THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25
SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 9
BY: Jeremy Witt
A good leader sees the obstacles ahead and is able to guide/lead those with them to overcome those obstacles. Moses points out the obstacles of the giants and their cities and reminds them of how their forefathers responded. Their lack of faith caused them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. They were focused on their circumstances and surroundings and not in the power of God who was leading them. We should understand this ourselves and remember.
In verses 1-3 Moses focuses on the giants, or the descendants of Anak. We learn about these people throughout the Old Testament. In 1 Samuel 17:4-7 we discover they were over 7 feet tall and as tall as 9 feet tall. In Numbers 13:28 their mere appearance scared the Israelites as it did others. Throughout Numbers 13-14, their appearance and their walled cities put fear in the spies. Only Caleb and Joshua trusted in the LORD and were the only spies who survived the wandering in the wilderness. What was the difference between Caleb and Joshua from the other spies? Our God is bigger, stronger, smarter, wiser, faster, etc than anything man can throw at us. It is when we focus on our circumstances that we fall into the same trap as the Israelites. Whether it is financial, physical health, mental/emotional health, relational, personal, and those of us with control issues, we (I) must remember this so that we will trust in the LORD and lean not in our own understanding.
In verses 4-6, Moses reminded the Israelites that God’s blessing was not based on anything they did. Notice in verse 4, it starts in the heart and isn’t based on their righteousness. We can’t be good enough. Our deeds/works/actions are never enough. Verse 5, it is not based on their integrity or uprightness of heart but the wickedness of their neighbors. Verse 6, Moses calls them out for what they are: stubborn, hard-headed, etc which I completely relate to.
In verse 7 and following, Moses moves to another time when the Israelites lost focus on God and showed their stubbornness by making a golden calf. Once they left Egypt, the people found something to whine about or rebel against (verse 7). It shows us how Moses interceded for the people when God was ready to wipe them out. (I wonder how many times God may have been this way with me. I wonder how many times I have rebelled and been hard-headed towards God and His Word.)
This was not the only time that the people rebelled against God and Moses. In verse 22 Moses points out the places of rebellion, and how Moses had to continually intercede on behalf of the people. In verses 25-29 we see how Moses interceded for the people by reminding God of what He had already done and what His purpose for these people was. Ultimately Moses trusted God for the people as stated in verse 29. “They are your people and your special possession.”
Even when we fail, it is important for us to learn from our failures, but also to use those failures as reminders of our need for the LORD. When we fail, it doesn’t define our hearts. What defines our hearts is how we respond to our failures and what changes we make. Will we continue to do what we have always done? If so, we will get the same results that we have always got. Or will we change so that we do not continue in failure. This is what Moses was striving for with the Israelites. Don’t make the same mistakes. Learn from your parents mistakes. Trust in the LORD and not in your circumstances. Moses was trying to steer the people away from making the same mistakes again as any good leader will d o.
May we do the same thing.