the disciplining required by God’s people to change their ways!
“I destroyed the Amorite before them, though he was tall as the cedars and strong as the oaks. I destroyed his fruit above and his roots below. I brought you out of Egypt, and I led you forty years in the desert to give you the land of the Amorites. I also raised up prophets from among your sons and Nazirites from among your young men. Is this not true, people of Israel!? Declares the Lord. But you made the Nazirites drink wine and commanded he prophets not to prophesy.” (Amos 2:9-12)
The history of prophecy was part of God’s salvation history for His people. It was also part of Israel’s history of sin against God. Israel, having forgotten to be true to their calling as God’s chosen, had become prisoners of greed and immorality. Judgment came to Israel because of her sins along with Gentile nations like Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Moab, and Ammon. Being the elect of God did not excuse Israel from living lives of justice and righteousness. As He had taken initiative in creating the elect nation. He would take the initiative in disciplining them. God demands repentance and righteousness from His elect.
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“Again he said, ‘What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we used to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest or all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of what the air can perch in its shade.’” (Mark 4:30-32)
All revelation, like the arrival of the kingdom of God on earth, appears small and unimportant at first but will grow because of its nature. Jesus was a small Babe, born in an unnoticed town. Thus began God’s revelation of His great rule over all the earth.