His Love of an Imperfect People

Moses with the Tablets of the Law (painting by...

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I have a friend at work who is a inquiring atheist or more correctly put a trouble maker; but in the sense that he seeks to trip me up. I use to get mad at him for doing it but his constant challenges really caused me to study the Word of God with zeal. His daily attacks on scripture actual drove me for a much more deeper understanding. One morning he made a comment to me about my age since at the time I was 33 and had been in ministry since I was 30, he said; “so you are in your Jesus years”. That comment sparked something in me, I have read numerous commentaries that talked about how Jesus prepared for ministry. Especially, Jesus’ mastery of Deuteronomy. He actually quoted from that particular book during His temptation in the wilderness. So I began to read and study Deuteronomy for myself. Along with studying that book, I have also taken a closer look at the Ten Commandments. I must say that my soul has been truly blessed as a Christian who better understands his salvation and the God I serve.

In away I think that Deuteronomy reflect the human condition. I know the Israelites are God’s chosen people but so far I see our nation and many others in these people that were led out of slavery. I have another post entitled the “Exodus Experience”, which touches on this. But it was the 8th chapter that brought me to tears and when I say tears I really mean it. I felt the Holy Spirit sitting on me and it was heavy as He convicted me down to the core of my soul.

Deuteronomy 8
Do Not Forget the LORD

1 Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers. 2 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. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

6 Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and revering him. 7 For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 9 a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.

10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.

19 If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20 Like the nations the LORD destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the LORD your God.

How often do we do this to God? I know, you never forget the LORD and what He has done right? You never have a problem with pride right? My God, when will we be honest with ourselves? But what else I found in this was how God brought them to hungry in order to humble them. Seeing God actually using suffering and life struggles to test where our hearts are. When I saw this in the Word I thought of two parables Jesus spoke:

Luke 8 (NIV) The Parable of the Sower
1After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

4While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: 5″A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. 6Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”

When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

9His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,

” ‘though seeing, they may not see;
though hearing, they may not understand.'[a]

11″This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

Luke 6 (NIV) The Wise and Foolish Builders
46″Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

Israel was caused to wonder in the wilderness for 40 years until those who fall in thorns were choked out. Sometimes, the good times can breed pride and forgetfulness and we steal God’s glory. We muse be careful, thats why Jesus told us to deny ourselves and take up the cross daily (Luke 9:23-27). But we put so much ahead of God and if we are not careful even our families can become idols in our hearts(Matthew 10:32-42). So as I read Deuteronomy 8, all of these things that I read before came rushing back. It literally flooded my soul and I was overwhelmed. I did started to reflect on the Ten Commandments and what they really mean to the Christian…. Reading them basically gutted me like a fish and all my sins laid bare before God and I had no excuse. My need and desire for Christ was crystal clear. LORD GOD, we so desperately needed a Savior in Jesus Christ our Prophet, High Priest and King.

God bless you & may the Holy Spirit lead you
Rev. W. R. Martin Jr.
visit me at: https://anointedplace.wordpress.com

follow me at: http://twitter.com/refreshinDsaint

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