God’s Guidance—–Remembering The Acts Of God
Text: Deuteronomy Chapters 1-3
Our Focus: Deuteronomy 1:1-8, 21-32
There are many today that think that since it has been more than 2000 years since Jesus ascended back to Heaven that we may need some new truth today. In fact many that say they are Christians believe this also.
The fact is that we do not need new truth because truth is always the truth in any age. Truth is eternal and truth never changes.
What we need is a commitment to God’s Word which is and always has been the truth!
We therefore come to the meaning of the title to this book “Deuteronomy”.
The title Deuteronomy means “the second law”.
God was giving His people “a second chance”. We know they had been afraid to go into Canaan at their first opportunity. They now had a second chance to make the right choice!
SO, What is choice?
First, When we are forced to obey, there can be no choice.
So we can say that choice is the act of voluntary selection between two or more things or preferring one thing above another.
We are known as a people who make decisions without considering the long term affects of those decisions. If we could look ahead in time we would see that there were many things we should never have done.
We may not want to believe it, but God takes every decision we make seriously and we should too!
No one has to reject Jesus Christ as his or her Savior but if you “choose” to do this, God will honor your decision!
No child of God is forced to live in unbelief! To believe is the basis of living under the umbrella of God. When we reject the Word of God as the guide of our lives, we will find that “our choice” has eternal consequences.
God has a plan of salvation. We do not need to make up our own plan! All God wants us to do is be a part of His plan. This is His purpose for our lives!
When we rebel against God’s Word we have sinned against God. In fact it is major sin!
The Bible says:
1Sa 15:23 [For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft], and [stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry]. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, He hath also rejected thee.
Rebellion is an open resistance to lawful authority. God is the only lawful authority for all His creation!
A Witch is said to be a person who can manipulate energy, supernaturally, to create their own reality. It is easy to see that this is also rebelling against the Divine Authority of Our Father in Heaven.
Witchcraft is also called “divination” which means foretelling of future events by means other than human knowledge.
If that knowledge does not come from Jehovah God then it must come from the Devil.
These people then will try to make money doing this.
Sounds a whole lot like Balaam in the Book of Numbers who had also rebelled against the Word of God.
Rebellion, stubbornness and witchcraft are all sin and abominations to God, but these things will not send you to Hell.
It is the rejecting “of the truth of Jesus Christ” that will send you to Hell, all other sin can be forgiven!
God does not hate any human being but God does hate the sinful actions of “all” human beings!
The Book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Pentateuch, the FIVE(Pente) books of Moses.
When the Book of Numbers ends, a new generation of Israel has emerged. This wandering band of pilgrims were not raised in a home but they were raised in the wilderness. They seem determined to avoid the same mistakes their parents made.
God has kept Moses, Joshua, and Caleb alive and they are just as determined to guide Israel toward Canaan Land.
Moses now will give Israel a somewhat revised covenant or we could say a new treaty with God since the first one was not kept by the parents of these these that are now living.
1.) This covenant contains the names of those involved: Jehovah God and the Nation of Israel.
2.) The covenant contains the history of previous covenants.
3.) There are general and specific regulations.
4.) And last there are blessings if the covenant is kept and curses if the covenant is not kept.
5.) We know that God always keeps His side of every agreement!
The word Deuteronomy then can be said to mean “the repeating of the law”.
We will now see how Moses reviews the laws that were originally given at Mount Sinai to this new generation of Israel.
Deu 1:1 These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab.
Deu 1:2 (There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)
Deu 1:3 And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them;
Deu 1:4 After he had slain Sihon the king of the Amorites, which dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, which dwelt at Astaroth in Edrei:
In the Book of Numbers it could be said these are the words God spoke to Moses but in the Book of Deuteronomy it could be said that these are the words Moses spoke to the people.
Moses reminds these people that because of the rebellion of their parents a journey that could have been done in as few as eleven days had actually taken 38 years.
Moses mentioned this to show this new generation that God was not to be tempted. We need to understand God does not change and we can expect similar actions today if we choose to tempt our God!
The Bible says:
Psa 78:31 The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.
Psa 78:32 For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works.
Psa 78:33 Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble.
Psa 78:34 When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and enquired early after God.
Moses also mentioned the destruction of Sihon and Og because they had tried to deny Israel access to the promised land of Canaan.
This was God’s proof that He would indeed fulfill His promises to encourage this mostly untested group!
Moses was also pointing out that time may be precious to each of us as individuals, BUT time has no relevance and is limitless to God. God can patiently wait for one evil generation to come and go and still fulfill His plan of salvation. It is always “our choice” to be a part of God’s plan or to be passed by for some one else to come along and get God’s blessings that we could have gotten.
We have only one chance for each moment that passes by! Once that moment is gone it cannot return. If God were not a God of the second chance we would all burn in Hell!
Moses was not instructing from what he had learned in his 120 years but he was instructing from the Word God had given to him.
The important thing to this new generation was not the men who had led them in their past but what the Word of God had directed them to do.
Israel is not a great nation because it has had great leaders. Israel is a great nation because it has a Great God!
The Body of Christ is not great because of the great Preachers from now and from the past. The Body of Christ is great because of the Lord Jesus Christ and that is the only reason!
We have no merits of our own to stand on!
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: [for without me ye can do nothing].
When we step out on our own, we have made “a choice” to rebel against the Word of God and we will find out that we can truly do nothing without the Lord Jesus.
It is God and He only that can give us “Victory” in our lives and this is still His promise!
Deu 1:5 On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law, saying,
Deu 1:6 The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:
Deu 1:7 Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates.
Deu 1:8 Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.
It pays us to look back in our history books to see the struggles and the turmoils our ancestors went through. As Christians we need to remember well why our nation was formed. Many of our forefathers came to America to seek freedom of religion and that religion they were seeking was Christianity.
This has given us an identity in this world. It seems our government officials seem to think that this is not important anymore but they are wrong!
If we cannot hold onto our historical roots, we will never know when we arrive at our destination.
This is the truth of the Bible. There is enough history in the Bible to tell us the historical roots of the Church and if we cannot hold on to that history, how will we know when we have reached our destination. The entrance into Heaven is within the grasp of everyone of God’s Creation and “choices” must be made.
Israel was at this point “of choice” this day in the book of Deuteronomy.
The Lord did not give Israel His Law to save them from sin:
Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: [for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified].
Under these old covenants, people were saved by faith, just as we are today:
Rom 4:12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, [but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham], which he had being yet uncircumcised.
Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
These laws can only reveal the sinfulness of mankind. A saint of God does not need any law to tell them if they have sinned.
When a Saint of God is pleasing Him, they will enjoy His blessings and blessings do not come by any law except the “Law of Love”!
These written laws of God provided for a civil, orderly and just society. We can see as these laws are mocked by our judges and our government and lawyers, our society is deteriorating into chaos and immorality.
These laws also prepared the way for Israel’s Messiah:
Gal 4:4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Israel was sitting at the entrance to the promised land and all they had to do was to follow God’s orders and the Lord would give them “victory”!
Deu 1:21 Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.
Deu 1:22 And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.
Deu 1:23 And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe:
Deu 1:24 And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out.
Deu 1:25 And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us.
Deu 1:26 Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God:
Deu 1:27 And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.
Deu 1:28 Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.
Deu 1:29 Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them.
Deu 1:30 The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;
Deu 1:31 And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.
Deu 1:32 Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God,
When we take the five books of Moses all together we would see that:
1.) Genesis gave “choice” to the people.
2.) Exodus gave them “redemption”.
3.) Leviticus gave them “worship”.
4.) Numbers gave them their “history”, their wanderings.
5.) In the Book of Deuteronomy, we see their “obedience”.
*****We know that “Salvation” comes by the “Grace” of God but we also know that to have a “Testimony” and to “Enjoy” salvation then there must be “Obedience”!
Obedience is the call of the past, the duty of the present, and the guarantee of the future!
1.) Obedience is based on our relationship with God and that relationship cannot begin without salvation!
2.) Our standard for obedience is the Pure Word of God!
3.) Our incentive for obedience is our Faithfulness to God!
The Bible Says:
1Th 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
4.) The alternative to obedience is the “Justice of God”!
God must be a giver of punishment if His people are unfaithful and disobedient!
*****When Moses sent out those twelve spies into Canaan to explore and bring back a report, they found that
1.) The land was abundant just as God said.
2.) The men of Canaan grew taller than the men of Israel.
Joshua and Caleb were prepared to trust in the Lord, THEY WERE GOD CENTERED.
There were 10 others who had no faith of there own and THEY WERE SELF CENTERED.
Rather than “choose” God and His power, they had focused on themselves and their own weaknesses. They could not imagine how they could defeat this enemy.
God had already prepared the way. Even forty years later Rahab described what God had already done 40 years earlier:
Jos 2:9 And she said unto the men, [I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you].
Jos 2:10 [For we have heard] how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.
Jos 2:11 [And as soon as we had heard these things], our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.
By their lack of faith these people of Jericho and Canaan land had 40 years to be prepared for Israel.
Because these 10 spies were self-centered these children of Israel had spent 40 years of needless waiting in that wilderness.
We just do not realize what God has in store for us until we give our selves over to Him, until we “choose” Him!
To be self-centered is to fall into a common trap. The world gives praise for self-reliance. Trusting God makes no sense to the world!
Thank God that trusting in Him makes perfect sense. We must trust God for everything and everyday.
To be God-centered requires a daily denial of our selves and a daily submission to the will of God.
Joh 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
The rebellion of Israel 40 years earlier was a means of teaching this new generation. These descendants never mentioned wanting to go back to Egypt. No matter the difficulty, they knew their future lay in the Promised land of God.
When God allows us to have our own way, it is a concession on His part!
God knows that there is always a danger that we will become proud and self-confident and start thinking we can tell God what to do.
Many of us know that this true because we have been there!
Being in God’s Will, and at the forefront of the battle is the safest place for every child of God to be.
Israel had for gotten that the same powerful God that had brought them out of Egypt would be taking them into Canaan Land.
We too sometimes forget that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and delivered us from all our sin is the same power that can rule our lives much better than we can.
Unless we receive God’s Word in our hearts and give thanks to Him for His blessings, we will become proud and selfish and begin to take the Lord’s blessings for granted.
*****There is a difference between unbelief and doubt:
1.) Unbelief is a matter of our will and will cause rebellion.
2.) Doubt is a matter of the heart and our emotions. This comes from wavering between fear and faith.
The doubter will say:
Mar 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, [Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief].
God “will encourage” the doubter and help them believe!
God “can only bring justice” to all those that rebel against His Word!
“Murmuring or complaining” is a popular thing to do among Christians but there will be no rewards in Heaven for complaining!
“UNBELIEF” is deadly, this is the only sin that will place you in Hell:
Joh 16:8 And when he is come, [he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment]:
Joh 16:9 [Of sin, because they believe not on me];
Lives are lost everyday simply because men will not believe the truth!
2Co 1:18 [But as God is true], our word toward you was not yea and nay.
Our God is “Theos” it is not “Allah”!
As Israel was to move forward and there were people to avoid:
1.) They were to avoid Edomites.
Because they were of Jacob’s brother Esau and therefore related to the Jews.
The Edomites were still caught up in a family feud that still goes on today!
Of all problems we face today, family disagreements are probably the most painful. These are things we should avoid if at all possible.
The Bible says:
Mat 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
If more individuals, and families and even nations were more content with the blessings of God, there would be less fighting.
2.) They were to avoid the Moabites and the Ammonites:
These were descendants of Lot, the nephew of Abraham.
God sits on the throne and He will deal with all nations according to His will. These two nations did not deserve God’s kindness but the Lord will sometimes bless people because of their relationship to other people.
Israel was blessed because of Abraham and David!
The Body of Christ is blessed today because of the Father’s eternal covenant with His Son Jesus!
3.) They were not to avoid the Amorites but they did offer to move through that land peacefully which did not happen. We are to wear the armor of God when we are in the land of His enemies. They should consider the peace of God before they attack the Church, the Body of Christ. It is Our Lord that will fight for His Bride!
These Amorites were an extremely wicked people. They were brutal in their sin even sacrificing their own children, not for any sort of salvation but just so their income would increase the Bible says for their own bellies.
Things are “Not” much different in the world we live in now!
It was a long suffering God that allowed them to live this long.
The Bible says:
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
There can be no rest for God’s people in this war we are in, until God calls us home!
Canaan Land is not a picture of Heaven, it is actually a picture of our Spiritual Victory over our own self-centered thoughts.
We must die to self, before we can live for Jesus Christ!